The Oldsmobile 88 has always been a trendsetter. Of course, the OHV Rocket V8 engine was just the beginning, but it launched a performance revolution that we're still enjoying today. Even by the mid-50s, Oldsmobile was delivering big performance with a healthy dose of luxury to match, creating a unique niche in the GM hierarchy. If you wanted a car that could run with the big Pontiacs, yet offered the luxury of a Buick or Cadillac, the 88 was the smart choice.
This 1956 Oldsmobile Deluxe 88 is very solid, and despite the fact that it was restored several years back, it's still looking great today. Finished in subtle Alcan White over Nordic Blue, this was unquestionably a solid & clean car all its life, and although the finish is showing signs of use and age these days, it's still a great driver with great curb appeal. Upon closer examination, you may find a little cracking, maybe even some flat spots here and there, but the look is still very uniform and you won't find many better looking cars cruising down Main Street on a Saturday night. The doors open and close effortlessly, the trunk fits pretty darn well, and the massive hood snaps closed with only light pressure, and although the rubber around the gaps is certainly older, the car still seals up pretty darn well. The finish is urethane, but it does not have the bright, almost sterile shine of modern finishes, and the Alcan White in particular has a warm glow that looks entirely appropriate. Things like the bumpers and grille show some patina as well, and all the stainless is straight and polished to match, providing the perfect contrast to both colors. Add in the faux side pipes, the fender skirts, and that awesome continental kit out back, and you've got one of the coolest American Tri-5 cars not called a Bel Air.
This car's solid quality is especially apparent inside, where it too was faithfully restored years back in the original-style white-and-blue upholstery. Ok, so maybe the car was born with cloth seats, but the upgrade to high-quality vinyl gets no complaints from me, and the patterns mostly stick to the original script as well. Plush dark carpets insulate the cabin and mask most stains, the kick panels and door panels match the seat upholstery, and there's a perforated headliner up top that might even be the original piece that was born with the car. All the details are correct too, including the strip of matching carpeting on the bottom of the door panels, the upholstered package tray that continues the tuck-and-roll pleated patterns, and even the chrome accents and bright hardware on the doors. There are signs of use and age of course, but it's all commensurate with the age of the restoration and a deep detail could easily kick things back up a notch or two. The expansive dash was beautifully finished as well, with matching Nordic Blue paint and Alcan White custom pinstripe work adding a touch of character, and all the brightwork and chrome that runs from end-to-end sparkles inside the cabin. Note the details such as the center-mounted glove box, the beautiful clock all the way to the right, and that gorgeous gauge bezel set up just ahead of the beautiful, dual-ring steering wheel that anchors the cockpit. Factory options include a power-actuated front bench seat, remote side-mirror controls, a column shifter for the automatic transmission, and the original Deluxe AM radio still in the factory slot, while the aftermarket additions of the column-mounted tachometer and under-dash Sony AM/FM/CD/AUX stereo that powers cool Art Deco speakers in the rear all bring a little of the modern world inside. Out back, the highly original trunk carries a matching spare tire and a complete jack assembly, and it's outfitted with plaid mats on the floors and a custom tire cover that matches the car's color theme.
Oldsmobile's famous Rocket V8 lives under the hood, ready to drive and enjoy immediately. Thanks to a big horsepower injection in 1956, it makes 240 horsepower from its 324 cubic inches. It's a spirited performer on the road thanks to a broad torque curve and a quick-shifting HydraMatic automatic transmission, and with power steering helping move the big body around with ease, this Olds is a pleasure to drive every time out. It starts easily thanks to a 12-volt electrical system, and idles with a healthy rumble from the dual exhaust below. That actually looks like Oldsmobile Green on the engine with bright yellow 'Oldsmobile Rocket' markings on the valve covers, and a Cadillac air cleaner was swapped-in and painted to match, resulting in a very handsome engine bay to show off. Underneath, the chassis is highly original and shows its southern roots with no problem areas thanks to thick undercoating that was likely applied at the original dealership. Thin whitewall radials are the right choice for a car that's going to be driven, and they've been mounted on the original wheels with chrome spinner wheelcovers.
If you've been watching auctions lately, you know that the 'shoebox' Chevys have cooled off while their big brothers at Oldsmobile and Buick have heated up. This is a wonderful vintage car with no needs, and chances are slim that you'll see another anywhere but the Oldsmobile national meet. Call today!