THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1957 Oldsmobile Golden Rocket 88 owned by Bill and Sue Webb
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
During the prosperous 1950s, you were clearly moving up in the world if you could afford an Olds 88, such as the Webb’s’ Holiday hardtop sedan. The sales brochure touted the “all-around new styling,” “Tech-Style interiors,” and “Span-a-Ramic” windshield. Acceleration was brisk, thanks to a 277-horsepower V-8 and “Jetaway” automatic transmission. “Original MSRP,” says Bill Webb, “was just under $3,000.”
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
Sue bought the car for Bill as a Christmas gift in 2008 to replace a ’57 Olds Super 88 he purchased for $15 in the 1960s, and which he later junked. “I taught my girlfriend (now wife) how to drive in that car and we went everywhere in it until I joined the Navy in 1969,” he says.
WHERE HE FOUND IT
She bought it through an auction site from a Miami, Florida owner.
“When we bought it,” Bill says, “I believe it was in good condition. I have done a little work each year to make improvements and help increase its value.” He replaced the cracked windshield, repainted the body, reupholstered the interior and rebuilt the engine with the help of friends, car club members and night classes at BOCES. Still to come are air conditioning, new side glass and dual exhausts.
TIPS FOR OWNERS
“Get a car that has some special connection for you,” he advises. “Buy something as close to done as you can afford. Restorations can be expensive and costs add up fast.”
Webb estimates the Olds is worth $9,000 to $40,000.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“What's special to me about our classic,” he says, “is the new friends we've made since we got it, the memories it's brought back for us and the new memories we're making now. What we'd really like to do in the near future is take our 1957 Golden Rocket on a Route 66 Chicago-to-Santa Monica road trip. It’s on my bucket list.”