Continental Equipped! Excellent 1958 Oldsmobile 88

Oh, Oldsmobile, where have you gone? From technological leader to the hubris of the fifties to the ignominy of the late ’70s to dissolution. If you’re a car person, it’s a long, sad story. But forget that for now as we regale in the past with this 1958 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 two-door hardtop. This chrome-laden cruiser is located in Vancleave, Mississippi and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $21,200 with 30 bids tendered as of this writing.

Longer, lower and wider was the mantra for 1958, along with an extra helping of chrome thrown in for good measure. All of the GM divisions succumbed to the trend and produced some pretty outrageous-looking cars. Oldsmobile covered the bases with the Ninety-Eight at the top, Super 88 in the middle, and the Dynamic 88, such as our example, bringing up the rear. Dynamic 88 body styles included a two-door “Holiday” hardtop, sedan, and convertible. Four-door models included a hardtop (Holiday Sedan), a traditional sedan, and Fiesta station wagons.

OK, so the elephant in the room is the massive continental kit perched onto the rear of this Olds. It juts out like a displaced jaw, there’s just no missing it! The origins supposedly harken back to the 1942 Lincoln Continental where it made its first appearance. By the mid-fifties, it became all the rage and continental kits were made for virtually every marque. And to this day, they are still being produced by companies like Continental Kit – it’s an acquired taste I gather. Back to this Olds 88, the seller refers to it as, “Fifties time capsule Art deco at his best“. I’d agree with the time capsule comment but it’s hardly what I remember of the visual art style known as Art Deco (and then again, I wasn’t an art student either). Nevertheless, it’s in excellent condition and is listed as a rust-free Arizona car. Dare I say, survivor? The seller makes no mention of a repaint or any refurbishing.

Power is provided by a 370 CI V8 engine of either 265 or 305 (Super Rocket) gross HP, the seller doesn’t disclose which, working through a Hydramatic automatic transmission, known in Oldsmobile parlance as a “Jetaway”. The seller claims, “Big block rocket motor and automatic transmission in flawless running condition, brakes and tires in excellent condition, exhaust in great condition…” The only noted issue is the possibility of a front seal leak as the bottom of a front cross member and the lower suspension arms are oil covered.

Inside is a bit confusing as the seller states, “carpets and headliner wrapped in the original bubble wrap“. I’m not seeing that but the plastic seat covers are hard to miss – and they’re not bubble wrap. Those were a very common ’60s accessory, our family BelAir had one covering the front seat to protect it from a younger sibling who had a tendency to ralph all over the place on long car rides. Talk about uncomfortable…especially in a non-air-conditioned car, you’ll stick right to them. The carpet does look like new, almost too new on this undisclosed mileage, 63-year-old coupe.  The dash and instrument panel have that typical chrome-adorned, futuristic look that was so prevalent on upscale cars of this era. It’s in very nice shape!

Cuts a swath and makes a statement is how I would describe this 1958 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88. This is truly a perfect example of ’50s American motoring and a magnificently complete car. It’s what Oldsmobile referred to as “Oldsmobility” and the likelihood of finding another, in a similar condition, is probably slim, wouldn’t you agree?

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Comments

  1. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Nice Olds of the Extreme Chrome era at G.M. I could lose the continental kit mostly because the rear bumper looks ridiculous sticking out like that. A three piece bumper looks muck cleaner if you must have a continental kit.
    God bless America

    Like 7
  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    A beautiful car that typifies the excesses of the late ’50s. I’m not a fan of that outrageous continental kit and I’d be inclined to remove it and put the rear end back to stock. I’d also remove the plastic seat covers as I would like to show the interior at it’s best and not stick to the seats on a hot day. There’s a lot to like about this car, it’s a real gem. There’s a lot to be said about a turn-key classic; just get in and cruise.

    Like 8
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    After the beautiful ’57 it was ugly then and it’s ugly now.

    Like 7
    • BigDoc98783

      Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Buick were cars I associated with rich people. This car backs up that association.

      Like 3
    • Tony T

      Uglier’n my Gramma … I growed up in this era of butt-ugly cars. The perfect car, then, was some SBC ’56 … with 4-bbl(s), a 4.56, & a 4-speed T-10. Oh,and a “30-30” cam. “Rump-rump”.

  4. Robert White

    I’m smitten with the 58 Olds and Chevy Impala.

    Nice car. The kind of car even Howard would agree with me on.

    Bob

    Like 6
  5. Rodney - GSM

    As I recall, the left rear tail light fin was hinged to reveal the gas filler cap. Am I wrong?

