Parked For 30 Years: 1959 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Holiday SceniCoupe

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When the owner of this 1959 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Holiday SceniCoupe dragged it out of the barn that it had been sitting in for the past 30-years, his aim was to get the car running and driving again without disturbing the vehicle’s overall originality. It appears as though he has achieved this aim. Now that the car runs and drives perfectly again, he has decided to pass it on to the next owner to enjoy. Barn Finder local_sheriff referred the Ninety-Eight to us, so thank you so much for that local_sheriff. This amazing looking car is located in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The auction has been set to open at $13,000, but there have been no bids up to this point.

When a car measures 18½’ in length, it is hard to deny that it is going to be a vehicle with presence, and that is precisely the case with the Oldsmobile. The two-tone, Emerald Mist and Crystal Green paint actually give the impression that the car is even longer than the tape measure suggests. The owner says that the paint is original, and while it does wear a few marks, chips, and dings, it generally looks to be quite good. The worst of the body damage is confined to the very rear edge of the passenger side fin, but this could be repaired without any great problems. The rocker molding on the same side has also sustained some minor damage, while the rear bumper looks like it has fallen victim to damage in the same incident that claimed the end of the fin. However, I think that a good body man could straighten this. As for rust, the owner claims that the Ninety-Eight is dry and clean, with no signs of any rust anywhere.

The interior photos are quite detailed, but they really don’t provide an overview of the car. When you piece them together, the news is all good. The leather upholstery on the seats appears to be in really good order, as does the headliner. The paint on the lower surfaces of the dash is showing its age a bit, but the interior looks ready to use and enjoy. The owner claims that apart from the clock and the pump for the windshield washers, everything else works exactly as it should. In addition to the leather upholstery, the Ninety-Eight makes life more pleasant by the fact that it features power windows, a power seat, and a Deluxe factory radio with a “Bi-Phonic” rear speaker. An added bonus is the inclusion of a working 1959 Oldsmobile Trans-Portable AM radio with the car. The owner is also including sundry trim items as well. These are all said to be in good condition, but he hasn’t replaced anything in a bid to keep the car as original as possible.

Powering the Ninety-Eight is the 394ci Rocket V8, producing 314hp. The transmission is the Jetaway Hydramatic, while the car comes with power steering and power brakes. After its long sleep, the owner has done an awful lot to bring the Olds back to life. The brake system has been fully rebuilt, as has the original carburetor. The gas tank, lines, and pump have all been replaced, as have numerous bushings in the suspension, along with the ball joints. Add in a new coil, plugs, wires, an exhaust, and tires, and the work has been pretty comprehensive. The fruit of these labors is a car that now starts easily, and is said to be a pleasure to drive.

Finding an original and unmolested 1950s classic car is not getting easier as time passes, but that is exactly what this Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Holiday SceniCoupe appears to be. It is a car that will leave the next owner facing a decision. That is, do they restore it, or try to leave it as original as possible. If you were to buy this stunning classic, which way would you go?

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  1. Solosolo UK ken tillyMember

    A stunning reminder of how cars used to look. Leave it as is and drive it.

    Like 22
  2. Bakyrdhero

    Take my money! Please!

    Like 11
  3. Bob C.

    Once upon a time a car like this was the norm. I often ask myself how did we ever handle these tanks on a regular basis?

    Like 7
  4. snarky

    This car was featured in The Birds,,,, find the Hitchcock cameo…….

    Like 2
    • Roger

      Back in 1968 Dad had a similar radio in his then new International pickup that he purchased from Montgomery Ward,had a docking bracket underneath the dashboard and the radio locked into it, like the Oldsmobile one it took 4 AA batteries to make it a portable radio.

      Like 4
    • stillrunners

      I have one… has one heck of a cable so you could take it away from the car – like at the lake or beach – neat idea – and when factory speakers were no match for today’s boomboomboom…..

      Like 4
  5. Will Fox

    I’ve GOT to stop looking at these treasures. First was the maroon `60 Bonneville hardtop I want so bad; now this??! My eyes are being treated to such beautiful sights!! This, just the way it sits, IMHO is $25K all day long. I can’t believe how complete and original this is–right down to the color-coordinated spinner wheel covers! Sorry folks, all I can do is weep at not being able to snatch this. I sincerely hope it goes to a good home. This `59 deserves all the TLC an Olds lover can provide!! Good luck!!!

