My 1955 Oldsmobile

I saved it from deteriorating like the one for sale and restored it to look better than the one on the road. See below for some of the steps that took it from an oxidized mess to a real beauty.

I bought my Olds in early 1994. The car was complete, with 135,387 miles on the odometer and a big dent in the right-rear quarter panel. I can still remember the first words out of my wife’s mouth when I pulled up in front of our house with it on a car trailer, “You paid $1,000 for that!”

Before - Right Rear AngleBefore - Front Before - Left Rear AngleI didn’t do a full body-off restoration, but the engine compartment and underbelly of the car were sandblasted and painted black. The body was sanded down to bare metal with a special coating applied before priming and then it was painted to match the original factory colors. In addition to the professionally done body work and paint job, all of the chrome and stainless steel was redone, along with new glass all around, except for the rear window.

Paint Shop - Rear - Paint Stripped Paint Shop - Rear - Primed and Dent Fixed Paint Shop - Side at Various StagesI originally planned to rebuild the stock 324 cubic-inch engine and Hydromatic transmission but found a ’68 Olds big-block 455 with over-sized valves and Turbo 400 combination that had been built for a hot rod but was never installed in the intended car. The engine was balanced and blueprinted and had a racing cam as well as dual AFB carburetors installed on a nice Offenhauser intake manifold. (I later replaced the ignition with an electron setup for a stronger spark and reliability.)

Progress - 455 Installed With Dual AFBs & Fuel Pressure GaugeSo why the big-block? When I was in college I had a ’55 Olds with a ’58 Olds engine mated to a B&M hydro. This car was definitely a sleeper and provide many happy times. (That’s me, back then, with a side view of my original Olds below. If you look in the wind-wing you can see a reflection of my girlfriend, who later became my wife, taking my picture with her Brownie camera.)

Me in My Original '55 Olds Original '55 Olds2Consequently, the 455 Olds big-block was something I just couldn’t pass up.

The upholstery follows the original patterns, using two shades of gray Naugahyde and pleated gray material, which looks better than when new. I must say that my latest little sleeper would definitely embarrass my original one at the drag strip.

After driving it for a while I realized it was pretty hard to stop, so I fitted the front with disc brakes. Now it stops fast and straight.

It took a little over five years to complete the car and I am proud to say it gets lots of attention. People are used to seeing a lot of ’55-57 Chevy’s here in California, but not many ’55 Oldsmobiles.

In case you are wondering, my wife loves this car now.

My Olds - Left Front Angle My Olds - Left Rear Angle My Olds - Left Side Rear Angle My Olds - Right Rear Angle My Olds - Steering Wheel My Olds - Trunk Opened My Olds - Driver Seat My Olds - Engine Front My Olds - Engine Left My Olds - Engine Right

The video below doesn’t have a ’55 Oldsmobile in it, but has some very interesting facts about cars in the 1950s.

Click Here to see all the cars I have owned over the years.


Favorite Movie Tough Guy Lines

Liam Neeson, Taken

“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”

John Wayne, The Green Berets

“Out here, due process is a bullet.”

Roddy Piper, They Live

“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass . . . and I’m all out of bubblegum.”

Humphrey Bogart, The Maltese Falcon

“People lose teeth talking like that. If you want to hang around, you’ll be polite.”

Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry

“I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well? Do ya, punk?”

Robert Mitchum, Cape Fear

“It’s not necessary to lay a foul tongue on me, my friend. I could get upset. Things could get out of hand. Then in self-defense, I could do something to you that you would not like, right here.

Lee Marvin, The Dirty Dozen

“I never went in for embroidery, just results.”

Charles Bronson, Mr. Majestyk

“You make sounds like you’re a mean little ass-kicker, only I ain’t convinced. You keep talking, and I’m gonna take your head off.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Predator

“If it bleeds, we can kill it.”

Chuck Norris, Code of Silence

“If I want your opinion, I’ll beat it out of you.”

Steve McQueen, The Magnificent Seven

“Solving problems isn’t our line. We deal in lead, friend.”

Bruce Lee, Enter the Dragon

“A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract. And when he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, ‘I’ do not hit: ‘It’ hits all by itself.”

Bruce Willis, Die Hard

“Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.”

Sylvester Stallone, Rambo III

“I’m your worst nightmare.”

James Coburn, Duck, You Sucker

“I used to believe in many things, all of it! Now, I believe only in dynamite.”

Chow Yun-Fat, The Killer

“I always leave one bullet, either for myself or for my enemy.”

Burt Lancaster, Vera Cruz

“Ace used to say: ‘You don’t take any chances you don’t have to. Don’t trust nobody you don’t have to trust, and don’t do no favors you don’t have to do.’ Ace lived long enough to know he was right. He lived thirty seconds after I shot ‘im.”

Sean Connery, Dr. No

“That’s a Smith and Wesson, and you’ve had your six.”

Rusell Crowe, Gladiator

“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”