• Sports Car Market Magazine

    SCM is renowned for its unbiased coverage of the most prominent auctions around the world. Every issue of Sports Car Market is packed full of information you can't get anywhere else at any price. Find out the pro's secrets — what to look for and how much to pay for the classic of your dreams.

    Read More
  • Glovebox Notes

    SCM doesn't just cover collector cars. Every week, SCM reviews a brand new car online and in our newsletters, and there are new reviews every month in the magazine. Thinking of buying a new car? Check out our reviews!

    Read More
  • Insider’s Guide to Concours d’Elegance

    The 2014 guide includes a calendar of events and detailed descriptions of 21 featured concours.

    Read More
  • SCM Platinum

    Over 200 cars that sold at auction covered in every issue of SCM. Our market reports include detailed information about the vehicle, including VIN, condition, options, and expert analysis from SCM's auction reporters.

    SCM Platinum is the largest database of collector cars sold at auction. Over 150,000 vehicles, including over 59,000 with detailed write-ups from our auction reporters.

    Now optimized for your mobile devices!

    Read More

Recent Profiles

load more / hold SHIFT key to load all load all

This car-serial number 13-is the oldest known Cadillac. It was one of three displayed at the New York Automobile Show in January 1903





Founded by Henry Leland and Robert Faulconer, the Cadillac Automobile Company of Detroit completed its first car in October 1902. The firm's superior manufacturing technology-precise gear cutting was Leland and Faulconer's specialty-soon established it as the foremost builder of quality cars in the United States. The company was formed using funds supplied by two of Henry Ford's ex-backers and took its name from Le Sieur Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the great French 17th century explorer who founded Detroit in 1701.

The 1903 Cadillac Runabout Rear-Entrance Tonneau offered here, serial number 13, is the oldest known surviving Cadillac. It was one of three displayed at the New York Automobile Show in January 1903, the others being numbers 10 and 11.

An excellent performer by the standards of the day, the Cadillac's 98-ci, single-cylinder engine ("Little Hercules") was mounted on the left beneath the front seat and drove through a two-speed-plus-reverse planetary transmission by chain drive to the rear axle.

This Cadillac Runabout was bought by the owner of the Thomas Winery in Cucamonga, CA, where it was displayed until February 1973. At that point it was sold and in 1985 was restored by Herman Stoebel, now deceased. A complete photographic record was made of the restoration, illustrating the various differences-some obvious, some less so-that distinguish the earliest examples from the later production models of 1903. The most obvious differences are the protruding radiator on the earliest cars and the completely different body panel below the first entrance. It is believed that the early radiators were changed after about 25 cars had been made.

The three cars displayed at the 1903 New York Auto Show were the first Cadillacs shown to the public and the first ever sold. As the sole survivor of these pioneers, 13 is a vehicle of exceptional importance in the history of the American automobile industry. Quite simply, the Cadillac story started here.

{analysis}{auto}992{/auto} This 1903 Cadillac Runabout Rear-Entrance Tonneau sold for $330,000, including buyer's premium, at the Bonhams & Butterfields auction at The Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley on August 17, 2007.

William Metzger was the driving force behind the first auto show in Detroit in 1899, and he was a convincing promoter. He was provided with two or possibly three Cadillacs, which had been produced at the Leland & Faulconer factory, for display at the 1903 New York Auto Show. He declared the Cadillac "sold out" after accepting as many as 2,286 orders (accounts of the total vary)-each with a $10 deposit. Backing up Metzger's promotional abilities was a Cadillac that offered refinement in an era when many cars looked like a machine shop experiment. The four-passenger model sold for $850, while the single-seater cost $750, a very competitive price in the era.

Pat Herman recalls seeing the 1903 Cadillac at the Thomas Winery in the early 1960s, and was able to purchase the car ten years later. By then the winery had been sold, and the Cadillac was stored in a garage full of old refrigerators and washing machines. The 1903 Cadillac Runabout was missing numerous parts and showed the ravages of time, so the restoration, which was completed in 1989, was not a simple process. Several sources state that there were 2,497 Cadillacs produced in 1903. However, more recent research suggests the number is closer to 1,800, with the others actually being produced the following year.

