Cadillac was founded by Henry Leland in 1902. One of the earliest Cadillacs is the Model E, first introduced in January 1905. This car uses a chain drive and a single cylinder engine. The Model E was only available as a runabout, a two-seater with no roof. Most Cadillacs in 1905 had a detachable second row of seats, or tonneau, but it was not available with the Model E. Two optional packages were available for the Model E. For $30.00, you could get a rubber top with sides and a storm apron. For $50.00, you could get a bulb horn, a leather top with sides and a storm apron.

I recently saw a 1905 Cadillac Model E at the August 2011 edition of Houston Cars and Coffee. There is always one or two cars that people circle around. At this event, there was a consistent circle of people around the vintage Cadillac. The person who owns this car had it running. There was a clanking sound coming from the Cadillac. Also, the 1905 Cadillac logo was missing from the grill. It should say “Cadillac” somewhere on the grill, but it was absent from the car. The car was also leaking oil. When I was driving to the event, I was not expecting to see a 1905 Cadillac. This is something I would expect to see at Classy Chassis, not Cars and Coffee.

The Cadillac Model E is powered by a 1.6L single cylinder engine, paired with a two-speed planetary transmission. The advertised horsepower for the Model E is 9 hp. The Model E is very light, weighing only 1100 lbs. In 1905, the Model E costs $750, which was the cheapest Cadillac in 1905.

This car predates video games and movies, so the Cadillac Model E is not playable in video games or featured in any TV shows or movies.

Final Thought: It is always nice to see 100+ year old cars up close and in person. When I arrived at Cars and Coffee, I was not expecting to see a Cadillac from 1905. This is a great piece of automotive history. You can see how far cars have evolved when there is a car from 1905 in the same lot as modern super cars. The 1905 Cadillac Model E would make a nice addition to any collector of old vintage cars.


Photo taken from a camera phone.

Originally written on August 7, 2011

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