Not Much On Tap

I don’t have much to offer today. The last few months have been stressful; perhaps that explains my bouts of lack of inspiration.

(Probably) on this day in 1902, the first Cadillac was given its first test drive by Alanson Brush, the engineer who had contributed so much to its development. Brush later founded his own car company that manufactured about 15,000 cars from 1907 to 1911. I used the parenthetical because some sources claim the date was October 20, others October 16 or earlier. Too many people today, even very intelligent people, don’t understand that for the vast majority of human history, and even into the 20th century, record-keeping was nowhere near as “precise” as it is today.

Cadillac displayed its earliest vehicles at the New York Auto Show in January, 1903 and, supposedly, the cars generated so much interest that the company had 2,000 orders by the end of the event. Cadillac did build about 2,500 cars during “model year” 1903, which ranked second in US sales behind Oldsmobile’s 4,000. Obviously from RM Sotheby’s, a picture of a 1903 Cadillac Model A Runabout:


See the source image


Once again, I will offer the opinion that Cadillac should develop and sell an ultra-luxury car, even if it’s an electric or hybrid. There are no American cars on a par with Bentley, Rolls-Royce, etc., but the fact that the US is the largest market for such cars tells me that there’s a place for an American-made entry.

Speaking of Rolls-Royce, on this day in 1935 the company introduced the Phantom III, its first car powered by a V-12 engine. The Phantom III was like Duesenbergs of the same time period in that the car came from Rolls-Royce with just a chassis and drivetrain and the bodywork was completed by the coachbuilder of the buyer’s or dealer’s choice.

The V-12 had a displacement of 447 cubic inches, but even with its size and state of the art (for the time) twin ignition system, because the Phantom III could weigh more than 7,000 pounds fully assembled (the chassis and drivetrain weighed over 4,000 pounds), the car could probably not exceed 90 MPH. The Phantom III was only built until 1939, although the last chassis was fitted with a body and delivered to its owner in 1947. Something called World War II got in the way. A picture of a 1938 Phantom III from Blackhawk Collection:


See the source image


I continue to hope against hope that the recently passed bill allowing for low volume reproduction of classic cars will lead the way for cars that look like this to be seen once again on the road. I probably shouldn’t hold my breath or I’ll suffocate.







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6 thoughts on “Not Much On Tap

  1. I foresee many low volume models of cars being produced. I doubt that they will be the classics you and I would love to see like the Rolls Royce Phantom shown above. The current market buyers with the money to purchase these cars will want something from the 1960s and 70s maybe some from the 50s. The production of these low volume classics will be solely dependent on the government allowing the economy to function by itself without top down controls and/or new green deal restrictions. I shall step down from my soap box and end my rant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Philip. I remember that after the landslide in the 1972 Presidential Election, many pundits proclaimed the death of the Democratic Party. After Watergate, just two years later, many pundits–probably some of the same who opined two years earlier–proclaimed the death of the Republican Party. In 2014, could anyone have really foreseen Tonald Drump being elected President? Given the 50-50 split in the Senate, the near 50-50 split in the House and the historical tendency for the party that won the White House to lose seats in the midterms, I think the party “in power” knows it might have a very short window to enact its favored legislation. That legislation could be tossed aside after the ’22 midterms.

      Anyone not blinded by ideology knows that so-called “renewable” energy will not be sufficient to power a modern nation anytime in the near future. Of course, those blinded by ideology do not let the facts change their views. That’s true on both sides, by the way.

      Anyway…I think you’re right in that the replica cars we’ll see–if any–will be from 1950-ish to the early 70s. Some may even be replicas of more recent cars as I think the legislation allows companies to make replicas of any car 25 years old or older.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, Doc, but I don’t really follow the Porsche world. The blog post about the company leading the way in eFuels just fell into my lap. Just as it is 100% certain that one day I will breathe my last, it is 100% certain I will never own a Porsche.


  2. Of late, we’ve been considering replacing Lynn’s Honda Civic with something a little more comfortable. I happened to ride in a friend’s Cadillac ATS, and thought at the time that this might be a good option. I see the last ones rolled off the line in 2019, but I haven’t done any more research than that, to speak of.
    These are certainly not “luxury” in the truest sense, but the one I was in seemed to fit my “middle-class” impression of luxurious on a budget.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My wonderful wife and I enjoy our ATS; at least we did before it was damaged in the accident. The Cadillac has been at the body/paint shop for about two weeks and we have no idea when it will be ready.

      The two-door “coupe” body, which is what we have, seats four comfortably and has a big enough trunk for groceries, the two functions it needs to handle for us. I recommend the car and lament its demise.

      Liked by 1 person

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