Cadillac - History 4
The enormous growth process of the American automobile industry can perhaps be illustrated with three numbers from Alfred Slaons book 'My years with General Motors'. Thereafter 65,000 cars were manufactured in the
U.S. in 1908, 500,000 in 1914 and by Ford alone more than 500,000 in 1916. This shows:
- the tremendous growth of this industry,
- the relative independence of the US in the early war years,
the special supremacy of Ford.
William Durant was also the president of GM in this phase. If the speech should be of the 'Golden years' then these are the to 20 and to 30 for GM, and especially for Cadillac. If you look at the list of innovations in Part 2, you will find the greatest density of entries. Cadillac was on its way to reach the top not only within the group but also in the American
automobile production. But Packard resisted yet with success at that time.
In this time the sensational V8 came, in 1915 still sideguided with threefold beared crankshaft, all cranks in one plane. This was corrected in 1924. The V16 (45 °) came out at the beginning of the Great Depression, by the
way not composed of two V8, but from two eight-cylinder in-line engines. As a consequence of the slowdown in sales the V12 (60°) came in the second year, as usual, from two six-cylinder in-line engines.
Before we get to the thirties, again a jump back to the First World War. You see a hearse from Cadillac in the last video from page 3. The is for a
special reputation of Cadillac in the special vehicles, eg ambulances that time. The resulted also and especially from government contracts towards the end of the war. 01/14