Barn Fresh! 1957 Oldsmobile Super 88 Convertible

 

It’s not often that we see a ’57 Olds anymore, let alone a convertible, but this one is fresh out of the barn and up for sale here on eBay out of Maple Shade, New Jersey. The bid is at $4,000, reserve not met, with 4 days remaining at time of this publication.

The middle of the 20th century was a prosperous time for much of America, and Oldsmobile’s marketing in those days proclaimed “For ’57, the accent’s on Oldsmobile – the car that puts the accent on You!” They wanted you to know that it was a big car, with a futuristic new look and all of the “big car” accouterments. Compared to its major competition, though, the Oldsmobile 88 was a relative lightweight, which meant that having a standard 371ci V8 under the hood, pumping out 277hp,  gave the car excellent performance. That “Golden Rocket” would get you there quickly and in classy form, no doubt!

In this case it’s a convertible, which makes it that much more rare. Unfortunately, its condition is anything but desirable. The seller gives us some decent images, though, and doesn’t shy away from the fact that this car would need a complete, intense rehabilitation process to get back to its former glory.

It appears to be optioned with the base engine, automatic transmission, and power steering, so that’s a start. If only it had the J2 triple-carb setup…

In this author’s opinion, it’s a neat car, but it would likely make more sense to use it as spare parts. I will say, though, that if I had stupid-money, I would totally have this car restored and proudly take it out to shows every chance I got. Do you have a cool story about one of these? What do you think of this one? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Comments

  1. Arthell64 Member

    It would take some deep pockets to restore this car. But it would make a cool car.

    Like 6
    • canadainmarkseh Member

      Recently I was told that when it comes to metal and rust that I don’t know what I’m talking about and I should keep my opinions to myself, and that they are sick of hearing from me. I was told that prep and paint work is to expensive and there for not needed. I’ve been a licensed mechanic since 1985 and a licences welder since 2006. So I feel that I do know what I’m talking about, and I’m here to tell that this car is rough but repairable. You see when I fix this kind of damage I just buy new sheet metal and form it myself. I don’t need preformed Panels, and in doing that I’m able to cut my costs dramatically. Of course being a guy that doesn’t know what I’m talking about how would I know what I’m staring at. Who knows we could be looking at unchecked patina or surface rust I ask my hot shot critics what they would do to fix this car. I suspect that they’d go steel a couple of stop signs and screws then to the remains of this floor. These guys called me out saying that I don’t know what I’m talking about and that there sick of hearing from me, well I’m sick of something too. I’m sick of hearing how great a patina rust bucket looks. So I trust the guys that are looking at this are not calling this patina anymore there calling it to far gone because it was left as patina rust for to long and it’s over there heads to deal with. I’m a structural welder this is not hard for me to fix of course what do I know.

      Like 32
      • ken tilly UK Member

        There’s always someone that think they know better than you do Canada. Do what I do, ignore them, or as my son says “Delete” them and carry on with the work that you know through experience is correct. Us people that know absolutely nothing about cutting and welding enjoy reading about how body and rust problems are overcome so don’t lose too much sleep over naysayers comments.

        Like 13
      • FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

        canadainmarkseh, you shouldn’t give a big rat’s a$$ what other people think and your opinion is just as valid as anyone’s here. Personally, I’ve enjoyed your comments and most of the comments posted here by others on BarnFinds. Every now and then there’s a comment posted that I don’t care for but for the most part I find the community of enthusiasts here an interesting, knowledgeable and entertaining bunch of guys.

        Having been in the antiques business for years, I know what patina is. Having also lived in the Northeast, I know what rust is. They are not the same. Never cared for the so-called “patina” look on a classic car because it’s actually rust which I’ve spent a lifetime trying to avoid. There are a lot of guys that like the look which is fine by me. Just don’t try to make me like it or get all bent out of shape if I comment that I don’t care for it.

        Like 16
      • Fred W

        Canadainmarkseh, I for one value your opinion. I’ve been fooling with old cars since the early 70’s and can do almost anything, except metal and bodywork (made many attempts in my youth and none were anything to brag about). I’d love to hear about how an experienced welder/ bodyman would get this one back in shape. Anyone who can do it without buying preformed panels has my ultimate respect.

        Like 12
      • canadainmarkseh Member

        Thanks for your comments guys and if you really want to see a guy who knows metal check out Cold War motors Scott is his name. He pulled a a 1960 fury 2door hardtop out of a slew and grafted it onto a 4 door chassis. He makes all his own panels too. He’s a true artist at rust repair. It all on his youtube channel.

        Like 7
      • cunnanm

        I love CWM, Scott and his videos! He is unbelievable and my only complaint is that there isn’t a new video to watch everyday!

        Like 1
      • canadainmarkseh Member

        I’ve rematches his videos a couple times him and his gang of friends are real characters, I to wish that he’d post more often.

