2 Questions about the '56 Oldsmobile Super 88 - ClassicOldsmobile.com


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Old March 13th, 2018, 08:24 PM   #1  
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2 Questions about the '56 Oldsmobile Super 88

Hey!

I'm considering buying a '56 Oldsmobile Super 88, but I just have 2 questions

1: Was the Jetaway Hydramatic the only transmission for the Super 88 or was it just an option? I've heard people tell me both

2: If it has no B-Pillar, is it automatically a Holiday Hardtop? I've heard that when they don't have the B-Pillar that they are the holiday hardtop. I see one for sale without the B-Pillar but it doesnt have the "HOLIDAY" emblems nor does the seller mention it being the holiday hardtop

Any answers will be greatly appreciated

TheBrightlyFancy

Last edited by TheBrightlyFancy; March 15th, 2018 at 12:51 AM. Reason: Just fixed some grammar
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Old March 14th, 2018, 06:25 AM   #2  
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As I understand it, the Jetaway started as an option on the 88 series and eventually as inventory of standard hydra-matics were used up became the only automatic available. All hardtops were Holiday's but only the 98's had the emblems.
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Old March 14th, 2018, 09:22 PM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBrightlyFancy View Post
Hey!

I'm considering buying a '56 Oldsmobile Super 88, but I just have 2 questions

1: Was the Jetaway Hydramatic only optional on the Super 88 or was it standard? I've heard people tell me both

2: If it has no B-Pillar, is it automatically a Holiday Hardtop? I've heard that when they don't have the B-Pillar that they are the holiday hardtop. I see one for sale without the B-Pillar but it doesnt have the "HOLIDAY" emblems nor does the seller mention it being the holiday hardtop

Any answers will be greatly appreciated

TheBrightlyFancy
Here's what the 1956 Oldsmobile shop manual says:
The 1956 88 series will continue to use the 1955 Hydra-Matic transmission.
The new Jetaway Hydra-Matic transmission is available on the Super 88 and 98 series only.
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File Type: jpg 1956OldsmobileFlatRateManual-TOC.JPG (403.5 KB, 23 views)
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Old March 15th, 2018, 12:49 AM   #4  
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Originally Posted by Ozzie View Post
Here's what the 1956 Oldsmobile shop manual says:
The 1956 88 series will continue to use the 1955 Hydra-Matic transmission.
The new Jetaway Hydra-Matic transmission is available on the Super 88 and 98 series only.
Thank you for the information! But I'm still confused as to if you mean that the jetaway version was standard on the super 88 or not.

TheBrightlyFancy
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Old March 15th, 2018, 02:52 AM   #5  
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Here is the 1956 brochure:

http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/stati.../dirindex.html


You will see that the four door Super 88 had the "Holiday" lettering on the fenders.
The two door Super 88 Holiday did not.
Both four door and two door 98's had the "Holiday" lettering.

Last edited by ignachuck; March 15th, 2018 at 02:57 AM.
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Old March 15th, 2018, 01:16 PM   #6  
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Thank you for the information! But I'm still confused as to if you mean that the jetaway version was standard on the super 88 or not.

TheBrightlyFancy
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This may help:

http://wildaboutcarsonline.com/cgi-b...aldisplayed=50

According to ^^^ , "The Jetaway Hydra-Matic was standard equipment on Ninety-Eight models and a $190. option on other models."
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Old March 15th, 2018, 02:09 PM   #7  
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Interesting. Somehow I was under the impression the Jetaway was a mid year introduction. I have no idea where I got that notion.

Last edited by redoldsman; March 15th, 2018 at 06:28 PM.
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Old March 15th, 2018, 04:12 PM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignachuck View Post
This may help:

http://wildaboutcarsonline.com/cgi-b...aldisplayed=50

According to ^^^ , "The Jetaway Hydra-Matic was standard equipment on Ninety-Eight models and a $190. option on other models."
Thank you! I'll be sure to check with the seller if it has the Jetaway
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Old March 15th, 2018, 06:29 PM   #9  
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It is pretty easy. The Jetaway has park and the Hydra-matic does not.
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Old March 15th, 2018, 09:17 PM   #10  
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It is pretty easy. The Jetaway has park and the Hydra-matic does not.
I guess the one I'm thinking of buying has the Jetaway! Sorry if this might sound dumb, but how would you park if you had no park option on the gear shifter?
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Old March 15th, 2018, 09:19 PM   #11  
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I'll be sure to send 2 pictures of the Oldsmobile in question to verify (Sorry, I'm just the type of person who is never 100% sure unless someone verifies)
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Old March 15th, 2018, 09:41 PM   #12  
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I guess the one I'm thinking of buying has the Jetaway! Sorry if this might sound dumb, but how would you park if you had no park option on the gear shifter?


