Ron Van Gelderen, past president of the Cadillac LaSalle Club
and author with Matt Larson of LaSalle, Cadillac's companion car,
stands in front of GM Chairman, Bob Lutz's Convertible 1934 LaSalle. In front
of Ron, at the Detroit Centennial in 2002, is the
matching Coupe he himself once owned.
(Click above to access sections indicated
- general items below)
By Maurice Hendry
24-hour race at Le Mans, quite apart from several British successes, must also
go down in history as an event in which in 1950 a fairly standard Cadillac
saloon averaged over 81mph for the 24 hours and finished eighth. There was much
favourable comment about its silence and stability at high speed. The
significance of this feat was noted by the press throughout the world and it was
pointed out in ‘The Motor’ that such a challenge by a comparatively stock
car from across the Atlantic laid a certain responsibility on our own
manufacturers to see that an adequate reply should be made 12 months later. But
we failed to make motoring history at Le Mans in such a way. This was from the
British press some fifty years ago.
Today, of course, I
am writing after the failure of Cadillac’s entry last year when the cars
finished twentieth and twenty first, partly because the 750hp Northstar engine
had to be drastically down-rated to comply with race regulation. But then look
at Mercedes ‘aviating’ entries the year before, when they put on a display
worthy of Warbirds Over Wanaka! (This is what brought engine power limits
by the race authorities)
While I would be
delighted if Cadillac succeeds at Le Mans (and they will be back for two more
years, again in contrast to Mercedes who have tossed in the towel), I don’t
think Le Mans is all that important in assessing luxury, quality, prestige
automobiles. Most of the best makes have never competed there. The cars are specials
extraordinaire! To me, it is important to have, say, the world’s best
air-conditioning, both bi-level and tri-level, rather than registering the
highest g-pull on the skid pads (which most owners would never see anyway).
No German cars until
recently have had air-conditioning systems equal to American cars, where this
superiority has been taken for granted for decades, but never mentioned by
journalists. Let me cite
something else - stereo. I bought my 1964 Coupe deVille from Leila and Murray
Fastier, Kiwis who lived Stateside but regularly returned to New Zealand. Both
were professional musicians, very significantly in this context. They told me
they preferred to sit out in the Cadillac at night to listen to the hi-fi in the
car because it was far superior to the one in their luxury flat! Just think what
Rolls-Royce or Mercedes would have done with a story like that!
This leads me to
point out that whether its self-seeking radios or automatic transmissions, most
(not all, but most) desirable features of today’s luxury cars originated with
US manufacturers. Here are some more: the self-starter, V8 and V12
engines (Cadillac and Packard had them in World War One!), all-steel bodywork,
power steering, flat-riding suspension (front frequency lower than rear), power seats, windows, alternators,
automatic headlight dipping, onboard computers, economy cylinder selection,
hypoid drive, limited-slip diff, etc, etc. None of
these vital attributes came from Mercedes, Rolls, or any European maker - they’re
Just a final dig at
the New Zealand Herald, which publishes some amazing Cadillac misinformation
from time to time. When announcing the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph (BMW V12, ZF
transmission), much was made of the care in testing the car: "The car is
mounted on special test equipment, simulating road conditions of all kinds,
without the car leaving the facility" - In 1998? Cadillac has been doing
this for about forty years!
Lost And Found!
In 1903, Frederic
Stanley Bennett, engineer and entrepreneur, imported the first Cadillac, No.
530, into England - even
before a Cadillac had reached California. In September of that year, he entered the car in
the 1000-mile endurance trial from Crystal Palace, first run in 1900.
After a hectic eight days, including an accident with a steam omnibus that necessitated a
frenzied dash to London in search of a suitable replacement wheel and an impromptu repair
in a nearby cottage, car and driver won their class. Thus was the start of Cadillac in
England, not much more than a year after the Cadillac Automobile Company had been formed
in Detroit - and a full year before the first Rolls-Royce appeared on the road.
In 1913, after Cadillac's double winning of the
Royal Automobile Club's Dewar Trophy
again instigated by the indomitable Fred Bennett - the little one-cylinder car,
still sporting its odd wheel, was rescued from its now lowly duties as a
delivery vehicle and once again put to the test. Ten years later to the day, and
without having carried out any major mechanical overhaul, F. S. Bennett put the
car through the exact same rigours of that original 1903 1000-mile trial. This
time the test was carried out as a demonstration of the reliability of such an
‘aged’ car from America, many of which at the time did not match the
reliability of their European counterparts. Again wholly successful and again
authenticated by the Royal Automobile Club, this should have been the end of the
story for a gallant, but elderly machine. However, with Fred Bennett in the
driving seat, that was not to be.
