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For Sale: 1903 Curved Dash Olds

I won’t waste your time because I know you’re burning to know. This is a replica, but a darn fine one at that. Found on Craigslist in Lakeland, FL for $9,800, this 1903 Olds Curved Dash replica is reported to have been built in the late 1950s by the E.W. Bliss Company. The business built approximately 500 of these full scale models and some 40 are known to survive. This particular one is in running condition, but the seller states it has a few loose ends to tie up.

The Curved Dash is credited with being the first mass produced automobile. In 1901, the first year of production, 425 rolled off the assembly line. The model remained the staple of the Olds lineup until about the time General Motors purchased the company win 1908. A fire that broke out at the Olds Motor Vehicle Co. factory in March of 1901 is partially responsible for this car’s existence at all. As workers fled they rescued this prototype while several others went up in smoke. With only one model to work off, the Curved Dash entered production. Oldsmobile manufactured some 19,000 by the time production ended in 1907.

Olds Curved Dash engine

The original Curved Dash models had a 95 cubic inch one cylinder engine connected to a two speed transmission. Today, a 206cc Briggs & Stratton and a three speed transmission move this replica. The B&G made its way into the car during a refurbishment in the 1990s, replacing the original Cushman. However, the seller includes the Cushman in the sale.

From the photos, this looks like a fine machine for parades and parties, but heck, why rule out the daily commute or trip to the grocery store? Cars are built to be driven, remember? This Oldsmobile Curved Dash for sale reminds us just that automotive history is well over 100 years old, even if this particular car has yet to celebrate its centennial. For nearly $10,000, would you like to be the next curator of this vintage vehicle? Hard pass or hit the gas?

Note the tiller steering.

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