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1955 Oldsmobile Super 88 - Looking for information


Craddosk
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Hey Guys,

I have recently acquire a 1955 Oldsmobile Super 88 that is in need of restoration. For references sake, the car is located in Canada.

I'm starting my initial research into parts availability, vendors, etc. that go with. The plan is that once the car is home, I'll be completing a frame up restoration on it to renew it to it's original condition. Timeline: 5 years. Part of the incentive behind this is that the vehicle was originally my great-grandfathers, so it has some family history behind it. I'm wondering what members recommend for some reading, recommended vendors for parts, where to get a service manual, and any other interesting tidbits or facts.

From my initial research, I've noticed some referring to Fusick as a good parts supplier. What is their reputation here? I've found two websites for them (www.fusick.com and www.fusickautomotiveproducts.com), does anyone know which is the appropriate one?

Condition of the car overall is decent, the rockers have rusted out but other than that the car is mostly intact. Some rust through on the hood/fenders/truck bottom but nothing too terrible. The interior only has a single mouse nest in it and some mold. It will be replaced completely. The engine/trans condition is unknown, but some in the family think that it was seized when parked. If the block is good, it will be rebuilt. I'll consider other options at that point in time. I've read a post indicating that Ross Racing engines has some parts for hot rodding/building the engine (and the website indicates so). Assuming the engine block is salvageable, who do people recommend getting a rebuilt kit from?

I've attached a picture of the car in it's current location for those who wish to gawk to gawk (and yes, that is an RX7 beside it; there's a 1938 Ford 2 Door Coupe in the shed in the background that the owner is hoping to restore). There is also a mostly complete 1955 parts car that comes with it. The parts car rear ended another vehicle, so some parts aren't there.

For the particularly astute, the front of the car is a 1956 front end while the rest of the car is from. Apparently the car suffered front end damage before it was one year old, and the 1956 front end was thought to look better and so was installed. I intend to keep the '56 front end on the '55 car as that's how it has worked it's way through the family.

Thanks for any help and information!

post-105426-143142910681_thumb.jpg

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Also- not to take away from our forums here, but there are a bunch of 54-56 guys on www.classicoldsmobile.com who will be able to get you thru just about anything on these cars. One's father is a well-known and respected Olds parts supplier in Rhode Island.

www.oldsclub.com and www.antiqueolds.org are the major Olds Club websites. Membership in AACA and either or both of the Olds Clubs will be a worthwhile investment to go with this car.

Both of the Fusick sites should get you what you need. They've expanded into a couple of other makes besides Oldsmobile, though Olds is still their bread and butter. You can download their 1935-60 Olds catalog from the websites.

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Join the Antique Oldsmobile Club of America. Get a '55 Olds shop manual. Fusick is highly recommended. Contact Gary Bauer aka Rocker King at 262 five four nine 9583 for replacement rocker panels. Read books on antique auto restoration. Stay close to this forum. Good Luck!

Thanks for the information. I had been browsing a bit there but haven't joined yet. I've got a few leads on shop manuals, and I feel that I'll be referencing it a lot at the start. Thanks for the contact for the replacement rocker panels!

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Also- not to take away from our forums here, but there are a bunch of 54-56 guys on www.classicoldsmobile.com who will be able to get you thru just about anything on these cars. One's father is a well-known and respected Olds parts supplier in Rhode Island.

www.oldsclub.com and www.antiqueolds.org are the major Olds Club websites. Membership in AACA and either or both of the Olds Clubs will be a worthwhile investment to go with this car.

Both of the Fusick sites should get you what you need. They've expanded into a couple of other makes besides Oldsmobile, though Olds is still their bread and butter. You can download their 1935-60 Olds catalog from the websites.

Thanks for the websites! I'll be digging through them completely. Thanks for the information on Fusick, I noticed some similarities between the sites but wasn't sure which to use. I sent a quick email looking for clarification and got a reply back within 12 hours, which shows significant promise for great customer service.

