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Preserve or Restore: 1928 Oakland Sedan

right front

The Oakland Car Company was founded in 1907 in Pontiac, Michigan and purchased by General Motors the following year. Pontiac is in Oakland County, thus the name Oakland. It filled the gap between the Chevrolet and the Oldsmobile. This one, listed on eBay, runs and drives and is said to be completely original. It appears to have been restored at some time, especially considering the condition of the interior and what looks like a vinyl top done in modern materials. The asking price of $8,900 is not terribly high if it’s a solid car.


The upholstery looks amazing. Unless there was a time machine involved, this interior cannot be original.


It looks complete and original under the hood. The earlier “sensible six” overhead valve engine was dropped because of problems and Oakland went back to a flathead engine.

left rear

It needs work, but this Oakland might just be drivable as it is and without serious issues. The color combination might not be popular with most folks, but that could be easily corrected. This is another car that is an older restoration that does not make sense financially to restore, but I hope the buyer leaves it original. What would you do with this old Oakland?


  1. Dairymen

    Leave it alone, this doesn’t have patina; it has character! They’ll never be worth a whole lot, but these are the cars you need to “feel”. What a nice prewar car for someone to get into the hobby without breaking the bank! Leave it, keep it functional & enjoy!

    Btw what the brown tape on the exhaust manifold?

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    • David Zornig

      That manifold addition looks to be made out of tin when you enlarge it.

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      • Peter

        It looks as though that tin manifold is designed to take the hot air off the manifold and direct it into the interior. See the horn at the end which looks as though it passes through the firewall.

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  2. Todd

    Preserve it just as-is! No question.

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  3. Howard A Member

    Oh, what the heck, put a Cummins diesel in it and 24.5 semi wheels on it. What? If someone is going to redo a 2R Studebaker pickup, why not this? Seriously, I hope this car does remain original, however, it’s not quite cool enough to resto-mod, and interest is waning for these 20’s cars ( not 1 at a local car show last Sunday, but plenty of resto-mods) Btw, that “tape” is sheet metal over the heater box on the manifold.That’s all you got for heat in 1928. ( man, is this site ever slow again)

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  4. nessy

    That interior is original. You can tell by the art deco pattern on the seats. The car needs to be left alone, although I wonder if that brighter shade of green on the fenders is original. They would have been black.

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  5. Bob Reese

    Putting a new correct top on this car this week.

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