Henry Leland, a precision machinist, along with Robert Faulkner, formed a company that designed and built engines for the early Olds Curved Dash. In 1902, they introduced a more powerful version called the 'Little Hercules', but Olds wasn't interested. Leland, after consulting with backers interested in a new venture, created a new car company. This new business was called Cadillac, named for French explorer, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. The 'Little Hercules' engine became the main powerplant for Cadillac.
In 1902, Cadillac built just three vehicles. Two were created specifically for the 1903 New York Auto Show.
The first Cadillac vehicles offered for sale could be purchased as a Runabout with or without a tonneau. They were powered by a single-cylinder engine rated at only 6.5-horsepower, though they produced as much as 10 horsepower.
For 1903, Cadillac sold approximately 2,400 cars and was considered the best car in its price race and an exceptional value.
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