Cool Cars Are Where You Find Them


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As you’ve likely heard me say before, its true: cool cars are where you find them, often right under your nose.  Check out this crazy trio of vintage Oldsmobiles (remember that brand?  Opposite of what the TV commercial jingle said, These Are Your Father’s Oldsmobiles (or maybe your Grandfather’s.)  No matter, they’re old, they’re cool, and I in fact found them right under my nose (or really about two miles away from where I live in Ventura County, California).

Clean wheels, replacement tires and some hubcaps tell me these cars have got some love, and the first gen Honda Civic wagon is collectible now too

The property is a semi dumpy, wood clad bungalow rental house on a large corner lot — half to three-quarters of an acre.  Doesn’t appear to be a shop or business of any kind, just an enthusiast that has room to park his beloved project cars outside, right in front of the house.  There’s lots of room in back, so in my head, I can see a cool, vintagy looking metal shop/garage complex going up here, as the perfect place to keep and crank on these cars.

They are, from left, a 1947 Oldsmobile two-door sedan; an historically worthwhile 1949 Rocket 88 sedan ’49 being the first year for Olds’ new 135 horse Rocket OHV V-8); and at right a 1955 Super88 hardtop — now with — hold on — 202 HP!  The ’47 was nothing particularly special, as most immediate post WWII models were really little more that warmed over pre-war models, yet demand was so high that carmakers, once they got the word from the government that the war was officially over and they could go back to producing cars again, the ’40-42 models were dusted off, freshened a bit, and back in production it was.  Most carmakers’ all-new designs came along in 1948-49-50.

Remember that old automotive slogan “Longer – Lower – Wider” well this snap is the perfect definition of same. Notice beginning with the 47 at left how each gen got at least lower and winder even if you can’ gauge the “longer’ part

Look close, or even only a little bit, and you’ll see the overall shapes and proportions of a ’55 Chevy two-door hardtop here. All corporate cousins under the GM sun (plus the Pontiac models  too)

Off these three cars, I personally find the ’55 the most compelling, as its cool, sporty, a hardtop coupe, and a V-8.  It’s the one I’d want the most and would happily restore it to 100% original spec, and drive it anywhere anytime, with all the windows down, and left arm dragging out the window.  Or it would make a killer 50s style custom.  Next up would be the ’49, if for no other reason that it was the first year for the new Olds OHV V-8, and being a large comfy sedan, would be a great family classic.

The ’47 might technically be the least valuable or desirable to most, but it is a 2-door bodystyle, and I’d restomod it to original looking condition, paint and interior, yet update the powertrain to a later Olds 4-4-2 big-block V-8 with fuel injection and an automatic — talk about a road animal.

What be your plans for this Olds trio?