HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: Mid-’30s car helped save Oldsmobile brand

Pick of the Day: Mid-’30s car helped save Oldsmobile brand

1934 Olds sales rally convinced GM to keep the division going


Does this sound familiar? The Standard Catalog of American Cars notes that “GM officials seriously considered combining or doing away with either Olds, Buick or Pontiac.”

Yes, we know that Oldsmobile and Pontiac both were eliminated from the General Motors lineup — Olds in 2004 and Pontiac in 2010, but the reference above wasn’t to deliberations during this century but to considerations in the early 1930s as the Depression impacted new car sales.

Fortunately for Oldsmobile, sales rebounded by 1934 and the Standard Catalog reports that the brand moved up and into sixth place on the sales chart.

The Standard Catalog also points out that the rebound primarily involved vehicles such as the Pick of the Day, a 1934 Oldsmobile Series F, in this case a 2-door sedan. 

Oldsmobile, Pick of the Day: Mid-’30s car helped save Oldsmobile brand, ClassicCars.com Journal

In 1934, Olds Series F cars were equipped with inline 6-cylinder engines pumping out 84 horsepower. The company also offered its Series L vehicles with straight-8 engines and 90 horsepower. 

As the Standard Catalog points out, “Horsepower was upped slightly on the six and styling was mildly updated this year” and that the 6 was “almost as powerful” as the 8.

Even the most expensive of the Series F cars was nearly $200 less that the least expensive of the Series L models. In 1933, Olds sold only 36,072 vehicles but in 1934, sales reached 82,150 — and were well into six figures in 1935.

The 1934 Oldsmobile Series F was available in four 2-door body styles — business coupe, sport coupe, sedan and touring sedan – and as a 4-door sedan or touring sedan.

The Anthem, Arizona, private seller offering the Pick of the Day on ClassicCars.com says the car is a “museum-quality” vehicle and the 451st 2-door model built by Olds in 1934. 

1934 Oldsmobile

“Restored decades ago and reportedly preserved in a museum for a while,” the seller says, adding that the car has a “fresh interior” that retained the original dash and gauges and “period correctness.” Unfortunately, there are no photographs of the interior included in the advertisement.

The seller says the 213cid engine and 3-speed transmission are original and that the car has been driven up “steep Arizona mountains” and has a top speed of 71 mph on a “flat freeway.”

The seller adds that the only known modification is a conversion to a 12-volt electric system and starter; the original 6-volt starter and standard fuel pump come with the sale.

The car retains its original steering knob and “super loud” trumpet horns, and those horns are now linked to a “hidden high-end Viper car alarm.”

The car is offered for $48,500. 

To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Hi interesting ad on the 34 Olds, I am a few miles away in Ontario and have what has turned out to be quite a rare Olds , as well ,, mine is 1935 F35 4 door 6 same as the 34:.but all for doors are suicide style The car built in Oshawa Ontario with fisher body crest, has same modification 12v system, I have been trying to find proper hub caps but seems Canadian Olds used different rims it also has what is called butcher hook inside door handles , great car also a restored car many years ago I think early 1990s, would sure like more info on these 1935 as can’t find any with this design or parts, pictures available.

  2. Oh Larry on the 34; Olds one other comment, I put seat belts in mine , carrying grand kids made mea little scared the steel dash hurts, and being firefighter some accidents I attend showed the advantages of seat belts ,shoulder belts front lap belts in rear , als did same to my 49 ford


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