One Family Since New! 1955 Oldsmobile 88

Wouldn’t it be great to be a fly on the wall at a large self-storage facility, think of all of the old cars that are probably squirreled away behind those orange roll-up doors! That’s the first thing that I thought when I came across this 1955 Oldsmobile 88 four-door sedan, located in Warner Robins, GA and for sale on Autotrader for $5,500.

I have always liked ’55 Oldsmobiles I guess because my father had a black 88 two-door coupe, festooned with bright blue upholstery, many years ago. I barely remember the car but I do remember the hood badge which was a circular black and silver representation of the Americas including north, central and south. It seemed unusual to have a brief geography lesson as an automobile hood emblem. This ’55 example is showing a lot of originality, it appears to be a white and pale blue two-tone combination with very faded paint but a solid looking body.

Under the hood is the standard “Rocket” V8, displacing 324 CI and wringing out 185 HP via a two-barrel carburetor. The owner states that the engine runs well and was a daily driver, though I don’t know how long ago. It’s good to see the original air cleaner assembly as these frequently go missing. The transmission is an automatic which means a GM Hydramatic.

There is not a real clear image of the interior but what can be seen shows an OK looking front seat and door cards but a dash pad that has come apart. The fact that it has a dash pad is interesting as padded dashes were not a requirement in 1955 – many were just painted steel.

The driver indicates that there is a dent in the rear driver side door and that can be clearly seen in the accompanying image but there is no additional information regarding rust or frame condition. The listing claims that this car has been in a “controlled environment” for 20 years so if that means “climate-controlled” that is certainly helpful in terms of preservation.

I chose this particular car for several reasons, one of which is the fact that it is a four-door sedan – the dreaded body style that has become the Rodney Dangerfield of old/collectible cars, the one that never seems to get any respect. I know the two-door models generally have a “sportier” or more balanced appearance but the four-door models are the ones that sold in greater volumes and propelled so many people and their families through their daily rituals of life – they have value for that task alone. I also liked the fact that this Oldsmobile has remained in the same family for 64 years. Apparently, it’s time for a new home for this 88 and the seller says he will consider all offers – what do you think about taking a run at this Oldsmobile? I say four cheers for four doors!

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Comments

  1. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    For a long time, I worked in a “Climate Controlled” warehouse. That meant whatever the climate was outside, that’s also what it was inside. A nice old ride here though I think it’s priced a little high considering the work it needs. Lots of potential if you can do most of the restoration yourself.

    I think values on vintage 4-doors are on the way up, though somewhat slowly. They were the model that were purchased by a dad with a growing family; not too sporty but practical. When they were worn out or had a major mechanical failure they were usually junked. The sporty 2-doors were repaired or got an engine or transmission swap when things went bad. Or they were put away for that planned restoration “one day.” While the 4-door sedans were generally made in greater numbers than their 2-door siblings, I’d guess that after a few decades, there are more 2-doors around than the “two-doors-too-many” sedans. Excellent condition originals are difficult to find and seem to bring decent money; they’re usually priced a lot cheaper than a comparable 2-door so they can be an attractive entry into the hobby. I have an all original ’64 4-door sedan and it gets a lot of attention at the local shows and cruise-ins because folks seldom see them. Plus it’s an un-restored, low-mileage, all original survivor.

    Buy them now while they’re relative cheap, you’ll be glad you did. I know I am.

    Like 12
    • Miguel

      When you see a dent on a door like that where the trim is, that is a red flag. That trim piece, or two, is going to cost a pretty penny, if you can find it.

      It is the small pieces that cost your arm and leg when fixing a car like this.

  2. Bob S

    The 55 Olds 88 2dr Hdtp was one of my favourite cars, but I wouldn’t have any problem owning the steadfast 4dr sedan.
    I think this car is priced a little high, but the owner is open to offers, and is willing to let the market decide what the car is worth.
    I hope it finds a good home and doesn’t become a donor for some other project.
    Bob

    Like 6
  3. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Looks like a Texas plate from not to long ago….maybe 2005 ?

    • PatrickM

      Registration sticker in the front window say “2006.” So, even if it has been parked for a while, it “was running when parked.” Mostly I am cautious about those statements but, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t run now. I really like this car. But, if the owner/seller really wants to sell it for a decent price, they are going to have to take it out into the light, wash it, clean the interior, show underside pics and maybe do some quick inexpensive maintenance. Wow! Wouldn’t that make a huge difference. Right now I am not interested. But, if I were, my bid would be no more that $2,500.00, considering the amount of work needed.

  4. local_sheriff

    Ah, the 55 Olds 88 has a special place in my heart as it was my very first car…almost. I was 16 at the time and the check to the seller was already filled out but I backed out in the last minute as its transmission proved faulty during the last test drive. To this day I don’t know whether that was a good thing or not, but one can’t omit the fact that a ’55 Olds is a tricky vehicle to locate parts for – particularly in the pre-internet era.

    I think the 88 looks a tad BETTER than the 98 due to its stubby look. The one I passed on also had a minute chromed windshield visor that looked very OE, never seen another Olds with it installed though. IMHO the hood ornament – a space craft of course – found on the ’55 Olds is the best hood bird EVER!

    Like 2
  5. TimM

    2 many doors but you got to love that front end!!!

  6. w9bag

    I have no qualms with the “2 extra doors”. I had my ’97 T Bird for 12 years and loved it, but traded it for an ’03 Crown ‘Vic Sport. Still a sporty looking car, and the added convenience for passengers and putting “stuff” in the car makes it great. This Olds still looks sporty, and the rear seat leg room must be enormous !
    And I assume that the A/C is factory, a big plus in my book !

    Like 1
    • Alan Brase

      Sorry, no, that is “hang-on air”. Factory air would have 3 or 4 dash vents. Some Caddys of the 1955 vintage had their factory air in the trunk, with clear distribution tubes going past the edges of the rear glass. I don’t think other GM cars had the rear air, tho.

  7. DAVID KENIRY

    i have a q code 67 suicide bird

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