Cadillac Type 51

Type 51
(4-passenger) Phaeton 1915

The Cadillac Type 51 is a large, luxurious automobile that was introduced in September 1914 by Cadillac as a 1915 model.[1] It was Cadillac's first V8 automobile, replacing the four-cylinder Model 30. The similar Types 53, 55, 57, 59, and 61 lasted through 1923, when the design was substantially updated as the Type V-63. It used the GM A platform for the entire series. It was built at the Cass Street and Amsterdam Avenue factory in Detroit, with the body provided by a number of coachbuilders, including Fleetwood Metal Body in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania.

All of these models used a new L-head V8 engine, one of the first V8 engines ever mass-produced and a substantial differentiator for the marque. All bodies were built by Fisher. The Type 51 was also the first left-hand drive Cadillac—all previous models had been right-hand drive, which was continued as an option. Wheelbases varied in those years, with 122 in (3099 mm) at the low end and 145 in (3683 mm) as the longest.

In May 1916, Erwin "Cannonball" Baker and William Sturm drove a Cadillac from Los Angeles to New York in 7 days, 11 hours, and 52 minutes.

In July 1917, the United States Army needed a dependable staff car and chose the Cadillac Type 55 Touring Model after exhaustive tests on the Mexican border. 2,350 of the cars were supplied for use in France by officers of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I.

Type 51 Imperial limousine 1915
Type 53 Victoria 1916
Type 55 Suburban 1917
Type 57 Town Car 1919
Type 59 Suburban 1921
Type 61 Phaeton 1922


  1. ^ The Auto Editors of Consumer Guide. "1915 Cadillac V-8 Type 51". Retrieved 2010-01-24.