Race Retro Classic Car Sale 2012

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1904 'Curved Dash' Oldsmobile

Lot No.: 129

Registration: BS 8474
Chassis Number: 20943
Engine Number: 20943
Number of cylinders: 1
CC: 1600
Year of Manufacture: 1904
Sold for (£): 30,250

The Curved Dash Oldsmobile is credited as being the first mass produced motor car, meaning that it was built on an assembly line, making use of interchangeable parts. It was introduced by the Oldsmobile company in 1901 and produced through to 1907. Some 425 were produced the first year rising to 2,500 in 1902, with over 19,000 built in all.

It was a "Runabout" model meaning it could seat two passengers, and sold for US $650 which was competitive compared to the Ford "Doctor's Car" which sold at US$850.

The flat-mounted water-cooled single-cylinder engine, situated at the center of the car, produced 5hp relying on a brass gravity-fed carburettor. The transmission was a semi-automatic design with two forward speeds and one reverse. The low-speed forward and reverse gear system are of an epicyclical, planetary type. The car weighed 850lb and used Concord springs. It had a top speed of approaching 30mph.

Many publicity stunts were staged to market and promote the Oldsmobile's sturdiness, both in the USA and in England, one being the first car to climb Snowdon. Indeed, famed motoring journalist, Joy Rainey, will be crossing America in her Curved Dash later in 2012.

This particular Olds dates from 1904. It is remarkable in that it apparently remained with an Oldsmobile dealership from 1904 up to 1955, when it was purchased by only its second owner. Hailing from Ashland Mississippi, this remarkable gentleman kept the car until only advancing years prevented him from "swinging" the handle to bring the car into life. He advertised it in "Hemmings Motor News" and it was purchased by an English enthusiast who shipped it over. The car has had extensive work and is well known to Gary Hoonsbeam, the world authority on "C.D.O." Oldsmobiles. It is unique in Europe for having a Rear entrance Tonneau Body, as well as its more familiar two seater configuration, this allowing 4 or perhaps 5 people to enjoy the Veteran experience. The car has made a number of London to Brighton Veteran Car runs since being imported and comes with a very full history file, is UK registered, taxes paid and expected to come to the auction with a fresh road fund licence tax disc. A rare opportunity to purchase a low ownership motor vehicle of some 107 years of age. It is being sold due to the current owner's health and should reward the new owner with years of exciting Veteran Motoring on the "L to B", "Creepy-Crawly" or perhaps even the VSCC's Light Car and Edwardian Section events.