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From around 1956 until the mid 1980s, Dodge, Plymouth and even Chrysler squads were the most ubiquitous police cars in North America. In fact, the biggest department, the NYPD, used Plymouth and Dodge squads almost exclusively until the rear-drive M body car was finally axed in 1989.
The no-frills Savoy two-door sedan was home to another engine of considerable repute, the infamous 413 Max Wedge, a Super Stock monster block Chrysler introduced in the spring of 1962.
Classic Car Overview
Exterior Bathed in a respray of Maroon this big steel bodied Oldsmobile 98 is profoundly fascinating no matter what angle you view it from. This is due to the fact that Oldsmobile turned its back on the fin frenzy, instead going with a rolling tunnel of sheet metal rising atop each rear fender. An ovoid styling theme is carried thru the car in the forms of the massive front bumper and grille combination which present well with minor tarnishing and some scrapes on the drivers side. The ovoid theme continues to the two headlight bezels which sit proudly at the front of each leading fender and are topped with chromed jets that ooze 50s style. Straight steel sides show minor chipping. A slightly worn rear bumper presents below and retains its original thru the bumper dual exhaust exits. Interior Oldsmobiles interiors were all about comfort and style in the late 50s and it sure hits home here. Although aged and worn in some areas, the glimmer of luxury is still present and shining thru. A swing of the door and we are greeted with a missing drivers door panel. The other 3 doors retain their red and black panels which are in varying forms of disrepair. Red upper panels in tweed contain chromed door release handles and power window switches, with the passengers rear window switch hanging loosely from the panel and missing their signature 98 armrests. Down below on the door panels is a dark charcoal tweed in place of the original materials. A long svelt bench seat provides ample comfort for the front seat passengers, dressed in a lower seating surface of black broadcloth with a metallic silver stitching and surrounded by a white vinyl border that has a major tear at the seam on the drivers side. The black also climbs halfway up the upper portion of the bench and contains the same shiny stitching. Red leather makes up the upper part of the bench in a broad tuck and roll pattern that hovers above a white leather U-shaped strip that ascends the sides of the red. 3, count them 3 ovoid designs emanate around the speedometer, all wrapped in glorious chrome. Below and in front of the driver are the heater controls in their original chrome. This chrome sweeps across the passenger side and holds various function switches, the AM radio, and a courtesy light switch. Hovering above is an ovoid shaped clock, lest we lose track of time while breathing in all this 50s fab. Black carpet floods the floor and presents well even though missing the original rubber floor mats. A look directly up and we are greeted with a perforated white headliner with chrome separation bows that make this roof a visual treat, one tear is evident on the passengers rear of the headliner and is the only spoiling factor we see here. Truly bedecked with beauty! Drivetrain Under the hood Olds put their money where their mouths were. This was done via a 371ci Rocket V8, while not topped with the desirable and rare J2 tri-power set up, the 4-barrel iteration is capable of producing a respectable 277hp. This power is sent thru a 4-speed automatic JetAway Hydramatic transmission and back to a 3.42 geared rear axle assembly. Power brakes and power steering are noted, both standard features on the 98 Starfire. Undercarriage With the car up on the lift we were pleasantly surprised to see only surface rust covering the frame, suspension components, floors, and inner rockers. Body hangers are solid and even the spare tire well is in good shape. Independent coil spring suspension is up front and leaf springs handle the ride at the rear. 4-wheel power drum brakes are noted to bring this car to a whoa without any undue strain on the drivers leg. Clean and mean underneath, just what we love to see! Drive-ability As protocol states, we checked all fluids and installed our test battery. I won the coin toss and slipped behind the safety recessed steering wheel and my partner in crime handed me the keys (I think hes been reading my work and may have switched out his double headed coin for a legitimate one this time). While cranking strong, no ignition was to happen. Even with the help of starting fluid a cough was not to be heard (I think he set me up). Obviously, some ignition system work is in order here. 1957 was a banner year for Oldsmobile, form, function, and design were all spot on. Sporting almost all of its hard to find britework and gleaming in 50s style and excess this may be just what the doctor ordered. Visit our hallowed halls here at the Classic Auto Mall and see this beauty in person. For 57...The accents on Oldsmobile-the car that puts the accent on You! The Ad Men nailed it spot on!!!
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