REVISED AND UPDATED — Oldsmobile is gone but far from forgotten. Here’s a concise but excellent video history of one of America’s oldest automakers.
Oldsmobile may have been winding up operations in 2004, but that didn’t stop the automaker from producing the great little promotional film featured here. The seven-minute video is in two acts, if you will: The first act is an excellent pocket history of General Motors’ oldest car brand, founded by Ransom E. Olds way back in 1897. The second part is a photo and video essay of Oldsmobile’s most memorable models—representing more than a century of automotive history, please note.
The old timers at Oldsmobile will tell you that while the brand was one of GM’s oldest divisions, it had its own identity as well. This came in part from its location in Lansing, Michigan, a safe distance from the bosses at GM headquarters in Detroit, 100 miles to the east. And on the strength of popular models like the Cutlass, Olds briefly became one of GM’s high-volume brands in the 1980s, cracking the one-million-per-year mark multiple times.
Over the years, Olds also developed a reputation for being GM’s engineering leader, one step ahead of the herd in new features, introducing GM innovations including Hydra-Matic transmission, Autronic Eye, and the high-compression Rocket V8. This video captures many of these innovations, along with a number of high points in Oldsmobile history. Please enjoy.