Linda and Mike both have an attraction to classic cars. After getting together as a couple, Linda introduced Mike to several of her acquaintances and former co-workers who had classic cars or street rods and who belonged to a Sacramento area car club, the Central Valley Rods.
After discovering their mutual interest in classic cars, Linda and Mike decided that, together, they wanted to have a classic car of their own, to enjoy the fellowship of "our" friends and their cars.
Our first choice for a classic car was a 1950's era Chevrolet, Pontiac, or Oldsmobile. After discussing our likes and dislikes, we embarked on a search for a 1955 Oldsmobile 2-door hardtop, thinking we might find an Oldsmobile 88 somewhere. We began our search on the Internet at Hemmings a site that deals with all aspects of antique and classic cars.
Eventually, we had compiled a list of five or six Oldsmobiles that were for sale in the western states. On our next travel adventure, we arranged to visit each of the possible candidates. However, by the time that we traveled to the northwest, two of the cars had already been sold.
We found a very well-preserved 1955 survivor (unrestored) in Arlington, Washington—but we were not too keen on a 4-door hardtop, even though it was the more fancy 98 model. After continuing our search in Montana and Washington, we still hadn't found the right car for us—but we found ourselves continually talking about the well-preserved condition of the Oldsmobile in Arlington.
We eventually decided to again contact the owner of the 1955 Oldsmobile 98 Holiday 4-door—and we soon reached a mutual agreement on the purchase of the car. We arranged to come back up to Washington a few months later to pick up "our new Oldsmobile.
We drove Linda's 1995 Airex motorhome up to Washington, rented a U-Haul transporter (a tandem-wheel car trailer), loaded the Oldsmobile, and headed South with our new pride and joy. On the way back South, we were rewarded by the toot-toot of a frieght train, after the engineer saw what we were pulling behind the motorhome.
Our Oldsmobile is a 1955 98 Holiday 4-door (a 4-door hardtop). It has a Rocket 88 342 cu. in. V-8 engine and a Hydramatic automatic transmission. Being one of the earlier automatic transmissions, it doesn't have the dedicated Park position that is so common on automatic transmissions today. Instead, after the engine is shut off, putting the transmission is Reverse locks the drivetrain (just like Park does on more modern automatic transmissions).
Everything on our Oldsmobile is original and not restored, even the upholstery—what some enthusiasts refer to as a Survivor.
Being a 98 model (rather than the more common 88 model), our Oldsmobile has an automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes, electric windows, and an electrically adjustable front bench seat.
Even back in 1955, some of the AM car radios had a Seek feature—to search the entire AM band (no FM band back then) for a radio station. One feature on our Oldsmobile that we find interesting is a second foot switch (like the High Beam switches on older cars), but this one causes the radio to Seek to the next station—Look, Ma, no hands! The car also has an electrically powered antenna to raise and lower it automatically—a common feature on cars today, but rather unusual way back then.
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