Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Convertible 1959

 
 

 
 

by

 
 

SUN STAR

scale 1:18

Model number: 5236

 
     
 

Review of the model:

When I started my collection of Classic cars, this 98 Oldsmobile from 1959 was one of my first model cars! Sun Star has a fairly large variety of American motor history. This Convertible is among the newer batch. I have seen pictures of the model in Hardtop and fell in love at once. I was not able to get the 98 hardtop here in Europe, as the two produced are now discontinued. (Latest news is: Two new hardtop models will hit the dealers late in 2017) But for now, I must wait and enjoy the Convertible. So lets take a look at this model and ask; is it worth the money and how well is it made?

I could now use a ton of space, to describe the various detailing on each side of this model. And furthermore list pro and cons to give this model a fair judgment.  - But no, I will not!  I will rather ask myself this question: Can a model be perfect? And what is good quality? Let’s start with the last first: Good quality is a subjective matter that is different from person to person. We can say if the product level of quality, exceed over our expiations, for the money spent, it is good quality! And in this case: YES! I only spent 49 Euros for this marvelous model car. YES it worth all of the money. This model from Sun Star is in my opinion perfect. And only if really sat down to think what will be better, if this model should be upgraded? I wish all Sun Stars models have axels and wheels made in metal! -that's it!

But you can see for yourself. Please enjoy the pictures below.

I will give this model 6 out of 6 stars  ******

Below here are pictures of the model, historical description, old brochures, technical data and a little movie clip for the real car. So please enjoy!

 

 

   

 

This Oldsmobile 59 looks good from any angle

 

 

Note how well build the model is

 
  Here we have the "full Monty" The doors have rubber sealing as well as the windscreen  
Nice color combination of the interior. Note the white steering column and lower instrument panel
Stitches in the leather interior (back armrest)
V8 Rocket 394 cu. inch. 315 Hp.
Well made trunk with carpet and jack and spare wheel - note the the small sticker on the trunk lid. This is a manual for tire changce
Lower, wider, faster! - We are in 1959
Nice color of Burgundy Mist metallic
Nice flowing lines
This model from Sun Star have no flaws
Lots of details allover this model
Photo etched front grill and letters, sure the is a high quality model car
Space age design from 59
Look how well made the car are allover
The grid in the lenses are a nice detail
 
 
     

 

 

History:

The Oldsmobile 98 (sometimes spelled Ninety-Eight after 1958) is the full-size flagship model of Oldsmobile that was produced from 1940 until 1996. The name — reflecting a "Series 90" fitted with an 8-cylinder engine — 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 division's top-of-the-line model, with lesser Oldsmobiles having lower numbers such as the A-body 66 and 68, and the B-body 76 and 78. The Series 60 was retired in 1949, the same year the Oldsmobile 78 was replaced by the 88. The Oldsmobile 76 was retired after 1950. This left the two remaining number-names to carry on into the 1990s as the bread and butter of the full-size Oldsmobile lineup until the Oldsmobile Regency replaced the 98 in 1997.

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. The 98 shared its General Motors C-body platform with Buick and Cadillac.

As it was the top-line Oldsmobile, the series had the most technologically advanced items available, such as the Hydramatic automatic transmission, the Autronic Eye, an automatic headlight dimmer, and 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.

For 1959, the Oldsmobile line-up was completely redesigned. However, unlike other GM makes (such as Chevrolet and Cadillac) Oldsmobile continued to use a full perimeter frame, instead of the GM X-frame.The 98 shared its appearance with the Oldsmobile 88. Oldsmobile stayed with its top series format by offering four body styles on an exclusive 126.3 in (3,208 mm) wheelbase. Standard equipment included oil filter, turn signals, air scoop brakes, Safety spectrum speedometer, rocker panel moldings, special emblems, parking brake light, sponge vinyl headliner, deep twist carpeting, electric clock, wheel trim moldings, power steering, power brakes, and Jetaway Hydramatic Drive. Interiors were selected from leather, Moroccean, or cloth in different colors. Standard tire size was 9.00 (229) by 14 inches (356 millimetres). The 394 cu in (6.5 L), the largest first generation Rocket V8, was used from 1959 until 1964.