You would put the transmission in reverse and shut the motor and the parking pawl would engage.
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Old March 18th, 2018, 11:02 AM   #13  
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Originally Posted by Ozzie View Post
Here's what the 1956 Oldsmobile shop manual says:
The 1956 88 series will continue to use the 1955 Hydra-Matic transmission.
The new Jetaway Hydra-Matic transmission is available on the Super 88 and 98 series only.
The Dealer Data Book says that both automatics were options in all 88s, so I'm not sure which to believe. My '56 88 Holiday Coupe apparently had a Jetaway from the factory. It's an August '56 Lansing car, based on the radiator date code, so it was built late in the model year.

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It is pretty easy. The Jetaway has park and the Hydra-matic does not.
Unless you have, as I do, a car with Jetaway shift indicator but a mismatched slant pan installed (ours is from '55 and mated to a '55 324). It shows a position for park, but it means nothing.
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Old March 18th, 2018, 11:16 AM   #14  
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Mine is a 54 and the Jetaway was not available thank goodness. It is interesting stuff has been changed over the years on these old cars. My 54 has a 55 engine and transmission in it. And then you could have one of the 53 models that had a dynaflow in it.
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Old March 18th, 2018, 11:46 AM   #15  
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The Dealer Data Book says that both automatics were options in all 88s, so I'm not sure which to believe. My '56 88 Holiday Coupe apparently had a Jetaway from the factory. It's an August '56 Lansing car, based on the radiator date code, so it was built late in the model year.



Unless you have, as I do, a car with Jetaway shift indicator but a mismatched slant pan installed (ours is from '55 and mated to a '55 324). It shows a position for park, but it means nothing.
This is a photo of the '56 Oldsmobile Super 88 I'm thinking about buying. I'm guessing this is the Jetaway from the fact that it has the P letter and the shift indicator is on it?
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Old March 18th, 2018, 12:15 PM   #16  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozzie View Post
Here's what the 1956 Oldsmobile shop manual says:
The 1956 88 series will continue to use the 1955 Hydra-Matic transmission.
The new Jetaway Hydra-Matic transmission is available on the Super 88 and 98 series only.
Maybe I've got his all wrong, but I think my friend Ozzie has this correct, as always.

I believe I read somewhere that the jetaway was only available on the Super 88 and the 98's because of the upgraded engine.

Does anyone have a '56 2 bbl with jetaway?
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Old March 18th, 2018, 02:03 PM   #17  
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That is one pretty dash.
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Old March 18th, 2018, 07:11 PM   #18  
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...This is a photo of the '56 Oldsmobile Super 88 I'm thinking about buying. I'm guessing this is the Jetaway from the fact that it has the P letter and the shift indicator is on it?[/i]
Probably, but the only way to know for sure is to look at the gearbox. These cars are over 60 years old and there is no way to know what modifications may have been done since they left the factory without looking. As I posted earlier, I have a car with a Jetaway indicator but a slant pan installed.
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Old March 18th, 2018, 08:28 PM   #19  
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I think he can make that determination pretty easy without looking at the tranmission. If neutral is with the shift lever all the way up, he has a hydra-matic. If you pull the shift lever all the way down, he has a Jetaway. All the way down on a hydra-matic is reverse.
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Old March 18th, 2018, 08:34 PM   #20  
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Ok, here is another shot were you can just barely see the gear stick. It's all the way up and on Park.

As for modifications, the only things that the owner says has been added is AC and power brakes, but there always could be something else added

