27 Facts About Oldsmobile


Oldsmobile or formally the Oldsmobile Division of General Motors was a brand of American automobiles, produced for most of its existence by General Motors.

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When GM assumed operations, platform sharing began with Buick products and Oldsmobile shared platforms were identified with the prefix "Series" followed by a number, while models developed by pre-GM engineers were identified with the prefix "Model" followed by a letter.

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Early on, Oldsmobile was a competitor to Hudson as some former engineers of Oldsmobile took positions with Hudson.

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In 1926, the Oldsmobile Six came in five body styles, and ushered in a new GM bodystyle platform called the "GM B platform", shared with Buick products.

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In 1929, as part of General Motors' companion make program, Oldsmobile introduced the higher standard Viking brand, marketed through the Oldsmobile dealer network.

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In 1933 The Oldsmobile Program appeared on CBS radio for two years which was a new advertising approach to sell products and services.

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In 1937, Oldsmobile was a pioneer in introducing a four-speed semi-automatic transmission called the "Automatic Safety Transmission", although this accessory was actually built by Buick, which would offer it in its own cars in 1938.

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Oldsmobile was a pioneer when, for the 1949 model, the Rocket engine was introduced, which used an overhead valve V8 design rather than the flathead "straight-eight" design which prevailed at the time.

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Oldsmobile entered the 1950s following a divisional image campaign centered on its 'Rocket' engines and the Space Race, and its cars' appearance followed suit.

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Oldsmobile was among the first of General Motors' divisions to receive a true hardtop in 1950 called the "Holiday coupe", and it was among the first divisions to receive a wraparound windshield, a trend that eventually all American makes would share at sometime between 1953 and 1964.

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When compared side to side, Oldsmobile looked dated next to its price-point competitors DeSoto and Mercury.

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Compounding the problem for Oldsmobile and Buick was a styling mistake which GM called the "StratoRoof", which was reminiscent of the "greenhouse" canopy used on the Convair B-36 Peacemaker high altitude bomber.

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The Oldsmobile that emerged in 1958 bore little resemblance to the design of its forerunners; instead the car emerged as a large, over-decorated "chromemobile" which many felt had overly ostentatious styling.

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Up front, all 1958 Oldsmobile's received one of General Motors' heavily styled front facias and quad-headlights.

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Ford styling consultant Alex Tremulis mocked the 1958 Oldsmobile by drawing cartoons of the car, and placing musical notes in the rear trim assembly.

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In 1959, Oldsmobile models were completely redesigned with a rocket motif from front to rear, as the top of the front fenders had a chrome rocket, while the body-length fins were shaped as rocket exhausts which culminated in a fin-top taillight .

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For 1995, Oldsmobile introduced the Aurora, which would be the inspiration for the design of its cars from the mid-1990s onward.

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Accordingly, Oldsmobile received a new logo based on the familiar "rocket" theme.

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Also in 1995 Oldsmobile introduced the first satellite navigation system available in the United States, the Guidestar on the 1995 Oldsmobile 88.

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That announcement was officially revealed two days after Oldsmobile distributed the Bravada SUV – which became another critical hit for the division but turned out to be the final new model for the Oldsmobile brand.

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The Oldsmobile division's last completed production car was an Alero GLS 4-door sedan, which was signed by all of the Olds assembly line workers.

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European market, the Oldsmobile Silhouette was sold between 1994 and 1997 as the Pontiac Trans Sport by replacing the Oldsmobile badging with Pontiac badging, along with Pontiac wheels.

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Oldsmobile Alero was sold in select countries in Europe between 1999 and 2001 as the Chevrolet Alero, and was only available as a 4-door sedan.

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Dr Oldsmobile theme was one of Oldsmobile's most successful marketing campaigns in the early '70s, it involved fictional characters created to promote the wildly popular 442 muscle car.

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Oldsmobile's assistants included 'Elephant Engine Ernie' who represented the big block 455 Rocket engine.

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Oldsmobile represented Oldsmobile's wind tunnel testing, that produced some of the sleekest designs of the day.

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Oldsmobile was an engine supplier in the IndyCar Series along with Infiniti starting in 1997.

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