How come none of the Cadillacs we've bought for $850 have appreciated to bring millions at auction? First off, this 1903 Cadillac Model A runabout is going to be offered at Bonhams' Quail Lodge auction, part of Monterey Week in August. Our Caddys would've only been appropriate at a scrap metal auction. The 13th ever Cadillac, this car was on the stand at the New York Auto show in 1903, and was the first of the brand to be sold west of the Mississippi.

These brass era Cadillacs are what earned the brand its early tagline of "The Standard Of The World." The "Little Hercules" single-cylinder powerplant sits under the front seat and drives the rear wheels, and the cars were filled with solid engineering. Cadillac made mass-production possible by pioneering interchangeable parts. Nobody thought it was possible to ship a fully-disassembled car to Europe and bolt together a fully-operable automobile from parts that came off the shelf. Cadillac's uniform parts made that stunt possible, and burnished the reputation of the brand in those early days. This car predates that innovation, but if this is indeed the car that was at the New York show, it helped spur 2,000 orders with its precise build quality.

We've not caught wind of any conjecture about the sale price, but old #13 is believed to be the earliest surviving Caddy. Numbers 1-12 have been lost to the sands of time, so this car's unique history and status will likely lead to it trading hands for a considerable amount. Originally selling for $850 back in the day, we wouldn't be shocked to see lots of digits to the left of the decimal. Now, if we could get the same kind of return on that sub-$1000 Cimmaron, we'd be all set.

[Source: Motor Trend]

Share This Photo X