    Like 18
  6. Gaspumpchas

    Big and stylish. All of the current styling rolled into one! That 394 is a brute, but you need it to move this barge around Like the paint scheme. Good luck to the new owner!!

    Like 7
  7. Ken Carney

    Mike, the trans-portable radio was designed to be removed from the car and
    used at picnics or the beach. Sadly though, few of these units survive today
    Many were lost, stolen, or simply pitched.
    This would’ve been a great option in
    neighborhoods where gangs of teen agers often broke iinto cars and stole
    the radio. With a pull out radio like this,
    you did your part to cut down on crime by
    carrying your car radio in with you at night. Had a ’62 Starfire HT with a 394
    3 deuce setup on it. Man, that thing was
    fast! It also ran as smooth as fresh churned butter and seemed to float down
    the road. I’ll bet this one does too!

    Like 8
    • leiniedude leiniedudeMember

      Thanks Ken! That radio was waaay ahead of its time. Surprised another make did not have something similar in later years. I do remember seeing after market slide out radios. That 62 Starfire of your must have been a great ride! Take care, Mike.

      Like 1
  8. Bob McK

    When I was a kid in Maine a neighbor’s parents had one of these. When the parents were out, we used to take it for a drive. Usually about 90 MPH on those old small town roads. This was before any of us had a license. We were lucky, we never crashed it, or got caught.

    Like 6
  9. lbpa18

    I want to take it to the Drive-In or parking. Look at the size of that back seat. I wonder what a couple could do with that much room. She’s a beauty.

    Like 0
  10. Dan

    Prior to reading this write-up, I had never heard “SceniCoupe.” What a great amalgamation! This is precisely the sort of car that should be enjoyed as-is. At any local cruise-in, it would stand out in the sea of Fords and Chevys!

    Like 4
  11. TortMember

    Beautiful car. Leave it as is and enjoy it.

    Like 4
  12. GDT

    The detail pics on the Craigslist show the car with no carpets, no front seat and splits in the dash. Showing two different cars. One on this page and a different one on Craigslist. Anyone else notice those things? Something not right

    Like 2
    • DonC

      I saw the same thing and then the seller boasts it’s totally solid with no rust. Maybe those floors aren’t rotted thru but it’s not rust free. Still a gorgeous car! I live in Tampa and was daydreaming of driving it all the way from Quebec!

      Like 1
      • PatrickM

        Yeah but, you’d be hotter than a $3.00 pistol before you got home. No mention of a/c.

        Like 0
      • David

        The seller is me. The floors are totally rust free. Either you are looking at pictures that are not from my car (I never posted this car on Craigslist) or you really don’t know what a 1950’s American car’s floor should look like. This Oldsmobile has the most perfectly solid floors you will ever find. Period.

        Like 1
  13. local_sheriff

    I think it’s safe to claim the Olds is the least known of the 59 GM cars. Though not wearing near as nice color scheme as this example,there was one in my region that turned up at car shows until recently. Done just right wearing half moon headlight shields,20inch wheels and air suspension, otherwise all stock. IMO all 59-64 GMs are crying for airbags, that’s when they look like the drawings in their commercials back in the day!

    Given its location that might prevent many from bidding,but shouldn’t be an issue for anyone with a trailer. Classics are sent off to Australia, Europe and Japan every day, why not the other way around?

    Like 3
    • TJohnson

      Any 2dr ht 98 is rare. I think this is worth the money!

      Like 7
  14. snarky

    C’mon barn finders! The Birds. Hitchcock. Cameo. auction photo #5, the reflection. It’s funny!
    BTW love this car!

    Like 1
  15. TimM

    So much steel in this car!! I’m glad cars like this are still around and survived this long!! It’s an era of automotive history that most kids today have no idea about!! Back yard mechanics ruled and nothing was run by computer!! The only thing close to blue tooth in those days was smiling after drinking grape ne-high!!!

    Like 5
  16. stillrunners


    Like 1
  17. Jann Halstead

    These had the strip speedo that changed color with speed; a friend’s dad ran it up to 90 to show us and the one-wheel camp trailer on the back didn’t appreciate it much.