In 1953, after an unbroken
string of London to Brighton runs and presumably as a gesture of defiance to
normal reasoning, the 79 year-old Mr. Bennett decided to embark on a golden
jubilee run with his 50-year-old, basic turn-of-the-century car. His course
would again start from Crystal Palace and follow as near the exact same routes
as he had taken both in 1903 and 1913. It would also, as before, start on the
same date and at exactly the same time. Overseen on this occasion by the Veteran
Car Club, of which he had been a founder member, Mr. Bennett set off each day on
the designated return journeys to the Kent, Sussex and Hampshire coasts. On the
26th of September, after eight days driving with only one involuntary stop to
clear dirt from the carburettor and two minor repairs, one securing a mudguard
stay and the other re-packing the water pump, the intrepid Fred Bennett and his
valiant Cadillac triumphed once more.
The epic result was
recorded for posterity on a Veteran Car Club certificate, authenticated by the
members of the then committee. The certificate confirms that not only was the
commemorative run a great feat of endurance but the trial was also carried out
at a faster average than in 1903. In fact, such was the enthusiasm with which
man and machine were perceived that an eager public from top to bottom of the
land – and in America too - followed the daily progress with almost obsessive
enthusiasm. Updates were reported in newspapers, broadcasts put out on the radio
and even an interview transmitted on the new-fangled medium of
television. Having passed well into his eighties, Fred Bennett died within a few
years of this masterly feat, and that is where the ‘Bennett’ trail had gone
As the years passed, no more seems to have been heard either of the car
or the Bennett family. In the late 1960s, however, Maurice Hendry, Cadillacs official
historian, attempted to trace both the car and Mr. Bennetts
surviving relatives. In a letter dated October 15th 1970 from Veteran & Vintage
Magazine the trail went cold, with the words "We believe that Lt. Cdr. G.F. Bennett
(F.S. Bennetts son and then registered owner of Cadillac 530) lives abroad. Further
enquiries in recent years yielded no better results, and the matter appeared finally to
have come to its natural conclusion.
Then, last year while making tentative enquiries about visiting the Dewar Trophy during the International Meet
to be held in September 2003, I was informed that a 1903 Cadillac
was still listed to a Mr. Bennett on the official Veteran Car Club register. So, as unlikely as it seemed, a member of
the family could have hung onto the car after all. The sleuth within me was
awakened: I accosted both the National Motor Museum and the Veteran Car Club, using the
best of my persuasive powers. After telephone calls, faxes and letters, I was rewarded one
evening with a voice on the telephone: that of none other than Julian Bennett, grandson to
Frederic and son to the Lt. Cdr. and present owner of
Cadillac 530 along with his cousin Jill Coppel in Australia.
Thus, amazingly, after 97 years this famous little car is still in the
Bennett family. Furthermore, Julian Bennett has joined the Cadillac Owners Club of GB and
intends, eventually, to have the car running once more in the Brighton run and, at
some time, hopes to bring the car to our annual meet at Coombe Abbey, near
Coventry. So, welcome to you Julian and thank you
for joining the club, and a big thank you to all the Bennett family for
having, against all odds, hung onto the first ever Cadillac to have graced these
shores all those years ago.
Frederic Stanley Bennett with the gallant
Cadillac after it had covered
nearly a quarter of a million miles, including the three 1000 mile
The Original Cadillac Motorsports
By Don Sherman
Cadillac recently ended a fifty-year
racing hiatus with the on-track debut of its Northstar LMP endurance racer. Fifty years
ago, in June of 1950, Briggs Cunningham and Phil Walters co-drove a custom-bodied Cadillac
to an honourable eleventh-place finish in the 24 Hours LeMans, one of the world's toughest
and most prestigious motorsports events. This is the story of their lives and competitive
times before and after that long-ago LeMans.
Briggs Swift Cunningham II was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1907 to a
family that had earned a fortune in shipping, meat packing and banking enterprises. After
his father's passing in 1912, trust funds paid for the finest private schools and tutors.