 

1959 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight convertible from Hemmings Classic Car

July, 2005 - George Mattar

Although one of the most revered General Motors nameplates has gone the way of Studebaker, Packard and others, Oldsmobiles of all eras are admired for their engineering, styling and comfort. But like most other things in life that change, so did the market for Oldsmobile, which spelled the end for this once-proud nameplate. Olds had superlative engineers who developed many firsts, designs which are still in use today, such as a fully automatic transmission in 1940 and the first modern high-compression overhead-valve V-8 engine in 1949. If you desire a big Fifties convertible and don't want to take out a second mortgage for a '57 Chevy, these big Ninety-Eight convertibles are a sagacious alternative.

In 1959, there were Eighty-Eights, Ninety-Eights, Super Eighty-Eights, Holiday models and the Fiesta station wagon, 17 models in all. All hardtops were called Holidays, and all station wagons were Fiestas; all were well styled, built like Sherman tanks and had powerful V-8s under their expansive hoods. Suggested list prices ranged from $2,837 for a base two-door Dynamic Eighty-Eight to $4,366 for a top-of-the-line Ninety-Eight convertible, like our feature car, one of 7,514 produced. Unlike their predecessors in 1958, the 1959 models, while still large and now sporting vestigial fins, seemed smaller, with a lower stance and sides devoid of excess chrome and trim, and had a "linear look." But they really were bigger than the 1958 models, with overall length up substantially; the Eighty-Eight models were nearly 10 inches longer and the well-appointed Ninety-Eight about seven inches longer overall.

 

Engines
There were two engines for the 1959 model year, with the base engine, the 371-cu.in. V-8, available in the Dynamic 88 series producing 270hp at 4,600 rpm and 390-lbs.ft. of torque. This engine had a 4 x 3-11/16-inch bore and stroke and was called the "economy" version; it was fed fuel via a Rochester 2GC "Econ-o-way" two-barrel carburetor. This engine carried code "C." For the Super 88 and 98 series, the rugged 394-cu.in. V-8 was the standard engine and was four cubic inches larger than GM's top-of-the-line Cadillac 390. The 394 featured a 4-1/8 x 3-11/16-inch bore and stroke. The compression ratio was 9.75:1 and produced 315hp at 4,600 rpm with 435-lbs.ft. of torque. It featured hydraulic valve lifters, a 20-quart cooling capacity and a Rochester 4GC Quadrajet carburetor; its engine code is "D." These engines were designed with your friendly mechanic in mind and featured a male hex head on the oil filter for quick removal and replacement; Olds engineers did away with the messy cartridge oil filters late inckard and others, Oldsmobiles of all eras are admired for their engineering, styling and comfort. But like most other things in life that change, so did the market for Oldsmobile, which spelled the end for this once-proud nameplate. Olds had superlative engineers who developed many firsts, designs which are still in use today, such as a fully automatic transmission in 1940 and the first modern high-compression overhead-valve V-8 engine in 1949. If you desire a big Fifties convertible and don't want to take out a second mortgage for a '57 Chevy, these big Ninety-Eight convertibles are a sagacious alternative.

the model year. Another feature that shows the quality put into these cars was corrosion-resistant copper tubing for the A/C's Freon. In addition, when polished, it looks great at the local cruise night. The 394 engine is durable and, if regularly maintained over the years, will likely require only a minor overhaul.

 

Transmission
The lone transmission in the Ninety-Eight was a Jetaway three-speed automatic unit with an integral cooler. These were among the best-shifting transmissions ever produced, maybe because they contained whale oil, which may explain the effortless shifts that owners report. Originally, the transmission fluid in these cars, and others of the era, was clear; engineers did not begin adding red dye until the early 1960s. The standard transmission in other, less-expensive Oldsmobiles was a three-speed column-shifted manual.

 

Differential/Rear Axle
The rear axle was typical of the 1950s, a Hotchkiss drive with hypoid gears leading out to semi-floating axles in a heavy steel axle housing. Inside was a standard 2.87:1 ratio gear set. The rear ends are stout, and if properly maintained and not abused, they will remain trouble free and last a long time.

