Having established a reputation for the precision manufacture of high-quality motor cars and leading the industry with its innovative electric starting and lighting systems in 1912, Cadillac pushed the technical envelope further for 1915 with the first mass-produced V-8 engine. Designed by D. McCall White, a Scottish-born engineer, the new L-head engine used two cast-iron blocks with integral heads, mounted on a common crankcase of aluminum and copper alloy. With the cylinder banks placed directly opposite each other, the engine also employed Cadillac founder Henry Leland’s preferred fork-and-blade connecting rods.
1922 Cadillac Type 61 Four-Passenger CoupeBeautiful Older Restoration, Great History
This historically significant V-8 would power the marque’s offerings for years to come, including this 1922 Cadillac Type 61 Four-Passenger Victoria. Its attractive bodywork deftly balances the upright, rather proper-looking enclosed cabin design so common in the early 1920s between a smoothed-over cowl and an elegantly tapered tail end. Notably, this was the first year Cadillac offered a nickel-plated grille surround and headlamps—a signal that the so-called Brass Era was truly over.
According to a copy of the Cadillac build record of file, this car was shipped to New York City on 20 March 1922 and ultimately delivered to its first owner, an M. Berman of Cedarhurst, New York on 22 April. It was originally specified with lower bodywork in blue, with a black upper cabin and black fenders.
Today, this Cadillac benefits from a previous restoration that saw it finished in its present green and black exterior. Its interior is beige and features striped seating upholstery, and an impressive wooden steering wheel fronts its elegantly simple dashboard. Its floor-mounted shifter, handbrake, and pedal configuration are all of a conventional arrangement—perhaps unexpected on a car nearing 100 years of age!
The Cadillac’s traditional wooden artillery wheels carry body-color accents, though the wooden spokes have been varnished, rather than painted. In addition to being a striking visual feature, these wheels serve as a reminder of the Cadillac Type 61’s interesting position between the antique automobiles of the Brass Era and the more recognizably modern cars that would emerge by the late 1920s. For longer voyages, two spare wheels are mounted on the rear.
Though well-built, successful in-period, and historically significant, Cadillacs of this era are rarely seen today—especially in this attractive, closed-body Victoria style. A Classic Car Club of America Full Classic, this well-maintained 1922 Type 61 Four-Passenger Victoria would make for a fitting addition to a collection of prewar American automobiles, and it promises to be an enjoyable companion on driving tours.