Once a Rusty Barn Find, This 1958 Oldsmobile 98 Is Now a Mountain Haze Beauty

1958 Oldsmobile 98 9 photos
Photo: Charles Phoenix/YouTube
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A pivotal decade for the American automobile industry, the 1950s saw the introduction of various innovations and a massive sales surge due to the post-WWII economic boom. In 1955, automobile deliveries reached an all-time high of 8.3 million, a 79% increase compared to 1952.
However, this rapid increase resulted in a reduced demand over the next few years. In 1958, deliveries fell to 4.5 million automobiles, the worst year since WWII. But 1958 wasn't just about slow sales; that year also marked the arrival of the industry's most striking cars. Yup, I'm talking about heavy chrome and space-age fins.

The 1958 Buick is perhaps the most outrageous thanks to its "Fashion-Aire Dynastar" grille, made of 160 chrome squares, but the Oldsmobile 98 is almost as ridiculous. Also featuring massive chrome-laden bumpers, the 1958 Ninety-Eight also boasts large amounts of chrome on the fenders and around the taillights. Most 1958 General Motors rigs are also one-year gems because the company redesigned its cars for 1959.

If you're a fan of these flashy land yachts, you'll definitely love the Olds 98 in the video below. Not only is it a fully restored beauty, but it also sports a color you won't see very often. I'm talking about Mountain Haze Iridescent, which is pretty much a very light shade of purple metallic.

It was part of an extensive palette of purple and pink hues offered that year, including Desert Glow, Autumn Haze, Heather, and Rose Mist Iridescent. They're all scarce nowadays since most customers went with more regular shades of blue, red, green, and white.

But that's not the only spectacular thing about this 98. The perfectly restored gem you see here was a rusty barn find a few years ago. The owner shares that it was discovered by his uncle, who traded a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and $300 for it. He performed a partial restoration before the car ended with his dad, who completed the project.

And needless to say, he did a tremendous job because this mauve hardtop looks perfect from every angle and the three-tone interior is as fresh as when it left the assembly line. And make sure you check out the dashboard because it's as shiny as the front bumper.

Not surprisingly, for a vehicle in this condition, the engine bay is impressively clean. It even has a period-correct battery. Speaking of which, this 98 relies on a massive 371-cubic-inch (6.1-liter) V8 engine. It's obviously a Rocket unit and part of the legacy that lasted from 1949 through 1990.

The overhead valve powerplant was enlarged to 371 cubic inches for the 1957 model year and was used in this format until 1960. The 1958 version featured 10:1 compression, generating 305 horsepower and 410 pound-feet (560 Nm) of torque. This car has the higher-performance J-2 version, rated 312 horses and 415 pound-feet (563 Nm) of twist.

Although it was nowhere near as popular as the Chevy Impala, the Olds 98 moved 60,275 units in 1958. The convertible was the rarest, with 5,605 examples, while this two-door hardtop is one of 11,012 units made. It's not exactly rare, but it's not very common either. Check it out in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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