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114 Year Old Olds!

1901 Olds

This definitely isn’t an Oldsmobile muscle car, but it is one of the brands first cars! Listed here on eBay, parked in Jacksonville, Florida is this 1901 Oldsmobile Runabout with a BIN of $17,999. According to the owner this is a “mostly original” runabout. The replacement side mounted non-functioning hand crack is not original though.

1901 Olds front

With only 425 produced, how many can be left? With tiler steering this can be driven from either sides of the car. The original engine is no longer in the car and it has been replaced with Honda 5hp. The original engine was a 4.5hp single cylinder.

1901 Olds re-engined

There is a two-speed transmission, center chain drive with a mechanical brake on the transmission.

1901 Olds chain drive

The owner says this car has the original chassis, wheels, driver-train, brake and the transmission.  There has been wood replaced on the car over the course of time.

1901 Olds rear

No California Black & Gold plate here but there is a “Horseless Carriage” plate. There is no title with this purchase and no VIN to get one. The owner suggested trying to trace this information through the California DMV. The owner will assist in the shipping of this 700 pound carriage to you. So will you be out cruising in this 114 year old Olds?



  1. Mr. Smith

    Uh, that’s not a real 1901 Olds runabout. It’s either a a replica made by Rollsmobile or Air Products in the late ’50s – early ’60s. It’s 3/4 scale.

    Like 2
  2. Bruce E

    First of all, This is NOT 114 years old. They were made for Oldsmobile dealers as an advertising gimmick. How would I know that ? Because I worked for a Pontiac/ Olds & Ford dealer for 34 years and they had one just like this. The one we had was red with a black soft top, and was practically new because it spent it’s entire life in the showroom. It did go to local parades And was surprisingly fast, but didn’t handle well ! The one pictured here has had a lot of the wood replaced, and the paint has been “antiqued”. The one we had was a very shiny, red with a lot of hand painted pin stripes.
    When the dealership closed in 2006 it sold at auction for around $4000.00.

    Like 2
  3. Fred

    I didn’t work for a dealership but also immediately knew it was a reproduction. No self respecting restorer would dream of putting a Honda engine in a real one. Plus, the wheels and underside are dead giveaways. The seller shouldn’t be presenting it as old.

    Like 2
  4. randy

    I like the “Roller” in the background.

    Like 0
    • brakeservo

      That’s no Roller, it’s what’s not rusted away yet of an old beat-up Bentley S1 or S2. I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole . . . nor anything else from this obvious crook – any idiot familiar with old cars knows this alleged 1901 Olds is a fake.

      Like 1
      • randy

        Thanks for the correction, I have always had trouble mixing those 2 marks up.

        Like 0
      • Mr. Smith

        If you like corrections then you should like this one too: Not a Rolls; Not a Bentley; A Jaguar Mark VIII or Mark IX.

        Like 0
  5. Texas Tea

    This seller is in hopes of finding a naive fool. This is nothing more than a cobbled together piece of doo doo.

    Like 2
  6. Matt Tritt

    What they said! It might be a fun thing to haul the grandkids around the ranch in, but good grief! They poorly painted plywood doesn’t exactly help either.

    Like 0
  7. Arthur

    Not original. I have a replica that looks very similar to this. I’d be glad to sell it for 20% of the asking price of this one.

    Like 1
  8. Tom S.

    This “Olds” made me think of Stan Mott’s Cyclops car.

    Like 0
  9. James

    I do hope that the eBay seller is oblivious to the fact this is a Rollsmobile or similar otherwise his advertisement is blatantly dishonest. I’ll give him the benefit of doubt and guess that his critical thinking skills are marginal.

    The timing for this listing is fortunate as those who haven’t attended the VCR London to Brighton run should plan to be in London on the 5th & 6th of Nov 2016. No matter what your “primary car type” enthusiasm, I will guarantee (figuratively), that you’ll have a wonderful time – even if it rains.

    Motor show on Regent Street on Saturday the 5th.
    Hyde Park to Madeira Drive (water front) Brighton (60 miles) on Saturday the 6th.
    No charge to spectators. Incredible value.

    Having attended the Veteran Car Run numerous times as a spectator and later with media accreditation I can assure you that spectators do not get short changed. Go. Enjoy. Pop over for the weekend. Don’t fret about taking a week or more.

    The following video is about 4 mins long and the first Olds appears at the 26 second mark as it overtakes a De Dion Bouton with 5 on board:


    If the next video up cycles at it did a few minutes ago it will be “London to Brighton Highlights & Classic GT 500”. If not search and watch this one because it’s in sunlight with a variety of cars, truly superb stylish classic coaches (busses) and the (reaction to) GT500. Between the 1:34 – 1:40 mark one of my absolute favorite machines trundles past. It’s an 1898 Henriod (ohn-re-ohd) wearing its original body by Kellner (who later built bodies on the finest chassis in the classic era) and powered by a 2 cyl horizontally opposed air cooled engine. This engine, like others of the era uses a total loss oil system, but part (just part) of the amazing spec is the crankshaft and con rods are exposed to the elements.

    Like 0
  10. Ken Corey

    This is a fake. I have worked on a 1907 Oldsmobile and it was physically larger. Very interesting chain drive train with a 2-speed belt activated transmission. Top speed 22mph which was very scary when trying to stop with the tiny leather wagon brakes. It had an original (very cracked) black lacquer finish with a maroon pin stripe. The owner bought it for $4500.00 in Canada. I hope nobody gets screwed over by this seller.

    Like 0
  11. James

    Watched the vid above and it did not cycle to, “London to Brighton Highlights & Classic GT500 Spotted”. However there is a unique spot at the 2:12 mark in the video above as a young woman runs and hops on board car #35, an 1899 Clement. Perhaps she walked behind to help the Clement make it up the bridge “hill”. Fun clip regardless.

    Link to “london to Brighton Highlights & Classic GT500 Spotted”:


    Again the Henriod is at the 1:34 mark. Having ridden around London on a 19th century Napier there is no doubt that we car nuts cannot hope to drive these “old crocks” without a stint of driver training.

    Tom S. – Stan Mott’s Cyclops is THE iconic hardwood piston single cylinder. Remember well, its premier in 1957 Road & Track spoof by Mott and Robert Cumberford. Stan Mott’s travel around the world on a go kart including racing King Hussein of Jordan is legendary. Thanks for the reminder.

    Like 0
    • James

      The first car on this vid is an Olds and the second Olds is at the 14 sec mark. At 18 sec mark you can see the Olds emblem on left side of the car. Starting handle is on the opposite side.

      Like 0
  12. brakeservo

    re: Mr Smith: Not sure what you’re referring to – there’s no Jag visible in the vicinity of the old Bentley – and I know Bentleys as I’ve personally owned over 230 so far in my lifetime.

    Like 0
  13. Kem Jones

    Interesting ,I also am in the process of estoring a Rollsmobile .Any others out there .
    I live near Toronto Ontario Canada. There was another Rollsmobile for sale in Hersy this Year . ,rusted runninggear and some rebuilt wood no motor .Kem

    Like 0

    I want to buy 3/4 size rollsmobile,or any such reproduction horseless carriage
    please let me know of any you know of, near southwestern Michigan.

    thank you John Edwards

    Like 1

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