The little single-cylinder Curved-Dash Oldsmobile was one of the first successful automobiles built in Michigan. Production started in 1901 as plants in Detroit and Lansing. Oldsmobile founder Ransom E. Olds left his namesake firm in 1904 to start a new company to manufacture his new REO automobiles.
Meanwhile, Oldsmobile management continued to build Curved-Dash models, but also added larger and more expensive models - such as the massive 1907 'Palace Touring Car' - to the line with each passing year. By 1908, Oldsmobile production had dwindled to about 1,000 cars annually. Before the year was out, Oldsmobile was acquired by the new General Motors organization.
Oldsmobile would eventually become a solid upper-medium priced car under GM ownership. But before that happened, the gigantic Limited models of 1910-1912 were built. Powered by a 707 cubic-inch, 6-cylinder, T-head engine, the Limited is said to be the largest automobile ever made in the U.S. The Limited rode on 42x5-inch tires and stood so tall that dual-step running boards were provided for the passengers. Original price, without options, was $5,000!
This example is a 1911 Oldsmobile Limited Touring Car with seating for seven. It features a folding covered top and a large windshield which protects the driver and passengers from the elements. It also has a side-mounted spare tire and exceptionally large tires. To assist in getting into the vehicle, there are running boards which act as steps to allow easy entry. It sits on a 138-inch wheelbase and is one of the larger Brass Era Cars. It has a huge 707 cubic-inch 60 horsepower six-cylinder T-head engine which provides plenty of power.
A four-speed manual transmission puts the power to the ground, and it also features a reverse gear. It also has an internal expanding rear-wheel hand brake and external contracting on the rear wheels. It has, advanced for its time, front semi-elliptic leaf springs with three quarter-elliptic leaf springs along with front and rear Hartford Shock absorbers.
Only ten of the approximately 159 Olds Limiteds ever built are known to have survived. This 1911 example has been owned by the same Detroit area family since 1950. It has been fully restored to its original glory.