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1955 Oldsmobile 88 Hardtop

1955 Oldsmobile 88 Hardtop

“Excitement rides with you, when you ride a Rocket Oldsmobile…For here is a car more active than your imagination. free and felt and vibrantly alive in every wonderful way! For taking off or taking a curve, for smooth stopping and easy steering, for easing through traffic or breezing along, you'll find that Oldsmobile is different…..dramatically different, with its flying color flair go ahead look, and brilliant beauty.” All stated in the print advertising from 1955, so it HAS to be true!

For consignment an interesting combination of some aged steel panels throughout the car showing rusting and pitting, nice rust free steel panels for the exterior bathed in semi gloss two tone black and white, and the original 348ci now having the advantage of tri power intake and carbs to feed it. A snappy two tone red and black interior with a few dents and dings, all this adds up to some interesting charm, that after your sit in it, and take it for a drive, you get it, and will begin saying, I love this car just as it is!

Exterior
Looking much like your father's Oldsmobile, 1955 differed up a large grille with the OLDSMOBILE badging letters as its teeth. Looking like an open mouth with the corresponding curves of the bumper, central big center bar with the turn signals and running lights and the upper hood curved trimming which completes the top “lips” it makes a loud statement. Single chromed bezeled headlights rest atop either front fender and in the center is the ringed globe badge emphasizing the power of the Rocket 88 under the hood. Just above on top front can center of the hood, is a large jet hood ornament further emphasizing the speed that has come with the rocket age. This hood and upper front quarters, as well as the doors to the mid point are bathed in semi gloss (mostly flat) white paint which is accented by the chrome in the grille, window surrounds and various trim spears. The roof of the car is also white and provides a big spacious canopy for the passengers to go inside and enjoy the ride. The lowers of this car complete the two tone in the semi gloss paint finish in black. The black will complete the trunk lid and rear of the car, and again utilizes plenty of trim spears, a large rear bumper, another ringed globe and pointy tipped taillights much like a rocket nose top each rear quarter. Note to the beautifully curved front windshield and rear glass, which gives the car a sleeker look overall. Nice chromed dog dish wheel covers are centered in a red wheel which is wrapped in wide whites all around. A no rust car indeed here for the exterior.

Interior
Sporting its original trimmings inside, we note some surface rust on the big metal dash with its dueling circles carved in front of each passenger. For the driver, the circle includes the gauge cluster, and other instruments and controls, fronted by an original bakelite steering wheel all in red, and a chromed round horn ring. For the passenger, vertical and curved chromed ribs coiler a speaker, and house a centrally located clock. An AM radio is fun the center, and just below in a large vertical ribbed fashion is a big glovebox. Some rust is noted on the passenger's side of the dash, but again after driving and interacting with this car, it's all good in this writer's mind. Black tuck and roll vinyl makes up the seat tops, and the backs and bolsters utilize tuck and roll and smooth vinyl which mix together to from a front split bench, and massive rear bench. A few small areas of tears shown mostly by the tape repairs are seen on the front bench. The rear bench is very nice with large armrests that include the obligatory ashtrays on either side. Noted is very nice and new tweed like canvas pattern carpet on gray. This carpet shows as nearly new with no stains or tears. Above is a tight gray headliner with a few small light stains, but tight and highlighted by chromed bars stretching from side to side. Noted is a long floor shifter, which rises proudly from the floor, and is topped by a yellow ball.

Drivetrain
A lift of the hood and to your surprise you'll see the original 348 ci engine, now all tricked out with cast aluminum valve covers, and a triple threat tri power intake and 3 dual barrel Stromberg carbs. All inside is very nicely polished, and has new hoses, wiring and belts. A 3-speed manual shifter on the floor replaces the original tree shifter.

Undercarriage
All rust free and restored with a notable amount of mud which has accumulated on the body hanger areas on both sides, but all rust free, and structurally sound. Floorpans are clean, and we note 4-wheel drum brakes, rear leaf springs for the ride, and upfront coilers with rack and pinion steering.

Drive-Ability
At first glance you may think this car may be problematic, however you cannot judge a book by its cover in this case, as it fires right up, and idles smoothly and quietly. It was off to the test track where I did several laps some slow some fast, and it was performing beautifully in both. The 6 pack on top definitely gives it some life you may not be expecting! Brakes are all good, and it cruises like a dream, and lumbers through the corners, although there are new tires on it all around. Noted the radio is in operable but all other controls were in working order. Power steering is a plus for those tight spaces you'll inevitably get yourself into.

It could look like your grandfather's Oldsmobile but outperforms like a champ of modern day. It has lots of charm, and the two tone semi-flat paint with the trim spears and chrome are a real plus. Who cares about its faults, the whole package all comes together as a really cool ride, which you can truly sink your foot into and get a response!

Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 600 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.