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Oldsmobile

Oldsmobile is a United States based automobile brand name.

Oldsmobiles were first manufactured in 1897 by Ransom E. Olds[?]. The Olds Motor Vehicle Company was based in Lansing, Michigan. In 1901 Olds introduced the Curved Dash Olds which sold 425 cars becoming the first high volume car of the day. Olds became for a few years the top selling car company in the United States. Ransom Olds left the company in financial difficulties and formed REO Motor Car Company. The last Curved Dash Olds was made in 1907 and in 1908 General Motors purchased the company.

In later days, after acquisition by General Motors, the Oldsmobile was marketed as technically sophisticated. It was the first GM car with an automatic transmission and frequently was early with other features, such as the otherwise forgettable automatic headlight dimmer. Oldsmobile promoted its "Rocket" engines heavily. This came to be a problem when some customers sued after they discovered that their Oldsmobiles had been equipped with Chevrolet engines.

The Oldsmobile is notable for having inspired at least two popular songs about their value as an aid to romance:

The Rocket 88 was a special car, a big new V8 (requiring the new high-test gasoline), mounted in a light frame, a muscle car for sure. It was introduced in 1949 and continued in production as the Delta 88 until 1999. More than 10 million were sold. The year it was introduced, Oldsmobile sales jumped 67 percent, and the 88 led the way.

Other notable models include:

  • The front-wheel-drive Oldsmobile Toronado[?] coupe, introduced in 1966;
  • The Oldsmobile 442[?] muscle car, which began as a 1964 option package (a 4-barrel carburetor, 4-speed transmission, dual (2) exhuasts), but later became its own model with a monstrous 455 cid engine.

In the 1970s, the mid-sized Oldsmobile Cutlass[?] was the division's best selling model, and for several years in the late 1970s and early 1980s, it was the best-selling car in America. But the sales of the Cutlass and other Olds models fell throughout the 1990s.

In December 2000, General Motors announced they would be phasing out the Oldsmobile brand, which at that time was the oldest surviving automobile brand in the United States. The 2004 model year is expected to be the last cars.



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