For all the [deserved] recognition which Henry Ford has gotten for developing the concept of assembly line production it wasn't Henry who thought of it. It was Ransom Eli Olds and the vehicle upon which it was applied was the Oldsmobile Model R Curved Dash. The importance of Olds' contribution is reflected in the Curved Dash's recognition even over a century later. Not even the Model T Ford enjoys a higher profile than the Curved Dash and this is a perfectly wonderful example of it. It was restored many years ago by George Green who was recognized as the authority on the model at a time when he and others clearly remembered what it was and how it worked when it was new. Steered by a tiller and equipped with a crank conveniently located within reach of the seated driver, the Model R's single cylinder engine made 4 1/2 hp and ticked over at only 500rpm at top speed. This example boasts Neverout brass kerosene headlights. The model's characteristic feature, the curved dash or foot board was directly transferred from carriage design, a feature that protected occupants from dirt and mud thrown up by horses' hooves. This is a show quality restoration that demonstrates its superior materials and workmanship by its survival in nearly fresh condition. It may be the finest Curved Dash Oldsmobile extant and this example's 1902 date enhances the probability that it will be eligible for the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, the most important and enjoyable event among many specifically designed for these creatively designed and developed early creations from the dawn of the automobile age.
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