Oldsmobile Speak


 Oldsmobile speak for "Positraction" which was Chevrolet's trade name for its limited-slip differential. Though technically Chevrolet-specific, the term is used generically to refer to limited-slip differentials.

Automobile: A vehicle was considered an automobile when it had at least three wheels, steering, and could move under its own power. American manufacturers adapted the name from the French name - the English name was the Motorcar or Autocar, short for auto carriage. Nowadays we shorten the name further to simply "car".


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Cabriolet: Basically a convertible. However, a convertible can have any number of doors, but cabriolets usually only have two doors.

Celebrity: When used together with an Oldsmobile model name, typically means a pillared roof design. In other words, the presence of a B pillar to support the roof just aft of the front doors of the car.

CKD: Complete Knock Down. A complete kit needed to assemble a motor vehicle. Usually the kit is exported and assembled elsewhere.

Close-coupled Sedan: A four window sedan with a trunk that from front to rear, was almost as thin as an upright suitcase. The rear passengers sat slightly forward of the rear wheels.

Colonnade: When used in an Oldsmobile model name, describes a car body that has frameless door glass/window yet kept a center pillar like a 4 door would. Typically the colonnade term was used only on 2 door body cars, but GM also used it on 4 doors, which some believed to be ad agency gibberish. (Dictionary definition: 'a series of columns usually supporting the base of a roof structure'.)


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Fiesta: When used in an Oldsmobile model name, usually referred to the car being a station wagon.

Fisher Body Corp.: Major manufacturer of bodies for several major automobile brands including Oldsmobile. At one time they had more than 40 plants, employed more than 100,000 people and pioneered many improvements in tooling and design.

Force Air: Oldsmobile’s trade name for cold air induction.


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When used in reference to an Oldsmobile model name, typically means a pillarless roof design. In other words, the lack of a B pillar to support the roof giving a smoother sleeker design. According to GMNext's Wiki, Buick and Oldsmobile introduced the 4 door "pillarless" hardtop models for the 1955 model year.


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Junior Supercar: 
Muscle car typically powered by a small-block engine, developed to offer muscle car styling and performance without triggering surcharges from insurance companies. Example: Olds Rallye 350.


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An automobile with a roof over the front seats and rear doors, but with a folding convertible roof over the rear quarters.


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(The) Oldsmobile Edge: 
A customer-satisfaction program, which permitted dissatisfied buyers to return their cars to the dealership within the first 30 days or 1,500 miles for full credit toward another Olds. The program started covering every 1990 model year Oldsmobile. Two other elements to the Edge were, a three-year, 50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a $100 per visit deductible after the first year. During the warranty period, Oldsmobile also provided customers with 24-hour roadside assistance, including a trip-interruption program covering an owner who might otherwise be stranded overnight more than 150 miles from home.


Phaeton: A Phaeton is a car body style, which can be similar to a sedan or convertible sedan. It was originally known as an open car (no roll up windows), soft top and did not have jump seats. Typically seating less people than a "touring" car would. A touring car on the other hand would be able to accomodate more passengers.

Precision Control System: New for 2001 was an anti-skid system that came into action automatically. If the driver lost control of the car on a slippery surface, PCS helped regain stability and traction without driver intervention. It did this by way of selective braking at individual wheels.

Protect-o-plate: In the mid 60's through to early 70's, GM came up with a plan to better track and provide service to their cars. Printed on a what looked like a metal credit card were codes that provided information as to what major equipment and options or colours a car had.


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Ram Rod 350: Oldsmobile’s top-option 350 engine, featuring an upgraded camshaft, larger valves, and 325 hp. After 1968 it was known as the W-31 350.

Roadster: Originally a two-seat open car with minimal weather protection — no top was provided, neither any side glass. In some cases an optional hard or soft top might be offered, along with side curtains, but there was no side glass. In modern usage, the term is often used to identify a convertible two-seat sports car.

Runabout: A car body style that had a single bench seat.


Salon: The dictionary definition of Salon is: 1: 'an elegant apartment or living room', 2: 'a hall for exhibition of art', 3: 'a stylish business establishment or shop'. Oldsmobile's Cutlass Salon was introduced as an upscale model. However it later became a base model for the Cutlass line.

Super Stock: Oldsmobile optional upgraded wheels. Inspired by the NHRA's then-popular drag racing class. Super Stock wheels debuted in 1966, then updated in 1968 (Super Stock II), and again in 1971 (Super Stock III). SSII was available until 1975, and SSIII until 1987.


Tonneau: Automobile in which the rear passengers enter through the rear, rather than through a side door. Example: 1904 Olds Light Tonneau


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W machines: 
Oldsmobile’s term for premium high-performance models
(1969-1970; Ram Rod 350 in 1968)
360hp 400 (1969-1970)
390hp 455 option for 1970 Delta 88
400hp 455 option for 1968-1970 Toronado


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