The first mass-produced V8 engine
Cadillac is one of America’s oldest makes,
and it has been mass-producing cars of quality ever since the company was founded in Detroit by Henry Leland in 1902.
For more than 90 years, Cadillac has been at the core of General Motors (GM), and it remains the aspirational luxury brand within a GM that is reinventing itself.
Henry Martyn Leland, born in Vermont in 1843, was a precision machinist who worked in the armaments industry.
In 1890 he moved to Detroit, and with the backing of Englishman Robert Faulconer he set up a company to make components for the automotive industry, with emphasis on precision and the standardization of parts.
The Leland & Faulconer company designed a new single-cylinder engine for Ransom E. Olds of Oldsmobile,
but Olds baulked at the expense of having to re-tool his company to produce the new engine. After joining the Henry Ford Company in a consultancy role,Leland suggested combining his engine with the Ford chassis designs.
To accomplish this, a new company, named Cadillac after Detroit’s 18th-century French founder, was formed in 1902.