1937 Oldsmobile L-37 Eight

1937 Oldsmobile L-37 Eight 1937 Oldsmobile L-37 Eight 1937 Oldsmobile L-37 Eight
Redfern Saloon
Coachwork: Maltby Motor Works
The L-37 inline-eight Oldsmobile was the top-of-the-line for that year. With a 257 cubic-inch engine, the car rides on a wheelbase of 124 inches. Three chassis were sent to Maltby's Motor Works and Garage, Ltd., of Folkestone, Kent, England, to be fitted with Redfern Saloon Tourer bodies. This example is the only one that still exists. It was sold new in England to a senior postal executive. It has features that were unknown on any other Oldsmobiles of its day, such as a fully operational hydraulic folding top and independent jacks that can be used to raise the car in case of a flat tire. These options were not included on other Redfern Tourers. The front of the car is distinctly Oldsmobile, while from the cowl back, the aluminum coachwork was done by Maltby craftsmen. As an English car, it was right-hand drive from new.
1937 Oldsmobile L-37 Eight 1937 Oldsmobile L-37 Eight 1937 Oldsmobile L-37 Eight
Chassis #: L179361
Sold for $90,200 at 2009 The Scottsdale Auction : Gooding & Company.
The Oldsmobiles for 1937 were restyled and given several significant mechanical changes. For the first time, the bodies were all-steel and the eight-cylinder cars gained an extra 10 horsepower, bringing the total to 110 BHP. The six- and eight-cylinder cars had several distinguishable features. The six-cylinder cars had a horizontal bar theme at the front while the eight-cylinder cars had a cast grille with, what appeared to be, an intricate mesh. Inside, the cars featured a new dashboard layout plus a number of factory accessories.

This car is deep-black and has several options and accessories. The list of options include dual spotlights, fog lights, whitewall tires, wheel trim rings, a heater, a radio, a clock and an accessory hood ornament. The engine is an L-head eight-cylinder unit capable of producing 110 horsepower. There is a three-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.

The interior is burgundy leather upholstery and there is a black factory top. In the back is a two-passenger rumble seat also covered in burgundy leather.

In 2009, this L37 Convertible was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. The car was estimated to sell for $120,000 - $150,000. The lot was sold for a high bid of $90,200, including buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2009
Oldsmobile was one of America's leading automobile producers in the early 20th century, at a time when Chevrolet and Ford were a bit farther behind. The first production automobile was introduced in 1897 by Ransom E. Olds, which makes Oldsmobile the second oldest nameplate in America, falling right behind Studebaker. From 1903 until 1905 Oldsmobile was one of the top producers in the automobile industry. In 1904 Ransom Olds stepped down from the company and began a second industry, Reo (using his initials R.E.O. a company that built vehicles until 1936. In 1909 Oldsmobile was bought out by GM and became the oldest surviving America car company until it was shut down in 2004.

The Oldsmobile L37 was capable of achieving 40 miles to just one gallon of gas. This super popular model has been exported worldwide, and in some instances, customers received custom bodies by famous coachbuilders. Maltby of Folkestone, England was the designer behind the sleek, elegant convertible sedan coachwork that made up the Oldsmobile L37. In this same year, Oldsmobile introduced the safety semi-automatic transmission as an option that cost $100.

This model also has the esteemed status of being the only Oldsmobile chassis that was handled by the British company. The top of the line model, the 1937 inline-8 Oldsmobile featured a 257-ci engine that was rated at 110 horsepower. 1937 was a great year for Oldsmobile and a total of 212,767 units were produced. A total of three L37 chassis's were sent to be fitted with Redfern Saloon Tourer bodies at Maltby's Motor Works & Garage, Ltd. of Folkestone, Kent. In the mid to late 1930's this body was fitted to a variety of British chassis with a fully hydraulic power top.

Unique in comparison to any other Oldsmobile, the convertible featured a fully actuated hydraulic folding top and independent jack could be used to raise the vehicle in case a flat tire occurred. On August 30, 2008, a Full Classic sold for $110,000 at the Worldwide Group's inaugural auction in Auburn, Indiana. The Oldsmobile L37 is a wonderful collector item and a great addition to any great collector.

Worldwide offered the L37 Convertible Sedan, and was one of the three Redfern Saloon Tourers, but the other two models disappeared and have yet to be found. A Oldsmobile L37 Club Coupe was constructed on a much longer platform than the Series F Oldsmobiles. It featured sporty lines that were found on a coupe, but the back seat could hold four to five passengers. The 1937 Club coupe was donated to the museum by Norman Lawton of Traverse City, Michigan.

By Jessica Donaldson
1937 Oldsmobile L-37 Eight 1937 Oldsmobile L-37 Eight
For 1937, Oldsmobile styling changes had an overall height reduction of 3-inches and a new 'Automatic Safety Transmission' as an $80 option for 8-cylinder models only. This was the first Oldsmobile that had a shift mechanism located on the steering column rather than on the floor. It was a semi-automatic with offered a safety feature that allowed the driver to keep both hands on the steering wheel more often.

With the 4-speed AST, Oldsmobile claimed a 15-percent better gas mileage. Hydra-Matic Drive, the first fully automatic transmission, would be in Oldsmobile models by 1940.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2011
1937 Oldsmobile L-37 Eight 1937 Oldsmobile L-37 Eight 1937 Oldsmobile L-37 Eight
Club Coupe
For the first time in the modern era, the Oldsmobile Division - in 1937 - offered two distinctly different automobiles. The Model L was powered by an 8-cylinder engine and rested on a 124-inch wheelbase making it eight inches longer than the Model F, which was powered by a 6-cylinder engine. The Model L had a classic hood and grill along with several other styling characteristics of the luxury car market. It was, in reality, the first 98.

This particular example is a Club Coupe. The Club Coupe replaced the Sport Coupe which had a rumble seat. The Club Coupe had two small seats in the back which could be folded up to provide additional storage space. Total production of the club coupe reached 5,712 examples, each having a base price of $940.

By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2016

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1937 L-37 Eight
1937 Oldsmobile L-37 Eight Price Range: $925 - $1,075

Model Year Production

1942Chevrolet (254,885)Ford (160,432)Plymouth (152,427)67,783
1941Chevrolet (1,008,976)Ford (691,455)Plymouth (522,080)270,040
1940Chevrolet (764,616)Ford (541,896)Plymouth (430,208)192,692
1939Chevrolet (577,278)Ford (487,031)Plymouth (423,850)137,249
1938Chevrolet (465,158)Ford (410,263)Plymouth (285,704)99,951
1937Ford (942,005)Chevrolet (815,375)Plymouth (566,128)200,886
1936Ford (930,778)Chevrolet (918,278)Plymouth (520,025)200,546
1935Ford (820,253)Chevrolet (548,215)Plymouth (350,884)126,768
1934Ford (563,921)Chevrolet (551,191)Plymouth (321,171)79,814
1933Chevrolet (486,261)Ford (334,969)Plymouth (298,557)36,673
1932Chevrolet (313,404)Ford (210,824)Plymouth (186,106)19,239

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