Cadillac History

2021 Cadillac Escalade lineup view


When was Cadillac founded? How did it begin? What was the first Cadillac ever made? Like other great companies, it started with a sketch that changed how vehicles were made. Explore more about the Cadillac history, the Cadillac logo history and other details with Cadillac Lakeland. After learning more, come to Cadillac Lakeland for a test drive. 

When Was Cadillac Founded?

Cadillac was founded in 1902 by Henry Leland. Leland named the company after the founder of Detroit, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. Six years later, the Cadillac brought the idea of interchangeable parts to the industry, a ground-breaking revelation to the future of car production. Cadillac history was punctuated by becoming the first American car to win the Dewar Trophy from the Royal Automobile Club of England. This high-praise is what brought this brand to adopt the slogan “Standard of the World.”

What Was the First Cadillac Ever Made?

What was the first Cadillac ever made? The first Cadillac was the Cadillac Runabout built in 1903. This was a 2-seater “horseless carriage” powered by a 10 hp, single cylinder engine. This model was introduced in August 1903 at the New York Auto Show and cost $850. This model was soon renamed Model A as the new and improved Model B added an extended front and transverse front suspension. Model B was introduced in 1904.

The Cadillac Logo History

The Cadillac logo history – the wreath and crest – was inspired by the coat of arms of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, a French adventurer and founder of Detroit. Over the last 100 years, the logo has been redesigned 30 times. It started out with crisper lines and sleeker angles to stand with the company’s “Art and Science” designs. Here are some of the different logos throughout the years:

  • 1906: The crest was divided into two parts, a coat and shield. The shield signified that the family descended from the royal counts of Toulouse. The birds, or merlettes, were adaptations of the martin and won’t be found on the crests of today.
  • 1920: The badge incorporated the tulip-bulb wreath from the original trademark with nin points on the crown. The crown reverted to seven points up until 1925.
  • 1933: To match the brand’s design element, the crest was given wings and made detachable.
  • 1957: This is when the crests started to look long and wide. This continued through 1959 until the crown was almost out of sight.
  • 1963-Today: No major changes have been made since designed to be a tab more chiseled to match the brand perfectly.

Discover Your Favorite Cadillac at Cadillac Lakeland

If you’re interested in learning more about our Cadillac models, services, and much more, call or visit our Lakeland dealership. In addition to the history of our models, we can help you learn about the MyCadillac App, compare our models, and even schedule a test drive to help you find the right fit. Stop by today!

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