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Oldsmobile Aurora

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  • musclecar97musclecar97 Posts: 111
    My 1/4 mile runs are posted under the modifications thread if anyone was curious
  • HenryHenry Posts: 1,106
    I know there was actually a Mr. Olds. However, was there a Mr. Chevrolet, Buick and Pontiac?

    This question was sparked by some posting on the Modifications thread.

    Thanks , in advance for the answers.

    Henri
  • musclecar97musclecar97 Posts: 111
    Henri - over the weekend I was reading an encylopedia of cars and there was a Mr. Chevrolet who migrated here with his parents from France (no he wasn't a conehead). I think his first name was Louis and he had a couple of brothers who were also involved in the business. He then sold out to a partner who went on to form GM. I believe Buick was a real dude, but Pontiac may be based on the Indian tribe.
  • aurora5000aurora5000 Posts: 168
    Here is the link with photos, below is the text.


    http://detnews.com/joyrides/2000/oldsmobile/oldsmobile.htm


    Oldsmobile was America's oldest surviving nameplate

    By Richard A. Wright

      


          In 1887, Ransom E. Olds drove a horseless carriage he had built, an experimental steam-powered vehicle, one block in Lansing. He thereby joined such other early automotive pioneers as Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz in Germany, Louis Renault, Rene Panhard, Emile Lavassor and the Peugeot brothers in France, and Frank and Charles Duryea, Charles King, Elwood Haynes, David Dunbar Buick and Henry Ford, all of whom were working on vehicles they called by various names. For the most part, they worked in ignorance of each other.


          That first automobile was steam-powered and Olds was coming to the view that the relatively new internal-combustion gasoline engine was the way to go, even though he worked for his father's steam engine manufacturing company in Lansing.


          Eventually he produced a gasoline-powered vehicle that seated four persons and could do 18 miles an hour on level ground. On August 21, 1897, Olds, and a group of investors formed the Olds Motor Works in Lansing.


          But the first Olds plant was built not in Lansing, but in Detroit, on East Jefferson near the Belle Isle Bridge. While the plant was being built, Olds' engineering people designed and built 11 pilot models, including several sizes of cars and a couple of electrics.


          Among them was a small, light horseless carriage with a single-cylinder, water-cooled four-cycle engine at the rear. Its most distinctive feature was its curved dashboard. The little Curved Dash Olds was a favorite in the plant, but it was not widely known to the public and was not much of a factor in the company's sales. It was considered a "mascot" or a "toy."


          But in March, 1901, fire destroyed most of the Olds Motor Works plant and the only car that was saved was the Curved Dash Olds. Olds decided to rebuilt immediately and to put all the firm's production resources into the little Curved Dash Olds, the "Merry Oldsmobile" of musical fame.


          It was a momentous decision, because it committed Olds to production of a small, relatively inexpensive car, the first "high-volume" model. Proving the adage that it's an ill wind that blows no good, the fire had a positive effect -- news of the fire made thousands of people aware of the car. Inquiries and orders began arriving, some accompanied by cash payments.


          One of the ways auto makers drew attention to their vehicles in those early days was to take trips in them. No one had driven from Detroit to New York, so Olds commissioned a young associate, Roy D. Chapin, to drive a Curved Dash Olds to New York for an appearance at the 1901 New York Auto Show.


          Chapin left Detroit on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 1901. He went 278 miles through Ontario to Niagara Falls, an amazing performance.


          On Friday he encountered heavy rains between Syracuse and Albany. The muddy roads were nearly impassable, so Chapin inquired about driving on the level and well-finished roads along the Erie canal used by mules to pull barges.


          He was told he would be jailed if he used it. Fifteen minutes later, he pulled the little Olds onto the all-weather road that stretched along the canal to the horizon.


          On Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, only blocks from the Waldorf-Astoria, he swerved to avoid hitting a man who stepped in front of the Olds. The car hit the curb and deformed a wheel. Chapin bent it back as best he could and drove on.


          Roy Chapin, who would later head the Hudson Motor Car Co. and whose son, Roy Jr., would head American Motors Corp., had completed the longest automobile trip that had been made in this country up until that time. Ransom Olds was waiting in the lobby of the hotel to greet him, but Chapin -- covered with grease and dust -- was ordered by the doorman to use the service entrance at the rear of the hotel.


          The publicity boomed interest and soon Olds had so many orders that he sought an outside source for engines. Henry M. Leland, head of Leland and Faulconer Co., foremost machine shop in the Midwest, agreed to build 2,000 engines for Olds, the first large component order by an auto maker to an outside supplier.


