Rusty Gold? 1963 Oldsmobile 98 Convertible

The Ninety-Eight (aka 98) was Oldsmobile’s top model for 56 years, covering the period 1940-96. The 1963 version, like the one for sale, was part of the seventh generation, 1961-64. These were large, majestic cars, about as big as the famed Buick 225 (deuce-and-a-quarter). This ’63 98 convertible looks to have been sitting for many years, perhaps even outdoors, so a full restoration will be needed. Hicksville, New York is where the car is located and it’s available here on eBay where the bidding will start at $2,800.

The 1963 Olds 98 rode on an exclusive 126-inch wheelbase. About 70,000 of them were built for that model year, but we can’t find a breakout by body style, but the convertible is likely to have the smallest portion of that number. At 75,000 known miles, the seller doesn’t give us a great deal of information about the car, with info like “all locks and keys work” instead of how long the car has been sitting and why. We do know that the 394 cubic inch V-8 is stuck, perhaps from years of inactivity. There is a new radiator sitting in the trunk, so efforts to bring it back to life may have started at some point. The ad says the title is clean, yet the seller also mentions that New York doesn’t offer titles on cars before 1972, so we’re not sure what he’s trying to tell us.

For those who like patina, this one has plenty of it. To me, it looks like tired, old blue paint that needs to be redone. We see mostly surface rust on the car, except for the passenger front fender, where the metal next to where the hood closes are started to disappear. The front bumper is pitting while the rear bumper may be okay. The convertible top doesn’t seem to have any gaping holes, but a recover of that will be likely. Inside the car, there is a big gaping hole in the rear floorboard, so I would be suspicious of all of them.

We don’t see much of the interior, but what we do looks pretty good. The front seat bottom will probably need new material, but the back seat looks nearly new. The dash looks good as does part of one door panel. We can’t tell much about the trunk because it’s being used for storage, some of it being for parts of the car, like the unused radiator. Under the hood, there is a small sheet covering one of the valve covers. We’re guessing that’s because the cover is missing, and the seller is trying to prevent debris from getting into the engine. Not a bad idea. And what’s with the wires protruding from the front grille?

Hagerty says a top-notch ’63 Olds 98 should fetch $36,000. This car has a long way to go before it can get into that territory. My gut tells me this one is worth restoring, but you’d better have plenty of cash on hand to get the job done effectively. Is there rusty gold sitting here or just another old car that’s been neglected?

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Comments

  1. Lansing Iron

    Ad copy sounds a little tongue-in-cheek – “All keys and locks work…” Breathtakingly beautiful when new, just look at those taillights! Seems like it would take more than $36K to make it nice. Hope someone loves it enough to to do just that.

    Like 2
    • DON

      How about the copy that reads not driven regularly , and later states the engines stuck !

      Like 1
  2. Chuck

    What an odd place for fender rust through!

    Like 2
    • Red Sovine

      Inner fenders were made of steel. Rocks hit steel inner fender rusts through and slashes salt water on outer fender. Otter fender
      is never washed and voila rust.

      This car should be advertised at an insane asylum. It is a POS.

      Like 1
  3. Bird dog

    It was Probably covered in pinestraw for a few decades with that fender rusted through at the top

    Like 1
  4. local_sheriff

    Personally I find the ’64 to be the sweetest of fullsize Oldses but then I have a soft spot for ’64 GM cars. This is a nice model too but in this condition I fear it won’t sell at that $…

    The 394 should be a massive mill but isn’t easily replaced with a different Olds engine due to its specific mounts, and the transmission hump will probably be very tight as it’s designed for the Slim-Jim. It could be a different restomod/ pro-touring project though for a practically inclined and brave soul who doesn’t mind some deviations from originality – this is one of those few occations I’d find an LS conversion would make sense. Otherwise I fear it will end up as a parts car… 😟

    Like 2
  5. Dave

    A girl down the street drove a 63 98 convert just like this one to school and back. She was about 5’3″ and had the seat all the way forward. My 6’2″ body was folded up sitting next to her! A very nice car back then and this one brought back fond memories.

    Like 2
    • terry brundage

      was it green?

  6. Vince H

    I had a 64 in this color combination. I put a lot of miles on it. The 394 is a strong engine.

    Like 3
  7. DON

    I like how the owner used the trunk lid for a table when he spray painted the radiator shroud !

    Like 2
    • karl

      And the radiator isn’t new , its been painted. Its possible the radiator had a leak and the owner overheated the engine, seizing it. The repaired radiator sits in the trunk . I dont think its worth the asking price – the questionable engine , massive holes in the floor and it looks like it sat outside for a while in a rust state

  8. ACZ

    New York rust bucket parts car. Nice tilt column, rare for the day.
    A shame.

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