Ransom Eli Olds' gasoline-powered runabout the famous 'Curved Dash' - was first offered for sale in 1901, following a fire at the factory that had destroyed every other prototype. Over 11,000 of the three Curved Dash models were constructed before production ceased in 1907, making it the first volume produced American automobile. By this time R E Olds had left to found Reo.
Large, powerful, four- and six-cylinder cars had been added to Oldsmobile's range by the late 1900s and then for 1916 the company introduced its first V8: the Model 44. Oldsmobile's largest and most expensive model, the latter was not the first American-built V8 passenger car, Cadillac had introduced theirs for 1914, but it was nevertheless equally well received, selling almost 8,000 units in its first year of production. The Model 44's V8 engine displaced 246ci (4.0 litres) and was rated at 40hp. It was carried in a 120" wheelbase chassis and there were four body styles on offer: tourer, roadster, sedan and cabriolet.
This restored Model 44 was for many years part of the St Louis Motor Museum, before becoming part of the collection of well known veteran, Edwardian and vintage car collector the late Chris Thomas. Imported by him in 2009, it has since benefited from overhaul of the engine, clutch and steering gear, while the fuel tank has been replaced. All engineering work was supervised by ex-Isle of Man Sidecar TT winner, Tony Wakefield and carried out to Chris's exacting standards. The Oldsmobile has taken part in hill climbs, such as the Kop retrospective and been used for family outings. Finished in red/black with red interior, the car is described as in generally good condition, though the engine is said to need tuning. This rare, early American V8 is offered with current MoT/tax and Swansea V5C document.