Here is your chance to acquire an authentic 1901 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Rollsmobile 3/4 scale car made in 1958 by Starts Manufacturing Company of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Known as "The Car With The Backward Look", Rollsmobile was renowned for it's excellent design and high-quality construction. This 1958 Rollsmobile has been in indoor storage for 28 years and is in very good (#2) condition. It is a running and driving car. The Starts Mfg. Company had a colorful history. The "owner and designer" was Captain Al Starts, who was famous in the Ft. Lauderdale area for his entertaining boat rides. Other owners were Leo DeOrsey and radio/television personality Arthur Godfrey, who made the Rollsmobile famous by promoting it on national TV shows. With Godfrey at the tiller, the Rollsmobile cruised around the stage for the entertainment of his audience (see photo). The company operated between 1958 and 1964. Rollsmobile also was a contestant prize on "Let's Make A Deal" on November 11, 1964. This Rollsmobile was sold by Captain Starts to E.D. Charland, MD of Inglewood, California on December 9, 1958. The invoice is number 52, making it one of the first Rollsmobiles sold. The selling price was $1,195 including delivery. Besides a cover letter and invoice, a "Manufacturer's Statement of Origin to a Motor Vehicle" was also issued. The origin data on the statement are "Rollsmobile, 1958 , body style Runabout, motor number 444263, model number AU85, weight 290 lbs, code 428". The car was shipped to Dr. Charland via The Flying Tiger Line Inc. at a cost of $76.37. It was received by Dr. Charland on December 14, 1958. (Please see photos of these documents, which are included with the car). Dr. Charland drove the Rollsmobile is parades and displayed it at antique car shows through the 1960's. The Rollsmoible was advertised as getting "over 100 miles per gallon" and going "35 miles per hour". The car is powered by a one cylinder Model AU-85R, 3 HP Continental Red Seal, 4 cycle, air-cooled gasoline engine. Power was originally delivered to the wheels by a centrifugal-type Maximatic Automatic Transmission and chain drive to the rear axle. The engine originally had a Fairbanks-Morse Model 800SA electric starter with the starter motor and button mounted on the flywheel side of the motor. The motor and fuel tank are accessed under the seat. The battery box is in the luggage box behind the seat. It includes a built-in Silver Beauty Model 204 12 volt battery charger. The car sits on reproduction Curved Dash Olds running gear and runs on 20 inch heavy-duty spoked bicycle wheels. It has rear drum-type mechanical brakes. The length of the Rollsmobile is 72". The wheelbase is 55 1/2". It is designed to carry two adults. (See photo of the Red Seal manual. It and the other original manuals come with the car.) In June of 1970, Dr. Charland hired Hoyt Linger of Lomita, CA to engineer and install a clutch, transmission, starter and lighting system. At apparently some considerable expense, Linger replaced the Maximatic Automatic Transmission with a disc-type, pedal-operated mechanical clutch connected to a two speed forward (low and high), neutral and reverse gearbox. The gearbox was then connected by a chain to a secondary shaft and then to the rear axle. A clutch pedal was installed to the left of the brake pedal. The transmission shift level is on the left side of the seat. Linger removed the engine-mounted Fairbanks-Morse starter and replaced it with a chain-driven conventional 12 volt starter and centrifugal disengaging clutch. The lighting system was also rebuilt. The work Mr. Linger did on the Rollsmobile is absolutely top notch. There is a label attached to the engine compartment wall indicating the work Linger performed. (Please see photos of engine compartment and drive train.)
Having greatly improved the Rollsmobile's power train, starting system and lights, Dr. Charland licensed the Rollsmobile to be driven on the street in 1971. My client acquired the car when he purchased a mountain home from Dr. Charland. The car has been stored in the livingroom of the home since 1978.
No expense was spared in the original construction of the Rollsmobile body and chassis. The body is made from marine plywood with a mahogony overlay. The body was given seven coats of hand-rubbed black enamel with gold pinstriping. Hand-spun brass lamps housed sealed beam headlight. The car has running lights and turn signals. The turn signals are activated by a combination directional and emergency hazard warning switch mounted on the tiller. The control panel is located below the seat. The choke is in the center. The motor stop button and light switch is in the lower right-hand corner. The motor start button is to the right of the control panel. The emergency brake control is a T-handle located in the center back of the floorboard. You pull and twist the handle to set the emergency brake. It has a hand-squeeze horn mounted on the right side. The seat is red Naugahyde padded with foam rubber. The floor board is covered with red carpeting.
The body is in very good condition with only a few surface scratches. The frame, suspension, motor and drive train are in excellent original condition. The car has recently been serviced and is running and driving.
Do not miss this opportunity to acquire a genuine 1958 Rollsmobile 1901 Oldsmobile Curved Dash 3/4 scale car is very good condition. This car also has a colorful history and comes with all the original manuals and documentation. Please call (406) 318-0270 for details about this restorable classic project car.
For sale $10,000