Oldsmobile Curved Dash (replica)


  • Manufacturer: P. F. Olds and Son.
  • Ransom Eli Olds’ family business built steam engines for industrial use. He began experimenting with steam and gasoline powered automobiles as early as 1885.
  • In March, 1901, the Oldsmobile factory burned to the ground, and all the prototypes—except the Curved Dash—were destroyed. The model was put into production when the new plant opened later that year, and was manufactured through 1907.
  • First car manufactured on an assembly line
  • Over 4,000 produced
  • Cost: $650
  • In 1903, a Curved Dash traveled from Los Angeles to Portland, ME in only 80 days
  • Famous owners of this model vehicle included President Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain and the Queen of Italy
  • Used as the first US Post Office delivery trucks

The Museum’s exhibit is a replica of Curved Dash Oldsmobile that was owned by Mr. Tipton Fishburn, the first of its kind in Roanoke.

Model Specifications

  • Number of cylinders: 1
  • Horsepower: 4
  • Top speed: 15 – 18 mph
  • 2-seater, based on the design of horse-drawn carriages
  • 4 gallon tank
  • Engine in the rear under the seat
  • Tiller steering
  • Air filled tires, an advanced feature in the early 1900s
  • Accessories: fenders, top, storm apron (to keep rain off below the chin)
Curved Dash Olds (1904)