The 1959-1960 Oldsmobile 98 and Super 88 was more of Oldsmobile's biggest and brawniest, this time from the "Linear Look" years. Like other GM cars, the '59s resulted from a crash design program responding to the enormously successful '57 Chrysler products that decisively seized industry styling leadership (only to lose it by 1959).
1959 Oldsmobile 98 Celebrity sedan
These models also reflected a new GM body-sharing plan. Olds fared fairly well aesthetically, with the least flamboyant lines of any '59 GMer save Pontiac. It was little heavier than before despite the obvious dimensional increases and much greater glass areas.
A stronger new semi-unitized body/frame structure (aft of the cowl) helped. So did a larger Rocket V-8 for Super 88/98, though power wasn't up much due to a slight compression cut, a nod to a newly economy-conscious market.
There were many other improvements, too, including "Air Scoop" brakes, "Roto-Matic" power steering, and two-stage "split choke and fast idle mechanism." The Super 88 Fiesta wagon was now a pillared model.
Simpler "Balanced Design" styling with new lower-body sheetmetal identified the 1960s, which continued the economy trend (begun in '58) with still lower numerical axle ratios. A 98 convertible paced the 1960 Indy 500.
These Oldsmobiles were as long ignored as the 1957-1958s, but stronger value appreciation potential now reflects increased collector interest, especially among younger enthusiasts.
Pluses of the 1959-1960 Oldsmobile 98 and Super 88:
- Low, wide, and not overdone (especially '60s)
- Performance still ample
- Built somewhat better than 1957-1958s
- Big and spacious
- Active club
- Some models very scarce now yet prices remain reasonable
Minuses of the 1959-1960 Oldsmobile 98 and Super 88:
- Ragtops expensive
- Still rather rust-prone
- No more J-2 option
- Supers more like standard 88s
- Some body/trim parts difficult to find
Production of the 1959-1960 Oldsmobile 98 and Super 88:
- 1959 Super 88 Celebrity 4-door sedan: 37,024; Fiesta 4-door wagon: 7,015; Holiday SceniCoupe hardtop: 20,259; Holiday SportSedan hardtop: 38,467; convertible: 4,895
- 1959 98 Celebrity 4-door sedan: 23,106; Holiday SceniCoupe hardtop: 13,669; Holiday SportSedan hardtop: 36,813; convertible: 7,514
- 1960 Super 88 Celebrity 4-door sedan: 35,094; Fiesta 4-door wagon: 7,230; Holiday SceniCoupe hardtop: 16,464; Holiday SportSedan hardtop: 33,285; convertible: 5,830
- 1960 98 Celebrity 4-door sedan: 17,188; Holiday SceniCoupe hardtop: 7,635; Holiday SportSedan hardtop: 27,257; convertible: 7,284
Specifications of the 1959-1960 Oldsmobile 98 and Super 88:
Wheelbase, inches: 123.0/126.3 (Super 88/98)
Length, inches: Super 88/98: 218.4/223.0 (1959), 217.6/220.9 (1960)
Weight, pounds: 4,135-4,390
Price, new: $3,178-4,362
Engines for the 1959-1960 Oldsmobile 98 and Super 88:
Type Size Horsepower Years ohv V-8 394 cid 315 1959-1960
Want more information about classic cars? See:
- Classic Cars
- Oldsmobile Sports Cars
- Muscle Cars
- Sports Cars
- Consumer Guide Auto
- Consumer Guide Auto Used Car Search