The first Oldsmobile produced by the Olds Motor Works was the Model R, one of three models to be known as the Curved Dash
Oldsmobile. The company had been organized in Lansing, Michigan in 1897 and the early two-passenger vehicles were priced at $650. In 1901, they produced approximately 425 cars despite a fire destroying the Detroit factory. By 1903, nearly 4,000 vehicles were produced that year. Clearly the small and affordable 'Curved Dash' model was popular. Oldsmobile decided to change their formula by the end of the Brass Era, and moved to the high-horsepower Autocrat and Limited models. They settled into the mid-price life of touring cars powered with flathead four-cylinder engines with cast iron blocks, modern selective-shift transmissions and shaft drive, and attractive styling.