1902 Oldsmobile Model R Curved Dash Runabout news, pictures, specifications, and information
Curved Dash Runabout
Chassis Num: 6579
Sold for $51,700 at 2009 RM Sothebys.
This 1902 Oldsmobile Model R Curved Dash Runabout was given a restoration many years ago by George Green, an individual recognized as an authority on the Model R. The vehicle has tiller steering, a single-cylinder engine producing four and a half horsepower, and a wheelbase that measures 66-inches. There are Neverout brass kerosene headlights and a two-speed transmission and center chain drive.

The name 'curved dash' references the footboard which was directly transferred from the carriage designs. This feature protected the passengers from the dirt and mud thrown up by the horses' hooves.

In 2009, this Model R was offered for sale at the Automobiles of Amelia Island Auction presented by RM Auctions. The vehicle was estimated to sell for $50,000 - $70,000 and offered without reserve. Those estimates were proven accurate when the lot was sold for $51,700 including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2009
Curved Dash Runabout
This 1902 Oldsmobile Model R Curved Dash Runabout was given a restoration many years ago by George Green, an individual recognized as an authority on the Model R. The vehicle has tiller steering, a single-cylinder engine producing four and a half horsepower and a wheelbase that measures 66-inches. This car is fitted with Neverout brass kerosene headlights and a two-speed transmission with a center chain drive.

The name 'curved dash' references the footboard which was directly transferred from the carriage designs. This feature protected the passengers from the dirt and mud thrown up by horses' hooves.

The current owner acquired the car in 1986. The engine and transmission were rebuilt and the body painted in 2016.
The Oldsmobile Model R Curved-Dash Runabout was a vehicle that was nearly snuffed from history before it was even introduced to the world. Ransom Eli Olds had experimented with steam and electric propulsion but ultimately decided on the internal combustion engine. His curved-dash model was completed in 1900 and ready for market in early 1901. However, a fire at the factory delayed the start of production with only one prototype rescued.

Production resumed shortly thereafter and the first runabout was available to the public in the late summer. The runabouts weighed a mere 650 pounds and sold for $650.

Power was from a horizontal single-cylinder engine placed under the seat and mated to a two-speed planetary transmission. Steering was by a center tiller and suspension was comprised of a long leaf spring on each side connecting the front and rear axles. The body was made of wood and attached to the top of the springs. Any rocking motion was eliminated by the small transverse full-elliptic springs in front. The following year, truss rods were added. Improvements were made throughout its lifespan, which lasted until 1907.

The cars were instantly popular, becoming the best selling motorcar in America in 1903.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
 
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