The Smallest Car in the Largest City in the World
R: F.S. Bennett. P: British & Colonial Kinematograph Company. UK 1913
The Crown Prince Olav of Norway rides through the streets of London in a baby Cadillac, a present to him from his grandmother, Queen Alexandra of Great Britain.
“The brain behind the little car was Frederick S. Bennett, an Englishman who played a pivotal role in establishing Cadillac’s success in the UK. As a Cadillac dealer across the pond, Bennett’s greatest challenge was emasculating prevailing public opinion that American products weren’t built to last. His persistence finally paid off in 1909 when Cadillac became the first American auto manufacturer to receive the Royal Automobile Club’s prestigious Dewar Trophy after a rigorous interchangeable parts test in 1908. (…)
Bennett desired a unique means of promoting Cadillac’s crowning achievement. To this end, he commissioned J. Lockwood & Company to build a child-sized replica of a Cadillac roadster. Journalists affectionately labeled Bennett’s brainchild the “Baby Cadillac;” it featured a four-foot wheelbase and weighed in at nearly 400 pounds. Though technically a two-seater, the addition of a rumble seat allowed enough room for three little passengers. Power was provided the Delco electric starting system and the battery allowed it to run 15 miles on a single charge at a top speed of 12 mph.”