          Olds then ordered 2,000 transmissions from a smaller machine shop owned by John and Horace Dodge. Olds announced he would produce and sell 4,000 automobiles the following year, which was equal to the total production in the United States the preceding year.


          Olds planned to mass-produce cars, to put the world on affordable wheels. In a few years, Henry Ford would do just that, working on the foundation laid by Ransom E. Olds.


          Oldsmobile created the FIRST assembly line, and with the production of the Curved Dash, Oldsmobile became the first mass producer of gasoline cars. The Curved Dash became the most popular car in the United States soon after its introduction.


          Early ads boasted that the $600 Curved Dash "ran 40 miles on one gallon of gasoline." Olds sought to convince people still wary of automobiles that the Curved Dash was thriftier, safer, faster, more controllable and more modern than a horse. The U.S. Post Office purchased Oldsmobiles for use as its first mail "trucks."


          Though the term "Oldsmobile" was not officially granted a trademark until 1902, earlier ads touted the name. After a dispute with investors, Olds quit the company in January, 1904 and moved back to Lansing, where he launched a new company. Because the Detroit firm owned the Oldsmobile name, Olds put his initials, R.E.O., on his new car. In 1905, 864 Reo cars were built, compared with 6,500 Oldsmobiles. But by 1908, Reo production was 4,105, compared with 1,055 Oldsmobiles.


          Later that year, Oldsmobile was acquired by William Durant and became part of the new General Motors Durant was building. Reo remained an independent and continued to build automobiles until 1936. Truck production continued until 1957, when Reo became a division of White Trucks, then was teamed with Diamond T and operated as Diamond Reo truck division. Sold in 1971, it went bankrupt and ceased truck production in 1974.


          Meanwhile, Oldsmobile was integrated into the General Motors empire and gradually emerged as an upscale sporty and experimental car.


          Production was curtailed during World War I and Olds Motor Works built 2,100 mobile aircraft kitchens for the military.


          After the war, Oldsmobile moved upscale with its Model 46 "Thoroughbred" seven-passenger touring car powered by the "heavy" Northway V-8. And Oldsmobile became GM's experimental car line.


          In 1926, Oldsmobile was the first to introduce chrome-plated trim, an important styling asset first used on the radiator shell. In 1934, Oldsmobile introduced "Knee Action" independent front suspension and hy

  • aurora5000aurora5000 Posts: 168
    In 1926, Oldsmobile was the first to introduce chrome-plated trim, an important styling asset first used on the radiator shell. In 1934, Oldsmobile introduced "Knee Action" independent front suspension and hydraulic rather than mechanical brakes.

    Oldsmobile's 1940 models featured Hydra-Matic drive, the first vehicles with fully automatic transmission. Hydra-Matic appeared as an Olds exclusive. It provided true clutchless driving with four forward speeds. Its fluid coupling between engine and transmission eliminated the clutch. Olds made the breakthrough Hydra-Matic an option on all models for $57.

    After the industry halted production for the duration of World War II, Oldsmobile became the first maker to offer a car to meet the needs of the physically impaired with the introduction of the Valiant program. The Hydra-Matic transmission was a centerpiece of the Valiant program under which specially equipped cars were made available to disabled veterans returning from World War II.

    The ringed globe emblem appeared on Oldsmobile's first Indianapolis 500 pace car , the 1949 Rocket 88, which was powered by the industry's first high compression V-8 engine, named the "Rocket 88."

    Olds unveiled the Starfire "dream car" at the 1953 Motorama. It featured a fiberglass body, 200-hp Rocket engine and a wraparound windshield. Oldsmobile also offered the 'autronic eye' automatic headlight dimmer on its '53 models.

    A small car, called the F-85, was introduced with the '61 models, featuring a lightweight aluminum V-8 engine. In 1964, Oldsmobile introduced a domed stations wagon, the Vista Cruiser,

    In 1966, Oldsmobile introduced the Toronado, first U.S.-built modern-day front-wheel drive car. The 1966 Toronado won Motor Trend's "Car of the Year" award. In 1974, the Toronado was the first American car to offer a driver's side air bag.

    The first domestic diesel engine was offered in 1978 by Oldsmobile as options on its full-sized cars. A number of European makes were selling diesel cars as fast as they could import them and GM wanted some of that sales action. The 350-cubic-inch diesel V-8s were made by Oldsmobile. A 260-inch diesel V-8 was added the following year.

