Believed to be 41,149 original miles with actual miles title. One repaint in original colors, beautifully preserved interior, loaded with power windows and seat, plus upgraded radio. Great cruiser for not a lot of cash!
I hesitate to use the word "survivor" with this Olds because it has been repainted in its original Festival Red over Alcan White color combination, but the rest appears to be the way it was in 1956. Being an original car, it has an intangible feel of sturdiness that's challenging to restore back into a car, and there’s a charm to parts that have aged gracefully rather than being refinished to better-than-new condition. The repaint was nicely done, and you can see that this was always a clean car because it sure looks like the paint in the door jambs is original and in fantastic shape. There’s a lot of chrome and stainless on this car—obviously—but it remains in excellent shape with no notable demerits beyond a few signs of age on some of the detail items. Bumpers are straight, the stainless is bright, and details like the ornate taillights give the Olds its signature look. When combined with the hardtop styling and accessory fender skirts, the car's mass is cleverly hidden and it looks sporting, not frumpy, reminding us all why Oldsmobile was a best-seller, year after year.
Aside from the carpets, the interior appears to be almost entirely original. The funky patterned cloth with white leather and silver piping is the perfect ‘50s contrast wo the bright exterior bodywork. The upholstery remains in very good overall condition with no split seams, cracking, or any significant fading. You'll note that the steering wheel is not cracked, the gauges are bright and crisp, and the chrome-laden dash shows extremely well with no fading or pitting. Noteworthy options include power windows, a power front seat, and an AM/FM/cassette stereo head unit hidden in the glove box to supplant the original Wonderbar radio. The trunk is completely original, right down to the multi-piece liner and cardboard bulkheads, and it includes a full-sized spare and a jack.
Oldsmobile's "Rocket" V8 displaced 324 cubic inches and made about 200 horsepower, which gives this big luxury car the ability to cruise the interstates at modern freeway speeds without apparent effort. With just over 41,000 original miles, it has never needed any major work and we don’t think it has ever been out of the car. There's an electric fuel pump that bypasses the original mechanical pump, but otherwise it remains quite stock, including the generator and 4-barrel carb. The engine bay is tidy but original, so it's not sparkling clean, yet on the other hand all the original markings are quite visible, making this a slam-dunk in preservation classes. It burbles quietly through a fairly recent dual exhaust system and thanks to a giant radiator up front, it never threatens to get hot. And, of course, on any car this size, power steering and brakes are standard equipment, so it’s easy to handle.
The original floors are protected by a textured undercoating but you can clearly see that there's nothing to hide. The aforementioned exhaust system fits well and uses the cool tips under the rear bumper for an OEM look and sound. In 1956, the GM Hydra-Matic was supplanted by the Jet-Away 3-speed automatic transmission, which is a lot smoother yet gives up nothing in durability. In back, it feels like it has 3.23 gears, so it's a superlative highway cruiser that's always on its toes and it has a wonderful luxury car ride. Somewhere along the line some white paint got splashed onto parts of the rear suspension, that would be easy enough to clean up if you don’t like it—we decided not to cover it up so the car’s originality wouldn’t be an issue. But there’s no rot or rust issues in the rockers or floors and you can see that even the spare tire well and trunk floor are completely solid. Standard steel wheels with spinner hubcaps (priced a set of those lately?) look great inside a set of G78-15 wide whites that dress the luxurious Olds properly.
A beautifully preserved, top-of-the-line luxury car that you just don't see all that often anymore. In terms of sheetmetal for your dollar, this big Olds will be tough to beat, but you'll also find that you get sparkling performance, a unique look that stands out, and a lot of features that few cars of the era could match. This is a lot of car for the money and you’ll quickly figure out that when Oldsmobile got things right, everyone’s father wanted to own one. Call today!
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com
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