In college, Cunningham enjoyed engineering studies but stumbled over the maths. In 1929,
he dropped out of Yale, married his sweetheart and began pursuing two passions fast
cars and international-class racing yachts.
Cunninghams career as a driver and team owner began in earnest in
1948, when he purchased the first Ferrari imported to America. After scoring second place
finishes in the first and second Watkins Glen (New York) Grand Prix events in 1948 and
1949, he began dreaming of conquering LeMans with a team of American cars and drivers.
Luigi Chinetti, winner of the 1949 twenty-four-hour epic and the man who sold him his
Ferrari, urged Cunningham to enter the 1950 race.
Cunningham's initial plan was to use a Cadillac-powered Ford, but
French officials scotched that idea. When Cadillac's chief engineer Ed Cole volunteered
support for a two-car team of race-prepared Cadillacs, Cunningham chose that option, not
in hope of an overall victory, but to gain experience that might prove useful for
constructing his own cars in the future.
Cunningham's co-driver, Phil Walters, was born in 1916 in New York City
and raised in a suburb of Long Island. He began fiddling with hot cars as a teenager and
soon developed an insatiable appetite for street-racing. Using the assumed name of
Ted Tappett, Phil talked his way into a midget ride and won first
time out. His record was remarkable - eleven wins and eleven seconds out of forty-five
starts in his first season, followed by twenty-six consecutive victories the next year.
Drafted in 1942, Walters flew gliders and C47 transports in the Second
World War before being shot down during the invasion of Holland. Ironically, the German
surgeon who saved his life by removing a lung and a kidney had watched Walters win a
Philadelphia midget race five years before. When he returned home after hostilities had
ceased, Phil weighed 130 pounds - not counting the Air Medal, Purple Heart and seven
Bronze Stars pinned to his chest.
Before the war, Phil Walters was known for manhandling his machine in
the turns. After the war, lacking the energy reserves to support such a technique, he
drove as smoothly as possible. Much to his surprise, the newer style was significantly
faster. In 1949, he and his partner Bill Frick created Fordillac (Cadillac-powered Ford)
hybrids to tow their racers from track to track. Ultimately, over 200 were built and sold,
including one to Briggs Cunningham. Another was purchased by Howard Weinman, the Grumman
Aircraft design engineer who collaborated on the construction of the Cadillac LeMans
racer's special bodywork.
Walters and Cunningham met at the 1949 Watkins Glen race. Until Briggs
mentioned his dream of racing an American entry at LeMans, Phil had never heard of the
place. Cunningham soon thereafter commissioned Frick-Tappet Motors to prepare two
Cadillacs for the French race and tapped Walters to share driving responsibilities.
Modifications for the special-bodied Cadillac included a three-speed
manual transmission, a five-carburettor intake manifold, commercial-chassis brakes, a
radio for car-to-pit communication, extra instruments and a 2.90:1 axle ratio.
Unfortunately, the transmission's unsynchronised first gear could not be used to
accelerate out of the tight turns so lap times in the lighter and more streamlined
Cadillac were initially slower than the stock-bodied series 61 coupe driven by team-mates
Sam and Miles Collier. As a stopgap, a stock 3.77:1 axle was installed to improve
On the second lap of the race, Cunningham miss-judged a corner and
spent half an hour digging his car out of a sandbank. That dropped Le Monstre
- as it was derisively nicknamed - down in the standings, ultimately finishing eleventh,
just behind the Collier brothers' stock-bodied Cadillac.
Walters and Cunningham were nonetheless encouraged by the results and
work began to fulfil the original dream - an all-American racing car capable of winning
the French classic, campaigned by an all-American team.
The first prototype rolled out of Cunningham's West Palm Beach,
Florida, shop late in 1950. When General Motors refused to supply engines, Cunningham
tapped his Yale classmate and son of Chrysler president, K.T. Keller, to help arrange
alternative power. At LeMans in 1953, Walters and John Fitch drove a thundering Cunningham
C-SR to a third-place finish while Briggs co-drove a C4-R to seventh. The team's C-4RK
finished tenth. The next year, Cunningham entries finished third and fifth.
