Super Survivor: 1960 Oldsmobile 88

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Mr. and Mrs. T., that’s who I think of every time I spot a 1960 Oldsmobile Super 88. They were an older, childless couple who lived across the street from me from my earliest years, up through the conclusion of my, “What, me worry?” teenage angst. It looked just like this beautiful example except that it was white – it even had the same upholstery. I was a bit of a car geek, and then an irresponsible hotrodder so I knew a bit about the Super 88 and must say that I never cared for its flattop design festooned by so much stainless trim. Fast forward many years, and I can really appreciate such an ouvert design and, in general, fallen-flag Oldsmobile. This spotless specimen is located in Chicago, Illinois and is available, here on Facebook Marketplace for $13,500, or a reasonable offer. Two thumbs up to T.J. for this tip!

As memory recalls, Mr. T. became an invalid and went off to long-term care where he succumbed to the general rigors of life. I never really knew him except for being the recipient of the “Get off of my lawn” command when an errant kickball, baseball, or typical kid ruckus rolled onto his front yard. After his passing, Mrs. T. continued to live a lonely life but I quickly learned she was a very proper and pleasant individual – who knew? When it would snow, I was tasked by my mother to shovel her walk and clear off her Oldsmobile. At first, I used a broom on the car as the white finish was so worn down after twelve years of being parked outdoors in the Mid-Atlantic climate, that bristle strokes weren’t going to matter. Actually, the Olds started to look like a Liberian tanker with all of the rust that streamed down its flanks – most of it emanating from under all of that stainless trim and the O-L-D-S-M-O-B-I-L-E lettering. As the rust worsened, I left the broom at home and just used the snow shovel to clear it off. The Super 88 eventually got the hook (literally) and a used silver ’72 Chrysler Newport replaced it. The Chrysler would rarely start in cold weather, and when it did, Mrs. T. would sit in it, patiently staring forward for a seemingly indeterminate time and waiting for it to warm up before attempting a drive-off – but that’s a story for another day.

Our subject car is an all-in-the-family matter as it was originally purchased by the seller’s grandfather (Not your grandfather’s Oldsmobile?!). The big hardtop was passed to the seller’s father in ’80 and the seller states, “I recently got the option to have the car and I am not into old classic cars. I am looking to sell it“.  He is adamant that it has no rust – it lived in Arizona until ’79, and it has been garaged since. That said, there may be a slight dent in both passenger doors – it’s hard to tell. Garaged or not, I’m surprised that the lacquer finish has held up as well as it has. And yes, silver is a much more attractive hue than the flat white that adorned Mrs. T’s car.

According to Oldsmobile’s publicity material, the Super 88 came equipped with a 315 gross HP, 394 CI V8 engine and I have to imagine that’s what’s parked under the enormously flat hood of this hardtop – the listing simply states, “big block engine“. Also not stated is how this claimed 60K mile car runs and drives, there’s just a mention of elderly driven and routine maintenance having been performed. A Hydramatic automatic transmission makes the rear wheel connection.

The red plaid cloth and vinyl upholstery is still sprightly appearing though the driver’s side bottom rest is losing some seams. The nylon loop carpet is in surprisingly nice, non-faded condition and the tri-color door panels are a real visual treat. The instrument panel’s bright work is a real attention-getter – it’s all clear and not deteriorated – that 60K mile claim may just be true.

The seller concludes with, “You do not see a lot of them they are very rare“. Yeah, rare maybe today – as any 64-year-old car is, but there were 33K Super 88 “Holiday” four-door hardtops assembled so no, not existentially rare. Still, this is a wonderful find and would make for a fun cruiser. If it were mine, other than repairing the front seat so it doesn’t get any worse, I’d leave it as is, how about you?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    Oh yes, leave it original. It’s really cool with those skegs. Here’s a photo of my Grandmother Gladys with her ’60 Olds, circa 1965. I always loved that steering wheel as a kid.

    Like 22
    • Larry A Sorenson

      I like the 2-drs. with the bubble tops.Someone had one on the Hot Rod Power Tour.

      Like 1
  2. bobhess bobhessMember

    My dad bought a white over maroon interior ’98 4 door hard top and I thought it was as cool as it got. It was big and beautiful in my kid’s eyes and one I’ve never forgotten.

    Like 6
  3. Nelson C

    I will say that there was a time when I’d have looked right past this. Years later it’s a interesting footnote in GM styling. The flat top or Vista roof was an acquired taste. I think it’s cool with all that blue tinted glass. I’ll bet that can be a trip to see out of at night. The steering wheel is a step towards modern safety while the chrome reflects sunlight off the dash. Always thought the vacuum operated floor vents were kind of neat.

