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Brand New 1956 Oldsmobile 88 (3607 miles!) *SOLD*


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*SOLD* Is this the 2019 AACA HPOF Car of the Year? I wouldn't bet against it. It is literally a brand new 1956 Oldsmobile in 100% original condition, right down to the tires. It shows 3607 original miles (no typo: three thousand, six hundred and seven). I invite any of you to come see it in person and try to find proof that it isn't what it appears be be, because I sure can't. You can't restore the feeling this car has on the road (hell, just slam one of the doors!) back into a car, and the way the controls work, the way the engine purrs, and the way the paint looks all suggest that this is a car just as it was built by GM. It has had just two owners, with the second owner acquiring it in 1969 from the original owner, who bought it for his wife to use but she sadly fell ill shortly afterwards and it sat in their garage for years. A neighbor admired the car, and after the wife's passing, the owner tried to give it to the nurse who had taken care of her for many years. The nurse wasn't interested, so the young neighbor acquired it with just 2800 miles on the clock.

 

That young man didn't drive it, didn't modify it, didn't use it up, but rather kept it as an artifact for the next five decades, driving it sparingly but not even enough to wear out the original BFGoodrich Silvertown tires. I know they're original because I've never seen another set of modern tires of any kind that had the tire size stamped into the tread like these, and they pre-date date coding. This sucker is legit.

 

The black paint is glossy and unmarked save for a little chip on the driver's rear wheel well. I suspect that the passenger's door has been repainted below the trim line, but I can't prove it--a slight variation in the texture is my only clue. The chrome and stainless trim is in excellent condition with only the slightest signs of age and all the lenses are like new. I couldn't find what trim code 364 stands for in Oldsmobile terminology, but that's undoubtedly original upholstery, with beautifully trimmed door panels and almost zero signs of use. The only notable bit of deterioration is the rubberized floor covering under the driver's heel is cracked, but how do you replace it? Everything works except the radio, and that's because it was delivered without one--the second owner found a correct radio and installed it, but couldn't bring himself to drill a hole in the fender for the antenna. It's included if you're man enough to do it. Every knob, every handle, every switch feels like new: precise, smooth, and not worn out. The doors close with a modest click but it sounds expensive. And check out the trunk, which is like new, including the original spare and jack assembly. Oldsmobile's legendary OHV V8 displaced 324 cubic inches in 1956 and with a 2-barrel carburetor, this relatively lightweight sedan is rather energetic on the road. Obviously I didn't push it very hard on those tires, but the transmission shifts imperceptibly and the suspension has that silky feeling that I find is endemic to original cars and yes, the original spiral shocks are still underneath. There are minor signs of use that are probably unavoidable after 60 years but it would be a mistake to upgrade or restore anything on this car. The original dealer gave it a light dusting of undercoating but you can see that there's zero rust and I'm pretty sure that's the original exhaust system. The only thing I don't like is the battery, which is a modern replacement that doesn't look right. Change that and you have a car that will likely score 91 or 92 points on the show field against restored cars and is a slam-dunk for HPOF competition. And I have to admit, I sure like the way this no-nonsense brute looks.

 

Like I said, feel free to come and pick this car apart. Prove me wrong. But I have combed over this car with an extremely fine-toothed comb and found nothing that would suggest anything other than a 3600-mile original car. It's not nice enough to be restored but it's way too nice and everything is too fresh to be 103,600 miles. My only conclusion is that this is the most amazing survivor I've ever seen in my life. Asking $34,900, which seems like a lot, but it's still cheaper than the car was when it was new (in adjusted 2018 dollars). A brand new 1956 Oldsmobile? Too cool. 

 

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Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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8 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

More amazing details:

   065.thumb.jpg.56f400e329948b4ff2aa1aa9e9cd2151.jpg

 

 

That's really interesting to see the size of the tire

embossed on the tire TREAD.  With much use, this

interesting feature would have been worn off.

Thanks, Matt, for showing us something I've never seen before.

