May 4, 2015 By Mike Lee
Last updated on May 4, 2015

Oldsmobile LogoBrief History About Oldsmobile

Oldsmobile was founded as Olds Motor Company in 1897 in the USA by Ransom E. Olds. In 1900 the name Oldsmobile (Olds) is used and in 1901 Olds sets up the first automotive assembly line. Ransom was only with his company until 1904, when he left after a dispute.

In 1908 General Motors bought the company as one of its growing number of brands and placed Olds between the likes of Chevrolet and Buick, as a mid range brand.

Olds was quite an innovative company and built the ‘safety automatic transmission’ and ‘Hydra-Matic’ transmission.

During WW2 all car production ceases and Olds makes ammunition and guns for the war.

After the war, they resume car production and in 1949 they build the V8 flathead Rocket engine, which also lends itself to them getting involved in motorsports, such as NASCAR and winning many races. With a good motorsport background and powerful V8’s they build some great high end performance cars during the 50’s and 60’s such as the 88, Cutlass, and 4-4-2.

Despite good sales during the 80’s, the 90’s were not good times for Olds and then sadly after 107 years of automotive business, Oldsmobile ceased to exist in 2004, when GM needed to carry out some downsizing due to financial constraints.

Oldsmobile 442
4-4-2 1964-1971