How were the earliest Cadillacs built?

Started by The Tassie Devil(le), March 28, 2012, 06:44:10 PM

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The Tassie Devil(le)

G'day all,

I was thinking this morning about the construction of the earliest of Cadillacs, especially, before Henry Ford created the "Production Line" as we know it today.

My question is "How were the Cadillacs from 1902 to, say, 1905 built"?

Was there a "production line", or was each one built one at a time from parts bins, or what?

There must have been some sort of Production Line, as the individual components that formed things like Wheels, Engine, Body, etc, needed to be joined together to make a car.

Inquiring minds need to know.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

Chris Conklin

Good question. I would guess it would have been similar to wagon or buggy production. But I've never seen how that was done either.
Chris Conklin


Looks like Olds did it first (the assembly line) in 1901 if you're to believe wikipedia.  Ford made it profitable in 1908.. no mention of Cadillac in that article though.. it's an interesting question whether or not Cadillac held out with "hand crafted" methods or if they jumped on the bandwagon to make profits like the other manufacturers did.

Wherever you go... There you are


I believe the Cadillacs of that era were built the same way as the early Fords.  Each car was built in one place and the parts were brought to the car.  The people putting the car together may or may not have gone from one car to the next.  It may have been mix too.  For example there may have been one or two guys working on each car, and they stayed with it until done.  But there could have been specialist that performed the harder more demanding jobs that went from car to car. 

I visited the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant in 2002.  I’m basing my response from what was related at that time. 

Glen Houlton CLC #727 
CLCMRC benefactor #104