The Bennett Run Cadillac Spectacular Grand Coach Tour


Held on the Bennett Run 'Rest Day' 
Saturday 20th September

Amazing cars, Live Bands, Personalities, Tours, Grand Parade
"Open to all Cadillacs, Cadillac devotees and general enthusiasts"

The Venue - Crystal Palace Park, south London
(Home of the first motor manufacturer's Motor Show in 1903)


‘Grand International 2003’ and the 'Cadillac Spectacular' were held to commemorate Cadillac's arrival in England in 1903 - powered by this single-cylinder engine below. 

It is also a tribute to Frederic Bennett for his class win in the 1903 RAC 1000-mile Reliability Trial, his records in both the Irish and Scottish Reliability Trials and the gaining of two Dewar Trophy awards for Cadillac, one in 1908 and another in 1913.

The lawns among the trees in the picture above and  those alongside the remains of
Crystal Palace race circuit below formed an idyllic setting for Cadillacs of all ages

Cadillac devotees from many countries were at the ‘Spectacular’ in Crystal Palace Park, the starting and finishing point of the 1903 RAC 1000-mile Reliability Trial.

Among those Cadillacs of all ages was Ron Hickman's magnificent 1931 Dual Cowl Phaeton V16 (below with Julian Bennett and the '03 (the side-valve version of V16 engine is depicted above).

The Queen Alexandra/Prince Olaf Baby Cadillac

The 1/3-scale Cadillac Roadster, powered by and used to demonstrate the first-ever electric self-starter, was last seen driving the streets of central London and at Sandringham in Norfolk over ninety years ago. Made in London under Frederic Bennett’s direction in 1912, it was bought by Queen Alexandra as a present for her grandson Prince Olaf of Norway. The Norsk Teknisk Museum, the custodians of the car for the Norwegian Royal Family, along with the Cadillac Motor Company arranged for the one-off appearance at the Queens Hotel, Crystal Palace (being inspected by Sir Stirling Moss).
Three of these one-third scale Baby Cadillacs were made, of which two, both originally sold to Royalty, are known still to exist. The third was given to Wilfred Leland Jnr, grandson of the co-founder of Cadillac, and is now understood to be in the hands of a private collector in America.

Everyone was Welcome

Alan Murphy, the organiser of this one-off special event, made all who attended feel truly welcome - be they club members, enthusiasts or members of the public. Sir Stirling Moss, the international motoring ace, was there to welcome them too, here trying out Jerry Thurston's Caddy-engined Allard.

Senior members of the Royal Automobile Club were present, as were those from the Cadillac-LaSalle Club of America. Julian Bennett, with the family's 1903 Model A Cadillac, was there on the 'rest day' from the centennial re-enactment of the RAC 1000-mile Reliability Trial. Julian's attempt at this fourth re-run, carried out as a fund-raiser for BEN, the Motor & Allied Trades Benevolent Fund, ended up as a great success.