The History of Olds and the Limited
Ransom E. Olds was the father of Oldsmobile and creator of the famed curved-dash model. Samuel Latta Smith. was an initial investor in the Olds Motor Vehicle Company. 1899 was the formation of the Olds Motor Works and a new factory in Detroit. Olds departed from his namesake company in 1904 to form Reo. Although the curved-dash model continued to sell well, Olds introduced the two-cylinder Heavy Touring in 1905. It sold for nearly twice the curved-dash car’s $750. A four-cylinder Model S in 1906 pushed Olds prices over $2,000, and a six-cylinder Model Z for 1908 more than doubled that.
Once riding high above 6,000 units, Olds sales had dropped precipitously in 1906. Two years later, in 1908, they hovered around 1,000. William C. Durant of the new General Motors came calling in September 1908, and a stock swap transferred control to General Motors Company in November.
The most prestigious Oldsmobile was yet to appear: the Limited. For two years the developement of the Limited progressed and the finished Limited was launched in 1910. They were built for only three years 1910 to 1912, and production ceased as Olds management realized that success lay in less expensive cars. Oldsmobile factory records indicate the production of 325 cars in 1910, 196 cars in 1911 and only 117 in 1912.
Most historians agree that the Limiteds are among the most important of the big brass cars. No other brass era car is as large or impressive as the Limited, and yet they are so well built that surviving examples effortlessly complete 1,000-mile tours, easily reaching speeds of 70 mph or more.
With so few survivors, the Limited is considered by many to be one of the most important artifacts of early American motoring. It is in many ways the spiritual forbearer of American motoring – large, fast and equipped to handle long trips. It was true in 1908, and it remains so today.
Engine: 453 cu.in. T-Head 6 Cyl.
Production Cars: 638 Limiteds from 1910 to 1912
Rarity: Only 13 Limiteds survive today
This is the only 1908 surviving Prototype
Base Price Range: $4,600 to $5,800
Owners: - Barney Pollard, MI
- Ron Carey, Canada
- Bob Sullivan, WA
(Restored By Alan Schmidt)