Discover Cadillac History

Cadillac Logo with Grate


Cadillac has revolutionized the automotive industry with its high-quality craftsmanship and luxury, and it has gained plenty of fans in Hamburg and East Aurora in the process, but how did this brand begin? Robert Basil Cadillac is here with the story of Cadillac history, starting back in 1902 with a groundbreaking idea. Let’s take a look at the beginnings of this iconic brand. We will answer the following questions and more:

  • Who is the Cadillac founder?
  • When was Cadillac founded?
  • What was the first Cadillac model?

When was Cadillac Founded?

The year Cadillac was founded was 1902. Henry Leland founded Cadillac way back in 1902, and  because the brand was founded in Detroit, Leland named the brand after Detroit’s founder: Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. One of Cadillac’s biggest innovations was the concept of interchangeable auto parts. This allowed the brand far more flexibility and versatility than others, and the industry took notice. Cadillac was the first American car to win the Dewar Trophy from the Royal Automobile Club of England. After this success, they adopted the slogan of “Standard of the World.”

What was the First Cadillac Model?

You might know about models like the Escalade and XT6, but what was the very first Cadillac in history? In 1903, the Cadillac Roundabout made its debut. This 2-seat “horseless carriage” was built with a single-cylinder engine that generated 10 hp. Upon its introduction at the 1903 New York Auto Show, the Roundabout was priced at $850. Later, it was renamed as the “Model A” and the “Model B” came out soon thereafter in 1904.

What is the Cadillac Logo?

Not only was the Cadillac brand named after Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, but the logo also owes its design to the founder’s coat of arms. Over the past 100 years, the logo has gone through over 30 changes to sharpen and refine the design.

  • 1906: The crest features two parts: a coat and a shield. This design featured birds, or “merlettes,” that aren’t found on the current logo.
  • 1920: The badge introduced a tulip-bulb wreath with a 9-point crown, which would eventually turn into a 7-point crown until 1925.
  • 1957: The crest became longer and wider, minimizing the crown symbol within the logo design.
  • 1963: Since 1963, the Cadillac logo went into its final phase and has not undergone any significant changes to the present day.

Other Noteworthy Events in Cadillac History

  • 1909 – Cadillac joins General Motors.
  • 1929 – Cadillac debuts the first synchro-mesh transmission.
  • 1953 – Air conditioning is offered for the first time in a Cadillac vehicle.
  • 1965- Cadillac debuts the tilt and telescoping steering wheel.
  • 1975 – Cadillac is the first of the American auto manufacturers to use electronic fuel injection.
  • 1998 – Cadillac offers the first vehicle to come with adaptive seating: the Cadillac Seville.

Find Out More with Robert Basil Cadillac

You’ve learned all about Cadillac history, now learn all about the current lineup with Robert Basil Cadillac. Contact us with any questions or shop the new inventory to find your next vehicle in Orchard Park, just a short drive from West Seneca.

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