Original Numbers Matching 324 CID Rocket 88 w/Manual Shift "Three On the Tree"

1956 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight Holiday 88 Hardtop Sedan

Technical specifications of Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight 1956

Price: US $18,995.00
Condition: Used
Item location: Edinburg, Texas, United States
Make: Oldsmobile
Model: Eighty-Eight
SubModel: Holiday 88
Type: Sedan
Trim: Holiday 88 Hardtop Sedan
Year: 1956
Mileage: 35799
VIN: 5629726624
Color: Red/White
Engine size: 324 Rocket 88
Number of cylinders: 8
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: Manual
Drive type: RWD
Interior color: Red/Black
Drive side: Left-hand drive
Vehicle Title: Clear
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Car description

History: For sale is my 1956 Oldsmobile Holiday 88 4-Door Hardtop. This car has been in my family for over 35 years and has only been owned by three families. It was purchased new from a dealership in Delta, Colorado and delivered to the original owners residence, a doctor who resided near Paonia, Colorado on Christmas Eve, 1955. It was special ordered with the manual "three on the tree" manual shift transmission. This was a VERY rare option as standard equipment included the automatic "Hydromatic" transmission. In 1962 the car was involved in an accident when it slid on ice while crossing a bridge. The car did not roll, but it did incur damage and as a result the hood and front fenders have never been quite right since. After the accident the original owner traded it in, and it was subsequently purchased by the second owner who resided near Crawford, Colorado. My father purchased the car from the second owner in 1983. The car spent its entire life in Colorado until 2013, when I brought it with me to south Texas. It's a solid, roadworthy, dependable car. I drove it across Colorado over the Rocky Mountains, and from Denver to Topeka in 2009. It does well at highway speeds, rides very smooth. I put it on a trailer when I moved to Texas only because it was easier logistically.
Exterior/Interior:The car was originally all black with a white top. My dad re-painted the car himself when he purchased it in 1983, and changed the color to two-tone red and white. In 2016 I had the car re-painted (red and white), it's decent driver quality but it was not done to the professional standards I was expecting. Also in 2016 the seats and door panels were re-upholstered using materials that are very similar to the original, and the carpet was replaced. Seat belts (lap belts only) have been added in the front seat. The headliner is the original and is in remarkably good shape except for two small holes (see pictures). The dash is beautiful and still sporting the original red paint.
Condition:All gauges, turn signals, headlights, dash lights, and brake lights are in working order. The engine is the original numbers matching 324 CID Rocket 88. The three-speed manual transmission shifts smoothly. The valve covers and engine were re-painted in 2016, but the engine has never been torn apart. It runs exceptionally well for a 63 year old car, no smoke. The odometer currently reads 35,799 (I suspect it's on it's 2nd time around but can't be sure). The original Deluxe radio and speaker is still present but non-operational. It was working until about 10 years ago, I suspect one of the tubes may need replacing. Also the antenna has not been re-connected since the paint job. The heater was working until about two years ago, it's currently non-operational due to a leaking heater core. My mechanic re-routed the coolant to bypass the heater core as a temporary fix while I found a replacement part, but I never got around to it. In south Texas, having a heater isn't exactly a priority. In 2013 the original vacuum windshield wipers were converted to electric, but the original vacuum tubes and motor are still present, so it could easily be converted back if the next owner so desires. All the glass is original except for the drivers side door vent window. In the trunk is what I suspect may be the original spare tire (it looks ancient and I've always been too scared to air it up). Part of the jack is there but the base is missing. The car uses the original canister type oil filter (replacement filters can still be ordered from Auto Zone). The air cleaner is the original "oil bath" type which has been repainted. The car was never equipped with power steering or power brakes. Most of the time it's not a big deal, but parallel parking is not fun.
New Parts/Work Completed Since 2016: Since 2016, the car has undergone the following repairs:
  • New spark plugs, spark plug wires, and distributor cap
  • Rebuilt carburetor
  • Rebuilt generator
  • Rebuilt starter
  • Original gas tank cleaned and coated with Red-Kote Tank Sealer
  • New fuel sending unit (fuel gauge works)
  • Original radiator cleaned and patched, overflow tube replaced.
  • New brake master cylinder
Please view the following videos to see this car in action:https://youtu.be/TmB54Wuuwqghttps://youtu.be/t1ld0HULb-4https://youtu.be/AdJfV_m8klU
Disclosures: This is a beautiful car but it's NOT a show car.The primary concern is the hood and front fenders (see pictures). The hood has never fit correctly. The gaps between the hood and fenders, and the gaps between the front doors and fenders, are not correct. In 2016 when the car was re-painted, the body shop attempted to "re-align" things and actually made it worse. I subsequently took it to another shop, which was able to "undo" some of the damage. In the process of "undoing" the damage done by the first shop, the new paint on the hood was damaged. It was also discovered that the first shop had welded the front bumper to the frame. In the medical community, something comparable to this would be considered malpractice, but in the business of restoring cars there's not much I can do about this. I was advised that it's fixable, but probably best to enjoy the car as is. All the chrome is presentable, it's not pristine but it looks good. There are some chrome strips on the drivers side of the car that don't line up perfectly (see pictures). All of the windows roll up and down, but some of the window cranks are stiff and difficult to crank. The tires were replaced in 2004. They still have decent tread, but full disclosure, they're getting old. The front and rear shocks were replaced in 2013.
Items of Interest: The manual "three on the tree" transmission is an exceptionally rare option for this vehicle. Standard equipment was the Hydromatic. I have been to many shows and have never seen another 1956 Oldsmobile with a manual transmission. It's fun to drive, and considering that most people nowadays can't drive a stick shift, much less a "three on three," it's practically theft proof. The hubcaps are the original "dog dish" hubcaps. They're super cute and are actually more rare now than the full wheel covers which were the higher end option.
Questions: I have made every effort to show and describe this car as honestly as I possibly can. That being said, please do not assume anything and ASK if you have questions. My father knew both of the previous owners, and given that the car has been in our family for over 35 years, I should be able to answer most questions you may have. As I mentioned previously, it's not a show car but it still looks sharp and it's a GREAT driver. Get it out on the road and enjoy it.

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