Oldsmobile Curved Dash

Oldsmobile Curved Dash

Oldsmobile Runabout
Manufacturer Oldsmobile
Production 1901–1907
About 19000 built
Body and chassis
Class Entry-level car
Body style Runabout
Engine 95 cu in (1,560 cc) horizontal one-cylinder[1]
Transmission Planetary 2-speed
In My Merry Oldsmobile songbook featuring an Oldsmobile Curved Dash automobile

The gasoline powered Curved Dash Oldsmobile is credited as being the first [3]

It was a runabout model, could seat two passengers, and sold for US$650. While competitive, due to high volume, and priced below the US$850 2-seat Ford Model C "Doctor's Car"[4], it was more expensive than the Western 1905 Gale Model A roadster at US$500. The Black went as low as $375,[5] and the Success hit the amazingly low US$250.[6]

The flat-mounted water-cooled single-cylinder engine, situated at the center of the car, produced 5 hp (3.7 kW),[1] relying on a brass gravity feed carburetor. The transmission was a semi-automatic design with two forward speeds and one reverse. The low-speed forward and reverse gear system are a planetary type (epicyclic). The car weighed 850 lb (390 kg) and used Concord springs. It had a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h).[7]

The car’s success was partially by accident — in 1901 a fire destroyed a number of other models before they were approved for production, leaving the Curved Dash the only one intact.[8]



  1. ^ a b Rogliatti 1973, pp. 270–271.
  2. ^ Posthumus 1977, p. 48.
  3. ^ Georgano 1985, p. 
  4. ^ Clymer 1950, p. 37.
  5. ^ Clymer 1950, p. 61.
  6. ^ Clymer 1950, p. 32.
  7. ^ Sedgwick 1962, p. 36.
  8. ^ Wright 2000.


  • Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly (January, 1904)
  • Rogliatti, Gianni (1973).  
  • Wright, Richard A. (2000-03-08). "detnews.com | Michigan History". Apps.detnews.com. Archived from the original on 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 

External links