1903 Oldsmobile Model R

1903 Oldsmobile Model R

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Known as the Curved Dash Olds for the distinct shape of its front, the Model R was the first mass produced automobile, implementing the supplier system of manufacturing that exists to this day. Ransom E. Olds had experimented with steam and electric powered vehicles since 1887, and formed the companies that would become Oldsmobile at the end of the 19th century. Several different prototype cars were readied when fire destroyed the Detroit factory in 1901. Olds concentrated efforts solely on the curved dash runabout. Variations of the runabout continued until 1907 as the model lineup expanded, though Olds left the company. Relatively affordable compared to other cars, the Oldsmobile’s main competitor at the time was still the horse. One advertisement compared an average annual gasoline cost of $35 for 10,000 miles versus $180 to board a horse for a year. Another cited 3/8 of a cent to travel one mile. Reliability and ease of operation were touted. The slow turning single-cylinder engine and tall gearing earned its driving character the description of “one chug per telegraph pole.” Our example was discovered in Regina Beach, Saskatchewan, Canada in the 1960s and subsequently restored. The original restoration was freshened in the early 2000s.

  • YEAR & MAKE - 1903 Oldsmobile
  • MODEL- R
  • BODY TYPE - Curved Dash Runabout
  • BODY BY - Oldsmobile
  • # CYLS. - Horizontal Single Cylinder
  • TRANSMISSION TYPE & NUMBER - 2-Speed Planetary, Rear-Wheel Drive
  • WEIGHT - 650 lbs
  • ESTIMATED PRODUCTION - 3,924
  • HP - 7
  • C.I.D. - 95.4
  • WHEELBASE - 66″
  • PRICE NEW - $650
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