 

Suspension
The front suspension was typical of this era, with independent A-arms, coil springs, hydraulic shock absorbers and a 7/8-inch diameter anti-roll bar. The solid-axle rear is suspended with longitudinal semi-elliptic leaf springs and hydraulic shocks. The wheels were just 14 inches in diameter and 5 inches wide. On 98s, the wheels were 5.5 inches wide. This suspension and available power steering made these two-ton-plus cruisers handle effortlessly. Steering can be done with one finger in terms of effort, but judging it against standards of the time, it was fairly tight and not sloppy.

 

Brakes
The braking system had four-wheel drums with power assist. Both front and rear drums measured 11 inches in diameter with a total swept area of 191.7 inches. The parking brake was the standard cable-activated rear-drum setup. Owners report that these brakes are adequate, but could be much better. Although far from today's standards, the optional power brakes made these cars stop quite well with no fade and no pulling to either side.

 

Body/Frame
The body, as with most 1950s cars, was made of welded steel pressings yielding a weight of 4,545 pounds for convertibles, and varying weights on other models. The lightest 1959 Oldsmobile was the Dynamic Eighty-Eight two-door sedan at 4,214 pounds. The frame was a deep-channel design perimeter unit with a center X-member and featured five crossmembers. The big Olds used a "Vista Panoramic" windshield, and the tailfins were cast from slab-sided verticals into thinly contoured rockets. There were some differences on the Ninety-Eight series; one was a special aluminum appliqué on the rear body panel beneath the trunk lid, with the widely spaced letters "O L D S M O B I L E." The taillamps were special too, with lenses that curved inward, and they were dripping with chrome plating. All other 1959 Olds rear lenses bulged out and were sans chrome.

The wheelbase for all models except the Ninety-Eight was 123 inches, and overall length was 218.4 inches. The Ninety-Eight had a wheelbase of 126.3 inches and was a whopping 223 inches from stem to stern. Front styling was somewhat conservative for the time, but chrome-laden as well. Parking lamp/turn signals separated the quad headlamps at each front corner, and the grille was an aluminum flat mesh screen on lesser models and cast aluminum on the Ninety-Eight. The Ninety-Eight had chromed pot metal headlamp rings, while the Eighty-Eights had better-quality anodized aluminum rings. Above the massive grille was the familiar Olds Rocket at the leading edge of the hood.

As with many cars of this era, rust is a big factor. The lower quarter panels tend to rust as do the bottoms of the front fenders and doors. The U-channel/box member side rails with X-center frames are generally sturdy, but time consuming to repair if damaged. Convertible top mechanicals work well, and hydraulic top pumps are easily rebuilt. Bill Kinas of Parma, Ohio, has owned a 1959 Super 88 two-door hardtop for about 20 years and restored the car over a 15-year period. He says for buyers to beware of rotted floors and trunk pans. "This car sat in a barn for many years, but a thick undercoating was applied at the factory, and it retains moisture. The floors rotted out, as did the trunk pans. Reproductions were not available, so I made Chevy pans fit with some fabrication," he said. Bill says one quarter panel had some rot, and he was lucky enough to find an NOS piece in Texas to replace it.

 

Interior
Get behind the massive steering wheel, and you'll have a symmetrical dashboard design staring you straight in the eyes. It's typical of 1950s dashes and positively stylish, with legible controls, radio mounted in the center and large glove compartment, with a metal door, of course. The 98's door panels were a thing of beauty, yet functional and durable. They were a combination of hard-wearing Morrokide vinyl, stainless steel trim and nylon/rayon carpeting on the bottom half. For safety's sake, there was a reflector at the rear of the armrest, which was visible to other cars at night.

The steering wheel was ahead of its time when airbags were the things of fairy tales. Engineers designed a deep Safety Vee into the wheel, meaning the center hub was away from the driver's chest in the event of a crash. The headliner was another form of beauty. Called "Star-Lite," it was a foam-textured material that featured a thin vinyl foam sheet glued to cardboard-like panels, which were held in place by plastic bows with a chrome-like finish. While pretty, the materials were not durable, and after years of heat exposure, the foam tends to fall off in sheets and make a mess inside. No reproduction is yet available, and owners restoring their cars must use a conventional vinyl headliner. The Star-Lite pattern was available in ivory, pale green, light blue and beige in the 98, 88 and Super Holiday Sport Sedans and two-door hardtops, and optional in other models except Fiestas and convertibles.

