Saturday 6th April 1912
The Model 30 Cadillac became the first car to be fitted with both electric starting and lighting – the famous ‘Delco’ system.This thirty horsepower, four-cylinder vehicle with bore and stroke of 4.5-inch by 4.5-inch was built with a selective sliding gear transmission and was delivered at a cost of $1,890. The vehicle was capable of cruising at the rate of 40 to 45 miles per hour but a lack of quality roads precluded this ability, and in 1912, the British observer F.A. Talbot stated that the Model 30 was, ‘a favorite amongst British motorists…(and)…refined and reliable as money could make them.’ The 116-inch wheelbase Model 30 became one of the most sought-after vehicles for sheer reliability. This is the first vehicle to use the electric starter designed by Charles Kettering in his humble Ohio workshop, called the Dayton Electric Company. Offered to Henry Leland, President of Cadillac Motor Cars, this unique unit was designed with four 6-volt batteries which operate and are charged by the vehicle’s generator. When starting the car, the parallel wiring of the batteries is mechanically changed to a series circuit producing 24 volts for the starting motor. Called a ‘world wonder,’ and advertised as ‘The car that has no crank,’ the electric starter became a most valuable asset making Cadillac the….Standard of the World! Cadillac were awarded the prestigious Dewar Cup, acknowledging the self starter as the year’s greatest industrial accomplishment.