Last Oldsmobile ever made, a 2004 AleroEnlarge Photo
A 2004 Oldsmobile Alero is hardly a sought after car, but this one may be just a tad more desirable. Why? It's the last Oldsmobile-badged vehicle General Motors ever built before the brand was sent to the automotive graveyard.
Fox News reported on Thursday that this particular 2004 Alero has been a part of GM's Heritage Center collection for the past 13 years after it left the automaker's Lansing, Michigan, assembly plant on April 29, 2004. Every worker from the now-shuttered car plant signed under the trunk and hood to mark its significance. GM didn't say why it will finally let the car go after all this time, but two other Oldsmobile models will join it for the State Line Auto Auction in Waverly, New York: a 1996 Cierra and a 1999 Cutlass. Both were the final production units of each nameplate as well.
Oldsmobile was GM's longest-running brand and was founded in 1897, which made it 107 years old at its death. Buick followed Oldsmobile after its founding in 1903. As we know, Buick is still around and actually doing quite well these days. However, Pontiac, Hummer, and Saturn all joined Oldsmobile just five years later as part of GM's Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring.
To mark the end of Oldsmobile, GM built 500 special editions of each of the brand's final nameplates from 2002 through 2004. The cars had special red paint and "Last 500" badges as they were phased out over several years. The final Olds was the Alero seen here.
The auction only invites dealerships to bid on the cars offered, so die-hard Olds enthusiasts need not apply. We are genuinely interested to see how much the 2004 Alero brings in. Sure, it was just a reskinned Pontiac Grand Am, but no one can deny its historical significance.