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[column grid=”2″ span=”1″]Oldsmobile was founded by Ransom Eli Olds in 1897. When it was phased out of production by GM in 2004 it was the oldest surviving marquee in America. In 1901 Old’s production of 425 cars made it the largest car maker in America at that time. GM purchased the financially troubled company in 1908 leaving Ransom Olds to found REO Motor Cars maker of the REO Speed Wagon. The 1901 to 1904 Olds Dash was the first mass produced car from an assembly line, actually predating Ford’s Model T assembly line. In 1937 Olds offered two different engines, a 6-cylinder and an 8-cylinder. Both engines were of conventional design but improved for 1937 models with stiffened piston skirts and crankshafts and full length water jacket. They also offered the first 4 speed “semi-automatic” in 1937. The driver depressed the clutch and selected either high or low. The transmission then automatically shifted between first and second in low, or third and forth in high. This would become in 1940 the first fully automatic transmission offered called the Hydramatic. The “semiautomatic” was pared with the 8-cylinder engine.