The turning point for both Cunningham and Walters came in 1955. Walters
signed a contract to drive for Ferrari in major sports car and Formula One events
following LeMans. Barely two hours into the twenty-four-hour race, the sight of a flaming
Mercedes hurtling through the air and into a crowd of spectators radically altered Phil's
plans. Eighty-three fans were killed instantly and another sixteen died later, in racing's
worst ever accident. "I decided at that point," remembers Walters, "if
thats what can happen in this business, I think it's time to get out. So I retired
right there on the spot." Walters took up a more sedate profession - selling
Volkswagens on Long Island. Today he lives in Florida.
After spending five years and a fortune trying to win LeMans with an
American-built car, Briggs Cunningham concluded that heavy American engines and fragile
domestic transmissions could not compete successfully against the best European efforts.
He sold his Florida factory in order to handle distribution and racing activities for
first, Jaguar and then Maserati. That began ten years of success and glory for Cunningham
and the drivers that prospered under his team's stewardship. Aces Walt Hansgen, John
Fitch, Mike Hawthorn, Stirling Moss, Dan Gurney, Augie Pabst, Dick Thompson, Bruce
McLaren, Roger Penske and others drove the blue-over-white Cunningham cars which were
usually the best prepared and supported machines on the track.
Three Corvettes wore Cunningham colours at the 1960 LeMans race, though
only one survived to finish first in the GT class and eighth overall. The following year,
Maseratis carried Cunningham drivers to fourth- and eighth-place finishes. Behind the
wheel of a Jaguar E-Type, Briggs and co-driver Roy Salvadori finished fourth at LeMans in
1962. After a heavy crash in '63, another E-Type shared by Cunningham and Bob Grossman
came in ninth. Recognising his exemplary sportsmanship, the city of LeMans, France, named
Cunningham an honorary citizen. In 1967, only two years after he finally peeled off his
driving gloves and hung up his helmet, his dream was realised: a Ford Mark IV driven by
Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt won LeMans. Suffering poor health, Cunningham now lives in Nevada.
This June, when the green flag signals the start of the 69th LeMans 24
Hours race, a Cunningham will once again lead the way. To honour one of the most
influential sportsmen in American racing history, Cadillac named the modified Seville
chosen to pace this years race an STS Cunningham Edition.
Royal Baby Cadillacs"
By Robert Maidment
Maurice Hendry’s book, ‘Cadillac, The Complete History‘, there is very
little information about the ‘Royal’ Baby Cadillacs. Certainly he includes a
picture in the early chapters describing a one-off 1/3-scale Cadillac powered by
the then all-new ‘revolutionary’ electric self-starter. In the other
authoritative Cadillac source, ‘Master of Precision’, written by the Leland
family telling the story of Henry Leland and Cadillac, there is more. Alongside
the same picture are the words: “This Baby Cadillac once belonged to Prince
Olaf of Norway..... and was later sent to Wilfred Leland Junior.”
in the archives of the Beaulieu Motor Museum is a newspaper cutting with
accompanying photograph of what would appear to be the same miniature car, and
which tells a different story: “Queen Alexandra’s Baby Cadillac in Pall
Mall. A baby replica of the four-cylinder Cadillac, which Queen Alexandra bought
as a present for her grandson, Prince Olaf of Norway.” A further revealing
piece described how the Baby Cadillac, weighing nearly 400lbs, was capable of
travelling some 15 miles on one battery charge at speeds of up to 12mph. How,
though, could a ‘one-off’ have been sold to Queen Alexandra in England and
then, almost in the same instant, given to Henry Leland’s grandson in America?
contacted, the registrar at The Royal Archives in Windsor Castle pointed out
that material on Queen Alexandra, King Edward VII’s wife, was limited. They
promised, however, to search what they had, while at the same time suggesting we
approach the Norwegian Royal Household through the Norwegian Embassy.
the embassy was quick to confirm that a certain Baby Cadillac was a very popular
attraction at the Norsk Teknisk Museum in Oslo. Gunnar Nerheim, the curator of
the Norsk Teknisk Museum, reiterated these assertions and explained that the
little car had been given many years ago to Prince Olaf, before he became King
Olaf V. “Yes, certainly, Prince Olaf’s little car has always been one of our
most favourite exhibits.”
then explained that over the years a number of people from England who had known
about the car in its early days had contacted the museum. He offered to send the
two-way correspondence along with photographs taken by the museum, copies of
those sent in by well-wishers and those of its early days with the young
princes. One photograph, a large professional black & white, was of the
illustrious Fred Bennett of ‘Cadillac and the Dewar Trophy’ fame with some
fifty staff gathered around the Baby Cadillac outside the manufacturers,
Lockwood & Co, and, firmly ensconced in the little car, were some young
Bennetts and a teddy bear.
