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B644 Automobile, full size, Cadillac Model F car, engine No. 8303, made by Cadillac Automobile Co, Detroit, Michigan, United States of America, 1905, used by Sir Robert Lucas Lucas-Tooth, Sydney and Kameruka Estate, Candelo, New South Wales, Australia, 1905-1915. Click to enlarge.

1905 Cadillac Model F

This Model F 1905 Cadillac was built at a time when motoring in Australia was in its infancy and still an expensive and somewhat impractical mode of transport. At this time there were few formed roads, no garages, and petrol, which was scarce and expensive, had to be purchased in tins from the few chemists and grocers who stocked it. There were no mechanics, and drivers had to know enough to deal with their own breakdowns. Handbooks and motoring advice columns provided information on how to …


Object No.


Object Statement

Automobile, full size, Cadillac Model F car, engine No. 8303, made by Cadillac Automobile Co, Detroit, Michigan, United States of America, 1905, used by Sir Robert Lucas Lucas-Tooth, Sydney and Kameruka Estate, Candelo, New South Wales, Australia, 1905-1915

Physical Description

Automobile, full size, Cadillac Model F car, engine No. 8303, made by Cadillac Automobile Co, Detroit, Michigan, United States of America, 1905, used by Sir Robert Lucas Lucas-Tooth, Sydney and Kameruka Estate, Candelo, New South Wales, Australia, 1905-1915

The Model F Cadillac is powered by an eight and a half horsepower engine which features a horizontal, cast-iron, single cylinder with a copper water jacket. The bore and stroke is 5 in x 5 in (127 mm x 127 mm). The engine is not located under the bonnet (this only contains the radiator water tank) but under the car and is chain driven to the rear wheels. The engine also features a carburettor of the updraft mixer type manufactured by Cadillac. The chassis has a spur gear differential with an overall ratio of 3.1:5:1, two forward speeds and one reverse, planetary transmission and a radiator of the two-layer finned watertube type. The gear change lever and the brake lever are on the outside of the body. The wheel base is 76 inches, (1.93 m), the overall length is 9 feet 4 inches (2.84 m) and the height is 7 feet (2.13 m). The brakes are mechanical on two wheels contracting on inboard drums. The wheels are 12-spoke wooden artillery wheels and the car is currently fitted with Dunlop tyres. Model F options included a bulb horn (incomplete) and lights (Lanternes / G. Ducellier / Paris) of which both have been attached to the car. The car was originally fitted with a two-door touring body, with two bucket seats in the front and a rear bench seat, both of diamond-patterned, hand-buffed, black leather. The rear seats of the car were removed and the sides cut down to form a rear cargo area, in fact an early type of utility. This was achieved in a very professional manner including the addition of a very neat metal surround on the top section of the "tray" area. There are two crank handles loose in the cargo area of the vehicle and a compartment for the battery box under the floor of the left hand front passenger area. A rectangular container on the left hand running board may have been for an acetylene tank for lighting. A bracket on the front dashboard may have had a headlight.


Serial numbers were not used on these models and the engine number, 8303, is stamped in two places on the crankcase, on the top right edge of the cylinder flange near the water outlet, and on the right front face just below the top cover. The oiler is cast with 'Cadillac Models K & M, Originality / Lavigne / Excellence / Lavigne Manufacturing Co. Detroit Michigan'. A plate affixed to the dashboard survives but the lettering has come off. A plate on the crank case reads 'Leland & Falconer Manufacturing Co./ Detroit Michigan Patents Oct 7 1902, Oct 7 1902, Feb 3 1903, June 9 1903, June 9 1903, Feb 23 1904, Aug 16 1904 / Other patents pending'. The tyres have the wording 'Dunlop Non Skid 100 x 760 Aus Regd No.2610 NZ Regd No.1024'. Brass plaques on the laterns either side of the bonnet have engraved text that reads 'LANTERNES / G. DUCELLIER / PARIS'.



1370 mm


1800 mm



The Cadillac company, or more correctly the Detroit Automobile Company, later renamed Cadillac, was established in 1902 by Henry Martyn Leland (1843-1923) and Robert Faulconer, a wealthy lumberman. Leland was an inventor and industrialist and began building machines to make rifles during the American Civil War. He went on to learn precision standards and opened a machine shop in Detroit in 1890. He set up a company to produce precision gears and made parts for cars made by Ransom Olds. After developing a 10.25 hp engine, which Olds refused to use, Leland decided to produce his own car, the Cadillac, named after the French founder of Detroit, Antoine Laumet de la Mothe Cadillac (1656-1730) in 1701. Other innovations developed by Leland for Cadillac were the electric starter (in 1911) and electric light and dimmable headlights (in 1912). The 1903 model Cadillac was the company's first production car.

