Cadillac was formed from the remnants of the Henry Ford Co when Henry Ford departed along with several of his key partners and the company was dissolved. With the intent of liquidating the firm's assets, Ford's financial backers,called in engineer HEnry Leland to appraise the plant and equipment prior to selling them. Instead, Leland persuaded them to continue the automobile business using Leland's proven 1-cylinder engine. Henry Ford's departure required a new name, and the company reformed as the Cadillac Automobile Company.
The Cadillac automobile was named after the 17th century French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, founder of Detroit in 1701.
Cadillac helped to define advanced engineering, luxury and style early in Automotive History and would come to be known as one of the world’s finest made vehicles. Precision manufacturing of truly interchangeable parts was an award-winning industry first in 1908. Cadillac was the first manufacturer to release cars with a fully enclosed cab as factory equipment in 1910. Standard electric engine starting and lighting was another award winner for 1912. Cadillac introduced the first production V8 engine for the 1914 model year. Cadillac was the first manufacturer to utilize the skills of a designer to produce a car's body instead of an engineer (1927). This gave the public a car that looked as good as it performed. Cadillac's engineers were first to design a manual transmission with synchronizers for increased drivability (1929) and were instrumental in the early development of the automatic transmission, beginning in 1932. Cadillac offered a production V16 engine from 1930 through 1940 and introduced the production independent wishbone front suspension in 1934. The marque introduced tailfins for 1948. From the late 1960s onward, Cadillac offered a fiber-optic indication system which alerted the driver of a failed light bulb.
The Cadillac Series 60 was Cadillac's mid-priced entry in the luxury vehicle market when it appeared in 1936. The brainchild of new Cadillac manager, Nicholas Dreystadt. it filled a gaping price gap between the LaSalles and Series 70 Cadillac models. Initially it rode on a 121.0 in wheelbase and shared the B body with cars from LaSalle, Buick, and Oldsmobile.
The exterior featured a new Harley Earl-designed look with a tall, slender grille and split vee-shaped windshield. This body used Fisher Body's new Turret Top one-piece roof and Bendix dual-servo brakes. "Knee-Action" independent suspension, first introduced by Cadillac in 1934, was a welcome novelty for the mid-price market at the time. Under the hood was the new Monobloc V8. This 322 cu in engine produced 125 hp, just 10 less than that in the larger Cadillacs. The Series 60 immediately became the company's best-selling model, making up half of all Cadillacs sold the first year.
The Series 60 was superseded by the Series 61 and disappeared after 1938.
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