Rare Fastback: 1946 Oldsmobile 76 Dynamic Cruiser Deluxe Club Sedan

While most variants of the 1946 Oldsmobile “76 Series” were not particularly rare, the same couldn’t be said of one particular offering from within the range. The model in question is the 76 Dynamic Cruiser Deluxe Club Sedan. The company sold 53,456 examples across the entire 76 range in that model year, but a mere 1,923 buyers chose to own one of these classics. This particular car has belonged to the same family since new, but the time has come for it to head to a new home. Located in Washougal, Washington, you will find the Olds listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $4,575, but the reserve hasn’t been met. The owner has also set a BIN option at $9,450. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Larry D for referring this rare classic to us.

The fastback styling of the 76 Club Sedan is distinctive, and it gives the car a genuine presence. The styling helps emphasize the vehicle’s size, and with a wheelbase of 125 inches, they could never be classed as small. This one further heightens the sense of presence finished in its original shade of Black. The paint is showing some deterioration, but this will leave potential buyers with a decision to make. The only rust in the entire vehicle is a small spot in the driver’s side front fender. It is about 2″ wide and is not structural. If the buyer could find a method to halt any further deterioration, they could then choose to return the Olds to the road as an original survivor. With floors and a frame that are spotlessly clean, it is an option that many would seriously consider. If the buyer chooses to tread this path, the chrome, trim, and glass wouldn’t need to be touched. If a complete restoration is the goal, some of the chrome pieces will need to find their way to the platers. Apart from its eye-catching styling, the Olds features a few little design quirks. One of these is the location of the front turn signals. The company chose to fit these to the front bumperettes. This approach gave the car a smoother appearance, but they could be prone to damage if an owner didn’t exercise some care when driving. One of the lenses is cracked, so the buyer might need to do a bit of searching to locate a replacement.

Being the Deluxe variant, this 76 comes with a few creature comforts not found on lesser vehicles. These include a clock and a pushbutton radio, along with a wheel made out of that new-fangled plastic. The interior is complete, but I don’t think that some of the upholstery is original. The seat covers definitely aren’t right, and you can see some of the original cloth peeking out through some tears in the rear seat. The door trims have also been changed, but the headliner appears to be original. Refurbishing the interior will probably be a significant undertaking, but there is a silver lining to that potentially dark cloud. Cloth in a similar color and pattern to the original is available, and it isn’t that expensive. The current trim pieces could serve nicely as a template if the buyer wants to return the interior to its former glory. This isn’t going to be a cheap process, but it will represent a one-off expense for the next owner.

The Oldsmobile “70 Series” was available with two engine choices, and the iron that found its way under the hood gave the car its model designation. In this case, the Olds is a 76, which means that a 238ci flathead six-cylinder engine occupies the engine bay. This six should produce 100hp, along with a healthy 185 ft/lbs of torque. When the original owner ordered this car, he chose to bypass the standard 3-speed manual transmission, What he equipped the car with was Oldsmobile’s class-leading 4-speed Hydramatic transmission. While the Hydramatic made its debut in 1939, the war years had the potential to curtail ongoing development severely. However, the opposite proved to be the case because the transmission saw extensive use in defense force vehicles. This action forced continuous improvements to ensure reliability, and civilian buyers reaped the benefits of this work when passenger car production resumed in 1946. This Olds is numbers-matching, and the owner’s son has treated the engine to a rebuild. The work was performed a few years ago, and the flathead hasn’t been fired since. However, he did fill the cylinders with good old Mystery Oil, so it should still be in good condition. A few external components will need to be fitted, and the car should be given a thorough inspection and service, but getting it back on the road could potentially be a straightforward task for the buyer to tackle.

Rarity doesn’t always equate to eye-watering potential values, and the 1946 Olds 76 Dynamic Cruiser Deluxe Club Sedan is proof of this. If this car were in showroom condition, it would struggle to achieve a market value far beyond $25,000. However, the saving grace for this car lies in the rebuilt engine, the rust-free status, and the relatively low BIN price. It is a giant of a car, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be a giant of a restoration project. A competent person could perform most of the work in a home workshop, and if the buyer can complete most of the restoration work, it could still remain financially viable. Do you have those skills, and would you be willing to demonstrate them by returning this classic Olds to its former glory?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    That’s a good-looking car from Olds, a very solid and complete car to work with. I don’t know if it will be worth the money it will take to restore to original, there is a lot of expensive work to be done. The interior needs just about everything restored or replaced along with a new paint job some re-chroming. The rebuilt engine is a major plus but the rest of the mechanicals may need some sorting out. If you can do the majority of the restoration yourself, it might be worth it, though. I can see this cool Olds as a resto-Mod, that might be the way the new owner will choose to go. Personally, I’d love to see this classic restored to original as I’ve seen enough wildly modified old cars. Either way, I hope this Oldsmobile will be fixed up and back on the road again.

    Like 18
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    That’s a lot of car. No light weight here. Got a personal relationship with these cars as I rescued a pair of the taillights from the junk yard to put on my ’32 Ford 5 window. This should make a great weekend driver.

    Like 11
    • Jerryetc

      Bob Hess, I put the grille in a 50 Ford. Used the top grille bar and hood from a 51. Many years ago.

