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31 Year Storage: 1949 Oldsmobile

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This Olds has been sitting for the last 31 years. It looks like it’s mostly there except for the original wheels, all, including the steering wheel. The engine turns but does not run. It’s list here on craigslist in Wisconsin Dells for $5,600.

If that silly backwards steering wheel is any indication of how it’s been treated, there likely could be engine and transmission problems. The 303 V8 and 4 speed transmission could have been run until something broke? There’s no obvious rust, but there could be huge problems. This could make a great driver, but I can imagine someone slamming it and doing other sad things to it…


  1. 64 bonneville

    might have been “stored” 31 years, but the blue dot tail lights, a resurgence of an early 50s’ customizing trick, also the steering wheel is most likely from the late 1980s’ as that was a west coast thing in the mid to late 80s’ putting it on backwards, as seen in custom magazines of that time. many of the body panels will interchange with a 49-50 Chevy of the same body style. (my dad worked as an auditor for the Fisher Body Division of GM from 49- to 82)

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  2. anthony

    Would look sweet as a 50s custom. Just lower the front a little and some Caddy sombrero hub caps and a spotlight and its good to go.

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  3. john carapiet

    How about a Carrera PanAmerican or NASCAR vintage racer. Think Mc Griff or Red Bryant?

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  4. Howard A Member

    Man, I’d love to know the story on this car. While I never cared for the “frowny faced” GM’s of this time, I believe this was the 1st factory hod rod. I too have seen the steering wheel reversed in semi’s ( to get lower in the driving position)( silly, indeed). What a neat car then, and now.

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  5. Mark S

    It’s bad enough that these old car did NOT have collapsible steering shafts and no seat belts, but to flip the streering wheel is suicidal. I like the look of the car though.

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    • Brad

      I’m not sure at 30MPH or greater that it’d make a big difference. Either way your sternum is gonna be mounted on the dashboard. Yeesh… just grossed myself out.

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  6. Gary

    I like these vintage Olds, this was one of my Fathers favorite car’s (fastback model) of the 50’s era till he started buying Cadillac’s. I heard a story (decades ago) about the ’49 olds as the fastest production car in the quarter mile at that time. Because the Old’s lineup was the GM test car it was launched off an Aircraft Carrier, I’m not sure the top speed but sure would have been fun to see.!

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    • Gord

      This year Olds was top of its stock class in.the mid 60s with NHRA had stock categories. This was pretty bracket racing.

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    • John Schiessl

      I remember Hot Rod doing a pictorial in the early 60s of the navy testing a catapult on a carrier (Enterprise perhaps) but I remember them using a Dodge. Seems it went nearly a 1/4 mile before hitting the water.

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  7. Dave at OldSchool Restorastions

    ……this WAS the first ” Muscle Car” from Detroit…. this was basically a lightweight Chevy Coupe with an OHV v8 …. The Hydramatic was pretty good, but the 3 speeds were fast ….. “Rocket” was an appropriate name for the motors

    ……..Blue dots were the real deal in the 50’s… and could get you a ticket if the cop wanted to bust your butt, as showing any blue could be ‘considered’ illegal, at least in Mass. where I was.

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  8. DENIS

    I’d buy it immediately but not at that price…love the old Oldsmobiles-have had several….

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  9. Dennis M

    You women have heard of jalopies
    You’ve heard the noise they make
    Let me introduce my new Rocket 88

    Jackie Brenston, who was a member of Ike Turner’s Rhythm Kings, sang lead. The single was credited to “Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats”

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