    Like 4
    • Peter Pasqualini

      I recently bought a ’60 Galaxie/ Fairlane survivor. Albeit with only 2 doors :) A shame this car has two too many of them lol

      Like 2
      • Greenhorn

        Except that it doesn’t.

        Like 2
  4. Jon Rukavina

    I went to take a closer look and it says the Facebook posting ” no longer exists.”

    Like 4
    • Caprice Guy

      Yeah, looks like it probably sold. I saw it when it came on a few days ago and didn’t think it would last long at that price and one-family owned. Those flat roof models have kind of grown on me.

      Like 1
      • Jon Rukavina

        I noticed your user name. Just curious what years you have. My first two cars were ’70 & ’72 coupes.
        Did you see the ’69 that showed up on B F this week?

        Like 1
  5. HoA HoAMember

    Some of JOs reflections mirror mine in an uncanny way. I guess my stories are so unique after all. When I was a kid, our next door neighbors, the Gutniks, had a ’60 Olds just like this, only green. I remember, the back 2 feet stuck out of the garage. For many, cars of this size didn’t fit garages built in the 40s. The back window was great for grandma viewing the sites, but hot. Most cars had big back windows, and we used to ride on the rear package tray, the old man would hit the brakes, we’d go flying. Horrors today, but we thought it was fun. This is the car you didn’t want to be seen in, but for folks like the Ts or the Gutniks, of which there were a few, not much was better. I read, this car was on the cheap end, about $2800 new, about $300 more than a Chevy, but 98s went for about a grand more. Olds had a banner year in 1960, with almost 350,000 cars sold. That’s a lot of Ts and Gutniks,,

    Like 7
    • Will Fox

      Plus, a `60 Olds 98 cvt. paced that year’s Indy 500! White with the tri-tone blue leather interior. (not vinyl) Unfortunately, the car is lost to time.

      Like 4
      • Philip Hall

        My folks had a 60 convertible that I would take on double dates to drive-in. Top down and when it got cold all four of us in front seat with heater on. Good memorirs and a land yacht driving.

        Like 3
    • Jon Rukavina

      I wonder if your old man ever noticed that since you kids could ride on the back shelf you could also clean the glass while laying up there! The closest my Dad got was a ’60 Buick LeSabre 4-door sedan. This was the first car I ever waxed; at 6-7 years old, used an entire tin of Turtle Wax paste!! Referencing above remarks, this car did fit in the garage. Good thing, lots of white wax on a maroon finish made it difficult enough to clean off without the sun baking it in! Probably why I have sore elbows and swollen knuckles today. Lol!

      Like 4
    • Bob

      It’s funny you mentioned the tail end sticking out of the garage. Our next door neighbor bought a new ’60 Oldsmobile like this one, only a 4 door sedan. His stuck out of the garage about 2 feet, not because the garage was too small but because of the junk piled up in the front of the garage. He would buy a new Oldsmobile every 4 years. I was probably 12 when I started washing his ’56. Well, anyway, my next job was to clean out the front of his garage so the whole car could fit in. Great memories…….

      Like 0
  6. Fredric Hodges

    The 1959 and 1960 models didn’t have much headroom, as I recall. Taller people had to recline the driver’s seat and run it back a little bit so as not to hit the ceiling when driving on a rough surface.

    Like 0
  7. chuck dracka

    @Jim O’Donnell… ‘Funny how age changes perspective… you discovered that Mts. T was ok… and possibly that Mr. T was also…

    I was 11 then… and was a car kid… the styling of both GM and Chrysler… not so much Ford back then was really something…. and tI now appreciate the tooling and die work to make the bodies and trims… the dashboard and details… out of metal… These cars were works of art..

    Back then all the makers’ new models were introduced in September…highly secretive.. . and it was a big deal. TV ads with ”peeks” were common ”See it on Sept. 24” etc… The transport trucks carried cars with covers on them !!

    It was the 50’s.. you had to be there to understand…. Now, life comes at us out of an Iphone… Sad….

    Like 11
    • Jon Rukavina

      I also have find memories of those September new car intros. The dealer in the next town to mine handled Chevrolets & Buicks. Fun to drink that adult coffee and have a couple of doughnuts and try to convince my Dad to buy that new ’67 Wildcat!
      When I was in the 9th grade I took typing class so I typed up a couple of dream Chevrolets that were layed out like window stickers. Of course I got very little response from my stoic dad! Lol!
      Now, the cars all look like turtles. Wouldn’t it be fun to walk up to someone who owns a Nissan Leaf and ask them if they can find it in a parking lot when fall comes due to color change!👍😆🤭

      Like 2
      • Nelson C

        First day of autumn was all about baseball and new cars. I was into the cars. Along about 1970-71 our exit opened a Nickerson Farms restaurant. Pretty big deal as a Mobil service station was the only business on the interchange until then. It also gave our town it’s first chain restaurant/truck stop and expansion into freeway commerce. For ME it was a chance to see all the carriers loaded with new Oldsmobiles coming out of Lansing that would park up and down the truck parking and turn out. By the middle seventies vehicles were not transported covered and by Labor Day you could catch a glimpse of major and minor changes for the new model year. I worked there in the summer of ’77 and didn’t miss an opportunity to spy on what would be arriving up town.

