Oldsmobile: One-Century Magnificence
Oldsmobile is an American automobile brand, which belongs to the famous General Motors. The original Olds Motor Vehicle Company founded by Ransom E. Olds in 1897 is the first company to introduce the assembly line as a vehicle assembly method. And this method made the company become the first high-volume gasoline-powered automobile manufacturer. Then in 1899, Olds Motor Vehicle Company merged with the Olds Gas Engine Works and became Olds Motor Works. Actually, the cars manufactured by this company were called as "Olds automobile", but were colloquially referred to as "Oldsmobile". Until 1908, the General Motors purchased the company and Oldsmobile became General Motors' brand officially.
As a brand, Oldsmobile demised in 2004, but before 2004, it had always been the oldest surviving marque that specializes in producing vehicles in the United States. Oldsmobile has paved ways for its following brands by making many splendid accomplishments and innovations. Not only the first to use assembly line to make mass production come true, which is often miscredited to Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company as Ford was the first company to use moving assembly line. As early as 1901, Oldsmobile manufactured the Curved Dash vehicle with the speedometer, which is commonly equipped in modern vehicles. Though people used the speed measuring devices early as man travels begin, however, Oldsmobile Curved Dash was the first vehicle to be equipped with a mechanical speedometer. In 1930s, Oldsmobile took the lead in introducing the four-speed semi-automatic transmission called as the "Automatic Safety Transmission". Then during 1940s, the Oldsmobile 66 through 98 was equipped with Hydramatic drive, which allows drivers to drive more smoothly. In 1950s, Oldsmobile Rocket V8 engine became a lead in performance and speed. To add safety, Oldsmobile create the first more reliable and proactive airbag. This technology aims at protect occupants from head-on injuries caused by the steering wheel and dashboard, and it stimulated other manufacturers' interest in automobile safety. And the Guide sate GPS-based navigation system found in 1996 Eighty-Eight LSS is another first navigation system to be installed on cars.
Over one-hundred-year development, Oldsmobile does have done and left a lot for successors as it was always at the forefront of discovery and innovation. Though it faded out in 2004, we can still peak its past glory and feats from its popular models. Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight, or simply Oldsmobile 88, is a full-size introduced in 1949. It was available in 2-door Holiday hardtop, 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan and 4-door station wagon. And as a widely known first muscle car, Oldsmobile 88 had won the 1950 Carrera Panamericana. All its submodels were also very popular and had been produced through ten generations. In 1965, an Oldsmobile Delta 88 full-size car belongs to sixth generation Oldsmobile 88 also brought many surprises to automobile industry. It became an immediate hit with car buyers when it was first introduced into markets and quickly overshadowed the Dynamic 88 line. Oldsmobile Toronado as a perdonal luxury vehicle was the largest and most powerful front-wheel-drive car ever produced, at the same time, it also was the first modern front-wheel drive vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission. In 1966, Oldsmobile Toronado was even named as Motor Trend's "Car of the Year". Other models such as Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser and Oldsmobile 98 and so on also had achieved great success.
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