5-6 October 2017

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Lot 116

1903 Oldsmobile Model R Curved-Dash Runabout

  • Engine no. 17282

Sold for $38,500

  • Offered from the collection of Paul Teutul Jr.
  • A rare survivor; believed to be completely original and unrestored
  • Eligible for Horseless Carriage Club of America (HCCA) events and tours
  • Potential and ideal London-to-Brighton participant

Ransom Eli Olds founded the Olds Motor Vehicle Company in Lansing, Michigan, on 21 August 1897. His automobile company was the first in Michigan organized solely for manufacturing and selling motor vehicles. By 1903, Olds was a bit of a veteran in the fledgling business. He tested his first car, a steamer, in 1887 with a gasoline car soon to follow. The Olds Motor Vehicle Works was capitalized in 1899 by a wealthy lumber merchant, Samuel L. Smith, while Olds himself set about the development of several different models, including electric vehicles.

It was not until the factory burned down on 9 March 1901 that Olds focused his attention on the surviving car, a gasoline runabout – the now familiar Curved-Dash Oldsmobile (CDO). The car was powered by a single-cylinder engine and fitted with a spur-geared, two-speed transmission. The simple engine produced 4½ hp at 600 rpm and was capable of a top speed of 20 mph. It was well made, simple to operate, and a good value. The Curved-Dash Oldsmobile quickly became America’s first volume car. Olds sold 425 of the $650 toboggan nose cars in 1901 with another 2,500 or so in 1902, and 3,924 in 1903. Production continued through 1904.

This vehicle is from the collection of Paul Teutul Jr., the well-known custom motorcycle builder and star of the American Chopper series. This remarkable survivor automobile is believed to be highly original and unrestored – almost unheard of for a 115-year-old car! It appears to retain its original paint along with later advertising where it was likely shown in an auto dealer’s showroom. Though currently not running, Teutul notes that most significant parts are in place, though the wheels have been replaced, as have the radiator. Once operable, this will no doubt be the star of the show wherever it appears, including as an ideal candidate for the London-to-Brighton veteran car rally. Or, it could be maintained as-is and showcase the originality of this incredible time capsule from the era of horseless carriages.


Please note that this car is a later 1903 model. Furthermore, additional information has been provided on this model by the Curved Dash Oldsmobile Club; refer to rmsothebys.com for an updated description.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more