Ransom Eli Olds developed about 11 different cars, some of them electrics in cooperation with Thomas Edison, between 1899 and 1900. The first production cars reached the market in 1901. 425 cars were built that year, making them the first mass produced gasoline engine automobiles in the world!
This car is a Model R, the first car to bear the name Oldsmobile and the first of 3 models to be known as a Curved Dash Oldsmobile. Single cylinder Oldsmobiles achieved 7 horsepower (hp), good for “one chug per telephone pole”. The car could travel 20 mph. In 1902, 2,500 units were produced, jumping up to 3,924 units in 1903. The Curved Dash Oldsmobile was the best selling car in the world for 7 years.
Oldsmobiles were typically delivered to their owner by train, often with a sales representative onboard to present it personally. All Curved Dash Olds were right hand drive and steered by a tiller. There are leaf springs running the length of the cars body.