    Like 6
  18. S Craig MacDonald

    I had a ’59 Eighty-Eight 2-door hardtop that aside from some trim differences was this car’s twin. In white. You’ll never own a more stunning car or get as many comments. I had people follow me on the SoCal freeways until I got to my destination so they could try to buy it. Slow off the line – all that chrome is heavy! – but once it got rolling it was a smooth, sweet ride. The trunk will hold a VW, a family of four could camp in the back seat, and the sliding speedometer was a marvel. I SO wish I could afford to bid on this. The new owner will never regret the purchase.

    Like 4
  19. David

    This is my car and my ad. I am glad to see this survivor is appreciated for what it is. The car really is as good as it looks, and I am sure the new owner will be happy. I wish I could keep it but I just moved and lost storage space. I have one space only and have decided to keep my 1959 Pontiac instead of this Oldsmobile. Not an easy choice, as I love the Olds too.

    Like 8
    • DN


      Would you mind clarifying the discrepancies between the Craigslist listing pictures vs. eBay as pointed out by GDT? Thank you!

      Like 0
      • David

        Easy: the car is not listed on Craigslist, I have no idea what you are talking about. I have an ad on Kijiji and one on eBay. Any other ad is either fraudulent or another car. As for the pictures on eBay and Kijiji, most of them are the same. Definitely the same car, and I don’t see how one could believe otherwise. Yes, some pictures show the floors without the seats. That is not because the car has no seats: they were unbolted to assess the shape of the floors and reinstall the carpet carefully when I got the car. I am showing this picture to show just how clean, and dry the floors are. As for the splits in the dash pad, yes there are some splits, visible in both the Kijiji and the eBay listing. No funny business at all.

        Like 7
      • DN

        Thank you for explaining this! I couldn’t find the Craigslist ad in question so perhaps there was some confusion on the other reader’s behalf. Your transparency both here and in the eBay listing is greatly appreciated! Glad there was this opportunity to clarify. Good luck with the sale!

        Like 6
    • local_sheriff

      David; you have one very unique Olds there and you responding on our thoughts proves you’re a serious fella. Sadly I’m currrently not in the market as my space is occupied with a 64 Impala and 64 Bonneville Safari – obviously not much room to sneak in another fullsizer…
      Is this a Canadian-sold vehicle or was it imported used? Any other info on its wherabouts?
      Good luck with the sale; there might be years until a similar example emerges – I’ll spread the word

      Like 1
      • David

        Hi! This is the history of the car as I have been able to gather: got it out of a barn myself last year. The car had last been driven 8 years prior to that just to move it from one barn to another. Before that, from what I have been told by the previous owner’s daughter (he has passed away), the car had been more than 25 years in storage, being started and yard driven just a few times. The car was apparently brought into Canada from the southern USA just before it was put in storage. I do not know where this car was originally sold, but it was built in Kansas, so I am guessing somewhere in those parts, judging by how dry it is for a 60 year-old american car. I have been around old cars for decades and I have never seen a Canadian car as solid as this one, so it must be from a « dry » southern state. The story is that the guy who had imported it had numerous 59 Oldsmobiles, including a very rusty 98 convertible. He had bought this green coupe because it was so rust free, and had planned to cut up its roof and make it into the 98 convertible he wanted to “restore”. He had started by disassembling the interior but his car buddies convinced him not to sacrifice the green coupe, as the car was so nice and original, so he just abandonned the project. The car sat there afterwards. That’s as far as I know about its history. The rusty blue convertible has since been sold to Ontario, and when I got to the property, another 98 convertible was cut in pieces and scattered all around the place. I got some parts off of it, but my main interest was to save the green 98 coupe and give it the attention it deserved. I have tons of photos of the discovery, the work done, and even some pictures of this car alongside three other 1959 Olds at the former owner’s place when he moved the cars from one barn to the other.

        Like 4
      • local_sheriff

        Thanks for your response and background on the Olds, hope that will inspire people to start bidding. That photo documentation would be great for any prospective owner to have. Just one day left and no bids yet – c’mon; what’s wrong with people??

        Like 1
  20. Howard A. Rube GoldbergMember

    This is pretty cool. When I was a kid, our next door neighbor had a 60 Olds, only a 4 door. I remember, it was so big, he couldn’t close the garage door. To answer Bob’s question, everybody drove cars like this. We didn’t know any different. My parents had a DeSoto, and then went to Oldsmobiles, all big cars. It’s why it looks so out of place today,the only thing comparable today in size, is a 4 door pickup.

