My 3/4 scale 1901 Curved Dash Olds Project

This project has been on the table for many years.
I have seen several versions of these little cars
running around the display fields at engine shows.
I first found the plans in a 1960 Mechanix
Illustrated magazine and kept it all these years.
I guess after 45 years of waiting, it was time
to do the deed. Here is the 3/4 inch plywood
body sitting in the barn. Notice the heater under
the front. This was a Winter project in 2007.
I had to take several liberties with the plans as
most dimensions were given, but critical facts
were left out. The idea was, you were supposed
to buy the full plans through the magazine. The
magazine has been out of business for many years.
So, details for the springs were not given. I chose
to cheat and bought two sets of utility trailer springs
instead of the full length of the body springs in the
plans. I used a 3 speed transmission from a mower
and a small Briggs utility engine.
Here the body and undercarriage have been
mated. The wheels were the thing that I spent
much time looking for. I finally found a set of
welding cart wheels that I thought would hold up.
It is important for good wheels. These similar
wheels can be bought as imports for only $23 each.
I chose better quality ones at $54 each and glad
I did. A fellow builder had a very serious accident
when one of his wheels collapsed after his brakes
failed going down a hill.
View of the Olds in primer. More liberties had to
be taken on the curved dash. The plans called for
1/8 plywood for the outside and 1/4 plywood to be
kerfed and used on the inside. I could not find 1/8
plywood here and when I spent two evenings cutting
kerfs to bend the 1/4 inch, it only would bend the
wrong direction. So, I found some thin vinyl sheets
to cover both the inside and outside. Next problem,
how do you get paint to stick to it? I found a primer
used for outdoor plastic furniture. That has seemed
to work well.
Here is a view of the completed buggy. I did this
in one Winter. Lost about 6 pounds from missing
a few meals, but that was the good side. Actually,
the horn was the first purchase before starting the
project. I bought it at a yard sale for $5 in my old
home town of Forest, Indiana. After finishing the
project, I put it in the local festival parade and told
the people I bought the horn from that I built the
car around their old horn.
Here I am sitting proudly on my finished car.
I have taken it to several engine shows and have
drove it in several parades. But, mosly I like to just
take an evening drive through the back roads near
my home and let the wind blow through my hair, ha.
It is good for about 22 miles per hour and gets good
fuel economy.


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