1903 Oldsmobile Model R 'Curved Dash' Runabout

The Oldsmobile Model R, also known as the "Curved Dash" Oldsmobile, is considered one of the earliest mass-produced automobiles. It was first introduced by the Oldsmobile company in 1901 and went into production in 1902. The Curved Dash Oldsmobile played a significant role in the history of automotive manufacturing and is often credited as the first commercially successful automobile in the United States.

Key features of the Oldsmobile Model R 'Curved Dash' Runabout include:

Curved Dash Design: The name "Curved Dash" is derived from the distinctive curved design of the dashboard. This design element became a signature feature of the car.

Single-Cylinder Engine: The Model R was powered by a single-cylinder, water-cooled engine. The engine had an output of about 5 horsepower and was mounted under the body.

Chain Drive: The power from the engine was transferred to the rear wheels through a chain drive system, a common feature in early automobiles.

Runabout Body Style: The Model R featured a lightweight and simple open-runabout body style. It could accommodate two passengers and was known for its affordability and ease of use.

Tiller Steering: Instead of a steering wheel, the Model R used a tiller for steering. The driver would control the direction of the car by moving the tiller left or right.

Wooden Spoke Wheels: Like many vehicles of its time, the Model R had wooden spoke wheels with solid rubber tires.

Brake System: The Model R had a rudimentary braking system that acted directly on the rear wheels.

Production and Popularity: The Curved Dash Oldsmobile was produced in significant numbers, making it one of the first mass-produced automobiles. Its affordability and practical design contributed to its popularity.

The success of the Oldsmobile Model R 'Curved Dash' Runabout demonstrated the potential for automobile mass production and played a role in shaping the early automotive industry in the United States. Today, surviving examples of the Curved Dash Oldsmobile are sought after by collectors and automotive enthusiasts as valuable pieces of automotive history.

Source: Bonhams, Conceptcarz, Supercars, Wikipedia, other

Production Start 1902
Production End 1907
Country of origin USA