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1956 Olds 88 Rocket 4-Door

Old July 6th, 2019, 07:53 PM
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1956 Olds 88 Rocket 4-Door

So I've been the proud owner of this beast for all of three days. I'd love to spin you fellas a yarn about how my great grandfather had kept her (yes - her - this is a boat of a car) hermetically sealed in his barn for the last four decades, but I don't really know much about her. The odometer has 66,000+ on it and it has definitely been stored un-driven for some time. The guy I got it from owed me a decent amount of money, is about to go through a foreclosure, and I figured it was best to make a deal now. I don't know a ton about old cars, but she looks good. No rust or major dents, and the body panels appear to be straight and original. My tap test didn't turn up any bondo, and the paint seems to be consistent.

The interior looks nice. A little musty, but no rips or stains. She starts up, shifts smoothly, drives straight down the road, and stops as she should. No obvious electrical issues. All lights work, as does the radio. She drives like a big boat of a car, as I'm guessing she should.

So... I won't tell you what the guy owed me, but I would like to unload this thing in the next week if possible. From what I can tell, $8,000 should be on the low end of fair, but it's definitely OBO. I'm in extreme SW Michigan, near South Bend, IN. You pay for shipping, but I'll be as responsive and helpful as possible. Any interest? Oh - the photos aren't the best. If you would like to see more, or any areas in particular, let me know and I can get them.





















Last edited by Creek-Chub; July 6th, 2019 at 08:00 PM.
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Old July 7th, 2019, 12:16 PM
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The more I look around, it seems like $6K might be more reasonable for a quick sale. I'm just trying to get my money back, and he owed me $5800. So - bump for $6,000.
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Old July 7th, 2019, 12:31 PM
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I think you were high at $8,000. It looks like a pretty solid old car. If somebody wants it to look slick they are going to need to paint it. Somebody could take it and without spending a lot of money could get into the old car hobby. GLWS.
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Old July 7th, 2019, 12:43 PM
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Would you say $6K is a fair price, or a good price for a quick sale? I'm looking for the latter. It's sitting in my driveway now which isn't a good long term plan. I'd rather not have to mess with it, so I'd take a hit if need be. Feel free to be brutally honest. I'm not sentimentally attached, so you won't hurt my feelings. This is just a business transaction.
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Old July 7th, 2019, 12:48 PM
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I don't think $6,000 is going to be a quick sale. I think somewhere in the neighborhood of slightly less than $4,000 is going to get a quick sale. I may be off since I haven't seen a lot of these cars sell. Maybe somebody else that is better informed will speak up.
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Old July 7th, 2019, 12:53 PM
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Fair enough. I appreciate the feedback. I could get to $5200 if that helps anyone watching this thread. Any less and I'll have to store it until spring and consider painting it. Sincerely hoping I don't have to do that though...
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Old July 8th, 2019, 08:48 AM
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Hagerty sets the value for a 56 4 door post #4 at $6200.
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Old July 8th, 2019, 11:46 AM
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Pic of engine and inside trunk? Any underside pics if possible as well. Thanks..
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Old July 8th, 2019, 12:58 PM
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Found one of the engine bay that should give you an idea. Don't have any of the trunk or underside, but it's on par with what you see in the rest of the car.

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Old July 8th, 2019, 02:09 PM
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As the owner of a '56 Super 88 four door sedan, I offer to you the following observations, based solely on what I can see in your pictures:

- This is a Super 88 with a 324 Rocket engine and a Jetaway Transmission (It has park) . You said that it runs and shifts which tells me that the Jetaway has been repaired at some time. The 56 Jetaway had a problem before the days of recalls, and when they broke, they were updated.
- There are no pictures of the rear bumper, but the chrome on the front bumper appears to be in excellent condition,
- The steering wheel is in excellent condition. Most have cracks or chunks missing by now.
- The seats have been recovered.
- The odometer doesn't matter on a 63 year old car. Mine was broken for over 20 years before I repaired it in 2012.
- The one hub cap that is pictured is excellent- most are missing the silver paint between the chrome rings- worn off or scrubbed off with steel wool years ago.
- The engine has been painted the color of my parents 1950's summer cottage.

From what I see, and if, in fact, it can be driven away, I'm thinking $6.000. is a fair price for someone to own a classic car.
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Old July 8th, 2019, 02:21 PM
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Thanks Chuck. I'm out of town on business this week or I would get ore photos of the rear bumper. You can see bits of it in a couple of the photos above. And there are at least two hubcaps pictured above, maybe three. That said, all I can say is that I didn't exclude anything on purpose. You can assume the rear bumper is pretty much in the same shape as the front and the rest of the chrome.



Last edited by Creek-Chub; July 8th, 2019 at 02:28 PM.
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Old July 8th, 2019, 05:33 PM
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I'd agree with Frank, good chance that both the motor and the tranny have been overhauled at some point, the colour on the motor isn't right, and the aircleaner definitely isn't the right colour (as far as I know, might be wrong)
At any rate, the rest of the car looks like a nice time-capsule and the mileage might be correct, but don't count on it.
The following is just my opinion, and we all know what that's worth, but I appraise vintage cars as a side job.
Oldsmobile sedans are not appreciating as much as the coupes are, in fact, they're stagnant or dropping in value. Added optional equipment is everything in these cars, along with originality and condition. This thing looks pretty nice, agreed; but if you want to maximize your earning potential, buff it out and make it look even better, especially if that's still the original paint. If it's the original lacquer on it, then it can be buffed out to a new "wet" like shine, just needs elbow grease and a good polish. About 3-4 hours of solid work and a case of beer. So, where it sits right now as it looks, where Haggerty says $6200, for a 3, it's probably closer to a 4, and would be about a grand or so less. Polish it up and clean out the mustiness and detail the block, $6K isn't out of the question. But here's the caveat; a car like this because of the 4 doors is going to take a long time to sell.
Good luck, and yes, it's a pretty car.
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