    Like 4
  21. ccrvtt

    We will never again see chrome detailing like this. The ad picture of the taillight is a thing of beauty. The “Ninety Eight” script on the left rear fender slants backward; on the right rear it slants forward, maintaining the design conceit.

    There are so many chromed pot-metal bezels on this car that took so much thought and imagination it draws you in, almost unwittingly, to a place of sheer contentment. This is a car you could park in your garage and simply stare at for hours.

    Better to drive it and share it with the world, though.

    Like 4
  22. PatrickM

    Thanks for all the discourse on the history! When these first came out I thought they were very gaudy looking. So did most of my friends. I was 15 at the time and swam in competition. Our swim team coach, Jake was a good old soul and had a ’59 Olds 4 door hardtop. Us kids were always begging him for a ride in his big boat. He said, “Naw. You kids ride with your parents.” We all responded, “But, Jake!” We rode with our parents. This is one nice car and I still think it is gaudy looking. But, I would have it in a heartbeat, if…..

    Like 1
  23. bestguest

    Oh my is this a beautiful automobile .The lines are amazing .GLWTS !

    Like 1
  24. Solosolo UK ken tillyMember

    @David. I wish I lived near you in USA as I would be a buyer in a heartbeat. Wonderful car. Having read all of your comments back to the skeptics it would be a pleasure to do business with such an honest seller. Good luck with the sale.
    Cheers from UK.

    Like 0
    • David

      Thanks Ken! I try to describe the car the best I can, I invite people to see it, talk about it over the phone (discussed the car with a nice fellow from California for almost an hour last night), but still, people who have not seen it in person and are not even potential buyers will criticize and nit pick every little detail about your ad or your car on the Internet. You gotta love the interwebs! haha
      But still, fortunately, most people are just nice and friendly (like you) and have a genuine interest in this unique automobile. I was expecting Europeans to be all over this car (Swedish guys especially!), but it seems that it will not sell this time around. Oh well, I will keep it and put it back in storage if it doesn’t sell. I like it and I sure don’t mind owning it. I just thought it should belong on the roads more than in a warehouse.

      Like 0
      • DonC

        David, you’ve been one of the most forthright sellers I’ve seen on this site. Thank you. And sorry if my question about the floors irritated you. I do know what a 1950s car floor should look like, but anyway – you answered all the questions very nicely and with lots of detail. I can’t help but notice though that you received no bids at all with a starting price of $13,000. If that’s your bottom line, and we all have one, then it’s not for me to tell you to lower it, but logic does indicate that no one wanted to start there. As for the Europeans, we recently sold a 1985 Mercedes 280 SL to a guy in France, and my 1982 Fiat Spider 2000 went to Australia….both on AutoTrader Classics. Perhaps try that?

        Like 1
      • David

        Hi Don!
        Don’t worry, it’s nothing personal to you, but I have had a lot of comments with the local ad I am running too that get annoying after a while when people (especially local!) do not even make the effort to contact you beforehand and discuss the car. Anyway, yes 13k is my absolute bottom price. I will keep it rather than lower it. I don’t need the money that much right now, and I do believe that this car is worth more than that. A month ago, a 1959 Dynamic 88 (lowest model) coupe was posted on eBay. Survivor too, but in much worse shape than mine and no power options. Metallic grey with a worn out red interior. It got bid up to 13500. I am confident that mine is worth more, but people are afraid of the border paperwork. If the car was in the USA, I think it would sell easily. I might bring it down to the Hershey fall meet car corral this October. We’ll see.
        As for Europeans, I sold a 1958 Plymouth to Belgium two years ago and the transaction went very smoothly. I really thought this one would go to Europe too.

        Like 0
  25. David

    Well, no sale. I gotta say it’s a bit surprising to me. I still think my price was more than fair for such a car. Oh well, back in the barn for the old gal’.

    Like 1
  26. David

    Well, I relisted for one last try and even dropped the price another notch. I wouldn’t go lower, though. I think people are scared of the border paperwork, but it really isn’t that complicated. Anyway, here it is:

    Like 0

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