His family’s business of selling stationary gasoline engines in Lansing, Michigan, was a good starting point. In 1899, after finding a strong investor in SL Smith, he started producing the Oldsmobile – called the Curved Dash due to the shape of its front section.
In 1901 he sold the first unit and three years later, nearly 12,000 units had been produced, a record for the automotive industry at that time.
The simplicity of operation was the main virtue of the Curved Dash, which was the first car produced in large numbers and also the first American car to be exported.
The epicycloid gearbox dispensed with the use of a clutch, which made driving much more accessible and crowned the Oldsmobile as the most popular car up until the appearance of the Ford Model T— which was itself inspired by the Curved Dash.
Mr. Olds, not content with one brand, left the company and founded Reo in 1904. He sold the Oldsmobile brand to General Motors soon after in 1909.
Oldsmobile, under GM, produced vehicles until 2004 when production finally ceased. They were the oldest automobile manufacturer in the U.S.A and the third oldest in the world after Daimler and Peugeot.
As for this Oldsmobile, which was imported in 1902, it belonged to the Castro Nery family, who exhibited it at the 1932 Old Automobile Rally, in Estoril, then driven by Manuel Máximo de Castro Nery.
The car was discovered by João de Lacerda in the seventies tucked away in the Sorel garage, Lisbon, and it was carefully reconstructed and hand-painted by the artist Aurélio, from Santarém.
On November 5, 1989, the car participated in London-Brighton run, bearing the number 175, piloted by Pedro Corrêa de Barros.
It was later donated to the Museu do Caramulo by António Castro Nery and Manuel Máximo Castro Nery