Cadillac Tonneau, 1903

This Model “A” Cadillac was built in Detroit, Michigan during the Cadillac Automobile Company's first year of production in 1903. This Model A has a rear-entrance tonneau (car with open passenger seating) and a one-cylinder, water-cooled engine built by the Leland and Faulconer Manufacturing Company. It originally sold for $850.
The Cadillac Automobile Company was one the United States' early auto manufacturers. The company began its history as the Henry Ford Company. When Ford left the firm in 1902, the assets were left unused. Rather than liquidate the company, engine manufacturer Henry M. Leland convinced its investors to continue to make automobiles using Leland’s engines. Leland became one of the driving forces behind Cadillac in its early years. He was a precision machinist and a prolific innovator, and he became president and general manager of the company in 1904. Cadillac was one of the early proponents of making cars with interchangeable parts, which helped streamline the manufacturing and production processes. Cadillac introduced the self-starter as standard equipment in 1912, making their automobiles easier to start for everyone. In 1909, Cadillac became associated with General Motors. The company became a GM operating division in 1917.
Currently not on view
date made
Firestone, Jr., Harvey S.
Buckley, Ralph
Cadillac Motor Car Company
place made
United States: Michigan, Detroit
overall: 62 in x 67 1/2 in x 109 1/2 in; 157.48 cm x 171.45 cm x 278.13 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Cadillac Motor Car Company
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
America on the Move
Data Source
National Museum of American History