of the accompanying letters appeared to solve the mystery of the ‘one-off’
being in two places at the same time: the letter from a relative of one of the
Lockwood & Co staff referred to there having been not one but two
of these special cars. So, there had been two matching Baby Cadillacs,
one would having gone to Wilfred Leland Jnr in America, whereabouts unknown, and
the other residing happily in the Norsk Teknisk Museum in Oslo. Furthermore, a
letter from the Royal Windsor Archives stated that on 28th January 1913 F. S.
Bennett was paid £62 for a miniature car for Prince Olaf. What better way to
end the story and tie up some historical loose ends?
so: no one had counted on Maurice Hendry, the official Cadillac historian living
in New Zealand. On hearing the result, additional information, in the form of an
article taken from Motor Sport dated January 1971, winged its way around the
world. Part way through the article were the words: “It was around 1916 that
Cadillac made a present of an electrically-driven working model Cadillac
two-seater to King Rama VI of Siam. This passed to Prince Chula, who took it to
Cornwall and one wonders if it is still there?“ Scribbled below by Maurice
was: “What about this?” The King of Siam… Cornwall – this was getting
ever more confusing.
by now made contact with Julian Bennett, Fred Bennett’s grandson, another
potential source of information was to hand. When confronted, Julian confided
that over the years his mother had related stories of Baby Cadillacs sold to
Queen Alexandra and to the King of Siam, little of which, however, Julian had
tended to believe. His grandfather having died long before Julian was born, and
his father’s interest having waned when the family had moved to Africa, meant
that Julian was not particularly ‘up’ on family history. All the same, in
amongst the papers handed down from his grandfather, Julian produced a
photo-postcard of a Baby Cadillac, with his uncle and aunt as children in
attendance, on which reference was made to both Queen Alexandra and the King of
Chula, as mentioned in the January 1971 Motor Sport article, was apparently well
known in Europe in the 1930’s for his prowess on the race circuits. Reference
in the article to the effect that he and the Baby Cadillac had “collided with
chairs set at a tea table, luckily, before anyone had sat down” perhaps
indicated the Baby Cadillac having been his early racing inspiration.
Interestingly, Prince Chula was the great-grandson of the much romanticised King
Rama IV (1851-1868) of ‘The King & I’ and ‘Anna and the King of
further sleuthing was pointing to the likely new owner of this car being Prince
Chula’s only daughter, another letter came from Mr Maurice Hendry. Dated
February 1975 and written to Maurice, a Mr David Weguelin in London asked
Maurice for further information on a most unusual 1/3 scale electric car, as he
had been requested to give it the ‘once over’ by the owner. Not only did the
letter’s content confirm that Prince Chula’s daughter was that owner but it
also stated that the little car’s bodywork was “still in fabulous
condition”. Although Maurice had replied to the letter, he had heard nothing
more and had been unable to follow it up due to his workload at the time. So,
although the Siam (Thailand) car was re-established as recently as the
mid-nineteen-seventies, it had managed yet again to slip the history
Weguelin, when eventually tracked down, confirmed that the car had remained in
the hands of the Thai Royal Family until the mid-nineties, at which point it was
sold on to a Japanese collector. However, as is their right or any owner’s
right, it seems that they do not wish to display the car or for its whereabouts
to be known. Sad for us maybe but it is good to know that both Baby Cadillacs
are still in good order and in caring hands.
if there were only two Baby Cadillacs,
had someone been mistaken about Wilfred Leland Jnr and the car in America? When,
as a member of the Cadillac-LaSalle Club, William H Leland II, Henry Leland’s
great nephew, was contacted, he well remembered the many occasions his father
and grandfather had discussed young Wilfred’s little car. An e-mail from
Richard Sills, CLC recent past-president, quoting from Walter McCall’s book,
‘80 Years of Cadillac LaSalle,’ stated that it had long since been confirmed
that “this Baby Cadillac was presented to Wilfred Leland, Jnr. on his fifth
birthday.” Furthermore, Matt Larson, CLC technical editor, and Greg Wallace at
the Cadillac Museum, remember a photograph sent in some years earlier purporting
to be of Wilfred Leland’s little car, dismantled and in ‘rough’ condition
– they had both concluded that the photograph was in fact genuine. Then Yann
Saunders of the Cadillac Database, stated in an e-mail: “I think the toy I saw
at the Huntington Beach swap meet in California some 25 years ago, probably was
the Leland car.” There had then to have been a third car, as neither of the
other two had ever been in anything other than ‘excellent original
the confusion over these little cars? Certainly, with the passing of time, it is
easy for facts to become blurred, especially when the destinations of these
three cars were so diverse. Perhaps Frederic Bennett, purely for commercial
reasons, promoted only the two cars sold to royalty, while the history books
concentrated more on the Leland connection.
