Rare 1907 auto to be exhibited in Lansing

March 8, 2013 by  

Auto enthusiasts have a chance to see a rare vintage car this winter, thanks to an agreement among the Pray family, the RE Olds Transportation Museum, and a group called Friends of the Dolson. The three have agreed to exhibit a 1907 Dolson at the Museum through early May.

The Dolson is named after John Dolson, who manufactured automobiles in Charlotte, Michigan, approximately 10 miles from Lansing, from 1903 to 1908. The Dolsons started business as wagon makers, and then switched to autos, building a prototype in 1902 before starting production the following year.

Unfortunately, financial problems forced them to close their doors very quickly. This 1907 model is the only known Dolson left from a total of approximately 700 that were manufactured over the five-year period the company was in existence.

It is an example of what is known as the ‘Brass Era’ of autos, and will be displayed with other cars of the same period, including Oldsmobiles and REOs. The Dolson was known as a durable machine, which it proved in two endurance tests. It ran in the Chicago Endurance Challenge, held in 1906, and a Dolson ran in the Kite Challenge from San Francisco to Santa Fe a year later. Auto experts consider the Dolson a well-built car.

The RE Olds Transportation Museum is located in Lansing, at 240 Museum Drive. Museum officials could work with local brochure printers to create material that will explain the car, its history, its performance, the Dolsons, and their company to visitors.