The beneficiary of a quality body-on restoration
Correct 324 cubic inch Rocket V8
Correct Hydramatic 4-speed automatic transmission
Burlingame Red and Polar White paint
Red and Silver vinyl interior
Factory power steering
Factory power drum brakes
14-inch steel wheels
The mid-1950s were an amazing time for General Motors. Each of the corporation's brands had a distinct identity, and business was absolutely booming. With that in mind, almost everyone recognizes Chevrolet's awesome tri-fives. But, unfortunately, collectors tend to overlook the equally impressive Oldsmobiles of the era. From conservative luxury, to innovative pioneer, to performance stalwart, Olds has served many different niches. And this sweet '55 Holiday Coupe manages to wrap all of those charms in one classy package. Benefitting from excellent maintenance and solid restoration, the car possesses everything great about '50s American luxury. With conveniences like factory power windows, GM Autronic Eye and 6-way power seats, it showcases cutting-edge '50s technology. And, featuring a correct, 324 cubic inch Rocket V8, it certainly has ample power. Ready to own a true gem? Take a close look at this awesome Ninety-Eight!
In 1955, business was particularly good for the Oldsmobile division. With attractive styling and a growing performance reputation aided by drivers like Dick Rathmann and Jim Pascal, the brand was positioned to make big moves... And they did. Production was increased a staggering 40% over 1954 numbers. And while the products themselves were essentially the same as their predecessors, choice styling tweaks proved enough to win buyers affections. This classy Holiday decks those popular updates in a traditional combination of Burlingame Red and Polar White 2-stage. That paintwork is decidedly rich, perfectly accenting the car's mile-long panels. Those panels are straight, showing well from all angles. And gaps are even all around, with the car's doors, trunk and hood making satisfying 'thuds' when closed.
The most significant change for the '55 model came in the form of a revised front-clip. While the basic configuration can still be described as "open maw", a newly sculpted bumper frames polished 'Dagmars' beneath a broad "OLDSMOBILE" script. Above that bumper, an old school hood globe rides between electronically dimming headlights and bullet-style parking lamps. Behind that globe, a jet-inspired ornament leads factory-tint glass, which founds polished framework under polished wipers. Under that glass, factory door handles, small mirrors and slim rocker trim highlight flowing "Holiday" scripts and polished profile spears. And at the back of the car, an elegant, "Ninety Eight" branded trunk reflects a polished exhaust tip, small reverse lamps, a broad bumper and rocket-inspired taillights.
Toss the hood and you'll find a correct, 324 cubic inch Rocket V8 that's rebuilt, reliable and ready to roll. Olds was an early participant in the horsepower wars, and this engine is a great example of exactly what they were capable of. Thanks to a valve-in-head design and new-for-1955 8.5 to 1 compression, the burly mill achieved 202 horsepower and 332 lb./ft. of tire-turning torque. Naturally, that performance is both exhilarating and attractive, as the block wears a cool coat of period-correct green under "OLDSMOBILE ROCKET" branded valve covers. At the top of those covers, a decaled, dual-scoop air cleaner swirls wind in to a 4-pot Rochester carburetor, kicking off a stampede of mechanical horses. Those horses are fed by an old school points distributor, which charges traditional Radio GM TVRS cables. Spent gases gallop through correct, cast iron exhaust manifolds, which talk through a big, sonorous muffler. A tagged Delco-Remy generator and factory power steering are driven by pliable V-belts. And even cooling remains an OEM effort thanks to a factory-style radiator and fresh hoses.
Under the car, a clean chassis cradles a supportive X-member frame that was officially introduced for the 1954 model year. Behind the Rocket Eight, a proven Hydramatic 4-speed takes care of gear selection while a factory differential applies power. While the car's stock suspension is relatively simple, with coil springs up front and elliptical leafs out back, a 126-inch wheelbase transmits the smooth ride typical of high-end '50s hardware. That ride is pleasant to guide thanks to factory power steering and factory power drum brakes. And everything rolls on color-keyed steelies, which lap 7.60-15 Coker Classic whitewalls around full stainless covers.
The 2-tone theme continues inside, where a luxurious cloth and vinyl interior serves as a solid reminder that '50s GM was arguably the best GM. At the front of the cockpit, a wrapped and painted dash founds factory telemetry between a globe-themed steering wheel, a Deluxe Oldsmobile radio and GM Autronic Eye headlight control. In front of that dash, plush bench seats feature 6-way power adjustment for the car's driver and front passenger. Beneath those seats, upscale carpet floats thick, Oldsmobile-themed floor mats. At the sides of that rug, ornate door panels anchor elegant handles in front of factory power windows. Above those panels, polished roof bows stretch a color-keyed headliner between a small vanity mirror, functional dome lamps, a dual-mode driver's mirror and a factory deck speaker. And, beneath that speaker, a large trunk seats a correct jack and full-size spare tire on a fresh, factory mat.
OUR SALE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTATION
A vintage Owner Manual and Service Policy
We all know the tired references to Oldsmobile's controversial "Not your father's Olds" marketing campaign. That said, car's like this awesome Ninety-Eight provide many clues as to why that phrase might've actually been a huge misstep. With ample power, ample amenities and looks that'll keep you in your garage for days, this Holiday is a shining example of why GM's success reached astronomical heights. Ready to own something that's a bit different but no less special? Call your friends at RK Motors Charlotte today!
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