        Like 1
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    The pure rarity of the ’57s alone would be enough to restore this car but when’s the last time anyone saw a convertible version? I too have spent most of my life welding together rare cars to save them. This Porsche race car was put on the track in 1965 and found in ’83 about to go to the crusher, full of rusty exhaust pipe pieces. Very rusty and damage everywhere. Pictures taken out of the “baby book” that we keep on all our builds but the note on top tells you how long it took to do this one. It’s presently in California being raced in Vintage events.

    Like 9
  3. JBP

    That have bin a very nice car, but i think ist 25 year to late. now it stay on $7500 reserve met, but i wouldnt know where to start. somebody once said, buy the best car u can find, and have Money enough for. there must be better Projects outthere.. i also fix everything myself, never buy shet metal parts, make everything myself, also engine and elektronic.. i dont have the go, for so big Projects nomore, i start loosing it, when Body work is done…
    this isnt for mee, and never a converteble, from eastcoast.. im done, with so rusty cars…

  4. Pat

    Seeing that car on the road, actually functioning, would turn my head. So much rarer and unique than the ubiquitous tri chevies. Hope it sees the road again.

    Like 7
  5. ccrvtt

    Being from Lansing I have a soft spot for anything Oldsmobile. In my not-so-humble opinion the ’55-’57 models are far more desirable than any tri-five Chevy. Not that I dislike the tri-fives, but there are so many other cars that are worth a look. The Oldsmobiles of this era have really delicate and graceful lines, almost feminine, that contrast and coordinate with the bold grille/bumper styling. The headlights on the Olds are so smooth and elegant when compared to the Chevy.

    This one looks pretty far gone, though I don’t doubt that someone with the skills (canadainmarkseh) could probably bring it back. It just looks like a whole lot of work.

    When I see a car like this I see a representation of what it once was and possibly could be again. Then the reality of my lack of skills and money kicks in and I move on.

    Probably why I’m still married…

    Like 9
  6. Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

    This car is definitely restorable. In fact, it got my juices flowing when I saw it. When I was 14 or so, Ma (who loved convertibles) finally got to buy a used one….a black Olds 88 convertible (similar to the attached picture of a 98 model). She wasn’t a small woman (5’7″ or so, 145 lbs) and this car was a beaut….but it didn’t have power steering. She drove it work every day for 2-3 years, but parallel parking was hard work, so much so that it strained her neck. She finally parted with it in favor of a used 59 Pontiac Catalina convertible, powder blue with same colored top and an aquamarine interior…that I got to drive as a 17 year old fairly regularly. If the instant Olds was closer to me in the south, I’d be very tempted to take it on (despite the mulitude of projects in my yard right now).

    And to Canada, ignore the trolls. You do you and be happy with your obvious skills and knowledge, for which I’d kill or die to have. Your panel-beating inspires me to try same.

    Like 6
    • canadainmarkseh Member

      Eric, seriously check out Cold War motors on YouTube. Scott is an artist at it. And he doesn’t have a lot of fancy equipment either. I’ve learned a few things from him too. He does a lot of his forming with a wooden stump and a ball peen hammer. Check him out. I’m pretty good at it scott’s an artist at it.

      Like 3
      • Marshall

        I think this ‘57 Olds has your name on it! You’re the only one on here who claims to have the metallurgical skills necessary to restore it without prohibitive cost. You better get it before CWM does (though he lives in Alberta).

        Like 1
  7. newfieldscarnut

    Very cool and definitely restorable . But what do I know ? Awesome to see that someone put it away years ago and didn’t just junk it . Cash for clunkers was the stupidest and most asinine fiasco ever … but what do I know ?

    Like 4
  8. bigdoc

    Canada keep on brother I too wish I had your skills

    Like 3
  9. Carcrazy

    Definitely worth restoring. Sure, it won’t be cheap, but then again it will be worth north of 50k any day so there’s room to play and enjoy.
    These cars are far more substantial and more enjoyable luxurious rides than tie five chevys.

    Like 3
  10. Stevieg

    Canadianmarkseh, I hope these trolls don’t drive you off like they did Howard (grateful he is back).
    I have learned from you guys, along with others on this site. I am fairly new here, but I love it here. I love cars, & I have nothing but love & respect for others that do too.
    I don’t have a lot of mechanical knowledge. My Dad had other priorities while I was growing up (and not much knowledge himself) & my Grandfather who raised me had even less mechanical skills. I could tell stories about him lol.
    I am almost 50 years old, and want to learn far more than I currently know. I am hoping to continue to learn from all of you, & hopefully be able to do an accurate frame off restoration one day.
    Gotta go. At the bar. Beer is getting warm & Packer game will be starting soon (1& 3/4 hours).

    Like 4
  11. Del

    Barn Fresh ?

    Barn Stale more like it

  12. Rick

    Vintage smokes on the dash…. lol…

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