Ransom Eli Olds

Ransom Eli Olds

In Lansing, on August 21, 1897, Ransom E. Olds (1864 - 1950) founded the Olds Motor Vehicle Company, the precursor to Oldsmobile. He produced four vehicles that year. In 1899, Olds relocated to Detroit, opening the Olds Motor Works on West Jefferson Avenue near the MacArthur Bridge. In 1901, he built 425 gasoline-powered Curved Dash Oldsmobile Runabouts, driving them on Belle Isle prior to sale. Mounds of dirt excavated during canal construction on the island provided perfect "hills" for the drivers who tested the mettle of early automobiles. Runabouts were the first cars to carry the Oldsmobile name.
photo of Ransom Eli Olds
photo of Ransom Eli Olds

Curved Dash Runabout

detail

Registered Site S0658
Erected 1997

Location: Belle Isle, Picnic shelter On Central Way between Casino, Wayne and Muse Roads
Detroit, Wayne County

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Latitude: 42.3369740, Longitude: -82.9942953

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