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Overview

Oldsmobile is the oldest American car make.  On 21 August 1997, the company celebrated its 100th anniversary.  Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout was one of the most popular cars in the United States between 1900 and 1904.  Despite the fact that the entire factory was destroyed by fire in 1901, 2,100 cars were sold in 1902, and 5,000 in 1904.  Olds left his company in the same year.He started a new factory under the name Reo. 

The top of the line model was the 1910 Mighty Limited.  This gigantic car was powered by a 11.5 litre, six-cylinder engine that delivered over 60 bhp.  In 1908, William Crapo Durant founded the General Motors Company.  One of Durant's best deals was the take-over of Oldsmobile.  The make was not cheap, however.  General Motors paid $17,000 in cash and $3 million in shares.  Not until after the Second World War did the sales of Oldsmobile pick up again and over 10,000 cars were sold on an annual basis.  Demand varied wildly, however.  In 1919, 39,042 cars were sold and in 1921 the number fell to 19,157.

The year 1929, became a peak year with a sales figure of 103,973 Oldsmobiles, but the following year not even half that number left the showrooms.  In 1941, the last full pre-war production year, another 230,703 Oldsmobiles were sold.  That year also saw the two millionth Oldsmobile roll off the assembly line.

Source:The complete encyclopedia of Vintage Cars - Rob de la Rive Box

1897-2004

When Ransom Eli Olds established the Olds Motor Vehicle Company in Lansing, Michigan in 1897 he had already been experimenting with steam and gasoline automobiles for ten years. This process continued and it was not until a fire in 1901 at Olds Detroit factory from which only a one vehicle was rescued that production based upon this survivor began. It was a single-cylinder tiller-steered runabout with two-speed transmission, central chain drive, and two long fore-aft springs that also served as the chassis side-members, and was called the Oldsmobile. Its distinctive visual feature was the upswept C-shaped splashboard that earned the vehicle its sobriquet: 'Curved Dash'. The cars were immediately popular, in part because of the relatively low price of $650, with over 400 being sold in 1901, 2500 the following year and around 4000 in 1903. Oldsmobile enthusiasts claim that this was the first volume-produced American automobile; Locomobile fans may have a different view.

Olds left his firm in 1904 and went off to make Reo motorcars, with Oldsmobile becoming part of General Motors in 1908.

Source: Society of Automotive Historians in Britain

Models produced by Oldsmobile

66

1946-1946

76 Club Sedan

76 Club Sedan

1946-?

78 Club Sedan

78 Club Sedan

1946-0

88

88

1949-1949

98

98

1951-1951

98 and Super 88

98 and Super 88

1954-1956

98 and Super 88

98 and Super 88

1957-1958

98 and Super 88

98 and Super 88

1959-1960

98 Fiesta

1953-1953

Custom Cruiser 98

Custom Cruiser 98

1946-1947

Cutlass 4-4-2

Cutlass 4-4-2

1968-0

Delmont 88

Delmont 88

1967-0

Delta 88

Delta 88

1969-0

Dynamic 88

Dynamic 88

1964-0

Eight

Eight

1935-1937

Eight

1938-1939

F-85

F-85

1961-1961

F-85 Cutlass 4-4-2

F-85 Cutlass 4-4-2

1964-1965

Futuramic 88

1949-1950

Futuramic 98

Futuramic 98

1948-1948

Hurst 4-4-2

Hurst 4-4-2

1968-1968

Hurst/Olds

Hurst/Olds

1973-1975

Jetstar I

Jetstar I

1964-1965

Series 90

Series 90

1940-1940

Six

Six

1935-1937

Six

1938-1939

Starfire

Starfire

1954-1980

Super 88

Super 88

1951-1953

Toronado

Toronado

1966-1966

Toronado (1973)

Toronado (1973)

1973-1973

Toronado XSR

1977-1977

Vista Cruiser

Vista Cruiser

1965-0

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