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Another Restovivor: 1951 Oldsmobile Super 88


Lately I’ve been running across a lot of 1950s and 60s sedans that are a combination of decent original cars with some restoration or refurbishment work–“restovivors.” Not enough work to make them concours examples, but a step above worn originals in condition. Most seem to be four-doors, and thus don’t necessarily justify a full restoration from a value after complete point of view, but those that know me know that I love my four doors! This Oldsmobile Super 88 is another restovivor that might be deserving of your attention. It’s listed for sale here on eBay with a buy it now of $9,000 but you can make lower offers.


Just look at the styling of those tail lights! Even those this is the early 50’s, they sure look art deco to me. The “Super 88” was somewhat upscale compared to the regular “88” and all of them had the Rocket 88 V8 as standard. I’m sure this is a repaint, but the gloss and straightness of reflections make this seem like a pretty good one to me. Chrome looks just fine for a driver.


The seller tells us that the car came from Utah and has 73,000 original miles. They also say there are fender skirts included that obviously are not fitted here. We’re not told if there is any rust, but I certainly can’t see any in the pictures.


I was unable to determine whether or not this is the original upholstery, but it certainly looks period if it isn’t. I like the practicality of the rubber floor as well. There are inexpensive carpet kits available if you want to go that route. As you can see from the two pedals, this is an automatic. Assuming it has the original transmission, it would be a four-speed Hydra-Matic transmission similar to what was in Cadillacs at the time. The seller tells us it has new seals.


The Rocket V8 under the hood certainly looks original enough, although things like hose clamps certainly aren’t. That’s a 303 cubic inch engine that has been rebuilt with standard size bearings and rings. Some other components such as the fuel pump have been replaced as well. This really seems like a nice car for less than $10,000–I’d sure hate to try to duplicate it for that amount. Can this restovivor overcome the four-door stigma?


  1. David Wilk Member

    Upholstery looks original to me. I had one of these cars for a few years in very similar color. Mine was a one owner original car, but quite worn. The one for sale here looks great, and very reasonably priced. These Super 88s are really nice driving cars. Nice find Jamie.

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  2. Eric

    I will say this I’d rather have a sedan being that everyone likes the 2 doors which seems to be driving up the prices… if I had 50k… I could buy 4 of these over 1 $50k 2 door… thanks I know I’m captain obvious today

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  3. Rich

    Love the resto mods and restovivors. You can drive the heck out of them without worry of a scratching it or running up miles on a survivor.

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  4. Bruno M

    Gorgeous car!

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  5. grant

    I love it, 4 door or not. I actually had to look twice to notice it was a 4 door, the “slash mark” chrome at the rear breaks up the lines of the doors a bit. This is where the hobby is going I think. For us “normals” on budgets, to enjoy old cars without going broke we are going to have to reconsider some of what may have been previously ignored. Personally, I love this. Nice find.

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  6. Neil

    I rather like this one – the colour, shape and condition tick all the right boxes. if I weren’t in the UK I’d make the seller an offer!

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  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    I love this car and I love 4-doors. The only 2-doors I have in my collection are my trucks.

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  8. Jim

    This is a great car for someone starting out or who doesn’t have the room for multiple cars. A nice driver to use and work on. Personally for a driver a four door is perfect, cheaper than a two door and it leaves more money to invest.

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  9. Ralph Robichaud

    That’s a car to love-classy and neat in every respect.

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  10. Glenn

    I had one just like this when I was 16, but green & white. Paid $19 for it. Beautiful, wonderful solid quiet car wish I still had it. For some reason, it would run for a while, then would stall, and required a 12v boost to crank it fast enough to start. Had several mechanics look at it, nobody could figure it out, couldn’t afford to take it to the dealership, so sold it.

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