The Museum's Cadillac, a Model F, was built in 1905. In that year the company sold five models: B, C, D, E, and F. In fact Models E, F, K, M, S and T were the same but with different body styles. The Model F was introduced in January 1905. It came in two types, a 2-door touring body seating four and a delivery wagon seating two. Both cost US $950. The popularity of the 1904 Model B created a demand from Cadillac for a body with a side door entrance. The standard colour for the touring car was Brewster green with Primrose for the wheels and running gear while the delivery wagon was maroon. The car had the same chassis as the Model E except for a two inch longer wheelbase. The body style of the Model F tourer was the first Cadillac one cylinder touring car with a non-detachable tonneau.



This Cadillac is said to have been purchased new by Sir Robert Lucas Lucas-Tooth (1844-1915) who was born in Sydney and educated in England. He became active in the management of his family's Kent Brewery in Sydney and in 1868 became a partner. He was left the 'Kameruka Estate' near Bega, 4km north of Candelo, by his uncle, Frederick Tooth, who died in 1864. Between 1868 and 1871 the size of the Estate shrank from 75,000 acres of leasehold to 22,000 acres of freehold land. Sir Robert put into practice at Kameruka his own humanitarian social ideas, providing his tenant farmers with six-roomed cottages, a school, a church designed by Edmund Blacket, a meeting hall, store and post office. He planted English trees on a large scale, built an ornamental lake, kept an aviary of golden pheasants, and liberated all kinds of game including quails, hares and foxes. He gradually changed from grazing Durham and Shorthorn cattle to dairying, founded a fine Jersey herd from imported stock, and evolved a matured cheddar cheese. Kameruka became a transplanted piece of the English countryside. As well as Kameruka, Sir Robert also built 'Eridge Park' at Bowral in the late 1870s and 'Swifts', a castellated Gothic mansion at Darling Point, in Sydney, in 1882.

In 1889 Tooth took his family to England to be educated and settled there but paid frequent visits to Australia, particularly to Kameruka. He died in England in 1915 at Holme Lacy, an estate near Hereford which he had bought in 1909. Sir Robert divided the Kameruka Estate into three for his three sons, but two died in 1915 during World War I. His youngest son, Leonard Lucas-Tooth, inherited the Estate after his father's death but he too died of pneumonia on active service in France in 1918. Leonard had two daughters and the Estate was left in trust to one of them, Mrs C. Foster. After World War I, Kameruka expanded its cheese production with a total of fourteen dairies being brought into operation. The Estate changed very little between the wars and 250 tons of handmade cheese was produced annually from the Estate cheese factories. Diversification in the 1950s saw wool and later beef cattle introduced and cheese production increased. The need to modernise the cheese factories saw the last close in 1971. The name 'Kameruka' was sold to the Bega Valley Cooperative Society and continues to this day. Frank and Odile Foster owned the Estate until 2007.

Sir Robert Tooth apparently purchased the Cadillac new in 1905 and it was used by him for several years, possibly in Sydney, before the back seats were removed and the rear section converted into a cargo carrying utility for use on his Kameruka Estate. After Sir Robert's death in 1915 his executors handed the Cadillac over to automobile agents, John McGrath Ltd of Sydney, on the basis that they did not sell the car. McGraths were the New South Wales distributors for Humber, Hillman, and Commer cars and commercial vehicles, Continental cars and Diamond T trucks. This firm had a Sydney showroom for cars at 155 Elizabeth Street, one for trucks at 88-90 Parramatta Road, Camperdown, an all-night service station at 416-420 Glenmore Road, Rushcutters Bay, and a branch at Newcastle.

On the 28 May 1934 "The Sydney Morning Herald" referred to the Cadillac in an article entitled "Old Crocks : Veterans of the Road : Drive through City to Bondi". The Cadillac was entered as one of twelve veteran cars in a competition run by the New South Wales Light Car Club from Wynyard to Bondi. This was over a decade before interest in collecting and restoring old cars began after World War II. The car was entered by John McGrath Ltd and driven by W. Maslin. It was the competition winner earning 100 points for age, 100 points for condition, and 100 points for reliability. The then Curator of the Museum, Arthur Penfold, saw the article and a subsequent one on 14 June 1934 and contacted McGraths to see if they would agree to have the Cadillac on display in the Museum illustrating automotive history. McGrath's agreed and the Cadillac was subsequently donated to the Museum later in 1934.


Credit Line

Gift of John McGrath Ltd, 1934

Acquisition Date

1 October 1934

Cite this Object


1905 Cadillac Model F 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 14 May 2021, <https://ma.as/214386>


{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/214386 |title=1905 Cadillac Model F |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=14 May 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}