Cadillac is a brand of luxury vehicles owned by General Motors.In the mid-20th century, the name became a synonym for "high quality". Cadillac vehicles are officially sold in over 50 countries and territories, with the majority sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Early vehicles Their first car was completed in October 1902, the 10 hp (7 kW) Cadillac. It was practically identical to the 1903 Ford Model A. Many sources say the first car rolled out of the factory on October 17; in the book Henry Leland -- Master of Precision, the date is October 20; another reliable source shows car #3 to have been built on October 16. In any case, the new Cadillac was shown at the New York Auto Show the following January, where it impressed the crowds enough to gather over two thousand firm orders. The Cadillac's biggest selling point was precision manufacturing and, therefore, reliability; it was simply a better-made vehicle than its competition.Cadillac participated in an interchangebility test in the United Kingdom 1908, when it was awarded the Dewar Trophy for the most important advancement of the year in the automobile industry.General Motors Cadillac was purchased by the General Motors conglomerate in 1909. Cadillac became General Motors' prestige division, devoted to the production of large luxury vehicles. The Cadillac line was also GM's default marque for "commercial chasis" institutional vehicles, such as limousines, ambulances, hearses, and funeral home flower cars, the latter three of which were custom-built by aftermarket manufacturers. Cadillac does not produce any such vehicles in their factory. In July 1917, the United States Army needed a dependable staff car and chose the Cadillac Type 55 Touring Model after exhaustive tests on the Mexican border.2,350 of the cars were supplied for use in France by officers of the American Expeditionary Force during WWI. Pre-World War II Cadillacs were well-built, powerful, mass-produced luxury cars, aimed at an upper class market. In the 1930s, Cadillac added cars with V12 and V16 engines to their range, many of which were fitted with custom coach-built bodies; these engines were remarkable at the time for their ability to deliver a combination of high power, silky smoothness and quietness.Automobile stylist Harley Earl, whom Cadillac had recruited in 1926 and who was to head the new Art and Color section starting in January 1928, designed for 1927 a new, smaller "companion" car to the Cadillac which he called the La Salle, after another French explorer, Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. That marque remained in production until 1940.
Cadillac was formed from the remnants of the Henry Ford Company when Henry Ford departed along with several of his key partners and the company was dissolved. With the intent of liquidating the firm's assets, Ford's financial backers, William Murphy and Lemuel Bowen called in engineer Henry M. Leland of Leland & Faulconer Manufacturing Company to appraise the plant and equipment prior to selling them.Instead, Leland persuaded them to continue the automobile business using Leland's proven 1-cylinder engine.Henry Ford's departure required a new name, and on August 22, 1902, the company reformed as the Cadillac Automobile Company.Leland & Faulconer Manufacturing and the Cadillac Automobile Company merged in 1905. From its earliest years, Cadillac aimed for precision engineering and stylish luxury finish, causing its cars to be ranked amongst the world's finest made.Utilisation of interchangeable parts was an important innovation in 1908. Cadillac was the first volume manufacturer of a fully enclosed cab in 1910 and, in 1912, was first to incorporate an electrical system enabling starting, ignition and lighting.
Advanced engines and transmissions
In 1915 it introduced a 90 degree flathead V8 engine with 70 horsepower at 2400 rpm and 180 pound feet of torque, allowing its cars to attain 65 miles per hour. At that time, 65 miles per hour was faster than most roads could accommodate. Cadillac pioneered the dual-plane V8 crankshaft in 1918. In 1928, Cadillac introduced the first clashless Synchro-Mech manual transmission, utilizing constant mesh gears.In 1930, Cadillac implemented the first V-16 engine, with a 45 degree overhead valve, 452 cubic inches, and 165 horsepower, one of the most powerful and quietest engines in the United States.The development and introduction of the V8, V16, and V-12 helped to make Cadillac the "Standard of the World."
Cadillac introduced designer-styled bodywork (as opposed to auto-engineered) in 1927. It installed shatter-resistant glass in 1926. Cadillac also introduced the 'turret top', the first all-steel roof on a passenger car. Previously, car roofs were constructed of fabric-covered wood. Tailfins were added to body shape in 1948. The Eldorado Brougham of 1957 offered a 'memory seat' function, allowing seat positions to be saved and recalled for different drivers. The first fully automatic heater/air conditioning system was introduced in 1964, allowing the driver to set a desired temperature to be maintained by 'climate control'.From the late 1960s, Cadillac offered a fiber-optic warning system to alert the driver to failed light bulbs. Dual airbags were offered on some Cadillac models from 1974 to 1977.