1918 Cadillac Type 57 Added to National Historic Vehicle Register

The Historic Vehicle Association created the National Historic Vehicle Register early this year to recognize cars that are significant to automotive or American history, and a 1918 Cadillac Type 57 was just added as the fourth vehicle to this list. This Cadillac (also known as U.S. 1257X) not only helped troops during World War I, but it also has direct ties back to the daughter-in-law of President Theodore Roosevelt, Eleanor Butler Roosevelt.
1918 Cadillac Type 57 1 photo
Photo: Cadillac
According to Cadillac, this seven-passenger touring car was originally purchased by the Rev. Dr. John H. Denison in New York City, and then donated the car and his services to the Y.M.C.A. as a driver to support the war effort during WWI. The Cadillac eventually ended up in Europe performing similar services as transportation for members of the military.

U.S. 1257X may well be the only complete and largely unrestored example of a WWI military Cadillac known to exist. As we approach the 100th Anniversary of WWI, the historic significance of this particular Cadillac should be recognized and memorialized as a national treasure,” said Mark Gessler, president of the Historic Vehicle Association.

The last known war use for this car was as transportation for Eleanor Butler Roosevelt as she traveled across Europe on a two-month mission. She was the wife of Theodore Roosevelt Jr., who was not only the son of President Roosevelt but also a decorated soldier who served in both World War I and World War II.

Ultimately, this Cadillac ended up returning to the U.S. where it was later purchased through a used car ad by its current owner, Marc Lassen, who helped track down the car’s history. Documentation of this car’s history is being added to the Library of Congress

To be eligible for the National Historic Vehicle Register, a car must qualify for one of four categories:
  • participate in an event important to automotive or American history
  • been used by a person significant to automotive or American history
  • be distinctive based on design, engineering, craftsmanship or aesthetic value
  • be the last produced, have an element of rarity as a survivor of its type or be among the most well-preserved or thoughtfully restored surviving examples
This 1918 Cadillac Type 57 easily meets all four criteria.
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