1912 Cadillac Model 30 Touring, Last Owner 50 Years!


Harry's Thoughts

This is a very nice example that is sure to help make its new caretaker many happy memories!


This is a rare find. This is a fully professionally restored Model 30 Cadillac Touring that has been hidden away since 1978- a true barn find! This Cadillac has been in Southern California since new.

This was owned by a well known collector from Southern California, the Leonard family, since about the late 1950’s. He bought it out of a large collection of cars in Los Angeles with the original interior and in very original nice condition overall.

In 1968 Mr. Leonard set out on a complete restoration by a top notch restorer of brass era motorcars, Mr. Loren Burch, from Pasadena. Mr. Leonard was an airline captain and traded flying lessons for the restoration of this Cadillac. Loren completed the restoration on October 4, 1971 (the day his son was born!). Unlike most all remaining 1912 Cadillacs, this is a rare example with all the original 6/24 volt electronics. Most have been stripped of the original electronics.

It was a no expense spared restoration for the 70’s. Shortly thereafter family circumstances developed causing the Cadillac to be stored away in a family barn… for approximately 35 years!!! The car had likely never been used. The side curtains had never been removed from the storage bag.  The car could benefit from a new top and needs a top bow replaced and a support rod.

This is a very important model. It is the pivotal year as the first car ever featuring a fully integrated electrical system, electric lights and electric start. No need to break your arm starting this Cadillac! The strong four cylinder engine had been developed for many years and was increased for 1912 to 286.3 cu in (4.7 L).

Underneath the layers of dust is a gorgeous Model 30 Touring car. It is obvious that this was a car that was lovingly restored. The leather is still supple and the car will undoubtedly polish up very well- making it a phenomenal barn find!!  We have not attempted to start the car but Mr. Leonard assured us that it would be easy to re-commission and run well.

The odometer shows a mere 6,700 miles. The Cadillac also comes with an original owners manual- a very rare item!

History of the Cadillac Model 30

Cadillac, which was acquired by General Motors in 1908, had launched the Model 30 in 1908, the year that the company adopted its famous ‘Standard of the World’ slogan. All previous models were dropped, and the ‘Thirty’ became Cadillac’s sole offering from August of 1908 through September of 1914.

The Thirty’s great contribution to automotive history came about because of a tragic incident that occurred during the winter of 1910. A woman motorist had stalled her Cadillac on a bridge to Belle Isle, MI. A dear friend of Cadillac head Henry Leland cranked the car, but it kicked back and the handle flew off, seriously injuring Leland’s friend, who later died of complications from the injury. Leland was devastated, and announced that an alternative to the crank had to be found. Electrical engineer Charles F. Kettering developed an electrical self-starter, and the 1912 Model 30 Cadillac was the first car to be fitted with both electric staring and lighting – the famous ‘Delco’ system.

This thirty horsepower, four cylinder engine with a bore and stroke of 4.5 by 4.5-inch was built with a selective type sliding gear transmission and was delivered at a cost of $1,890. The vehicle is capable of cruising at a rate of 40 to 45 miles per hour in a day when roads were in their mere infancy.

This is the first vehicle to use the electric starter designed by Charles Ketting, of Dayton, Ohio. His business would become a household name (Dayton Electric Company) and the electric starter (known as a ‘World Wonder’) revolutionized the car industry setting women behind the wheel of what would otherwise be a difficult car to start by hand cranking the engine. Cadillac was truly as their logo declared, ‘Standard of the World!’

The electric starter also brought with it another innovation – electric lighting for headlamps, cowl lamps, and a tail lamp. Prior to this innovation, driving at night required using gas powered lamps which used either calcium carbide gas mixed with water in a generator device or use of Prestolite gas.

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 a fabulous opportunity to acquire a very important piece of automotive history. This is certainly one of the very best and most complete 1912 Cadillac’s with California history since new. The old car value guide places the high value at $70,000. Please feel free to contact Harry at 602.245.7200 or email me at harry@classicpromenade.com.

1912 Cadillac Model 30 Touring, Last Owner 50 Years!




1912 Cadillac Model 30 Touring, Last Owner 50 Years!
1912 Cadillac Model 30 Touring, Last Owner 50 Years!



Cadillac Model 30


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