1918 Cadillac Type 57 – U.S. 1257X Joins Library of Congress
Cadillac and the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) yesterday announced the latest addition to the HVA’s National Historic Vehicle Register and U.S. Department of the Interior Historic American Engineering Record (take a moment to catch your breath): the 1918 Cadillac Type 57 – U.S. 1257X from World War I. The addition of the 1918 Caddy marks the fourth vehicle to enter the HVA’s register. The listing was archived in the Library of Congress just yesterday.
The story of the 1918 Cadillac Type 57 – U.S. 1257X is actually pretty cool. The Cadillac was used during the Second Battle of the Marne, supporting both French and American troops near the front line. Obviously, it made it home to tell the tale.
“The Cadillac Type 57 – U.S. 1257X is a great example of a rare survivor – a vehicle that saw extraordinary use during its active life yet has survived to the present day,” commented Richard O’Connor, chief of Heritage Documentation Programs with the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. “Recognizing the Cadillac military vehicle at the 100th anniversary of WWI commemorates America’s participation in the Great War and illustrates one of the many contributions the automobile has made to U.S. history.”
Eleanor Butler Roosevelt (wife of Teddy Roosevelt’s son, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.) also used the Type 57 for two months while she sought out locations to use for soldiers who deserved a little bit of time off. Mrs. Roosevelt even gave the Type 57 a nod in her 1959 autobiography. For his part, Roosevelt, Jr. served in both World Wars and even earned a Medal of Honor after storming Utah Beach on D-Day.
Gallery: 1918 Cadillac Type 57 – U.S. 1257X Photos
“Having the Cadillac Type 57 – 1257X included in the permanent archives of the Library of Congress is more than I could have ever imagined,” explained Mar Lassen, the current owner of the 1918 Cadillac Type 57 – U.S. 1257X. “When I first came across a used car ad describing the vehicle, I thought it might be special, but its history had been lost to time. Researching and reuniting U.S. 1257X with its Great War provenance has been an experience of a lifetime, and an honor.”
While it’s clear how the Type 57 made it into the war (owner Rev. Dr. John H. Denison entered the service with the Y.M.C.A. and turned the car over to the organization), we aren’t yet sure how the Cadillac Type 57 made it back to the United States following the Great War. HVA researchers, however, intend to find out more about the incredible vehicle as time goes on.
“U.S. 1257X may well be the only complete and largely unrestored example of a WW1 military Cadillac known to exist,” said Mark Gessler, president of the Historic Vehicle Association. “As we approach the 100th Anniversary of WWI, the historic significance of this particular Cadillac should be recognized and memorialized as a national treasure.”