The first Cadillac was built in 1902 and the car went into production during 1903. Powered by a single-cylinder engine, the moderately priced early Cadillacs quickly established a reputation for exceptional quality and reliability. In 1908, Cadillac became 'The Standard of the World' when it was awarded the coveted Dewar Trophy in England in recognition of the precision standards used to manufacture its cars. The first four Cadillacs were built that same year.
In 1909, Cadillac was acquired by the newly formed General Motors organization. The first electric self-starter, developed by talented inventor Charles F. Kettering, appeared on the 1912 Cadillac Model 30. Cadillac took a giant step toward becoming one of America's greatest cars in 1915, when it introduced its 314 cubic-inch V8 engine - the first truly mass-produced V8 in the world.
This car is one of 18,003 Type 53 Cadillacs produced in 1916, the second year of V8 production. It was delivered from the factory, without body, to New York Cadillac distributor Inglis Uppercu in May 1916. The 122-inch wheelbase chassis was then sent to Healey & Company, a highly-esteemed coachbuilder catering to New York City's carriage trade. There, Healey craftsmen built and installed the hand-crafted body. The completed car was priced at about $3,000.
The Town Cabriolet was designed to be chauffer-driven. This one is believed to have been built for Madeline Edison Sloan, a daughter of Thomas Edison.