    In 1978, Oldsmobile sales topped one million, more than half of them the incredibly popular Cutlass. But the good times were nearing an end, partly because of the 350 diesels.

    GM was plagued with reports of problems with the diesels. In 1980, a taxi company on Long Island sued GM, charging that the diesel in Oldsmobile Delta 88s was negligently designed. The following year, a $20 million class action lawsuit was filed by owners of Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet diesels in Brooklyn, N.Y., alleging that the engines were defective,

    At one point, Oldsmobile and GM were involved in over 100 lawsuits resulting from engine and transmission problems and from the infamous engine-switch cases, in which buyers of Oldsmobiles discovered their cars had Chevrolet engines in them. The engines may have been just as good as the Olds engines, but GM had carefully built an upscale image for Oldsmobile over the years and now it worked against the maker.

    In addition to the lawsuits, imports were continuing to make serious inroads in the American market and Oldsmobile sales plummeted from the record 1978 level. In 1982, GM introduced the J-car to combat the tide of small imports, but it had little effect. Oldsmobile, no longer very distinct from other GM lines, called its version of the J-car the Firenza.

    In 1994 Oldsmobile introduced a new car, the Aurora, unlike any other GM product. Its sales were not spectacular, but Oldsmobile had a car it could be proud of and build a new identity around.

    The 1995 Oldsmobile presented Guidestar, first on-board navigation system to be offered on a production car. The system combined computerized road mapping and satellite positioning to route drivers to their destinations.

    In 1997 Oldsmobile celebrated its 100th birthday by pacing and winning the Indy 500 race. The Olds Aurora was pace car for 1997 and a race-modified Aurora V-8 powered the winning car.

    Through most of my life, Oldsmobile has been a proper car. You did not have to explain to a neighbor or friend why you had purchased an Oldsmobile.

    Oldsmobile had a solid image. For decades it had been in the same general market as Buick, but they were clearly different. Buick was a traditional luxury car, sort of a junior Cadillac. Oldsmobile was also upscale, but younger, more adventurous. It was General Motors, 'cutting edge' division.

    In the late 1980s, GM responded to criticism that its cars all looked and drove alike and ordered each division to develop a specific market identity.

    Chevrolet grabbed its traditional entry-level role, Pontiac decided it would be the sporty division, Buick stuck with its traditional lower-level luxury image and Cadillac opted, naturally, for top-of-the-line luxury. Saturn had already targeted the volume imports.

    So what was Oldsmobile, chopped liver? Olds was out in the cold, a marque without a market. Rumors began to circulate that GM might drop Oldsmobile. Oldsmobile General Manager John Rock lamented that "a day at Oldsmobile is tougher than a day at Buick or Pontiac."

    There was some unfortunate marketing. An ad theme of "this is not your father's Oldsmobile" backfired among people whose father had owned a Cutlass 442 or a Rocket 88 or a turbocharged F-85 or any of the legendary cars that have borne the Oldsmobile nameplate. It seemed to be degrading a proud heritage.

    But in introducing the Aurora sedan, Rock spelled out Oldsmobile's mission: to take on the higher-line imports. Oldsmobile seemed to be building a new image, based on the Aurora. To dramatize the break with the past, the Oldsmobile name did not appear on the car, although it was restored later.

    Oldsmobile is the only American automobile more than 100 years old. But in the long run, that wasn't enough.

    Richard A. Wright is a Detroit-area free-lance writer. He can be contacted via e-mail a
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Chevrolet was named after Louis Chevrolet. He was a race car driver who helped found the company. I'm not sure about Buick. I believe Pontiac took it's name from the area (like the Auburn). It's a Native-American name.
  • aurora5000aurora5000 Posts: 168
    Bob,
    I will change the tranny fluid via the hoses into the radiator used for cooling. I will put old fluid into a white gallon jug and monitor the flow rate at idle which should be aprox. one quart/20 seconds.

    When it quits putting out fluid (usually after 3 quarts), I stop the engine, check my white container for amount taken out and put that new fluid amount into the trans. fill tube and repeat process.
    I am guessing that the tranny is around 11 to 12 quarts capacity. I also add a pint of Transmission Lugeguard, you can get at any NAPA.
    See a previous post of mine on this item.

    I will probably take the bottom off at the 30K change and look at filter to see if replacement is in order.
    I look at this as preventative maintaince.