when the Baby Cadillac story appeared in the Cadillac-LaSalle Club’s magazine,
along with an array of pictures of the cars, Norman Uhlir, co-founder of the
American club, quickly pointed out the differences of three cars. There
were, as he explained, some obvious variations in the body styles that could
never be attributed to later changes – nobody had previously bothered to
So, of the three
Baby Cadillacs made nearly a century ago, two at least are known still to exist
– and in excellent condition. Just imagine if the third should surface now –
three out of three. What motor manufacturer could match that? It matters not
that they were built in England under Fred Bennett’s direction; such is their
place in history that they will always be seen as a great trans-Atlantic joint
venture. Cadillacs they were, and Cadillacs they will always be – and powered
by those very units that gave its name to the Cadillac-LaSalle Club’s monthly
magazine: ‘The Self-Starter’.
this club’s thanks must go to all those above – and others – who have
assisted with this research and helped put a somewhat unusual early motoring
story into a semblance of meaningfulness.
and the Worst"
Maurice Hendry, our official historian
who lives in New Zealand, has informed me that Road & Track, the
authoritative US motor magazine, has included five Cadillacs in their 100 best
cars of the century. They are: 1908 for interchangability of parts, 1912 for
electric starter and lighting, 1930 V16, 1959 for flamboyance and, despite its
early problems, the 1981 4-6-8 that has now been adopted by Mercedes. As Maurice
says in his letter, five out a hundred, in other words one in twenty, is an
amazing number considering the vast number of makes produced over the years and
the fact that Road & Track is mainly devoted to foreign imports into the US.
The Daily Telegraph on the other
hand listed the 100 worst cars of the century. This included two Rolls-Royces,
two Aston Martins, two Mercedes, two Jaguars, one Ferrari, one BMW the Dodge
Viper and, despite the huge numbers and variation in models, only one Cadillac.
Here is Giles Chapman’s somewhat amusing story on the Cadillac:
"As a first car, a Cadillac
deVille convertible, with 7.2 litres of V8 engine, 8mpg if you’re very careful
and more electric toys than in Steven Speilberg's attic, was a stupid choice.
Yet, when an American car importer
showed me a snapshot of this 1967 model, with its groaning electric roof in full
swing and the Baltimore sunshine glinting off its bonnet, my £3,500 savings
were as good as blown.
When it arrived, I was dismayed to
see daylight through rust holes on its sills and a bent front wing. My first
journey consisted of a half-hour trip back from the dealer's garage and then a
two-hour walk after it ran out of petrol in Oxford Street. Running this car was
never going to be easy - or cheap.
Then again, it is one of the most
needlessly large and heavy passenger vehicles of all time; 20ft-plus of boxy
steel, heavy chrome trelliswork for a grille, seating for six large Ohio golfers
and an engine noise akin to the rumbling of a nearby Tube line.
In a British context, of course, it
achieves little more than a Mondeo estate. Driving it in the UK was like
piloting some great container ship around the Norfolk broads with an
elephant-like roar of scrabbling rubber if you tried any sort of driving that
could conceivably be called ‘cornering’.
On one trip to Barcelona we signed
away more than £1,000 in credit card slips for the fuel alone. Doing 90mph on
the French AutoRoute’s probably meant a constant 6mpg if we were lucky.
Back home in London, sadly, my
modest hack's income couldn't keep pace with Detroit running costs. The paint
soon lost its shine, the white hood turned dingy grey and the badges were
removed by screwdriver-wielding ne'r-do-wells. Finally, the council left a note
on the windscreen asking whether the car was abandoned.
So I sold it back to the (grinning)
man I bought it from for £2,000 and took a 42 per cent loss in under a year.
That's youth, foolishness and Cadillacs for you, I guess."