May 27 2014 12:00 AM

115-year-old automobile arrives at City Hall as centerpiece of Made in Lansing exhibit

The Dash Olds rolls into City Hall on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: Becky McKendry/City Pulse

TUESDAY, May 27 — The centerpiece of the upcoming Made in Lansing exhibit was wheeled into Lansing City Hall this afternoon.

A 1901 Curved Dash Olds Runabout will remain in City Hall throughout the Made in Lansing exhibit, which chronicles more than 100 years of Lansing manufacturing, invention and more. The exhibit debuts at 5 p.m. Friday on the first floor of City Hall, 124 W. Michigan Ave.

A second portion of the exhibit opens Saturday at the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, located at 240 Museum Drive. The joint exhibit closes on Oct. 31.

Valerie Marvin, president of the Greater Lansing Historical Society, said she was “absolutely thrilled” when the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum loaned the Dash Olds to City Hall.

“This is Lansing manufacturing,” she said. “R.E. Olds is the quintessential story — he was so wealthy but just couldn’t stop tinkering on things. He loved it.”

The 700-pound Dash Olds, which traveled around 15 to 20 miles per hour, sold for $650 in 1901. Marvin said the historic automobile, often credited as a precursor to the Ford Model T, signifies Lansing’s role in the development of the auto industry.

“What better place to have this on display than City Hall?” Marvin asked.

In addition to the Olds Dash, City Hall will house numerous other displays as part of the exhibit— the jacket of Cyril McGuire, the first African-American president of UAW Local 652, the local General Motors union and a 1967 copy of the State News, among other things.

Mayor Virg Bernero was also on hand today to preview City Hall’s portion of the exhibit. One of the displays that caught his eye? A replica of an old casket, on display as part of the “Birth and Death” portion of the exhibit.

“I hope to have one this nice,” he joked.

For an in-depth look at the Made in Lansing exhibit, check out this week’s special issue of City Pulse.

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