November 27, 2012

Crown Prince Olaf's Baby Cadillac

London Cadillac dealer Frank Bennett created this electric-powered "Baby Cadillac" in 1912 as a promotional stunt. It caught the attention of Queen Alexandra, wife of Kind Edward VI, who bought it for her grandson, Crown Prince Olaf of Norway.

baby_cadillac_stirling_cocgb.jpg
image: Raj Abbott via cocgb

Here is Sir Stirling Moss examining King Olaf V's Baby Cadillac in 2003, when the Norsk Teknisk Museum agreed to lend it for the Cadillac Spectacular festivities commemorating the introduction of the marque to Britain.

The Old Motor has some beautiful photos of the Baby Cadillac at the Salon de l'Auto in 1912, along with the above newsreel footage of the tiny car cruising around London. And in some leafy garden, where three little "Royal Testers"--possibly Bennett's kids, Mona (5), Tommy (3), and Bobbles (1)--go for a ride.

The historians at the Cadillac Owners Club of Great Britain are to be commended for their admirable work in tracking down the Baby Cadillacs. Because at least two more were created around the same time, with one going to the grandson of the King of Siam, and the other to Wilfred Leland Jr., grandson of Cadillac founder Henry Leland.

And thus we see that Cadillacs have been the car of choice of moneyed grandparents since the very beginning. Also, that the world needs more kids named Bobbles.

Americans in Paris - The 1912 Salon de l'auto at the Grand Palais [theoldmotor via dt vintage car shark dt]
Previously, unexpectedly related: Crown Prince Haakon Of Norway Drives A Mutsy

1 Comment

Interesting post, and a great clip. I'm unclear as to whether Edward VI was kind or not, but he died in 1553, so this particular Alexandra was not his wife. She was married to Edward VII, and widowed upon his death in 1910.

Edward VII was probably better described with the phrase "bon vivant" than with the more pedestrian "kind".

Cheers!

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