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Looking at a '51 Olds Rocket 88


Guest wavo
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Hi All!

I am currently looking at a '51 Oldsmobile 88 from a seller in my area. The car has new paint, original interior with 77k original miles on the V8. The current owners are the 2nd owners and honestly the car looks like it has been babied most of its life. The asking price is $7500 which brings it very close to my price range. I am hoping to go take a look at the beast tomorrow and I was hoping anyone of the Olds experts here could tell me of things I need to watch for.

I will be looking for obvious things like knocks in the engine, white smoke, bad shifting...etc. But I was unsure if there are any problem areas or areas that need to be watched out for on this car.

Any help would be much appreciated!

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Guest Jim_Edwards

If they'll let you take it for a test drive be conscious of the transmission up shifts and down shifts and ask when or if the transmission has been serviced with fresh fluid and filter. If it acts like it's struggling to make the shifts you'll probably looking at a tranny rebuild that ain't going to be cheap. I'd also give as many of the rubber bushings you might be able to easily see. 60 year old rubber bushings in the steering and suspension won't last long with any amount of driving.

Good luck, it appears to be a good car even if it does have a Lincoln floor mat. :D

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Guest myold88

Super 88 has limited appeal compaired to the very popular 1949- '51 88. Also a 50's Oldsmobile 4 door has lower value than a 2 door vehicle. Be careful out there.

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Bought one of those back in 79 off the original owner for 150 dollars,only had 51,000 miles and ran great but never seen a garage in its life so it was a little rusty. Kept it for a summer and traded it for a 72 AMX that fit a 18 year old better then a old grandmas car,I now wish I had it back as it would have made a nice drivetrain donor for a western or southern car and it had the compass and clock in the steering wheel.

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Well after driving way off the beaten path past the cows, the no trespassing signs, the meth house with the junkies standing outside and around a twisty, muddy dead end road; we finally rounded the corner and were greeted to an immaculate house with a beautiful, shiny Oldsmobile parked in the garage. It was eerie getting there, but once we did we were pleased to see the condition of the owner and the property.

The Oldsmobile was gorgeous on the outside, pretty nice on the inside and just ok under the hood. The car fired right up which was impressive, but it was apparent after a few seconds that it definitely needed a tuneup. The car was missing and was extremely gassy. Overall it was fairly solid but the biggest problem with the beast is that all of the brakes needed to be gone through. They were locked up and therefore the car was unable to be driven. There were definitely some oil leaks coming from the engine (maybe just the pan) but the tranny also looked a bit moist.

Even though it has always been garaged the car hasn't really been driven since '03.

The owner seemed forth coming and pointed out any flaws/issues he knew about and let me know that the price was always negotiable, but without driving it I told him my price would be a completely different number than what he is probably thinking. And even then it would be quite a risk without knowing what condition the engine/tranny are in.

Thanks for everyone's input. I passed on it for now and let him know I just couldn't make any decision without actually driving the car.

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Guest rsd9699

I wonder why the head has been repainted? new wires? Fuel filter says rust in tank and in the carb. Wiring poorly done. Run a finger compression check, if all cylinders have compression, then offer 4k and expect to put 3k in her to make her road worthy.

Ron

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I wonder why the head has been repainted? new wires? Fuel filter says rust in tank and in the carb. Wiring poorly done. Run a finger compression check, if all cylinders have compression, then offer 4k and expect to put 3k in her to make her road worthy.

Ron

Yes, forgot to mention he had a valve job done a while back as well as new wires...etc. Your offer was about what I was thinking, but I didn't want to stir him up for any reason :)

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Guest rsd9699

Well - there must be a reason he is trying to "unload" it after spending money on valve job and tune up.

If he can not be reasonable - be better to walk away or expect to spend 4 or 5 k on top of his price.

Ron

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