Cadillac Models & History 1909



After an inauspicious trial in the luxury car field, and recognizing the disappearing market for the single cylinder cars which made their reputation, Cadillac settled down with a design which had originated in 1906 (the 1907-1908 Model G). With in-house mass production of a single line, Cadillac was able to offer a high quality automobile at a moderate price: $1400 for the Model “Thirty” as compared to $2000 for the Model G.

Cadillac offered three models: 2-door Touring 5-passenger; 2-door Demi-Tonneau 4-passenger; and Roadster 3-passenger. The “Thirty” differed from the Model G as follows:

Bodies No closed bodies were offered. A detachable tonneau was once again available. It also had steel doors and cowl on the roadster and Demi-tonneau. Flared, twisted front fenders replaced the bulky flat fenders with filler between the fender and frame. Full running boards and running board dust shields were available on all bodies. There were no louvers in the hood. The bodies were finished (painted) by Cadillac
Chassis 3/4 platform rear spring system. Single dropped frame. Wheelbase lengthened to 106 in. In mid-year, brake drum diameter was increased to 12 in.
Drive line Transmission refined and mounted at three points to frame cross members rather than at the four points to frame side rails. Universal joint was housed in the ball joint at rear of the transmission. Rear axle with bevel gear differential made by American Ball Bearing
Engine Drive for water pump (gear type) and oiler changed from external belt to internal gears. Gear driven accessory shaft allows for optional magneto. Speed governor no longer used.


Serial numbers were located on a plate on the rear of the body or on the dash (with the engine no.). Engine numbers were stamped on top surface of crankcase — in front of and to the left of the number one (front) cylinder. Starting: 32002. Ending 37904.


Engine Type Vertical in-line, L-head. Four cylinder. Individual cast iron cylinder, copper water jacket
Bore & stroke 4.00″ x 4.50″ (101.6mm x 114.3mm)
Displacement 226.2 cubic inches (3.707)
Brake horsepower 30 A.L.A.M.; 25.6 Advertised H.P.
Main bearings Five main bearings
Valve train Mechanical push rod roller cam followers
Carburetor Float feed carburetor made by Cadillac.


Wheelbase 106 in.
Frt/Rear Tread 56 in. (61″ opt.)
Tires 32 x 3-1/2.


Transmission Selective sliding gear transmission
Speeds 3 Forward/1 Reverse
Controls Right hand drive, controls to right
Clutch Leather faced cone clutch
Drive Shaft drive
Rear drive Plain live rear axle, bevel drive; bevel gear differential
Overall ratio Touring and Demi-Tonneau = 3.50:1; Roadster=3.00:1
Optional Final drive ratios 3.00:1, 3.50:1, 4.00:1
Brakes Mechanical brakes on two wheels — service/foot/contracting — emergency/lever/expanding
Wheels Wood artillery wheels, 10 & 12 spoke, quick detachable rims
Wheel rim size 25 in


Seat covers $45-75
“Rubber,” mohair, or leather tops $55-125
Bosch, Dow, Eisenbann, or Splitdorf magnetos $100-126
Rushmore style B headlamps with Rushmore No. 1 generator $46.50
With Prest-o-lite style B tank $59.50
Mezger windshield $50
Gabriel horns, style 1, 2, 3, 4 $15-35
Stewart & Clark speedometer $15-40


  • Introduced December 1908.
  • Calendar year sales and production: 5903.
  • Model year sales and production: same.
  • The president/general manager of Cadillac was Henry Leland.
  • On July 29, 1909, Cadillac Motor Car Co. became a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors Co., and Henry Leland became president and general manager of Cadillac Motor Car Co.