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Thursday, July 25, 2013 09:36 am

OLD OLDS

It had just five horsepower and could attain a top speed of only 20 mph, but back in the early 1900s, that was pretty impressive. The 1901 Oldsmobile Curved Dash was the first mass-produced automobile in the U.S., and the 1902 model is in Springfield for the Oldsmobile Club of America’s National Meet at Springfield’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. There are more than 350 historic cars from the now-defunct automaker, including a 1969 Hurst Olds Convertible with a 10-foot Hurst shifter mounted on the trunk. (The ’69 Olds convertible put out 380 horsepower from its monstrous 455-cubic-inch motor – quite a change from the five horsepower in the 1901 model!) Legendary ’60s racing personality Linda Vaughn, a.k.a. Miss Hurst Golden Shifter, is there, too.  The Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau brought the meet here, and they expect a turnout of about 1,500 people, with a local economic impact of more than $370,000. The meet runs July 24-27 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 3000 S Dirksen Pkwy. Admission is free. 
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