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Lot 419: Oldsmobile Super 88 Hardtop Coupe Kustom

Exceptional Motorcars - Session III, Bonhams & Butterfields (19 August 2011)

When General Motors rolled out its 1958 line, there was cause to celebrate  it was GM's Golden Anniversary. With a PR blitz including booklets, advertisements, and even a two-hour television show, it was a demonstration of GM's popularity in the life of America. But that wasn't the only thing worth celebrating  all of GM's car brands were brand-new.

And they only would last one model year as Virgil Exner and the folks at Highland Park one-upped Harley Earl and Co. Exner's 1957 "Forward Look" for the whole Chrysler Corporation range put the industry on notice that there was a new kid in town who wasn't going to settle for second fiddle. By the time GM debuted its redesigned products for 1958  a recession year  they already looked stale in comparison to Chrysler's sleek saloons. GM went on a crash program for the 1959 model year that returned Chrysler's serve, producing all-new cars with fins that reached heights that never would be seen again.

Out of all of GM's kitschy 1958 offerings, Oldsmobile's was arguably the most over-the-top. It's been said the "Chromesmobile" had chrome applied with a trowel, and a humorous story is that a noted Ford designer satirized the Olds by adding musical notes to the horizontal rear trim. At night, glowing rocket-tube taillights jutting from the rear fenders gave the impression that Lansing's finest was on its way to chase Sputnik.

This 1958 Oldsmobile is even more out of this world. Noted Kustomizer John D'Agostino used this South Gate, California-built '58 Super 88 to add his special touch. Immediately noticeable are the 3�-inch chopped top and 1959 Buick grille inserted in the Olds' bumper. Air ride suspension keeps the chrome wheels with wide white walls on track while cruising. The Kustom gold/bronze pearl paint gives a nod to GM's Golden Anniversary and is complemented by the three-tone pearl leather interior. Debuting in 2008, the '58 Olds quickly earned trophy after trophy in the show circuit, including the George Barris Kustom d'Elegance award. The Petersen Automotive Museum even saw fit to display D'Agostino's Lansing creation...and now it's your turn.

Lot Details
Auction Exceptional Motorcars - Session III
Bonhams & Butterfields, Quail Lodge, Carmel, California
Lot Number419
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$58000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$67860
Condition rating0
Registration number
Chassis number588C05766
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors