Auction Capsule: 1957 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Convertible – For 57 Years, A Fair-Weather Ride

1957 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight a

I surely enjoy finding unrestored originals at the Mecum auction. It seems like more of them appear there every year, reflecting a growing sentiment that “it’s only original once.” This year, the best original I found by far was this ’57 Olds Ninety-Eight. From a distance, it looked really good.

1957 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight i

When I came up close, however, I could see the signs of wear. Truth? I’ve kind of had enough of the late 50s GM offerings. But I lingered a while over this one, You don’t see many late-50s Oldsmobiles at shows and auctions, and even fewer unrestored, at least not compared to the more popularly priced GM makes.

1957 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight e

To survive 57 years in condition this good, this Ninety-Eight must have gotten light use. Sure, the driver’s seat seams have split. But I have to think that under really heavy use, this seat would be in much, much sadder shape.

1957 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight c

The paint on horizontal surfaces is pretty dull; perhaps this car wasn’t always garaged. The tag on this Ninety-Eight said that it still rocks its original engine, probably the 371 cube Rocket V8.

1957 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight d

This is a well-optioned car, with power seats, power windows, power top, and a foot-operated Wonderbar radio.

1957 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight h

The Ninety-Eight nameplate was already venerable in 1957, as Oldsmobile had been building them since 1941 (skipping the war years, of course).

1957 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight f

Stepping back to take in this big Olds in toto, I concluded that it must have spent many of its years as a fair-weather ride. It waited patiently for a sunny day while a series of other cars served as its owner’s daily drivers. I can’t think of a better way to help a car survive.

Related reading: 1975 Ninety-Eight and 1964 and 1965 Ninety-Eights