The First Closed Body Automobile

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Photo Courtesy of General Motors

The First Closed Body Automobile

In an Ironical twist the founder of Lincoln developed the first closed body automobile, but it was a Cadillac. Henry Leland, who took over the Henry Ford Company in 1902 and later establish the Cadillac Automobile Company, developed a prototype in 1905 called the Osceola that offered solid protection from the outside elements.

Photo Courtesy of General Motors

Some called it a little black building on wheels and others thought he was crazy. The Osceola’s body was built under the supervision of Fred J. Fisher, who would later pioneer the Fisher Body.

Henry M. Leland, the “Grand Old Man” of the automobile industry is seen at his desk in Detroit, Mich., Jan. 20, 1931, Leland is approaching his 88th birthday. (AP Photo)

The Osceola was named after a Seminole Chief and was for the personal use of Leland. It was 5″ taller than it was long. The car was know to tip over at higher speeds, but due to the weight, people would just flip it back over and the trip resumed.

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