Another nice touch was the optional vacuum-powered trunk release, operated by a chrome handle inside the glove compartment. The speedometer, designed like many in the 1950s, featured a colored band that ran from left to right. From zero to 35 mph, the band was green, from 36 to 65 the band turned orange, and above 65 it was red.

As for the interior color choices, there were 60 available upholstery selections from which to choose; 15 acrylic lacquer Magic-Mirror exterior colors were available. The convertible tops were called Toptex, came in six color choices, and were stowed under a soft vinyl boot.

 

Restoration Parts
While not as plentiful as Cutlass/4-4-2 reproduction parts, new parts for 1959 Oldsmobiles are available. Scanning through Hemmings Motor News, we located several firms that carry reproduction, used and N.O.S. parts. Bill Kinas offers this important view on some N.O.S. parts. "I completely rebuilt the engine on my 1959 Olds and then had an overheating problem. I tried everything: Cleaned out the radiator, changed the thermostat and, finally, after taking off the cylinder heads, found that the N.O.S. head gasket was missing a hole for the water to flow through and that made the engine run hot; the gasket was incorrectly made. Always look at parts carefully, especially N.O.S., because they were likely returned in 1959 because they didn't work, and ended up on somebody's shelf."

 

What to Pay today

 

Low

Average

High

Dynamic 88 two-door sedan

$4,000

$10,000

$15,000

Dynamic 88 four-door sedan

$3,000

$8,000

$12,000

Super 88 four-door sedan

$3,000

$7,500

$11,000

Super 88 convertible

$11,000

$26,000

$40,000

98 Holiday two-door hardtop

$5,000

$12,000

$19,000

98 Holiday four-door hardtop

$4,000

$9,000

$14,000

98 four-door sedan

$3,000

$8,000

$13,000

98 convertible

$13,000

$30,000

$45,000

 

Production

 

Dynamic Eighty-Eight
Two-door sedan 16,123
Two-door Holiday hardtop 38,488
Four-door sedan 70,995
Four-door Holiday hardtop 48,707
Two-door convertible 8,491
Station wagon, five- and seven-passenger 11,298

 

Super Eighty-Eight
Two-door Holiday hardtop 20,259
Four-door sedan 37,024
Four-door Holiday hardtop 38,467
Two-door convertible 4,895
Station wagon, five-passenger and seven-passenger 7,015

 

Ninety-Eight
Two-door hardtop 13,669
Four-door sedan 23,106
Four-door hardtop 36,813
Two-door convertible 7,514

This article originally appeared in the July, 2005 issue of Hemmings Classic Car.

 

                                                                                                                                                    Technical specification:

Overview

Model years

1959-1960

Assembly

South Gate, California, U.S.
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.
Framingham, Massachusetts, U.S.
Lansing, Michigan, U.S.
Linden, New Jersey, U.S.
Arlington, Texas, U.S.

Designer

Bill Mitchell

Body and chassis

Body style

2-door Holiday hardtop
4-door sedan
4-door Celebrity sedan
4-door Holiday hardtop
2-door convertible

Layout

FR layout

Platform

C-body

Related

Cadillac Eldorado
Cadillac Sixty Special
Cadillac De Ville
Cadillac Series 62
Buick Electra

Powertrain

Engine

394 cu in (6.5 L) Rocket V8

Transmission

4-speed Hydramatic automatic

Dimensions

Wheelbase

126.3 in (3,208 mm)

Length

1959: 223.0 in (5,664 mm)
1960: 220.9 in (5,611 mm)

Width

1959: 80.8 in (2,052 mm)
1960: 80.6 in (2,047 mm)

Height

1959: 56.0 in (1,422 mm)
1960: 56.1 in (1,425 mm)

Curb weight

4,500–4,700 lb (2,000–2,100 kg)

 

 


 
 

Old brochures of the Oldsmobile 1959

 
 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
     
     
     

     
     

 

 

 

     
     
     
     
     
 

Video of the real car  (88) from Youtube

 
 
 

 

 
 

 

If you have any question or comment your are free to contact me at: aeronautic@stofanet.dk

 

 

Dealers are welcome to get their models reviewed too.

 

 

 

 

 

Aeronautic Aug. 2017

 
 
 
     
     
     

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