Saturday, July 16, 2016

A King’s Ransome: 1901 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Replica

By Matt -- Imagine for a moment one-upping the hipsters of your home town in a turn of the century horseless carriage, wearing a monocle and slapping bystanders with your dueling glove while laughing gayly. Or kicking up your golf course/swap meet transport game a notch or two. Find this 1901 Olds Curved Dash replica for sale on Denver craigslist for $2,900.

The seller’s forte appears to be novelty cars, judging by the old firetruck in the yard. That or he just has a lot of project car fires that need tending to, in which case we can applaud his proactivity. In lieu of rust, it appears that there is some wood rot to be dealt with which shouldn’t be too hard to fix using a donor pulpit and sleigh, if required. It could be a good primer for Morgan repair, the logical next step in neo-rustic wooden car ownership. Overall condition is pretty rough; the seller should be happy to get 1/3 of this price.

The seller says that it’s a 3 cylinder motor but most of these were thrown together with lawnmower parts. Surely, what he really means is that it was meant for 3-pot snowmobile power. Clearly what a Curved Dash needs is 120hp of 2 stroke CVT madness sitting directly under the driver. Does the mental image of one hand on top hat, the other countersteering the tiller while smoking chunks of mountain bike tries fly through the sky make your heart flutter? What about pulling on a superbike from a 50mph roll while twiddling your moustache? Perhaps you should reconsider what you’re doing with your next 4 weekends and $2,900.

See a better car to part next to your Pinto-based MG TD replica?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Right hand drive? Mad JDM, yo.

  3. Matty, Matty...

    Dude. Seriously good copy.

  4. Yo those 33s? Keeping em' cleen!

  5. This is one of those cases where your commenters just get out of control.

    Something like this wrapped around a mid-mounted LS4 and F40 transaxle would be heavenly.

    Certainly in the sense that with those tires, tiller steering, and no meaningful brakes you'd be facing St Peter in a hell of a hurry.

    But, hey, there's worse ways to go.

    1. So let's envision something like this with an LS3 mounted over the rear axle, with the shortest possible TR6060 pointed forward and a bus/marine-style V-drive down to a solid rear axle, probably a Ford 8.8.

      Similarly, up front, you'd need to swap the tiller for a fixed tube with a wheel and a shaft running inside the tube, and you'd probably need to preserve a solid tube axle, but whether you do it with a rack mounted under the floor or some kind of recirculating-ball cross-steering...

      Then you need brakes, and big NASCAR steel wheels and fat tires, and then you need six-point belts, and some kind of rollover protection...

      I see a new spec series. Spec Curved-Dash Olds.

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    3. Or maybe at the budget level...the ad says 'briggs and stratton style motor' which from my understanding of their product line fifty years ago is unlikely to be a three-cylinder anything.

      But Harbor Freight provides, and you could comfortably power something like this with zillions (well, handfuls) of Chinese horsepower for peanuts these days.

      We need one of those series like...what was that series back in the '70s that took all kinds of pro drivers and put them in Pooches, and later Camaros basically built to NASCAR Baby Grand spec? Instead this time they get 16HP Predator-powered Curved Dashes.

      On sticky-ass motorcycle tires. I'd bet you'd get some scary-fast lap times.

    4. IROCDO - International Race of Curved-Dash Olds.

      Sponsored by Harbor Freight.


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