1956 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday
This 1956 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday is a very nice example of the pillarless “hardtop” coupe. The current owner bought the car in 1988. The car is an older restoration showing some wear, but a very nice looking and driving Olds.
The blemishes include a few minor scratches in the exterior paint and some minor surface rust on a few under carriage components. There is some indication of minor rusting under the paint on the driver’s side lower door. The interior, engine compartment and trunk are in very good condition.
The owner brought the car to Horsepower with the intention of having the minor defects repaired. Due to a change in plans, he has decided to sell the car and let the new owner decide if they want to just enjoy driving it or return it to showroom condition.
The previous owner had done some body work and had it in pretty good condition and the additional work and painting was done by the current owner. The car was originally green on green and was painted 25 years ago by the current owner as he preferred the red and white combination.
The owner has an extensive history of the car’s restoration and maintenance history as well as its original service log, along with several memorabilia type items.
The details of the car are that the clock worked and was repaired under current ownership. It has “points” that are disconnected so it would not drain the battery, the new owner should be able to reconnect it and have it work.
The cigar lighter also worked and is fused so that also should work. The AM radio works but the antenna is not connected as it is connected to the FM radio that is in the glove compartment.
The engine and transmission were rebuilt, he installed a new gas tank and fuel system component to handle today’s gasoline. It has an external electric fuel pump, and the windshield washer was rebuilt. The brakes and power booster have also been rebuilt. It has covered less than 30,000 miles in the last 35 years. The seat is original, but the carpet is new.
Together with Cadillac, Oldsmobile led the industry with the introduction of a pillarless “hardtop” coupe in 1949. Olds version was called the “Holiday”; by the time this 1956 model was built, the Holiday coupe was the most popular 88 style.
For 1956, styling highlights included a new split grille in front and revised taillights and deck along with revised side chroming. Horsepower for the 324 Rocket V8 increased to 230 for 88s and 240 for Super 88s. A new four-speed Jetaway Hydra-Matic was introduced this year to replace the original Hydra-Matic transmission that Olds had used since 1940. The new Jetaway Hydra-Matic retained the four forward speeds and fluid coupling unit but added a new “Park” position to the shift quadrant and no longer required band adjustment as a specified routine maintenance. Inside, an oval speedometer replaced the round unit, and a new foot-operated parking brake replaced the previous T-handle unit.
Oldsmobile’s now-famous OHV Rocket V8 engine was in its the beginning when this 1956 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday hardtop emerged.
The two-tone paint instantly conveys the elegance that you want from an Oldsmobile. It has a glossy finish that gets this one noticed, and the right hints of driver-ready style that lets you know it was made to cruise. And overall, it is nice to see that the owners have taken the time to get it right. That means a complete trim package that provides a clear dividing line for the red and cream. All the sheet metal appears sleek and correct, and so you clearly see flowing detail like that famous kick-up in the rear fender that helps create the tailfin. All the brightwork is complete, including the big chrome bumpers that fit so well into the design. Even the little things are nice with the famous Oldsmobile globe leading the way, color-matched steel wheels giving a hint of color behind the wheel covers, and notched taillights in the rear to add more distinction to the rocket-like tailfins. Oh yes, Oldsmobile delivered style.
The Holiday Hardtop sedan means that people have a clear view of the interior, showing off the detailed presentation continued inside. There’s plenty of room for family and friends across the two wide bench seats. These are original, and they are complete, right down to the textured pattern and button-top presentation in the center. The Olds globe steering wheel is thin and has that kind of instant sense of grip. The bright elements on the steering wheel, speedometer, and full dash are reminiscent of the style that was a priority in the ’50s. Details to appreciate are the smooth dash pad, AM radio still there for display, and working dome light. All of this makes this a car that you’ll want to take out on those long-light summer evenings.
Oldsmobile’s famous Rocket V8 lives under the hood. This 324 cubic-inch motor loves to show off its vintage style with the distinct green block, callouts on the valve covers, and the air grabber that looked so good that hot rodders would borrow them for years to come. More than just looking good, this also has been given the right investment like a new fuel pump and a rebuild of the four-barrel carburetor in 2020. It makes for a strong motor that keeps this a solid cruiser. It’s a true vintage machine, and so it likes to keep you in touch with the road like a proper 1950s car does. But it also has the right driving features like the Hydramatic automatic transmission, a smooth ride, and a V8 nice tune from the dual exhaust.
Now available at Horsepower Enterprises LLC, a full service, repair and restoration shop and special interest automobile showroom. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, (717)392-0599 option 2.
Exterior: Festival Red / Antique White (Period correct)
Interior: Red/White Cloth/Vinyl
Engine: 324cu in 240hp (Original engine rebuilt)