Heart Breaker: 1959 Oldsmobile 98 Convertible

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How many times have you seen a car that looked like a dream come true in the photos only to find that the car was in rougher shape than you thought? Well sadly that is the story here with this ’59 Olds 98. The exterior shots really fool you into thinking that this is a solid convertible that needs little. Well the great news about this Olds is that the exterior is in fair shape but the floors are a completely different story. Despite this fact, the seller is throwing in an Olds 88 sedan in with the sale so perhaps some sheet metal can be robbed from the 88. With 18 bids, this duo has been bid up to $2,650. Check it out here on eBay out of Bangor, Pennsylvania.

Much like the exterior appearance, the engine compartment isn’t too shabby and the 394 Rocket V8 actually runs with the help of a bottle to supply fuel. Equipped with power steering and power brakes, this car has spent nearly 40 years stored away. The engine compartment is grimy but looks like it would clean up with a solid washing. There is some evidence of rust on the firewall, but that is only the beginning.

Looking at the interior is where your heart starts to break. The floors are almost completely gone, but many of the structural supports have survived, although they are crispy. The two tone interior is a nice match of colors, but the interior will need just about everything in order to be revived.  The dash and unique steering wheel are in fair shape, so hopefully they could be worked out and restored.

Appearing solid with minor imperfections to be found, the exterior of this Olds is very misleading as to the condition of this car. Surprisingly the exterior isn’t too shabby with some minor dents and surface rust to be found. Everything seems well with the exterior, but the lower portion of the rockers on this car are rotted. The trunk lip edge suffers from rot, and the trunk floor also has some rot to be found. Certainly an ambitious project, this Olds would be great to see restored, but it would have to be a labor of love for the right person. There are no pictures of the 88 to be seen, but hopefully it is a viable parts car that could aid in rebuilding this convertible. Would you save this  Oldsmobile 98 ?

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  1. GPMember

    I bet this car was stunning when new. Lots of style, chrome and that dash and steering wheel are great design together.

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  2. Classic Steel

    This could be rebuilt but will take elbow grease but very possible.

    Anything is possible if you can weld and fabricate and spend some cash but the question is do you want to do it…..?

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  3. Beatnik Bedouin

    This one’s a major restoration project, but would make a very nice car when done.

    A bit of useless trivia for ‘y’all: There was a French comedy, called ‘La Belle Americaine’ that featured a customised Olds convertible in it

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    • James HGF

      This custom was crafted by Raymond Loewy’s favorite carrosserie, Pichon & Parat. Their other notable movie custom is the long, long nosed E-Type for the film Le Petit Baigneur of 1968.

      Pichon & Parat: http://leroux.andre.free.fr/pichonparat.htm

      Scroll down 4/5th of the page for the film machines. Explore the full page for photos and data on the machines they created which include a smattering of odd designs.

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      • Beatnik Bedouin

        Merci beaucoup, James, for the link.

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      • kenzo

        A lot of their designs seem to have 50’s ford and mercury influence.
        wish I read French
        Thanks B B

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    • mikeH

      I would love to see the movie. I can find out lots about it, but can’t find it anywhere online.

      Like 0
  4. ccrvtt

    The steering wheel and the taillights alone make it almost worth a total restoration.


    This one’s too far gone.

    Like 0
    • Miguel

      Too far gone just because of the floors?

      They are easily replaced or fabricated.

      Much worse has been brought back. Remember some of the Camaros featured on this site?

      Like 1
      • ccrvtt

        Not being a metalworker I must defer to those who know. But upon a second viewing of the corpse I see much more than non-existent floors – such as rust & rot around the decklid, door jambs fading away, a front bumper that looks like tinfoil, missing rocker trim (you ain’t gonna get that from an 88 parts car), every inch of the interior needs to be replaced, and more.

        I agree with Miguel that much worse has probably been resurrected (see every Porsche 356 feature) but this would be a project only to be undertaken (funereal reference pun intended) by the very stout of heart.

        Also agree that a ’59 98 would be cooler than the Caddy, but that may just be the Olds junkie in me.

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      • carsofchaos

        Agreed Miguel. I am always happy when people shy away from cars just because the floors are shot. Here’s a little secret for ya’all: floors are about the easiest rust repair to perform that there is. Shhhhhhhh.
        Now when it comes to replacing the trim pieces that’s another story entirely. Since Olds has never been an overly popular make with “enthusiasts” (even though it’s my favorite make) this will be a long term project with a lot of late nights hunting for parts on the interwebs.

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  5. John Newell

    I can make the new floors for this car. The parts would cost about $1,000 and the inner and outer rockers about the same. There would still need to be other fabrication needed for parts that aren’t visible, but really this is a very restorable and worthwhile project when you consider what the final product would be worth. It appears to be complete too. Don’t sell this sweetheart short!

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    • oldy

      Hi, I have a 59 convertible need lower rear quarter around wheel wells, and complete trunk floor pan – can you fab these ?

      Like 0
  6. jcs

    About the only way this is worth what the seller thinks is if rust is worth money. The last time I checked, it wasn’t.

    Like 0
    • Miguel

      Have you seen the prices of convertible ’59 Cadillacs recently?

      This car is rarer than those.

      Like 0
  7. BarnfindyCollins

    I saw this and thought of my Mom’s car she got when graduating in ’59. She and my Dad , while courting,took it to Myrtle Beach and the tide came in on them. The car never was the same and after a ticket on New Years Day ’61 for tail lights out in Clinton, SC was traded in for a ’60 Chevrolet. Hope someone is still using that file cabinet or porch glider it became.

    Like 0
  8. Metoo

    When I looked at the first photo I said to myself, “Hmmmm, not too bad.” Then I looked at the rest of photos and said to myself, ” Hmmmm, I guess you really can polish a t**d. “

    Like 0
  9. Canadian Mark S. Eh!

    Great styling cool car back in the day. But the way it is now…..? You’d really want to have an olds 98 to want to restore this car. This is a brace it first then body off frame rotisserie restoration. This is one of the reasons I don’t like Convertables. When they start to leak the floors become bath tubs then disintigrate. The early 50’s cars still had there floors level with the door sill and were less prone to this extent of rot. This must have been a field find owned by a guy that thought little of this cars value after all it was just another old land barge for many years.

    Like 0
  10. Denis Flaherty

    My dad had a white ’59 98 droptop with black top, maroon leather upholstery….beeeyooootiful….rear 1/4 panels were a block long….would love to have this……completed….not enough time left to restore this one

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  11. John

    Call Fred Flintstone.

    Like 1
  12. Steve A.

    Yeah, you would definitely be burning the midnight oil with this one. A nice example of Americana though. Deserves to be put right. Just not by me. LOL

    Like 0
  13. Steve A.

    Wish the new owner luck with it!

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  14. BOP_GUY BOP GuyMember

    If I had the money, I’d do it myself ! This is a beauty that needs to be saved. I see that it’s no longer on eBay, so hopefully someone scooped it up to restore to original (but that’s just my preference). Would make a great restomod too!

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  15. Pete

    Think about a 59 Impala convertible, this is even more rare than that. Trying to find original replacement parts is going to be a big problem. Turning this car into original parts car far less of a problem. You could actually make money with that idea. There are only a handful for sale at the moment this being the only convertible. $27k was the top ask on a nice 4 door. What to do what to do?

    Like 0

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