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1901 Oldsmobile

Curved Dash Replica


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1901 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Replica

1901 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Replica

When it inspires a song (“In My Merry Oldsmobile”) you know it's popular. This Olds was the bestselling car in America from 1902 to 1905. Automobiles had an emotional appeal. A driver in 1901 said that controlling a car satisfied “an almost universal sense, the love of power". Despite the attraction, cars were not a significant player in the transportation world. In 1903, 4000 people bought Oldsmobile's, but more than 900,000 bought buggies and carriages.

This consignment replica was originally factory built by American Air Products of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida sometime between 1958 and 1959. The model was known as a “Merry Olds” these replica cars were featured in the Sept. 1958 issue of Popular Mechanics Magazine. Named after a popular song of 1905 – 'In My Merry Oldsmobile' – the Merry Olds was a revival of Oldsmobile's famous curved dash 2 passenger car of 1901.

Intended as a recreational vehicle, the Merry Olds was introduced in 1958. It is a close copy of Oldsmobile's original 2 passenger vehicle right down to its curved wood front which is flanked by brass lamps. Bicycle style fine spoked 26-inch wheels are all around, and a “sleigh” like appearance is seen with the red painted wood body with surrounding pin striping. A functional rectangular box has been fashioned for the back of the car, and this doubles as an exterior storage area, or a trunk, to keep items stored within out of the weather. This is also flanked on either side by brass lamps. A canvas top, sadly now with a large hole in it, in tan color covers a fan style frame, and a roll down rear window is hanging from the rear of the top. Underneath this top is a buggy style bench, which has a vinyl covered, buttoned cushion on top and the back in mahogany color. This seat is in fair condition with no rips or tears.

To operate this car a tiller style control lever steers it, and seen on the floor are two pedals, one for gas and the other for brakes. The lever to the side of the bench works an emergency brake. There is a brass horn on the tiller to help shove other horseless carriages out of the way.

The mechanicals include a 500cc gas fired Clinton Engine which produces a whopping 4 HP. There is a single barrel carburetor feeding it, and this car may go 25 mph downhill with no brakes! Speaking of brakes there are mechanical drum brakes on the rear wheels which the wheels are 26 inches. Electrical system is 12-volts, and a transverse leaf spring for the front suspension, and leaf spring for the rear are noted. For the transmission we can say it's a chain driven car with literally 1 speed.

This car does fire up, spits and sputters, however our in-house shade tree mechanic had deemed it needs new wiring to run properly.

All in all, an interesting experiment for one of the earliest cars produced en mass. It retains its original charm, has a few chips out of the paint, and is a quaint experience to get into and watch the world go by at 10mph.

Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 600 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.