After becoming part of General Motors in 1908, Olds Motor Works began to fit new models into its offering to expand production. One of the most important line extensions was the 1916 Model 44 Light Eight with its 246 cubic inch L-head 90 degree V-8 engine with pressure lubrication. The model was an immediate success, outselling Oldsmobile's established fours by nearly 4:1. By the time this 1918 Oldsmobile Model 45-A was built the V-8 was producing 58 horsepower but had ceded sales leadership to the slightly less expensive 177 cubic inch inline sixes. This car has a particularly fascinating history substantiating the 12,949 miles it has covered from new. Its first owner, George Werling of Pawnee, Illinois, didn't drive. He employed a chauffeur to drive him on his limited trips and by the time it was sold by his estate in 1944 to James Castel it had covered just 4,000 miles. Forty years later it was bought by Bob Heberer with 12,850 miles and was restored for him by Memoryville USA, winning Best in Show at its first show. A quarter century later its odometer shows just 12,949 miles and its restoration is still exceptional. Its touring body has occasional seats giving it 7-passenger capacity, a robe rope, spotlight with attached mirror on the driver's windshield post and rear-mounted spare wheel. Finished in the standard Royal Green with Black fenders, the upholstery is Black leather enclosed with a Black vinyl top and handsomely set off with varnished wood spoke wheels. In addition to correspondence from George Carney at Memoryville USA documenting its restoration it has a parts list, instruction book and other letters substantiating its ownership history. The restoration is handsomely mellowed with age but shows little evidence of wear or use. Oldsmobile several times pioneered the V-8 engine configuration and this is one of the earliest, lowest mileage, best documented history and handsomely restored examples. Its modest price belies its outstanding history, excellent restoration and the importance of the V-8 powerplant under its hood.
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