History of Cadillac

History of cadillac

When Cadillac made its debut in the automobile industry, the luxury brand revolutionized the way vehicles were manufactured. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the history of the Cadillac sedan or SUV you drive around Raleigh every day, you can read all of the exciting details with Hendrick Cadillac Southpoint down below, where we’ll provide answers to:

  • When was Cadillac founded?
  • What was the first Cadillac ever made?
  • What is the Cadillac logo history?


Henry Leland founded Cadillac in 1902, naming the automaker after Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac – the founder of the city of Detroit, MI. It only took six years for Cadillac to establish itself as an industry leader with the introduction of interchangeable parts to the automotive industry, revolutionizing the future of vehicle manufacturing. As a result, Cadillac was the first American automaker to receive the Dewar Trophy from the Royal Automobile Club of England. It was this incredible honor that inspired Cadillac to adopt the slogan “Standard of the World.”


The very first Cadillac vehicle – the Cadillac Runabout – was built in 1903. As a 2-seater “horseless carriage” powered by 10 hp and a single-cylinder engine, the Runabout was quite a bit different than the powerful Cadillac sedans and SUVs you know and love today! The Cadillac Runabout debuted to the public at the August 1903 New York Auto Show, with a hefty price tag of $850. Shortly after its debut, the Runabout was renamed the Model A. In 1904, the Cadillac Model B was introduced, boasting an extended front and transverse front suspension.


The Cadillac wreath and crest is instantly recognizable on Chapel Hill streets today, but what is the Cadillac logo’s history? Fittingly, the Cadillac logo was inspired by the coat of arms of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, who was not only the founder of Detroit, but also a French adventurer. Over the past 100 years, the Cadillac logo has undergone a total of 30 redesigns!

Check out a brief overview of how the Cadillac logo appeared over the years:

  • 1906: With a coat and shield, this Cadillac crest logo was divided into two parts. The shield worked as a symbol of the Cadillac family who descended from the royal counts of Toulouse. It featured merlette birds that were adapted from the martin.
  • 1920: The tulip-bulb wreath and crown from the original trademark were reintroduced for the 1920 Cadillac logo. The crown had nine points until 1925 when it reverted back to seven points.
  • 1933: To match the brand’s design element, the crest was given wings and made detachable.
  • 1957: This year saw a significant change to the Cadillac logo history, featuring a long and wide crest design for the first time. By 1959, the crown above the crest had all but disappeared from the logo.
  • 1963 – Present: The Cadillac logo of the present-day hasn’t changed very much since 1963. Offering a more modern look, the Cadillac shield has been refined to match the nature of the brand’s modern-day vehicles.


You’ve explored Cadillac history with us, now it’s time to become a part of it! Get in touch with the team at Hendrick Cadillac Southpoint to schedule a test drive in your favorite luxury sedan or SUV today. We offer rotating new vehicle specials to help you save, as well as a comprehensive pre-owned inventory with competitive prices.