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Still Running: 1921

Still Running: 1921

San Francisco, 1921. "Antique Cadillacs -- still running." On the left, a 1902 Cadillac that's nineteen years old, if you can believe it. Next to mere sixteener with 200k miles on the clock that seems to be in far worse shape. 6½ x 8½ inch glass negative, originally from the Wyland Stanley collection. View full size.


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Two early Cadillacs

The "1902" Cadillac is actually a 1904 Model B, an addition that year to the Model A carried over from 1903 which was the first year of production for Cadillac. A small number of 1903 cars were built at the end of 1902 but are considered to be 1903s. The large touring car is the Model D introduced in 1905 built for that year only according to the Crestline book on Cadillac. I think at least one of the Model D exists if not more but I have never seen one and they have to be very rare. The single cylinder Cadillac (yes, that is the engine's flywheel seen below the frame) was made in several improved models from 1903 to 1908 which was the year that General Motors acquired Cadillac. 10 HP and a bore and stroke of 5" x 5" would get you down the road at a comfortable is not spectacular 35 MPH on level ground. There are still a lot of single cylinder Cadillac survivors left, roughly 400 as an estimate, with a 1906 sitting in my garage.

What's that Wheel?

On the '02: Is that a flywheel visible under the center of the car?

Only 200k miles?

I recently replaced a 1991 Ford Aerostar which ran perfectly for 410,000 miles hauling sound systems around California over its 23 year lifespan before it need an engine rebuild. Perhaps someone did the rebuild and it is still going, I don't know. But it did not look so antique as these did when the photo was taken, in fact still doesn't look old today. The evolution of the automobile has gone largely internal in recent years.

I look forward to the day when having internal combustion is a thing of the antique past!


The oil can for the nut behind the wheel.

Antiques driven by antiques

Who would have guessed that ZZ Top was that old.

This is the cover of the next ZZ Top Album.

Billy Gibbons collects old cars, so these must be Cadzillza's great great grand arents

Old Runner

I'm a 67-year-old runner, and the back of my racing shirt reads, "1947 model and STILL RUNNING."

They really were antiques! In 1921.

You have to take into account what roads were like in 1921. Even in major cities, there were still many roads made from stone blocks, lots of streetcar tracks to go over and rudimentary suspensions. Imagine how rough the ride would be on the one on the right, with solid steel wheels with no cushioning from pneumatic tires. No wonder it looks a little rough!

[The 1905 Cadillac on the right would have been equipped with pneumatic tires when it was new. - Dave]

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