Cadillac was an innovative company, having established a reputation for the precision manufacture of high-quality motor cars and the introduction of the innovative electric starting and lighting systems in 1912. They pushed the technology further with the first mass-produced V8 engine in 1915. The engine was designed by D. McCall White, a Scottish-born engineer, featuring a new L-head engine using two cast-iron blocks with integral heads, mounted on a common crankcase of aluminum and copper alloy. The cylinder banks were placed directly opposite to each other and it employed Cadillac founder Henry Leland's preferred fork-and-blade connecting rods.
The Type 51 of 1915 introduced Cadillac's first left-hand drive car. Its chassis design was similar to the prior four-cylinder models, with a platform-type, leaf-sprung rear suspension.
From 1915 to 1918, Cadillac improved upon its V8 engine with a new manifold design and lighter pistons. The chassis also received updates, as it was strengthened and lengthened making it more comfortable and accommodating for its occupants.
The 1922 Cadillac models were dubbed the Type 61 and were available in 12 body styles on a single 132-inch wheelbase. There were few changes from the Type 59 and 60 models of 1920 and 1921, such as a higher radiator and raised hood shoulders on the Type 61. It even had aluminum, lightweight hood and a lowered center of gravity while keeping the same ground clearance as before by using smaller diameter wheels.
Cadillac introduced the Type 61 in September of 1921 and it would remain in production through the 1923 model year, with production totals of about 41,000 units. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2009