The wisdom of Leland was dramatically demonstrated in l908, when Cadillac won the coveted Dewar trophy for interchangeability of manufactured parts. This feat was the basic inspiration for today's modern
production methods. Four years later, Leland combined with Charles F. Kettering and introduced the electric self-starter and lighting systems for which Cadillac was awarded the Dewar trophy for an unprecedented second time. In
1914, under Leland's leadership, Cadillac introduced the V8 water-cooled engine — the first major step in the development of today's high compression engines.
Henry Leland left General Motors in 1917 formed the Lincoln
Motor Company to build Liberty aircraft engines. After the war, the company's factories were retooled to manufacture luxury automobiles. In 1922, Lincoln was purchased by the Ford Motor Company and Leland and his son Wilfred
resigned when it was made clear to them that they would no longer be allowed to control the company they had created.
Henry Leland died on March 26, 1932 in Detroit. He is buried in Woodmere Cemetery on Detroit's southwest side.
1902, The Birth of Cadillac
Henry Leland, known as the master of precision manufacturing, was given management control of a company that had been run by Henry Ford when Ford's financial backers grew impatient with the pace of Ford's product
development. Leland re-named the Henry Ford Company the Cadillac Automobile Company in honor of the city of Detroit's founder, French explorer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac.
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1909, Cadillac Enters the Fold, After two earlier attempts had failed because of a high asking price, Durant's GM acquired Cadillac Motor from Henry Leland and his son, Wilfred, for
$4.75 million, with the stipulation that the two Lelands be allowed to continue managing all Cadillac operations. They did so until 1917, when they parted ways with Durant and formed the Lincoln Company, which went bankrupt and
was acquired at auction by Ford Motor Company in 1921.
Related topics: Ford Buys Lincoln (1922)