 

For some reason, people overlook tires as historical

items.  Nearly every old tire that gets replaced for

beauty's sake or safety's sake is probably thrown away--

and a bit of history is lost in the process.  If anyone replaces

these tires, one or more of the originals should be kept for display.  

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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? Great car! Spent a lot of time poring over the pictures.  Really like the interior exterior color combination.  My car as seen in my avatar has a green interior.  These cars are reflective of the wide variety of combinations available to the new car buyer.  Wish it were so today! 

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Very nice Olds but I suspect the milage. The odometer numbers do not line up.a sign that its been turned back. The paint on the valve covers does not match the paint on the intake manifold. The oil pan and the hydro should be green. THe under coating  on the tail pipe bracket should show signs of heat.193837274_DSC_6022(1).thumb.JPG.d1d773627914e88304a249c0051e45a0.JPG

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/16/2018 at 9:49 PM, Dan Griffin said:

Very nice Olds but I suspect the milage. The odometer numbers do not line up.a sign that its been turned back. The paint on the valve covers does not match the paint on the intake manifold. The oil pan and the hydro should be green. THe under coating  on the tail pipe bracket should show signs of heat.

 

I would invite you to please come see it in person before making a judgement. All of your "issues" are either non-issues or can be explained, although I suspect that me trying to explain them would simply sound like a salesman trying to hoodwink buyers for a quick sale (because obviously faking low-mileage plain-Jane 1956 Oldsmobile sedans is a VERY lucrative business). I'm not a rookie or an amateur, I've been doing this for more than 40 years, and I would not have made this mileage claim without thoroughly investigating it myself. Please don't imply that I'm a fool or a crook without having a look yourself rather than speculating based on photographs. The car measures up in every way that I can think of.

 

I would enjoy the benefit of your expert examination and if I've made a mistake, I'll happily correct it. Please come see it and then decide.

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"The odometer numbers do not line up.a sign that its been turned back."

Really?? That's a crock. I've seen and owned many GM vehicles that are verified original that the odo's dont line up perfectly.

Nice Olds you have there Matt. If it were priced in Canadian dollars I could likely find a new owner for it.

 I've brokered a few 50's Old's in the last year or two and I think you have a genuine low miler.

olds57 008.jpg

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The '57 98 Starfire coupe was a restored car. done to a very high level. the 59 Super 88 Vista roof was a very original Alberta car, one family owned, never painted.

The 62 Starfire was a decent driver quality. None of these could compare on an originality basis with your 56 from what I can tell by the photos

olds59hnda 007.jpg

starfire 002.jpg

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Speaking of tires, I noted a lack of balancing weights.  I think it was right around this time that the industry began balancing the wheels at the factory.  (if there were issues the dealer was to balance them) 

You have pictured only one wheel, but it doesn't seem to have any weight marks.

Nice car. 

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There are balancing weights on the back of the wheels that look more recent than 1956, although not much more recent. I suspect that the weights were removed from the fronts of the wheels just to make it look good and then the wheels were re-balanced (you can see a spot on the one wheel where a weight probably lived).

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I'm waiting for someone to say "Paint was never that shiny back in the day". My brother had a '78 Camaro in similar as new condition showing only 4800 miles. His father-in-law purchased the car for his wife. She was a bit uh...crazy,  and was afraid of air conditioning so he ordered it without air. Consequently she would not ride in it because it was "too hot". Bro had a tough time selling it because people refused to believe the mileage. Was interesting listening to their "evidence" that the mileage was incorrect or that the car had "obviously" been repainted. 

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Matt I did not mean to infer that you were any thing less a stand up dealer. I just put my wife in a nursing home so in a few days I will tell you why I think I am qualified to comment on your nice 56 Olds.  Dan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

olds

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Matt, I can think of two collectors that may have bought your car and hope they did.  It is a great car!

 

Dan, I am sorry to hear about your wife but would love to correspond with you as I sense you are part of the family from Griffin Motors.  For those unaware, Griffin Oldsmobile had a huge history in NASCAR.

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