David Tonkins


This fascinating and impressive half size model of the iconic Curved Dash Oldsmobile is by David Tonkins and was photographed by Roger Froud at Bristol in 2018.

The petrol engined Curved Dash Oldsmobile is credited with being the first mass-produced automobile, having been built on an assembly line using interchangeable parts. The curved dash was a runabout model, could seat two passengers, and sold for US$650. It was introduced by the Oldsmobile company in 1901 and more than 19,000 were built. General Motors tool over from Ransom E. Olds in 1908, and replaced the curved dash with the Oldsmobile Model 20, which was essentially a Buick Model 10 with a stretched wheelbase.

The flat mounted, water cooled, single cylinder engine, situated at the centre of the car, produced 5hp with a brass gravity feed carburettor. The transmission was semi-automatic with two forward speeds and one reverse. The low-speed forward and reverse gear system is a planetary type (epicyclic). The car weighed 850lb and had a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h).