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Intro- 1941 Oldsmobile 96 Custom Cruiser Business Coupe


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I wasn't sure which of the 4 Oldsmobile forums I should post this in, so forgive me if I should post this in the other ones. Also, I recently joined the Classic Oldsmobile forums, so if you are on that forum and are seeing this again, you'll have to forgive me for duplicating the post. I've recently started started the restoration of my 1941 Oldsmobile 96 Custom Cruiser Business Coupe. I've finally got my priorities straight and I'm looking at getting my 1941 Oldsmobile the much needed love she deserves.


Here she is in her former glory with me as a high school punk

The car was originally my my scoutmaster's car when I was growing up. He didn't know much about cars, and for a "wax job" and other maintenance tasks he would let me drive the car to the high school dances. After I graduated from High school, I remained good friends with my old scoutmaster, and he started having bigger and bigger problems with the car. I ended up rebuilding the brakes, the suspension, re-coring the radiator, and fixing a leaky head gasket for him. One day he got tired of the hassle and offered to sell me the car. With my dad loaning me the $$ I bought it on the spot.

Since then, I've graduated college with an engineering degree, got married, had 2 kids, and finally find myself on good financial footing, with a steady job to tackle the ol 41.

I recently resurected her from the dead, put her on the insurance, bought a new battery and drove her to work a couple of times last month. I had a tire blow out on the freeway and the bias ply spar was flat! :D

My immediate squawks are:

  1. leaking thermostat housing
  2. replace hi-low beam headlight switch (short causes the lights to not work))
  3. sandblast/powedercoat the original rims (I'm torn about using the crager wire wheels or restoring the original steel rims with wide white radials))
  4. rewire everything under the dash

I have a good head start on all these items except I can't find a thermostat housing for the original 238 straight 6. Does anyone know of a replacement, or swappable part, or a source for an original? I'm anxious to get one on order.

The car is the original drivetrain, with the original hydramatic tranny and 6v system. I'm still working out the long term plans on what to do with the car, but for the short term I'm wanting to make her reliable and go through her systems and then fix the paint and finish one piece at a time keeping the car drivable through out her restoration. Here are some more pics of her current state:


After the flat


Original (Flat Spare)


Front end






Big Rear End


Needed: Rotting/leaking thermostat housing

I've seen a number of 41 oldsmobiles for sale on ebay and many of them look like they have updated thermostat housings that look like the one in this picture, but I haven't been able to find anywhere what that housing is. Anyone have any ideas?


I've already called Fusik and had no luck there. I'm also not positive, but it looks like the thermostat housing is the same one on both the 8 cylinder and the 6 cylinder engines. Thanks for any help, and I'm excited to have found this forum, it looks like there are lots of neat projects going on to read up on!:D

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Great car! Great story! Is it possible to adapt a t-stat housing from another in line flat head? You may be able to use a housing from a Pontiac or other make with a little modification. You can get your car back on the road while you look for the correct part. Just a suggestion. Good luck

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My '56 Olds parts catalog shows the same outlet (cast iron) being used from 1939 through 1948 (except '39 80 series). '49 and '50 6 cylinders used a different number.

Looks like in '48 they changed the outlet design on the 8 cylinder. Might have had something to do with the lower hood on the 98? This change might have happened in '47, but period literature shows no engine illustrations. '46 they were both the same. Assuming the two designs were interchangable, and that they eventually phased the old one out.



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