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Cadillac celebrates Dewar Trophy centenary

11th September 2008 Print
Cadillac fans and owners will congregate on 21 September at the Brooklands Museum in Surrey to celebrate the legendary American brand’s first Dewar Trophy win, which took place at the site a hundred years ago. Over forty UK-based vintage Cadillacs from the brand’s 106-year history will be on display and will be joined by the latest generation of cars on sale in the UK.

Cadillac won the Dewar Trophy in 1908 after Englishman Fred Bennett persuaded the Royal Automobile Club to oversee an unprecedented ‘mechanical standardisation’ test. Three identical Cadillac models were dismantled, their parts mixed up and the cars reassembled under strict regulations. Each car then ran without fault for 500 miles around the Brooklands track, stunning the watching media. With the award went the judges’ citation: “Standard of the World”, a phrase coined by Cadillac to this day.

Paul Moss of the Cadillac Owners Club of Great Britain, the event organiser, explains: “This is a get-together with a difference. We have arranged for the present generations of all those originally involved to meet up on the day along with the actual trophies bestowed at the time…and on the very spot where it all happened.

“Representatives of Cadillac and the Royal Automobile Club will be attending along with Julian Bennett, Fred Bennett’s grandson. To top it all, the Royal Automobile Club will be supplying the Dewar Trophy itself. In the 103-year history of the Dewar, the trophy has very seldom left the club’s premises in Pall Mall. This is an almost unheard of compliment and one that we consider a great honour.”

The Dewar Trophy was conceived by the Royal Automobile Club in 1905 to promote technical progress in the automotive field. The award is held in as high regard today as it was in the earliest years of the 20th century, with recent winners including the JCB Dieselmax world diesel land speed record breaker.