  3. Rkp5555 Member

    Great lines. Excellent restomod candidate

    Like 10
  4. Engident

    I can’t help it. Every time I read something about anyone doing anything with Marvel Mystery Oil, I slowly nod my head and mutter approvingly… the same way my 79-year-old father has been doing since the 50’s.

    Like 18
  5. JP

    Great looking car, but if you can pick up a fully sorted one for under $20k, why assume the resto challenge? Makes way more sense to take advantage of someone else’s impulse and save yourself the time and effort, since the car won’t be worth much more anytime soon…

    Like 4
    • Pete Phillips

      I disagree. There’s some enjoyment and sense of accomplishment in getting a non-runner like this back on the road with some tender loving care. Why must everything in this hobby be based on whether or not it makes financial sense? I just enjoy doing it, and saving a piece of automotive history, especially when most of them are gone already or destroyed by being made into customized hot rods and low-riders.

      Like 18
  6. Terry

    Great candidate for a tail dragging custom with fender skirts.

    Like 6
    • Dirty Harry

      Don’t forget the curb indicators

      Like 3
  7. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    These are such cool looking cars, I’d love to have one, but I no longer want to restore anything. Someone might want to explain the meaning of quick change rear end. I’m not sure this one has one, but Olds was famous for them in the 50’s drag racing element. I hope I get to see this one after someone re-constructs it to their desire.
    God bless America

    Like 5
  8. Steve Clinton

    How many of these can there be? It appears to be in good condition. I’d polish it, put on some JC Whitney cheap seat covers, and drive it!
    BTW, why would someone put new thin whitewalls on this vintage car? I’d reverse them so they don’t show.

    Like 10
  9. Miguelito Loveless

    Premium Low Rider material.

    Like 7
    • Asian Amish

      Agreed. Prime Low Rider material.

      Like 2
    • nestor

      No hydraulics please.

      Like 5
    • local_sheriff

      Totally agree Miguelito, bombs like this are just screaming out LOWER ME! Only if I wanted such a phat 40s dinosaur like this I’d want the I-8/3spd combo

      Like 2
  10. Ken Carney

    I’m painting a picture of a car just like
    this as a restomod. Mine’s silver grey
    over dark blue. I’ve lowered the stance
    a couple of inches and added some
    Torquethrust rims and wider tires to
    complete the look. Good thing this car
    turned up as I have no photos of a dash
    board to use as a guide for the interior
    pics I plan to add as well. I plan to use
    a dolled up 350 for the engine for the
    engine bay pics mated to a T400 auto
    tranny. When it’s done, I’ll find a way to
    post it so everyone can see it.

    Like 2
  11. bobhess bobhess Member

    Johnmloghry.. Quick change rear ends allow you to change ratios without having to pull the rear end apart. The gears are usually on the rear of the gear case so all you have to do is pull a cover and put another set of gears in it.

    Like 3
    • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

      Thanks bob Hess, I always wondered about that. I remember my brother talking about that back in the 50’s when he was racing at Spanaway.
      God bless America

  12. Christopher Gush

    When I see a vehicle advertised on a car trailer, it becomes glaringly obvious the seller has zero marketing skills, is selling it simply as a “flip” which is generally ok, and usually cannot provide any verifiable history as to previous existence which is often very important. To all you sellers out there procuring somewhat interesting cars to simply generate some additional income, please take them off the trailer, and provide some interesting and tasteful staging when photographing it. A little bit of time and effort usually provides better returns.

    Like 8
  13. HC

    Wow what some great lines on this Olds! So many ways one could go with this and be fine. Fair price for one in sound structural condition and a rebuilt engine. What a great find!

    Like 1
  14. matt

    I admit I never thought mystery oil was worth anything, so when I saw Engident’s comment I looked it up and confirmed what I always thought.
    Quoted below:
    “The lubricant was used as a fuel additive in a Lycoming aircraft engine which was specifically cautioned against oil additives (Service Instruction No. 1014M, which also stated its use would void the warranty) which suffered catastrophic damage during take-off. The NTSB listed the probable cause of the accident as “The improper use of [a] fuel additive which resulted in a power loss.”[4][6]

    Auto manufacturers Ford[7] and GM[8] recommend against using engine oil additives, stating they are unnecessary in their contemporary engine designs and may void their warranties.”

    Sure, placing oil in cylinders of a sitting engine during storage is a good idea, but I would use oil of the type in the crankcase.

    Like 2
  15. greg

    I went crazy bidding at a farm car collection auction on a pontiac of the same vintage, but more bright trim, until my friend slapped me into reality. It was missing a bunch of chrome and stuff is impossible to find. I was looking for a restomod car with outside stock. I did not buy it, but still like the long front sweeping front end and fenders.

  16. 9k2164S

    This looks nearly identical to the first car I ever purchased. It was thirty years old at the time and I was 15. Mine was a 1948 model 78, so straight eight, with Hydromatic. It was also black with red rims but wide whitewall recaps. I spent weekends and evenings replacing all the gas and brake lines and rebuilding every engine accessory. I still remember the brief first start with no carburetor on the intake. It wasn’t ready yet when I got my license so I set it aside for a 66 Impala SS convertible ($300). I did eventually make it somewhat roadworthy and drove it as my primary vehicle for one summer college break. Life moved on and I let it go around 1982 for $900. Just one of many chapters in my personal book of vehicles sold too cheap.

    Like 2

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