1907 Touring Cadillac, Model G, Factory Custom, Fully Restored

Currency:USD Category:Collectibles / Automobilia Start Price:37,500.00 USD Estimated At:75,000.00 - 110,000.00 USD
1907 Touring Cadillac, Model G, Factory Custom, Fully Restored
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This classic car is typical of the touring cars that first visited Nevada mining camps. It has been fully restored by Vintage Car Stuff, a veteran of the Pebble Beach antique auto show circuit. It has only been driven rarely, twice in 2009, then placed in careful storage.

The car belonged to Gordon Harris, of a prominent Reno banking family. Purchased in 1954, Harris considered the car the prize of his collection. Harris's fondness for antique autos lead to the formation of the Horseless Carriage Club of Nevada.

According to General Motors in a letter to Harris in 1955, 497 1907 Model G cars were built (all varieties combined). Only three were reported as "4 passenger Runabout", and this may be the sole surviving example. The vehicle has its original 20 horsepower, 4 cylinder engine with polished copper cylinder jackets and the original brass patent plates. It has custom folding rear bucket seats with a storage well underneath.

The car was the center of a squabble among two close friends, Harris and casino magnate Bill Harrah. While Harrah's collection was far superior to Harris', Harrah did not have one of these cars in his world-famous collection, now called the "National Automobile Museum" in Reno. Harris wouldn't sell, taking great pride in owning something Harrah couldn't own.

Restoration began in the 1950's and was completed in the 1960's, with secondary restoration over the past decade. Recently, the car was featured in Vintage Ford's Centennial Vehicles section for its 100th anniversary in 2007.

This car is the quintessential collectible for anyone who is an antique car collector, Nevada collector or Western collector. It is exactly the type of car that was driven to the early post-1900 mining camps, so well documented by historical photos. One collector today told us these cars were made to last, and should be driven today.

The Setting
1907 proved a pivotal point in auto construction. As the automobile became more popular, demand went up. That led to increased manufacturers and increased production of cars. A secondary effect was also coming into play - auto racing. These two key attributes led to improvements in engine manufacture and performance.

Before 1907, small engines had generally ruled the day. A four cylinder, 20 horse power vehicle, typical of the larger 1907 cars, was the norm. But many manufacturers were beginning to get less creative artistically, instead focusing on function and cost. The Cadillac retained the incredibly fancy and artistic brass work, inclusive of the snake-like horns and multi-colored lanterns. Ford went simple, redesigning their cars without the fancy accoutrements.

Ford and others built 40 horse power, 6 cylinder engines. Some of these were for the racers and the "muscle cars" of yesteryear. The Thomas Flyer, made famous by the race around the world in 1908, had to revert to their 4 cylinder, 20 horse engine because the 6 cylinder car couldn't climb hills well.

Thus, this Cadillac had the perfect engine for the back country of Nevada.

The survival rate of cars from this period has been investigated by several authors. In 2009, it was reported that the 1907 Ford Model K, one of the 6 cylinder models (with no fancy stuff whatsoever) had a production run of 950. Of that, they reported that 23 survive with "only a few (driveable)", a survival rate 2.4%. At that rate, only 9 1907 Caddy Model G should exist of all models combined. Thus the concept that this car may be a unique surviving variety is more than reasonable.

This fabulous 1907 Cadillac will be available for preview five days before the auction through the auction in our show/auction room or by appointment.

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