Do you still have the WW Olds? If so, would you send pictures? I've always wondered what happened to it. What condition is it in today? I heard Darryl Starbird had it for a while, is that so? I've always been a fan of the 55; I've owned 5, but none as neat as the movie car.
I have been trying to find the original car from the movie. If you still have it, could you please contact me. I'd love to hear more about its history, and see some current or recent photos of it. Thanks.
After reading comment after comment, why not buy one? You can pick up a good condition 2 door as low as 12k, and nicer ones in the low 20k range. For the price of a Honda you can have your 2 door dream car. I was hesitant spending more than that on my own, but am thrilled that I did. If it keeps me out of the doctor's office and brings many years of fun, why not! Taking a nice car out, that is also appreciated by many others, is a treat.
I wanted cars my parents owned as well. Some are very far out of reach, as they were convertibles, but that is what makes you work even harder. 1955 had many models across the board that were pieces of art. This car may not be the most popular collector car, but it is very good looking. And a nice example from the era. If you take the plunge on buying a great memory from your childhood, it will be totally worth it. It's even cooler if your parents see and ride in one you purchased. They feel great that you cared about the same one they had. I was fortunate to have done that while mine were still living.
If you want a '55 model era Olds and don't want to pay a small fortune, why not look for a four door? Yeah, yeah, yeah... everyone bags on the four doors... but you know what? I have a '55 Mercury, and while it is a four door, I bought it 10 years ago for $1,800. The two door variation of this same model runs anywhere from $10,000-$30,000. Are two less doors really worth that much more?
Besides - I can say with confidence that the same number of people out in town give me the big thumbs-up and smile, as anyone driving around in the same model if it were two doors.
I agree. Personally, I think coupes are a rip-off. The 4-doors are more convenient for passengers; you get more interior room and trunk space, and you'll usually pay less for some reason, even though you're essentially paying more for less with a 2-door.
The trap in your logic is that one major repair means you are underwater on a 4 door. I have seen people that want more than a driver, and participate in shows.
Here are some tips to afford a higher dollar car on a small budget at first:
Paint alone is very high today. Even rat rods, which is where I see the direction of many 4 doors heading, cost a lot to restore. The best way I have found is doing flips and reinvesting the profit. I buy cars after Thanksgiving and snow on the ground. Christmas and home heating is the priority. I sell in the Spring. I have done this since the 70s. I bought 4 doors then for 150-300.00 and sold for 500.00 for drivers. They were not popular even then. I would some light mechanical work and cleaning, and flip for 500.
I switched to 2 doors. Painting in the 70-80s was cheap. Resale Red or Black. I remember hitting the 10k mark from profitable flips. So starting with 200.00 bucks, in essence my following cars were "free". I even calculated insurance costs into my flips. You can still do this today with cars, motorcycles, and even boats. I flip 15-17 foot Center Consoles the same way. Buy in winter, when they're cheap to buy, and sell in Spring. People love them as they are cheap to tow and run with fuel.
I have friends that have flipped the right cars, and now have cars worth nearly 6 figures today. My friend sold a 67 Vette and bought a 2013. He wanted new. Either way it's from the profit.
I would buy a convertible 2 door of the model in this review at a price I knew I could get out from later. If you are patient over time, you can own a dream car. I have done it as a result of buying right. I didn't walk out the door and pay 60k on a classic as my first buy. I like cars that appreciate. With care you can do it as well. I have made a few mistakes, but overall I have done extremely well in this hobby. If your interest is just a local cruise night or a drive on a Sunday, it is fine. But the tendency is you want to make a car better or even safer. Like getting rid of drum brakes and other issues. Then you are losing money. And 4 doors are harder to sell. The best buy is to buy the most expensive right model you can afford. It's cheaper than a slow restoration. Cars in primer look cheap, but body and paint costs are high. Some models have poor aftermarket parts support. I saw a piece of trunk trim cost 900 on a car to find and then re-chrome.
Cars that are orphans, have poor parts support or are less desirable to buy cost more money to keep on the road. My picks are 2 doors, convertible or sport versions.
My cars are technically for sale the moment I get the titles changed, but I usually wait for spring. I just flipped my low mileage Harley Davidson Night Train I bought last winter and made 2k. I enjoyed riding it, but knew it was time to sell now. Do a series of flips every year like this and you can pay for your 55 2 door. And then get your money back if you want to try a different car next. It's a lot of fun.
I have a garage full of trophies, which actually help to sell each car for another. Watch at shows what cars people flock to. There is nothing like owning the most desirable model made by a manufacturer in a model line. The hobby never loses its passion. I own my home and upgraded the same way over time, using the same logic. Work hard, pay them off and enjoy them! Good luck!
The market and demand for popular models dictates the real actual value.
I will share a story. In 1970 I went to Gambacorta New Castle Delaware, who was then a new car dealer. On the lot there was a new 1970 Plymouth Superbird with a new car sticker of 5000.00. One per dealer. My dad wondered who would pay 1500 more than a new Road Runner. 1500 more may sound like peanuts today. The choice made that day was the cheaper alternative. If the Superbird was purchased and kept, it would be a 500k up to 3 million vehicle. Sometimes people are so wrapped up around a low price. Being cheap isn't always best. Rare vehicles, and I am sure with a 55 Oldsmobile Convertible, the numbers produced vs 4 doors can be a very big factor on price. There are simply less of them now, and then as well. Many are gone due to accidents, neglect, parted out lately, with many leaving the country, and that drives up the prices. And certain models have very broad appeal. And some never did have much appeal, 2 door or not.
People pay more for rare and very popular models for a reason. No one is being ripped off buying extremely popular, mass appeal coupes in nice condition. Unless the seller adds way over the high end of the market. People tend to pay more for #s matching and quality restoration. And even who performed the restoration as well! Condition is a huge factor. You can buy a 4 door, and to bring it up to standard will 9 times out of 10 blow the budget. You will have to keep it.
This is starting to sound like a Consumer Reports review on the best buy and function. Doesn't really work this way when you are discussing Convertibles and special interest vehicles from a bygone era. There's a reason many antique cars continue to have a very low dollar value, even though they are nearly 60 years old.
If you do not care about putting time and effort into one that's not very popular today, it's a personal choice. Even tribute cars or clones are a way to build many cars today at reasonable costs. Looking at auction sites and eBay, these have been escalating on popular body styles.
Almost any kind of classic convertible today is great. I have always had one, and if you have year round good weather, it's almost a must. I like taking ours on great scenic rides along our coast and on nice summer evenings. It's possible it may require restraint and to work harder for a few years to get one. But the end reward is a lifetime of fun. And likely well cared, it will almost always recoup your investment.
Skimp on something else. Imagine owning this model as a beautiful convertible! One day when I sit in a nursing home, I will remember many great years of owning them with the top down.