Founded by Ransom E Olds in 1897 as the Olds Motor Vehicle Company of Lansing, Michigan, the company began the serious manufacture of cars in 1901, that year manufacturing 425 - not many by today’s standards but at the time it was enough to make Olds the first high-volume car manufacturer of the day. Olds left the company following financial difficulty to form the REO Motor Car Company, the last of the famous “Curved Dash Olds” being manufactured in 1907 before a GM buyout in 1908. Developed a well deserved reputation for innovative firsts, including the speedometer (1901), out-sourcing of parts, chrome plating, mono-block V8’s and automatic chokes.
In the mid 1940’s Oldsmobile were the first to offer an automatictransmission in more mainstream models, their “Hydra-Matic” is widely considered the forefather of every automatic transmission offered to this day. The “Rocket” engine of 1949 was the first mass-produced, high-compression OHV V8, then in 1962-1963 Oldsmobile released the “Jetfire”, the first turbocharged passenger car featuring an aluminium-block 215 in³ V8 engine with turbocharger, producing one horsepower per cubic inch. The Toronado of 1966 may not have been the first front wheel drive American built car, but it was the first to be successful and gain acceptance with the motoring public. It would go on to win the Motor Trend Car of Year award in 1966 for its unique and innovative styling.
1938 - 1948
The Oldsmobile of 1940 was the kind of car Cary Grant could have driven in one of his movies to reflect his screen image - a car of quality, sophisticated but not ostentatious. The Oldsmobile signified that its owner had attained a level of success that a Chev or Pontiac did not adequately represent. And while another GM Division asked, "Wouldn't you really rather have a more expensive Buick?". More>>
Designed during 1952 and 1953, the Oldsmobile F-88 was a Corvette-inspired descendant of the 1953 Starfire, finished in brown metallic duco with pigskin upholstery, and powered by a 250 bhp 324 V8. The F-88 featured cone-shaped clear plastic headlamp covers and a functional hood scoop. More>>
1961 - 1964
The 5th generation Dynamic 88 hit the showrooms across the USA in 1961. The new cars featured an all-new body and chassis with perimeter "Guard Beam" frame and all-coil suspension replacing the previous leaf springs highlighted the 1961 full-sized Oldsmobiles, which were joined by the new compact F-85. More>>
1961 - 1963
General Motors began developing its first compact cars in 1956, beginning with the Chevrolet Corvair. The following year a second series of somewhat larger cars was planned for Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac, what would be termed "senior compacts." They would share the same body shell and lightweight engine. Oldsmobile designer Irving Rybicki began work on the Olds model in 1957. It finally went on sale in 1960 as a 1961 model. More>>
Oldsmobile widened their sales horizons in 1964 with a new Jetstar 88 series. Offering four models (a four-door sedan, Holiday four-door hardtop, a two-door hardtop, and a convertible), the Jetstar 88 weighed in with a price between the F-85 and the Dynamic 88 series. Yet it was a full-sized Oldsmobile, sharing the 123-inch wheel-base of the Dynamic 88. Model for model, its price was $75 to $100 less than the Dynamic 88's. More>>
1965 - 1970
It may not have been America's first front-wheel-drive car, but in 1965 it was the only locally built version, and better still, it was blessed with superior traction and roadholding properties, combined with powerful acceleration, and offered a 126 m.p.h. limit with extraordinary quietness and mechanical refinement. More>>
1965 - 1970
1965 was a big year of change for GM’s Oldsmobile Division. As you would expect every full-sized GM product got new bodies and trim, but Oldsmobile received more than that. Inside, outside, under the hood - even the chassis – everything was redesigned. Thus, the Dynamic 88 Delta was an entirely new car. It fitted between the Dynamic 88 and the 98 series, replacing the Super 88. More>>
After Oldsmobile discontinued the triple-carburettor 1-2 engine option of 1957 - 1958, they sort of left the "car" business as far as performance enthusiasts were concerned. They'd been the builder until then, striking first in 1949 with the hottest set of wheels to roll off a production line in a decade. More>>