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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Standard of the World: 1926

Standard of the World: 1926

        With the help of our commenters, we've identified this plush barouche as a 1926 Cadillac Model 314 Four-Passenger Phaeton.

San Francisco circa 1923. "Touring car, top view." Who'll be first to put a name to this swank charabanc? 6½ x 8½ glass negative, Wyland Stanley. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

E-Z Pass to Nowhere

What's the doo-hickey next to the driver's visor at the top of the windshield? E-Z Pass prototype? Still had several year before there'd be a Bay Bridge or Golden Gate to use it on.

GQ Magazine

Introducing the 1926 Man and Car of the Year.


No Cupholders?

Might still be on the road

I just tagged a Cadillac for the 51st time, so I'm thinking this one might yet be rolling along. There was a time when that "Standard of the World" was equivalent to "built to last".

Little door

The little door covers the front pivot of the semi-elliptic rear leaf spring on each side. Removing the door allows access to the Alemite grease fitting that serves the pivot. On this and many cars, the splash aprons are quite close to the springs, so the door is domed to make room for the grease fitting and securing hardware for the springs.

Ok, so what is that door for?

If you look closely at the side of the body right near where the rear "stepping pad" ends on the floorboard, you'll see a small curved door with a chrome knob/screw holding it closed.

It seems like many of the cars in this era -- expensive or not -- have some kind of opening in that spot. What is it for?

[Umbrella compartment. - Dave]

OK, I'll ask,

What's with the 1/2 seat in the back?

[That's an arm rest in the middle of the seat.-tterrace]

Plush barouche? Swank charabanc?

Dave is channeling L.J.K. Setright.

This Car Got Around

You had virtually the same car from a more traditional angle and with the top up here-but in Washington, DC.

[Not quite the same -- it's the larger seven-passenger touring car. - Dave]

I did notice a difference in the rear area of the two after I had sent the posting.


Memo to self: Never play against Dave in Scrabble, especially if money is involved.

1926 Cadillac?

Despite the caption date. Drum headlights, battery box in the fender, hood louvers, fuel-pump plunger on the left side of the dash, hubcaps, painted reveal-panel on the rear door.

[Ding ding ding. We have a winner! The car looks to be a 1926 Cadillac Model 314 Four-Passenger Phaeton. - Dave]


1. Sometimes even a blind pig finds an acorn.

2. One thing I never saw before in a period photo is the "Split-Screen" rearview mirror. The mirror on my '25 Cadillac is about 4 inches wide, although that easily spans the rear window, which isn't much bigger. The blind spots are epic on closed cars of this era.

I know nothing of cars

I have no chance of identifying the car, but I want to say that I'm intrigued by how shiny the tire cover is, and I wonder what type of material was available in 1923 that would look like that. It's so shiny you can see the reflection of the bridge from which the photo was taken!

[Tire covers for 1926 Cadillacs were available in Satin, Black Patent and Dupont Fabrikoid (nitrocellulose) finishes. The shiny cover seen here would seem to be the Black Patent. - Dave]

Touring at its best

Looking forward to learning identity of this splendid example of a touring car. By far the best in class for 1923.

de luxe

No idea what make it is (40's/50's/60's are my era), but:
1) it's brand spanking new: look at that shine!
2) there is not a whole lot of info conveyed to the driver via the instrument panel.
3) it is pretty darn swanky- as is the attire of Mr. Passenger. Both he and car look pricey.

OK, we've narrowed the field

Not Flint. Probably not Michigan either.

These poor, benighted souls had no gift for branding. Even my underwear veritably shouts its name!

Love the lines

I am by no means a car buff, but this car looks great.

Crisp clean lines.
Lever handles.
Very architectural looking.

Flint E55 Touring

If I am not mistaken, this may be a Flint E55 Touring - built by Durant Motors Co. It was considered an assembled car because Durant Motors used components manufactured by different suppliers.

[Keep guessing. -Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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