1918 Oldsmobile Model 37 Speedster
This 1918 Oldsmobile Speedster belongs to the Cavender Automotive Group. It was acquired to promote Cavender Oldsmobile, one of the oldest divisions of the Cavender Group before the brand's demise in 2004. After that it was parked in the basement of a Cavender Cadillac building and essentially forgotten. However, its prospects took a turn for the better when, in November 2015, it was loaned to the Texas Transportation Museum. The museum hopes to get it running in due course.
1918 Oldsmobile Speedster as found in November 2015
1918 Oldsmobile speedster as found in November 2015 in the basement of a Cavender building in San Antonio
1918 Oldsmobile speedster as found in November 2015 in the basement of a Cavender building in San Antonio
1918 Oldsmobile speedster as found in November 2015 in the basement of a Cavender building in San Antonio
1918 Oldsmobile speedster as found in November in the basement of a Cavender building in San Antonio
1918 Oldsmobile speedster as found in November 2015 in the basement of a Cavender building in San Antonio
1918 Oldsmobile speedster in the sunshine for the first time in decades, November 2015
1918 Oldsmobile speedster in the sunshine for the first time in decades, November 2015
1918 Oldsmobile speedster in the sunshine for the first time in decades, November 2015
1918 Oldsmobile speedster in the sunshine for the first time in decades, November 2015
1918 Oldsmobile in a work shop at the Texas Transportation Museum, November 2015
Unusual twin fan on the 1918 Oldsmobile, November 2015
Not much is known about the origins of this vehicle. It was acquired for promotional purposes by the founder of the Cavender Group, who also acquired a 1903 Curved Dash Oldsmobile. In all likelihood, the car was originally purchased as a two seat factory roadster or even pick-up by a young man some time in the 1920s or 1930s. As was common at the time, he chopped down the body and added features that transformed it into the snazzy speedster we see today. There are any number of changes to its running gear under the hood as well as cosmetic changes such as no doors, fancy headlights and a revamped dashboard. It even has three gas tanks!
1918 Oldsmobile Speedster at the Texas Transportation Museum
1918 Oldsmobile on display at the Texas Transportation Museum, March 2016
Polished headlights on the 1918 Oldsmobile on display at the Texas Transportation Museum, March 2016
1918 Oldsmobile on display at the Texas Transportation Museum, March 2016
1918 Oldsmobile on display at the Texas Transportation Museum, March 2016
There is a good chance that this is the only 1918 Oldsmobile speedster in the world! The difference between a roadster and a speedster is that the roadster came from the factory with doors and a roof, but the speedster is largely the work of an individual fabricator who took a standard body and made significant changes. It also means 'liberties' were taken under the hood to soup up performance. We look forward to finding out !
1918 Oldsmobile Speedster at the Texas Transportation Museum
1918 Oldsmobile on display at the Texas Transportation Museum, March 2017
1918 Oldsmobile on display at the Texas Transportation Museum, March 2017
1918 Oldsmobile on display at the Texas Transportation Museum, March 2017
1918 Oldsmobile on display at the Texas Transportation Museum, March 2017
Images of other 1918 Oldsmobile Model 37 roadsters and a pick-up
1918 Oldsmobile Model 37 factory roadster
1918 Oldsmobile Model 37 factory roadster
1918 Oldsmobile Model 37 factory roadster
1918 Oldsmobile Model 37 factory rpick-up, or runabout as they were called at the time
Stylish woman in a 1918 Oldsmobile Model 37 factory roadster

 

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Technical Specifications
Year:
1918
Make:
Oldsmobile
Model:
Model 37 speedster
Body Style:
Two seat racer
Engine:
6 Cylinder, 19 HP
Fuel:
Gasoline, 3 tanks
Transmission:
3 forward plus reverse
Drive:
Rear wheels
Top Speed:
60+ mph
Brakes:
band within transmission
Wheel Base:
60 inches
Wheels:
32 inch diameter
Weight:
unknown
Start System:
Electric
Features:
Numerous changes from factory, including altered body, different headlights and wire wheels
Production:
11,033 roadsters
Original Price:
$1,185 (roadster) ($20,500 in today's money)
Current value:
unknown
Status:
NTo be restored