Original and Unrestored 1912 Cadillac Model 30 Touring "Self Starter"

Price: - Item location: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Cadillac
  • Model: Model 30
  • SubModel: Touring
  • Type: Touring
  • Trim: Original
  • Year: 1912
  • Mileage: 3600
  • Engine size: 4 cylinder
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Drive side: Right-hand drive
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1912 Cadillac Model 30 Original

1912 Cadillac Model 30 Five Passenger Touring "Self Starter"

This is an extremely rare find - a completely original, unrestored 1912 Cadillac Model 30 Touring. Has been owned by my father for roughly forty-five years, cared for and garage kept in the entirety. He has passed and we are selling off some of the cars belonging to the estate. Odometer currently reads 3591.8.

The car has had several owners in its 107 years. There is a "Certificate of Gurarantee" dated April 18, 1917 when the vehicle was purchased by WB Chamberlain, used with only 9962 miles (maybe 996.2?) on it. so It stayed in Connecticut until 1965 when purchased from the Lincoln Coffee Roasting Company by Ansel Sackett, who subsequently brought it to Franklin Michigan and sold it to my father in 1975. It has lived in the garage ever since, was driven at car meets until 15-20 years ago when put away for storage.

The Cadillac was properly prepped for storage 15-20 years ago, and after greasing the grease points, adding fuel and a battery, it fired on the first crank!


Please see photos for condition. The car is unrestored, completely original, and complete. Comes with a copy of the Owners Manual which includes instructions on how to operate as well as maintain the vehicle, as well as other paperwork, documentation, etc.

The car is over 100 years old -- so the paint, leather, etc. is in 100 year old condition. There are hole sand cracks in the leather, the top is the optional mohair cape top (a $90 option) and is complete but, again, old fabric with scuffs, tears, etc. Please see photos for details. We are happy to take more.

The electric start is not connected; It appears that it has a replacement harness for the required four 6 volt cells which is not connected [there is a circuit diagram in the included owners manual]. We were able to run the car by hooking a 6-volt battery to the ignition circuit.

The right rear tire has a very slow leak (days) and needs a new tube. The tires themselves are in good shape, no signs of cracking, etc.

The engine starts right up, runs smooth, and the vehicle drives well. We have put grease in the grease points and driven down the road in May 2019. It is very fun, extremely unique, and sure to turn heads.

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.

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.
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Please ask any and all questions prior to bidding. A $1000 deposit is due within 24 hours of auction close. This vehicle is being sold as-is, where-is with no warranties implied nor guaranteed. We will help facilitate shipping, pickup, etc. Located in Franklin, Michigan. Vehicle must be removed within 14 days of auction close. EFT/Wire/Money transfer, cash, certified cashiers check are acceptable forms of payment and must clear prior to removal of vehicle.