New York City is a city of bumper guards. It’s a city where street parking is the norm and where scratches, dings and dents are unfortunately a fact of life. To see a 1965 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Delta parked on the street is to simultaneously feel delight and anxiety – delight for seeing a classic in such stellar condition and anxiety for you fear an errant passer-by might inadvertently nick it with their car.
I never saw this more than the one time in my old neighborhood so its street parking adventures were likely few and far between. The spotless Ocean Mist (or is it Turquoise Mist?) paint seems to have studiously avoided road salt and the chrome gleams in the sun, but for a small rusty patch on the front bumper.
I believe this is a Delta, the top-line model in the Dynamic 88 series, based on the thick chrome mouldings running down the side of the car. Oldsmobile’s B-Body range was sprawling in ’65, as you can see from the above brochure page. Below the Dynamic 88 range was the Jetstar 88, not to be confused with the sporty Jetstar I coupe. It’s all a bit confusing, especially considering the pillared and hardtop sedans and coupes had two different names (Celebrity and Holiday, respectively), meaning you technically could buy an Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Delta Celebrity sedan. That’s a lot of syllables.
There’s a flag or coat of arms dangling from the rear-view mirror that I don’t immediately recognize, as well as a “police” sign sitting atop the dash. Is this the pride and joy of a police officer who drove it in one day to show their colleagues? Fortunately for this police officer, this street near the precinct doesn’t require parallel parking. It’d be almost a tragedy to see a dent in this glimmering blue Olds.
Photographed in Washington Heights, Manhattan in 2013-14.