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What Is It? Antique Electric Auto

ScottL 100

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That picture quality is so poor that it may be impossible to ever be sure what the car is. And the name badge/emblem so famous for Curved Dash Oldsmobiles actually causes confusion because several other similar cars used nearly identical emblems/badges in almost the same location. Do some research into both Queen and Gail. However, that confusion is usually about the "French Front" Oldsmobiles because most of the companies with similar badging did not have a curved dash style body.

This looks to me to almost definitely be an Oldsmobile CDO. The sharp rear corner of the deck indicates it should be the early model R, the wood wheels not the earliest 1901 or early 1902, so likely a late 1902 or 1903 model.

Another telltale feature of the CDO is the longitudinal (second time today I used that word?) suspension springs running from the front to the rear axles. In spite of the poor quality of the photo, one can see the springs under the side of the body.

Someone years past must have misidentified the car as an electric?


Something else odd about the car/photo. I  appears the front wheel is considerably different than the rear wheel. Not only is the front wheel a larger size? The method of securing the tire is different. The rear has lockdown bolts in every other space between the spokes, whereas the front does not appear to have them. Oldsmobile did increase the wheel/tire size in later (1904 to 1907) models. I believe most of the model R had something around 28X2 1/2 (or 28X3, both common on pre 1908 small automobiles), whereas the later models had something around 30X 3 (or 30X3 1/2). Most likely the front wheel (could have been the rear?) was somehow broken and replaced with whatever was available to fit.


Interesting photo!

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