The Oldsmobile spans across the history of American automobiles, and takes classic car admirers back to the ‘good old days’ when it ruled the roost among America’s car producers. Oldsmobile is renowned for its longevity across two centuries, spanning from the late 19th to 21st,, perhaps the only American automaker that can make that claim.
Though the earlier cars produced by Ransom E. Olds in 1893 were steam-powered, within 3 years he designed his first gasoline car, chain driven and with a one-cylinder engine. In 1900, it was manufactured with a new curved dashboard, a style feature that gave it a new air of elegance and refinement. The car gained popularity as the first ‘low-priced, mass-produced automobile in the world’, and still gave customers the luxury they weren’t accustomed to seeing in other vehicles.
Thousands of these Oldsmobile cars appeared on the roads each year and soon sales were up to 191,000 cars in 1936, 85,000 in 1938, and back up to 266,000 in 1941.
A few superlatives of the original Oldsmobile –
- The oldest surviving car brand in the U.S.(1897)
- The first brand that introduced the fully automatic transmission
- The first car to replace nickel with chrome plated trim
- The first classic vintage car to bring in the high compression overhead valve V-8, better known as the "push rod engine", in the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88
- The first known pillar-less hardtop
- The first brand to introduce front wheel drive in 1966
- The first U.S producer to give an option of air bags.
The Oldsmobile was acclaimed for its models like the Cutlass Supreme, Oldsmobile 98, Toronado, Omega, Cutlass, Customer Cruiser, Starfire, and the Firenza. The last addition to the Oldsmobile family was the Bravada SUV, which was an instant success. But the most esteemed member was 'The Limited', named appropriately because “Such a car cannot be produced rapidly, therefore a limited quantity can be built”.
This vintage classic car is a rare entity today, which accounts for the upsurge in its demand and the spurt in its value. Any classic car enthusiast would likely seize the opportunity to own this vintage beauty. It has won laurels in 2002 and 2003 at Pebble Beach and the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. A 1912 Oldsmobile Limited Five-Passenger Touring was sold at $3,300,000 in 2012, proving the collection value of these classics.
Oldsmobile vehicles are no longer in production, and owning a classic model of this brand is considered a prime investment and a special privilege among classic car collectors. If you do own one, or are planning to acquire one, it calls for the best collector car insurance. You can get instant collector car insurance quotes from Classic Auto Insurance, customized for your specific needs and for your classic Oldsmobile.
About the Author
Drew Yagodnik is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.