    Henry- Still checking into Pontiac info.
    Has anyone seen photos of the new 2004 GTO?
    It basically looks like a 2-dr. Aurora.

    Steve
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Steve,

    The tranny is a dry-sump, so you won't get a pan full of fluid and a filter pickup right there. It's more involved. If you look here there is a guy who nicely posted the procedure to drain the pan (scroll some past the oil filter stuff). Also, aren't you worried you might burn up the tranny pump if you run it until it stops pumping fluid?


    The Service Manual states that the tranny will need 11 quarts after a pan drain, 12.6 quarts after an overhaul, and 15.0 quarts if the tranny is dry. Interestingly, my Service Manual (2002) doesn't have the procedure in it, but it was in the 2001 SM. I might just buy the Transmission Unit Repair Manual because the filter change is a bit hazy in the 2001 SM, and nonexistent in mine.

    I personally feel like if you drain the pan and change the filter, that's good enough. You'd have changed 11 of the 15 quarts. If you do this every 50,000 (or maybe 30,000) instead of the recommended 100,000, then I personally think it would be ok. I've always followed the recommended time, and always just drained the pan and filter and I've also never had a problem. But I can understand if this isn't for everyone. You can never be too cautious.

  • Mr. Buick was David Dunbar Buick who migrated to the US in 1856 with his parents from Scotland. He began building engines and experimental cars in Detroit before moving to Flint Michigan in 1903 and officially starting Buick. There is no Mr. Pontiac. Now what about Mr. Caddy and Mr. Saturn....hmmm.
  • aurora5000aurora5000 Posts: 168
    Bob,
    Until I get a service manual,I like your idea of dropping the pan and catching 11 quarts that way. I will probably do at the 10 or 15K miles. As always, you have great ideas and answers.

    Thanks,
    Steve
  • jonbgoodjonbgood Posts: 157
    Does anyone know where I can buy a 1999 Olds. Aurora sales brochure? I check EBAY every few days and have seen some 98's and earlier - but never a '99. Thanks.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    was named by Henry (maybe Henri?) Leland who founded the new company from the failing Detroit Auto Company. He named it Cadillac after Le Sieur Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, who was the founder of the city of Detroit. The Cadillac crest came from the french explorer's coat of arms.

    As far as Mr. Saturn, that's exactly who it's named after. He was a janitor at GM Headquarters who did a bang-up job cleaning puke out of an expensive carpet. So the honchos wanted to recognize him by naming a new company after him. They wanted Saturn to "clean up" the competition like so much puke... Just kidding. It was named Saturn after the Saturn rockets that propelled Americans to the moon. Much as the Saturn rocket helped America eventually beat the commies in the space-race, they wanted Saturn to propel GM to victory over the Japanese in the small-car race.

    P.S. Thanks for the compliment, Steve!
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    started as the Pontiac Buggy Company in (surprise!) Pontiac, Michigan. It eventually grew an offshoot called the Oakland Motor Car Company. This is what GM eventually bought. This was eventually reinvented as Pontiac to fill in the large price gap between Chevrolet and Oldsmobile, and was designed to share parts with other GM divisions to reduce costs.

    Jonbgood, if you checked Ebay, I don't know what else to say...
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    You get mega points if you can supply an answer to this. Is REO Speedwagon named for a Ransom Eli Olds (i.e. an Oldsmobile) performance station wagon? Ehh??
  • aurora5000aurora5000 Posts: 168
    I saw them play in a bar in OKC one time. They were awesome... Guess that dates me.
    In answer to your question, you maybe on to something. Maybe one of their cars was a Olds Stationwagon ???
  • aurora5000aurora5000 Posts: 168
    On their website it tells What REO stands for and BOB YOU ARE RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • shucknetshucknet Posts: 98
    It's named after the truck made by REO, which was an REO Speedwagon.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I was just being a goof. I didn't really expect the band to be named after an Olds. Actually, I can't even think of any songs they sing...
  • garnes, rjs200240,aurora5000,

    Thanks for the quick responses. Sorry to not have responded sooner but was out of town on business.

    I don't plan on ever getting rid of the Aurora, that's why I asked the question about Mobil 1. I'm due for an oil change this weekend. I change oil and filter every 2,500 miles regardless of the monotor's reading. I recall it reading about 65% at its lowest point. I'm going to switch to the synthetic.

    Yeah, that componentster really had me looking for a while but I couldn't figure it out.I feel better now that I have not neglected the car.

