An Oldsmobile Video History

Oldsmobile Rocket HistoryREVISED 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.


3 thoughts on “An Oldsmobile Video History

  1. Someone in the GM management team was really drinking its own bath water when it decided to scrap Olds and Pontiac. I have it on good authority that the main reason was NOT the lack of sales but China’s love for the Buick. Of course there’s nothing to corroborate that. I think that there were better ways to have dealt better with it.

  2. A bit cheeky in places, the Toronado was the first front drive car,, I dont think so. In fact Caddy had front drivers about the same time. The Brits and Europeans had been making them for decades before. The Toronado while attractive was not very well recieved because of it.
    Olds have made some very good cars, and plenty of innovation. I dont think I have seen that version of a 55 or so presented as lead pic.

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