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Hey there. Last year I was able to acquire my grandfather's '56 Olds and I plan on giving the same love and care to it someday like you. Mine was running when I got it but with its own troubles. I pulled the motor and trans. The motor I rebuilt and the trans was already rebuilt in 2007. I am currently restoring the engine bay before putting it back together. I have a couple threads over at classicoldsmobile.com detailing my slow progress with the rebuild in hopes it could help someone like you in the future. There are some guys over there that have helped me as well when I need an answer.

I actually created a parts list for my rebuild to help me decide which parts were better than the next with price also in mind. I got parts everywhere from my local parts store to rock auto to fusick, ebay, egge, kanter, camcraft, usa parts supply and back. I wasn't confident in some of the complete all-in-one engine rebuild kits such as the ones on ebay along with some others in catalogues that offered what I didn't need and then some having been just too expensive.

Fusick has been pretty good to me. they corrected a part issue I had no problem and have offered up some answers when I just called to ask about something. I recommend them. Egge corrected an issue with a part I had as well.

Let me know if you have any questions. I'm still learning as I go but sometimes it just pays to ask. 54-56 Olds were somewhat interchangeable save for some of the body/appearance items. I'm intrigued yours is a '55 with a '56 front end. I had no clue they were that similar.

Hey Guys,

I have recently acquire a 1955 Oldsmobile Super 88 that is in need of restoration. For references sake, the car is located in Canada.

I'm starting my initial research into parts availability, vendors, etc. that go with. The plan is that once the car is home, I'll be completing a frame up restoration on it to renew it to it's original condition. Timeline: 5 years. Part of the incentive behind this is that the vehicle was originally my great-grandfathers, so it has some family history behind it. I'm wondering what members recommend for some reading, recommended vendors for parts, where to get a service manual, and any other interesting tidbits or facts.

From my initial research, I've noticed some referring to Fusick as a good parts supplier. What is their reputation here? I've found two websites for them (www.fusick.com and www.fusickautomotiveproducts.com), does anyone know which is the appropriate one?

Condition of the car overall is decent, the rockers have rusted out but other than that the car is mostly intact. Some rust through on the hood/fenders/truck bottom but nothing too terrible. The interior only has a single mouse nest in it and some mold. It will be replaced completely. The engine/trans condition is unknown, but some in the family think that it was seized when parked. If the block is good, it will be rebuilt. I'll consider other options at that point in time. I've read a post indicating that Ross Racing engines has some parts for hot rodding/building the engine (and the website indicates so). Assuming the engine block is salvageable, who do people recommend getting a rebuilt kit from?

I've attached a picture of the car in it's current location for those who wish to gawk to gawk (and yes, that is an RX7 beside it; there's a 1938 Ford 2 Door Coupe in the shed in the background that the owner is hoping to restore). There is also a mostly complete 1955 parts car that comes with it. The parts car rear ended another vehicle, so some parts aren't there.

For the particularly astute, the front of the car is a 1956 front end while the rest of the car is from. Apparently the car suffered front end damage before it was one year old, and the 1956 front end was thought to look better and so was installed. I intend to keep the '56 front end on the '55 car as that's how it has worked it's way through the family.

Thanks for any help and information!

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Now that you mention it it does look a little odd. The hood, fendors and bumper definitely appear to be a '56. The side trim appears to be a '55 around the front passenger door but can't quite tell. The two tone paint, however, almost looks like the paint lines of a '56.

From what I've been told through the family line (and from some photo research into old photo albums) sometime after 1960 the car was in a front end collision. At the time the bodyshop told my grandfather that he could wait for a '55 front end to be ordered in or that they could put a '56 front end on immediately. He liked the look of the '56 front end so went that route.

Jack, thanks for the tips and the information. I've seen a few of your threads over there in the last few days but I'll definitely be digging deeper into them.

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