1903 Oldsmobile Curved Dash

1903 Curved-Dash Oldsmobile

This a replica car built to honor the first cross country drive from San Francisco to New York by E.I. Hammond and L.I. Whitman in the summer of 1903 (original was torn down by Olds for examination). Three pioneering autos made the trip that summer-a two cylinder Winton (63 days), a one-cylinder Packard “Old Pacific” (61 days), and one-cylinder Olds (73 days).

This Olds has a two speed transmission, center chain drive, a mechanical brake on the transmission. 5 gallon gas tank and kerosene was purchased from drug stores along the way.

The gasoline powered Curved Dash Oldsmobile is credited as being the first mass-produced automobile, meaning that it was built on an assembly line using interchangeable parts. It was introduced by the Oldsmobile company in 1901 and produced through 1907. 425 examples were produced the first year, 2,500 in 1902, with over 19,000 built in all. It was a runabout model, could seat two passengers, and sold for US$650. That's $17,100 in today's money.

The flat-mounted water-cooled single-cylinder engine, situated at the center of the car, produced 5 hp (3.7 kW), 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). 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.

Auto Spec Sheet

Year: 1903
Make: Oldsmobile
Model: N/A
Style: Runabout
Serial No: N/A
Odometer: N/A
Engine Cyl: 1
Engine Size: 95 cu in (1,560 cc)
Engine HP: 7
Trans: Planetary 2 speed

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