    Like 5
  6. SubGothius

    Legend has it when the execs were reviewing trim proposals for one of the ’58s (I seem to recall it was the Olds in particular), they were presented as slides or transparencies of a bare body overlaid with another layer for each trim scheme. Well, two of the trim layers got stuck together, presenting a scheme with double the intended chrome, delighting the execs who then green-lit it for production.

    Like 3
  7. normadesmond

    Baby’s got W A Y too much back.

    “Fifties time capsule Art deco at his best“

    Uh, art deco kind of ended in the ’30s. 😜

    Like 6
    • Mr PMG

      I’m assuming they had a designer actually named Art Deco at GM.

      Like 2
  8. Ike Onick

    Trunk Monkey required for parking assistance.

    Like 6
    • Bill Potts

      Too bad they didn’t invent rear view cameras back then. This land barge could use one. I wonder if you could install one on it. The continental kit would justify it

      Like 3
  9. Haig L Haleblian

    From the aesthetic perspective this thing was beat with an ugly stick. This whale or a 58 Porsche Speedster. Think you boys and girls know my vote.

    Like 3
  10. 86_Vette_Convertible

    The seat covers were aftermarket, in fact had some similar ones on my 67 Malibu. They do keep the interior clean until they get old and cracked.
    This one reminds me of one my one aunts first husband had (including the continental kit). He worked for the RR cleaning up train wrecks and made sure he showed he made a lot more $$ than the various farmers in the family made, what with the Olds vs. the Fords and Chevy’s the rest of the family drove. He always came across as pompous, trying to show how much money he made.
    The continental kit was just something us kids would climb and sit on, till he saw us and told us to get the heck off his car. Never cared for it then and don’t today, should be removed.

    Like 3
  11. Arby

    And this is the cheap model???

    Like 1
  12. Howard A Member

    Chrome! Everything is CHROME! So much can be said about the ’58 Olds. We weren’t fighting any wars, rock and roll was all the rage, we made and bought our own cars, times were good, and we wanted to express that in the cars we drove. The flashy chrome, the multi colors, excess was the rule, and none more evident than the late 50’s cars, unlike today, where it’s better to just “blend in” with a silver “jellybean”. While I personally could never spend $20g’s on this, I could see someone captivated by it’s sheer style, just like in 1958. Great find, and say what you will, a continental kit was the utmost of style for the time. To have a car like this, and remove the kit, would be a shame. Be half a classic, to me.

    Like 7
  13. Vance

    I love this car, the chrome, the color, the style, as was previously said it epitomizes the 50’s. But I absolutely hate the continental kit, it sticks out like Bubba Blue’s lower lip, its hideous and ruins the car. I would proudly drive this car, and pass every look alike jelly bean sedan and SUV on the road. They would see my huge grill in their rearview, and then smell my super ethyl gas fumes as I flew by them.

    Like 6
  14. Rick

    You could have a picnic with all of your friends on that back porch.

    Like 3
  15. Bob Mck Member

    I have wanted one of these for years. I think they are beautiful. I would remove the continental kit. But I am sure there are lots of people that would keep it.
    Someday… I will have one with a 50’s crazy color.

    Like 3
  16. martinsane

    Stunning.

    Seems.some freah black Krylon under the hood?

  17. Gary Rhodes

    Fifty eight was a crappy year for GM, styling wise. Corvette, to much crap on it. Olds, Buick, Pontiac, the same, Chevy was the only decent looking one from GM that year imho. Their new car/truck line up is just as hideous, their stylist suck IMHO.

    Like 2
  18. Phil Maniatty

    The repeat of the roof color in the front fender coves, doesn’t look original. The ’58 Olds catalog doesn’t show this color treatment for any two-tone base 88 models. Only the roof is a contrasting color.

  19. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    What a beauty !

    Like 1
  20. deak E Stevens

    I agree with so many take off that continental kit.they never belonged on vehicles anyway. Father inlaw had 1958 he sold it to my younger brother for$250.00 don’t know what happened to it, wish I would have got it and saved it like so many cars I let go,if I keep all those cars I let get away from me today if they were rusted or not, I’d be filthy rich from all those cars,like my 59 impala and 60 impala that I paid o ly 200 dollars for.like I said I would be rich!

  21. Gary Raymond Member

    One more word on the ‘bubblewrap’ seats: ‘Surefit’. As I recall they were a chain of stores that specialized in all kinds of seat covers, including the clear bubble type on this one. My 55 Chev 210 had those, had the receipt in the glovebox.

  22. Phil

    Seat covers were sold by Finger Hut in the 50s Dad had them on every Mercury he ever had no yellowing or cracking but always used a blanket over them great car I’d take this cross country anytime be like sitting on your couch watching TV

  23. MLM

    This car is fabulous compared to what they are making today.I too could do without that Continental Kit,but to each their own.This was made when car divisions dared to be different unlike today.

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