Britons gather to celebrate 100 years of Cadillac

Paul Bussey |



Rob Maidment’s unique Courier-Cadillac coupe.

What better place to celebrate the Centennial of Cadillac being awarded the Dewar Trophy than where it all happened 100 years ago — at Brooklands, the birth place of British motorsport. Members of the Cadillac Owners’ Club GB, their family, friends and media, represented by Cadillac UK, General Motors UK, and the Royal Automobile Club, gathered in superlative September weather with glorious warm sunshine to pay tribute to an important historic event.

Back in 1908, F.S. “Fred” Bennett, the U.K. importer of Cadillacs, challenged the Royal Automobile Club to a standardization test. Three Model K Cadillacs were stripped to component form at Brooklands, then reassembled using the parts that were all mixed up and with a few new ones added. This demonstrated Cadillac’s excellence in build quality and tolerances of component manufacture. This feat earned Cadillac the Dewar Trophy and one of the cars then went on to complete and win the 2,000-mile reliability trial and the Endurance Cup in the process.

This brace of 1941 Cadillacs includes the Series 75 once
used by General MacArthur, pictured in the foreground.
The cars gathered for the 100th anniversary of Cadillac’s
Dewar Trophy win.

The magnificent Dewar Trophy was donated by Member of Parliament Sir Thomas R. Dewar and, under the auspices of the Royal Automobile Club, was awarded annually for outstanding contributions to the automobile industry. The Cadillac Club was honored to have present at Brooklands Julian Bennett, the grandson of F.S. Bennett, who drove his family’s 1903 Model A Cadillac during the club’s Centenary Bennett Run back in 2003. Following a superb buffet lunch in the Chequered Flag Room at Brooklands, the various dignitaries, club members and other guests took time to reflect on this celebratory event, during which time Julian Bennett was presented with a bottle of Cadillac wine.

Among the many Cadillacs on hand  was this 1979 Coupe deVille.

Around 50 cars owned by C.O.C.G.B. members graced the carpark in front of the famous Brooklands clubhouse. The cars ranged from David Stark’s 1904 model, right up to a brand-new 2008 CTS. Of particular interest was Tony Oliver’s 1941 Series 75 that was once used by General MacArthur (and with the car was a lookalike of the general!) Other club cars included Bob Draper’s 1954 Series 62 convertible and Peter Teager’s 1960 Series 62 coupe that’s been restored to better-than-new condition.

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Julian Bennett, grandson of the first Cadillac importer in the United Kingdom, and the Dewar Trophy.

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