1901 Curved Dash
The first model to come off the assembly line of Ransom E. Olds, the Curved Dash quickly became the highest selling car in the United States. The Curved Dash was sold at a price of $650 and Oldsmobile claimed its mileage was 40 miles per gallon. Another big break for Oldsmobile was when the U.S. Post Office decided to use the Curved Dash car for its deliveries. Click here to see a picture of the 1901 Curved Dash.
1910 Limited Touring
By 1910, ownership of Oldsmobile had been taken over by General Motors. Also, the Curved Dash model had been discontinued. In 1910, GM produced the Limited Touring model for a much higher price tag of $5,000. It was named “Limited” after it beat the 20th Century Limited train in a race. A luxury car with a six cylinder engine, the Touring was discontinued in 1912 because few people could afford the car. Click here to see a painting of the famous race.
1949 Rocket 88
Throughout the 1930’s, Oldsmobile continued to offer innovations in its models such as hydraulic brakes and automatic transmission. By 1949, its reputation had grown to the point where the Indianapolis 500 used an Oldsmobile car, the Rocket 88, as its pace car. This model was the first in the industry to have a high compression V-8 engine. Click here to see a picture of the Rocket 88 at the Indy 500.
1961 Starfire Convertible
As with the 88, the Starfire line also had the famous Oldsmobile Rocket V8 engine, which produced 330 horsepower. Available as both a coupe and convertible, the Starfire was considered a beautiful model. The Starfire also had leather bucket seats in front and was available for under $5,000. This car only came with two doors and had aluminum trim outside. Click here to see a picture of the 1961 Starfire Convertible.
1965 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442
When Oldsmobile introduced the “442” as a muscle car model in 1964, it stood for 4 barrel carburetor, 4 speed manual transmission and 2 exhausts. But in 1965, Oldsmobile upgraded the engine to a 400 V8 and the second 4 in 442 now signified the upgraded engine. This model was considered to have great handling and with its two-door design, sales increased exponentially. Click here to see a picture of the 1965 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442.
The Oldsmobile 1966 Toronado was the first car with front-wheel drive. The Toronado was a full-sized personal luxury car that handled very well. Like most others Oldsmobile models, the Toronado came with automatic transmission and the Rocket V8 engine. The crowning achievement of the 1966 Toronado is that it won Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year” award. Click here to see a picture of the 1966 Toronado.
1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass
By the 1970’s, Oldsmobile had developed a reputation of critical acclaim, performance and a loyal consumer base. The Rocket V8 was still popular and by 1976, the Cutlass, which had been a mainstay Oldsmobile model for many years, became the most popular car in America, selling more units than any other car. This helped move Oldsmobile into third place in overall sales, behind Chevrolet and Ford. Click here to see the 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass.
1992 Cutlass Ciera
Due to the popularity of its Cutlass model, Oldsmobile eventually started using the name on a whole family of models. After Oldsmobile began production of its Ciera in 1982, it became the top selling Oldsmobile for most its 15 year run. The 1992 Ciera had a Buick V6 engine and won a number of awards. Click here to see a picture of the 1992 Cutlass Ciera.
In 1995, Oldsmobile introduced the Aurora as its new signature model and began phasing out the Ciera. The Aurora had a new trendy design. As with most Oldsmobile models, the Aurora was considered a well-designed, high-performing model. The 1995 Aurora had a V8 engine and a computerized dashboard display. Sales were strong in 1995 but dropped significantly after the first year. Click here to see a picture of the 1995 Aurora.
Despite its strong reputation among car enthusiasts, in 2000, GM announced it was phasing out its Oldsmobile brand. American cars were losing to imports in the battle for sales. The last new model introduced by Oldsmobile was the 2002 Bravada. This model was a mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV). When the “Final 500” models rolled off the assembly line in 2004, it signified the end of Oldsmobile. Click here to see the 2002 Bravada.