<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285

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Lot 143¤
Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection
1904 OLDSMOBILE MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT

Sold for US$ 94,600 inc. premium
Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection
1904 OLDSMOBILE MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT
Engine no. 31285
117.8ci Horizontal Single-Cylinder Engine
Single Carburetor
7bhp at 600rpm
2-Speed Planetary Transmission
Solid Front Axle with Transverse Leaf Spring– Live Rear Axle
2-Wheel Mechanical Brakes

*Rarely seen, attractive "French Front" body style
*Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection
*Recipient of an in-house GM restoration decades ago
*Shown at Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, and Hampton Court
*An exciting early American touring car with documented provenance


THE OLDSMOBILE "FRENCH FRONT"

How do you follow up the most famous front end in early motoring? With an even more attractive model, of course! The legendary "Curved Dash" Oldsmobile was one of the first true success stories of the American motoring industry. The sturdy little Olds was just the thing the American market was craving when introduced in 1901. The 'CDO' was nicely priced and perfectly designed for the road conditions facing early American motorists. The cars had good power from the single-cylinder engine and the chassis cum leaf spring frame smoothed out the punishing roads.

Olds was able to keep up with the demand for his namesake machine by employing clever mass production techniques. The business model was not unlike what Ford would adopt with its Model 'T' less than a decade later.

Despite the booming success of the Curved Dash Olds, a newer more substantial model was needed. A more upscale, larger and visually distinct model was proposed for 1904. The new model would adopt a more European appearance with a brass radiator with louvered hood. This new Touring Runabout model would adopt the moniker "French Front" as few American cars of the period had this layout – that which in a few years would become ubiquitous in the industry.

The first Olds to feature a steering wheel, the Touring Runabout rode on a 10" longer wheelbase than the curved-dash Model 6C, with seating for two and a sloping rear deck. The engine was the same as in the curved-dash model, incorporating pressure-feed lubrication and jump-spark ignition.

Single chain drive was employed with longitudinal leaf springs on each side, while a small transverse leaf spring was added at the front. Available in dark red or dark green, and with attractive brass side lamps included in the $750 price, the Touring Runabout was priced at just $100 more than the curved-dash.

Because of their good looks and scarcity, the "French Front" Oldsmobiles have always been desirable machines. These forward looking and innovative American cars offer strong performance for their age, and their track record of reliability and ease of use has made them a sought after machine for vintage touring events. Few American cars boast the good performance and ease of use of the Olds, together with the decorative European looks of this model.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This delightful and charming Oldsmobile "French Front" Touring Runabout boasts an intriguing American history, having emerged from the workshops of the General Motors Heritage Collection after many decades spent in their care. The Olds was one of a handful of historical milestone cars that were thinned from this important collection during GM's reorganization. This charming car was the recipient of an apparent no-expense-spared restoration performed in-house at General Motors at least half a century ago, likely during the 1950s or 1960s. The evidence of that careful work remains today, serving as a historical document of the top-tier restoration techniques employed at the time. The Olds was then carefully preserved in the Heritage Collection for decades until it was sold to the previous owner in 2011.

In its current ownership, the Olds has been proudly shown at events including the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance (in the Antique Small Horsepower Class in 2012) and at the Amelia Island Concours in 2014. Not only a show car, the Olds completed the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance in 2012, as well as the Hampton Court Concours Tour in 2014, and has been consistently enjoyed on a number of short drives since that time.
Today, the Olds presents as an excellent older restoration, with its lacquer paintwork still showing quite well, complementing its lovely brass fixtures. Painted in correct green with a pinstripe, the "French Front" has been the recipient of recent and extensive mechanical refurbishment following its return to road use, this work being documented by included receipts totaling over $13,000. Readily accepted at top-tier Concours events, the Olds can continue to be shown or toured at the new owner's leisure. While the car was in the UK for its Concours outing at Hampton Court, an application was made to the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain. This process is ongoing and their certification has not been finalized at the time of cataloging. Regardless, with its intriguing General Motors ownership and in-house early restoration, this wonderful early American touring car merits a close inspection today.

Without reserve

Footnotes

  • Please note this car is titled under its engine number.

Saleroom notices

  • The seller notes that a reliable electric-start system has been tastefully added out of sight for ease of use and efficient touring.
Contacts
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
<i>Formerly part of the General Motors Heritage Collection</i><br /><b>1904 OLDSMOBILE  MODEL N "FRENCH FRONT" TOURING RUNABOUT  </b><br />Engine no. 31285
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Lot symbols
¤ Without reserve