Cadillac was one of the early automakers to introduce a limousine into its line of car models. It was a move that would be the signature of the Cadillac brand dating back to 1914.
James Brewster was the nation’s premiere horse or car carriage maker of the age. Being a descendant of Mayflower commuter and Plymouth Colony elder William Brewster certainly did not hurt that image. The Brewster family’s first carriage-making company started operation in 1810. Subsidiaries were added in New York a generation later and then automotive models were added with the rise of horseless carriages. Henry Brewster, James’ son, took the lead.
The 1918 Cadillac Type 57 was labeled a “Town Limousine,” as a way to set it apart from a simple “town car.” Its V8 engine offered 31 horsepower channeled through a three-speed, manual transmission. It carried five passengers and immediately earned a reputation for innovative and refined automobiles. The car maker offered 10 body styles and two wheelbase sizes. Production of the Type 57 ran from August 1917 through December 1919 with total production exceeding 45,000 cars.
Models cost about $4,000 but these days run around $50,000, which is small change for car collectors like Jay Leno, who owns one and has highlighted his love for the car on his Internet series, Jay Leno’s Garage.