    I just got back from a 600 mile trip and experienced a good amount of "shake" in the front. From what I've read here, the new Auroras don't have the tire balancing issue. Is anyone else having problems with the new generation shaking? I'm going to bring it to the dealer in a couple of weeks while I'm on vacation just out of principle. We'll see what bull they create.

    Thanks again for the info guys!
  • mike98cmike98c Posts: 293
    Well I've been hearing rattle from under car for past couple of days, and service engine light is on. The engine note has been getting progressivly louder,softer, then louder. I also noticed the car has been much more likely to squeal the michelin pilots when nailing it around 30 and when shifting into 2nd gear. Crawled under car to check today. Rattle is from cat. converter. Media has broken apart. I think the honeycomb inside is opening direct path then closing as it shifts around inside the case!
  • HenryHenry Posts: 1,106
    After getting blasted by you guys (over in the Mods board) for believing the salesman, I have decided to print out and give to him all of your responses to the information he gave me about the car.

    Yes Henri was spelled "gullible" on the information provided, but it can happen to any of us when it comes to the Aurora. After all, he was telling me about a car I already own, there was no profit in it for him.

    However, on the gullible about the Aurora note . . . . GOT YA!

    I made up the thing about the special edition Olds Aurora 442 and got more than a few postings about it.

    See, lady Aurora can make fools of most men. Just one roar from the engine and we are puddy in her hands.
  • HenryHenry Posts: 1,106
    thanks for the GM history guys. I knew the group would come through.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I've had pieces of the substrate break up in my cat too. It is really really annoying. The best thing to do is to disconnect the front of the cat and get the piece out. I wouldn't bother replacing it if I were you. I'm sure the cat will still work fine. Plus, it should flow a tiny bit better with part of it removed.

    Henri, why the hell did you make that up? It seemed unlikely that Olds would resurrect the name, especially since they've already announced what they are doing for the Collector's Edition. Still, it would have been cool. Especially if it came with a 300hp engine! That's just mean...

    Hey, what did the salesman say when you gave him the info?
  • shucknetshucknet Posts: 98
    Cuz I can't fight this feelin' anymoooooore.
    I've forgotten what I've started fightin' foooooooor.
    It's time to bring this ship into the shooore,
    And throw away the ooooars forever.
  • shucknetshucknet Posts: 98
    BTW, thank the Lord they finally put the "Oldsmobile Aurora" discussion board into the Owner's Club menu - it was friggin annoying to have to go through all of those links to get there.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    When was the last time you've checked here Shuck? It's been in the Aurora Owner's club for as long as I can remember (but I'm still a newbie compared to some of you all).

    Hey, thanks for the lyrics. I've heard that song before. I thought they were a rock band. Is that their one sissy song?
  • Garnes - where were you in the early 80s? GM has been using REO's "Keep On Rolling" song in its post Sept. 11 commercials with the announcer saying "lets keep America Rolling". As far as being a rock band they were on the lighter side, their heaviest rock song probably being "Riding the Storm Out". Is this stuff ringing any bells?
  • gisomgisom Posts: 144
    in my 95 classic took only 7 quarts when I changed the filter at my 100k maintenance. I also put on new monroe struts at this time.
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    JONBGOOD - Yes. I don't have the info with me right now, but I will dig it up and post it. They even had one for my dad's 88 Town Car. I bought one for my 98 Aurora and I also got a 97 just for the heck of it.

    OLDS trivia - sorry if someone posted this before, but there is a very famous OLDS on TV every time you see Jed, Granny, Eli May, and Jethro - yep, that old truck is a 1923 Olds. Yeah, I was veging in front of the tube watching a thing about the Hillbillies and they talked about the truck. Apparently the studio found the darn thing (can't remember where - probably a barn) and it ran and was perfect. Of course all the other cars on the show are some pretty cool Dodge/Plymouths.

    REO - Hmmm. Early 80's I was in high school. graduated in 84. I remember REO being all over, but never got into them. They are OK, no dislike or anything though. I believe I was heavily into the RUSH, Zepplin, Hendrix, Skynyrd, and some early Stevie Ray I think. I still love that stuff. When I was in college, I was playing my guitar in the music hall late one night and I started talking to the Janitor there as I left. I think he picked a few notes on my guitar too. We get to talking and he mentions that his brother is one of the guitar players in REO. He wasn't bragging. In fact he said something like "oh yeah he thinks he's a big deal" and wasn't really positive about him. Oh well, goofy story.
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