Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Convertible Rancho Sante Fe California
Oldsmobile 98 Convertible
History (from Wikipedia)
The Oldsmobile 98 (originally Series 90; a.k.a. Ninety-Eight) was a full-sizeautomobile, as well as the flagship model of the Oldsmobile division of General Motors in the United States. The name first appeared in 1941 and was used again after American consumer automobile production resumed post-World War II. It was, as it would remain, the top-of-the-line model, with lesser Oldsmobiles having lower numbers such as 66 and 76. These were replaced by the Oldsmobile 88 in 1949, and the two number-names would carry on into the 1990s as the bread and butter of the full-size Oldsmobile lineup until the Aurora would replace it for 1996.
General Motors developed a system of sharing body panels between models of its different makes, but the Ninety-Eight broke ranks several times with this system. Its second body makeover did not share body panels with the other senior makes, Buick and Cadillac. It did not even have its model-changeover synchronized with the same year as the Eighty-Eight in the mid-1950s.
Occasionally additional nomenclature was used with the name, such as L/S and Holiday, and the 98 Regency badge would become increasingly common in the later years of the model.
As it was the top-line Oldsmobile, the series had the most technologically advanced items available, such as Twilight Sentinel (a feature that automatically turned the headlights on and off via a timer, as controlled by the driver), and the highest-grade interior and exterior trim.
Car provided by owner Jay Weinberg.
Car shot in Rancho Sante Fe by Sean Callahan
1958 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Convertible
Oldsmobile in the 1950s (courtesy of Wikipedia.com)
Oldsmobile entered the 1950s following a divisional image campaign centered on its 'Rocket' engines and its cars appearance followed suit. Oldsmobile's Rocket V8 engine was the leader in performance, generally considered the fastest cars on the market and by the mid 1950s their styling was among the first to offer a wide, "open maw" grille, suggestive of jet propulsion. Oldsmobile adopted a ringed-globe emblem to stress what marketers felt was its universal appeal. Throughout the 1950s, the make used twin jet pod-styled taillights as a nod to its "Rocket" theme. Oldsmobile was among the first of GM's divisions to receive a true hardtop in 1949, and it was also the among the first divisions (along with Buick and Cadillac) to receive a wraparound windshield, a trend that eventually all American makes would share at sometime between 1953 and 1964.
In the 1950s the nomenclature changed again, and trim levels also received names that were then mated with the model numbers. This resulted in the Oldsmobile 88 emerging as base Dynamic 88 the better trimmed Delta 88, and the highline Super 88. Other full-size model names included the "Holiday" used on hardtops, and "Fiesta" used on its station wagons. When the 98 was retired in 1996, its length of service was the longest of any model name used on American cars.
GM styling as a whole lost its frontrunner status in 1957 when Chrysler introduced Virgil Exner's "Forward Look" designs. When compared side to side, Oldsmobile looked dated next to its price-point competitor DeSoto. Compounding the problem for Oldsmobile and Buick was a styling mistake which GM called the "Strato Roof". Both makes had models which contained the heavily framed rear window, but Detroit had been working with large curved backlights for almost a decade. Consumers disliked the roof and its blind spots, forcing GM to rush a redesign into production on some of its models.
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