Brass cars attracting more interest



Early brass cars-those built before 1915-have attracted increasing interest of late. Once thought to be relics from our fathers, or in some cases our grandfathers, they are appealing to a new generation of hobbyists who find them mechanically interesting and intriguing to drive. The Horseless Carriage Club of America has regional groups in 30 states and sponsors tours and other activities. Their national tour, "California Dreamin'," is scheduled for June 2008. The 111th London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, which this year features American automobiles built prior to 1905, attracts hundreds of entrants and thousands of spectators. In addition, John Mozart, a California collector and SCMer, sponsors a well-attended annual Brass Era Tour in the Paso Robles area, so there is no end to the activities available.

The value of Brass Era cars has been steadily increasing. A couple of years ago, 1903 Cadillac Model As were selling for $60,000-$70,000. Now they are bringing twice that much at auction. About a year ago, a friend sold a 1903 Cadillac similar to number 13 (but with an engine number that would indicate it was manufactured in 1904) for less than $100,000 and was pleased with the transaction.

This 1903 Cadillac Runabout Rear-Entrance Tonneau is significant for a number of reasons. It had one owner for over 75 years, it's the first Cadillac shipped to a customer, the first car shipped west of the Mississippi, and the oldest documented surviving Cadillac. Does that increase the value of this car by $150,000 and justify this sales price? I think it does. {/analysis}

Recent Blog Posts

  • Training a Dog to Drive a Mini Cooper +

    Read More
  • This Week's Classic Mystery Photo +

    The monthly Mystery Photo has been an SCM tradition for 25 years. Each week, we’ll share one of our “greatest hits” photos from the past and give you a chance to provide a new witty and provocative caption. Each week’s winner will be announced in the Newsletter. Share your caption Read More
  • A Great Weekend at the Concours of America +

    It’s been five years since I’ve been to the Concours d’Elegance of America (formerly known as Meadow Brook). I’d heard good things about the new location, and when Concours Chairman Larry Moss asked if I would be interested in being co-emcee, I eagerly accepted. As Michigan has been the location of Read More
  • Forest Grove Concours Weekend: A Celebration of Cars and People +

    There’s nothing better than a great car event that happens in your own backyard. No packing, no airports, no rental cars, no hotel rooms – just go into the SCM garage, pull out your favorite car (and a couple for your good friends) and head out. This was the 42nd Read More
  • Need for Skid +

      Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

Collector Car News

  • The 2014 Northwest Passage Tour +

    The Oregon Region Porsche Club of America's 2014 Northwest Passage (sponsored by SCM) takes place July 31-August 3. Keith Martin will be on the drive, along with SCM Contributors John Draneas and Michael Pierce. The event is sold out, but you can read about last year's tour here. Read More
  • 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa at Auctions America California +

    Auctions America California takes place July 31-August 2 in Burbank. Among the highlights is a 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa by Pininfarina. View all the consignments here. Read More
  • Meet Keith Martin in Monterey +

    Keith Martin and the SCM gang will be everywhere during Monterey Car Week. If you see Keith or anyone wearing an SCM logo, don't hesitate to introduce yourself. Keith hosts the 13th Annual SCM Monterey Insider's Seminar on Saturday, August 16 at 9 a.m. The Insider's Seminar takes place inside Read More
  • Classes Announced for Chantilly Concours +

    SCM Publisher Keith Martin will be one of three American Judges at theChantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille event, taking place September 7 in Chantilly, FRA. Judged classes include: Concept Cars The Interwar Period Sports & Racing Cars The Great French Bodyworks from the '20s and '30s British Chassis & Read More
  • 2014 Concours of America a Success! +

    With near-perfect weather, the 36th Annual Concours d'Elegance of America at the Inn at St. John's in Plymouth welcomed continuous crowds all day on Sunday, July 27. This was the fourth year of the concours. More than 250 vehicles were on display for the public under blue skies. The Concours Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4