        Like 3
    • Jim ODonnellAuthor

      Hard to say Chuck, he died before there was an opportunity.

      I had a couple of high school friends who worked part-time as orderlies at Mr. T’s assisted living home – they had less than generous things to say about his demeanor – but that, and the get off my lawn biz, is all I have to go on.


      Like 3
  8. Pete

    @Nelson C ’72 thru ’74 i traveled Michigan for work and was on 96 alot. I did stop at a Nickerson Farms at maybe M52 ?

    Wasn’t there a restaurant called the Bloated Goat or such ?

    Like 1
    • Nelson C

      One exit over at Fowlerville. Nickersons is now Fowlerville Farms. Our institution, the Bloated Goat Saloon still operates in the same place in town.

      Like 2
  9. JustPassinThru

    “…and tI now appreciate the tooling and die work to make the bodies and trims… the dashboard and details… out of metal… These cars were works of art..”

    Yeah, but boy, did they ever rust.

    And while I don’t buy into the conspiracy stuff, don’t think it was intentional…the auto companies scarcely cared. Because a six-year-old car, back then, was OLD.

    That’s my memory of this model. Not beautiful, but run into the ground. It wasn’t ours, but across the street from our home was our huge city park, half built up, and half left natural (planning a swimming pool that appeared many years later). There was a compost drop there at the undeveloped end, and every Saturday, summer and fall, this ratty old Olds (a 1960 sedan, not bubbletop) rolled up with garbage cans full of clippings or leaves.

    The rust on those rear quarters was incredible…on the left side, it had eaten a giant reverse C so that the dirty sheet metal, including the model badge, just flapped in the breeze. A little kid, then, I looked at that, and wondered who would drive a car as it’s collapsing. Not knowing about frames, of course.

    It wasn’t hard to see how, and why…all that sheet-metal sculpture left pools for water and road brine to gather. So, thought the product planners, he’ll just be that much quicker in buying another Oldsmobile.

    …didn’t quite work out that way, did it.

    At least, through messy market discipline, Detroit was finally compelled to deal with the fast-corrode issue.

    Like 2
  10. Karen Bryan

    Looks mighty familiar to me. My parents had one, bought used in 1962. It came with those wonderful bubbly plastic seat covers. Paint was two shades of blue. Some of the fancy doodads–the power radio antenna, for one–quit working eventually. No mechanical problems, though. It got stolen while my mom was grocery shopping–she came out with a big cartful of stuff, and–no car. Cops did find it–months later– but it was completely trashed, and had apparently been used to smuggle people across the Mexican border. I guess that cavernous trunk was useful for more than just family road trips.

    Like 3
    • EricN

      That 4 body trunk was the family road trip for those Mexicans. LOL

      Like 0
  11. EricN

    My dad had a 60 Oldsmobile but it was a 4 door sedan Dynamic 88. The lowest model in the line up. I loved watching the speedometer go from green (0-35) to orange (36-65) to red (65+). That car was fast too well for 6-10 year old kid. My Dad traded it in for another Oldsmobile in 1965…..a Jetstar 88 again the lowest model in the line up. That thing had thee worst brakes. A couple of hard stops and you had no brakes. Who ever thought that putting a mid size car’s drum brakes on a full size car was an idiot. I’m surprised GM wasn’t sued over that mistake.

    Like 0
  12. George Davis

    Confession here. My parents bought a used Dynamic 88, I think it was. It had a 4 digit Delaware license plate, 4xxx. The car had a cracked head or block and my father said that’s why the owner let the tag go with the car. The owner wanted the deal done fast before symptoms appeared. One time, after the repair, I drove from Rehoboth Beach to Wilmington Delaware in a little over an hour. Stupid. I inherited that 4 digit tag. It is on my truck.

    Like 2
  13. HoA HoAMember

    I think BarnFinds, which has nothing to do with what Barney Fife discovers, is fast becoming the “road down memory lane” for many, who may or may not actually intend on buying anything. Whether that was the intent of the staff or not, the stories here are worth more than any car.

    Like 2
  14. 59poncho

    I do like the 59 styling better but regardless 59 or 60, the 360 degree view out of these is awesome. I have a Bonny Flattop and noticed only recently that Corvair 4 door is a flattop also………………

    Like 1

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