Monday, April 4, 2011

Curved Dash Olds in the Shop

by Willy Vinton

We recently brought our little Curved Dash Olds Model B runabout into the shop for some needed maintenance and repairs. This car never had the compression release installed after it was restored years ago, which makes it very hard to start. So, we built the linkage and all needed to get that up and working.
After we got the car running, we found several other problems, including a crack in the single cylinder, which we are now fixing, and a plugged radiator. These will be corrected and the car will be ready to cruise by spring (we do believe that spring will come!). At right is a nice top view of the engine bay showing the water tank and the fuel tanks.

Here's a view of the little car's two-speed planetary transmission.

The Curved Dash Olds was produced from 1901 to 1907. In addition to being America's first mass-produced internal-combustion automobile, it was the first American car to be offered with a mechanical speedometer. Our 1905 Model B was produced the same year Gus Edwards came out with the popular song, "In My Merry Oldsmobile." It cost $650, boasted a top speed of 18 mph and consumed only one gallon of gasoline every 40 miles, on average. And to think, we didn't even have national fuel efficiency standards back then!


  1. Hi,
    I am giving a talk at Stanford on how data impacts behavior. I would love to include a photo of the speedometer. Do you have any photos which I could use? Thank you!

    1. zibbyz - Our CDO doesn't have a speedometer, but our 1903 Toledo does. Would a photo of that work for you?


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