Last edited by TheBrightlyFancy; March 18th, 2018 at 08:38 PM.
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Old March 18th, 2018, 10:47 PM   #21  
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The serial number plate on the transmission will have a prefix of R55 on the older Hydra-Matic such as R55-XXXXXX. The one on the Jetaway will have a 056 prefix such as 056-XXXX. The first Jetaway serial number was 056-1001, according to the shop manual.The plate is on the left side of the transmission toward the rear and is painted orange.
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Old March 19th, 2018, 03:03 AM   #22  
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I think he can make that determination pretty easy without looking at the tranmission. If neutral is with the shift lever all the way up, he has a hydra-matic. If you pull the shift lever all the way down, he has a Jetaway. All the way down on a hydra-matic is reverse.
Well that's a fair point, but it stands that the shift indicator is not sufficient to tell you which transmission is in the car with certainty. Having said that, I think it probably is a Jetaway.
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Old March 19th, 2018, 08:05 AM   #23  
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Look on the right hand side of the transmission, if it has two lines going to the radiator it's a jetaway if no lines its a slant pan.... but it looks to be a jetaway from what I see.... Tedd
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Old March 19th, 2018, 09:33 AM   #24  
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Good thought on the cooler lines Tedd. He could probably just pop the lood and look at the bottom of the radiator and see if it has cooling lines.
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Old March 19th, 2018, 10:32 AM   #25  
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This is all great advice! I'll be sure to do that when I go see it!
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Old March 19th, 2018, 08:32 PM   #26  
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just by the two pics, looks like a real nice 56 good luck
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Old March 20th, 2018, 06:48 AM   #27  
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Last photo I will be uploading here, this is the side view of the Super 88. Just adding this to verify that it's the Holiday Hardtop edition (I blacked out the location for privacy reasons) Just a fun fact: I'm planning to get the exterior repainted after I buy it (Aside from the outside paint fading, it's almost like new!) The black will be Alcan White, and the red will be the 1957 exclusive Banff Blue (I like it better than the blue options for the '56)

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Old March 20th, 2018, 07:24 AM   #28  
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It's a Holiday, no post.... Tedd
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Old March 20th, 2018, 03:56 PM   #29  
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Talking

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It's a Holiday, no post.... Tedd
Your just the kind of person my low-confidence self needs XD Straight to the point
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Old March 20th, 2018, 07:03 PM   #30  
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As far as Slant Pan or Jetaway ether would be OK.In general the Jetaway will usually shift smoother and has a more common shift pattern but generally isn't as tough as a Slant Pan. All other things being equal I would not buy a car because of having or not having one or the other. That being said I do like Slant Pans a lot..... Tedd
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Old March 20th, 2018, 08:18 PM   #31  
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That you all for the advice, I'll be sure to check for if it has the Jetaway when I go to see it. Since Y'all have been really nice, would you guys like to see some extra photos?
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Old March 20th, 2018, 08:48 PM   #32  
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I think this thread represents what this site is all about. You got some really good advice to know what you are looking at and dealing with. Everybody here loves pictures. Bring em on.
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Old March 20th, 2018, 09:24 PM   #33  
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One thing I noticed is that there looks like 2 extra exhaust ends under the original ones, what do y'all think that is?


What are those 2 things that look like feet on the AC output? I doubt that this is the original output, so if you guys don't know, it's fine. I feel like they might be air fresheners though...







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Old March 21st, 2018, 02:49 AM   #34  
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The exhaust tips that are attached to the bumper are ornamental, and are blocked.

In other words, exhaust pipes were not routed through those tips.
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Old March 21st, 2018, 02:52 AM   #35  
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The exhaust tips that are attached to the bumper are ornamental, and are blocked.

In other words, exhaust pipes were not routed through those tips.
Thats good to know
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Old March 21st, 2018, 02:58 AM   #36  
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As for the A/C (Olds called it C.A.C -Car Air Conditioning), here's what the original looked like:
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File Type: jpg 1956 olds ac.JPG (129.3 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg AC Controls.jpg (113.7 KB, 6 views)
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Old March 21st, 2018, 03:07 AM   #37  
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As for the A/C (Olds called it C.A.C -Car Air Conditioning), here's what the original looked like:
Interesting, guess my A.C. isn't factory. That's ok though, since it's better than no A.C.
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Old March 21st, 2018, 03:13 AM   #38  
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Also, the cigarette lighter is not hard to find. You could post a note in the parts wanted section here. Or there are several on e-bay. Remember that the '56 lighter **** style is unique to that year (just about every year has a different style) so make sure it matches the other *****/pulls on your dash.

Good luck- very nice car!
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Old March 21st, 2018, 03:16 AM   #39  
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Also, the cigarette lighter is not hard to find. You could post a note in the parts wanted section here. Or there are several on e-bay. Remember that the '56 lighter **** style is unique to that year (just about every year has a different style) so make sure it matches the other *****/pulls on your dash.

Good luck- very nice car!
Thank you! But don't worry, I would have taken it out anyways to put an adapter. But your thoughts are what count
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Old March 21st, 2018, 08:56 AM   #40  
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The cigar lighter won't charge your phone as original or at least mine won't and If the AC was original you would have fish eye vents on/ in the dash.... Nice 56 . When you get a chance post a few pictures of the engine and interior, we love pictures..... Tedd
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