LATEST NEWS | BIG CHANGES-NEW FORUM!

15 November 2011

Big changes are coming to 1960 Oldsmobile.com!

Well, one big change anyway…  The original 1960 Oldsmobile Forum is now closed…to make way for the new one!  It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here…new software, new look, but with all the posts and users from the old forum (if you’re already a member of the old forum, you won’t have to re-register!)  The migration of all the old data is basically complete, and right now I’m just making some changes to the look to integrate it with this website better.  The new forum is now live, and I’ve sent an e-mail to all of the users on the old forum with instructions on how to log in.  The old forum will then be locked to new posts (it will be retained indefinitely as an archive though).  One of the best features of the new forum is that because of the increased security features of the new software package, it will have open registration!

See the new forum at www.1960oldsmobile.com/forum/ See you there!

Featured Member and It’s not just a party, it’s a Fiesta!

18 August 2010

Featured Member: Dan Kirchen

Dan (AKA Super88dan) is a heck of a nice guy, and a regular contributor over in the forum, and he’s this month’s Featured Member.  Click through the slideshow below to see some pictures of his beautiful Super 88 convertible.  It’s a fantastic car…and perfect for the upcoming summer weather!  Thanks for all the help, Dan!

It’s not just a party…

I got an e-mail a while back from Jason with some questions about a ’60 Olds…but it wasn’t just any ’60, it was this gorgeous (and rare) Fiesta Wagon!   There weren’t very many of these manufactured in the first place, so it’s a real treat to see one fully restored to it’s original beauty.

The idea of the station wagon itself might seem quaint today, but it was once a staple of American life, as much as apple pie and firecrackers on the 4th of July!  People with large families would often opt for them as a people mover, the same as people today often pick an minivan or SUV over a sedan for their superior cargo space.   Because of the way they were used, they were often simply worn out and retired to a wrecking yard at the end of their service life, leaving fewer and fewer on the road today.  Today, driving one makes a real statement!

Here’s Jasons’ story…

“Went South of Los Angeles to buy and trailer home a 1960 Coup De Ville.  When I got there and spent some time looking it over, I went home with an empty trailer.  Long ride home!

A week or so later my buddy spotted this car on Craig’s List in Sonoma, California.  I wasn’t so excited about the station wagon part of it, but boy was she pretty.  He convinced me that everyone has a 55-57 Chevy Belair, but you’ll never see one of these around!  We drove up, again with trailer in tow,  spent an hour looking it over before asking to test drive it.  And the rest is history!
Now, she lives in Tres Pinos California next to my restored 1968 Bronco in a 100+ year old restored barn.
Planning on taking a drive to Monterey next month to Cherries Jubilee.  We’ll see from there.
Outside and inside, she looks terrific.  Under the hood, well, this winter should get the oil leaks resolved!”

He’s definitely right about not seeing another one!  I’ve only ever seen one Fiesta wagon up close (many years ago)…it wasn’t being driven and was slowly decaying.  Thanks so much for sharing, Jason!

1960 Olds Photo Shoot

1 July 2010

I’ve been into photography since I was a kid, and I started to get really serious about it around 2002 when I switched from film to digital.  A couple of years ago I started my own business on the side, Last Best Photography (see my blog here : www.lastbestphotography.com).  Usually at least once a year I take my ’60 Olds out for a little photo shoot, and last weekend I was it.  The scenery around here is fantastic, and makes a great backdrop for this sort of thing.  I’m posting a few of my favorites from the shoot…click on them for a larger view.

And here’s one my assistant took of me…

And here’s one that got the full photoshop treatment, just for fun :) .

Here’s a more complete set from the shoot:


Product Review: Reproduction Glove Box

31 May 2010

When I got my ’60 back in 1995, the interior was…well, gross would be a kind way to put it.  Moldy would be another.  The whole thing was basically destroyed by years of neglect, sitting in the sun, and having small animals living in it.  The cardboard liner for the glove box was still there, but in pretty rough shape.  It held the stuff I put in it and that was good enough for me, at least until I completely restored the rest of my dash area.  The old box was so ugly compared to the rest of it, I didn’t bother putting it back in.  That was fine though…the only thing I had to put in there was my registration paperwork, and that fit under the seat just fine.  Still…it always kind of bothered me that I didn’t have anything there…but I didn’t know that there was a reproduction liner available.

Until now :) .  I search ebay pretty frequently for 1960 Oldsmobiles, and that was how I stumbled across this one.  The seller was 3cet and it was advertised as fitting 1959 and 1960 Oldsmobile 88s without AC.  As far as I know, there are no differences in the dash area between 88s and 98s aside from the usual trim variations, so I figured I’d pick it up for my 98.  I couldn’t really tell exactly how it compared to my old box from the picture, but just going on memory I thought it looked pretty close.  I didn’t bother digging the old one out of the garage…I figured for $29.95 if the fit was even close it would be better than what I had.

When it arrived, I was really (really) impressed with how well it was packaged…I’ve bought a lot of stuff on ebay over the years, and it’s always a crap shoot how it’s going to be boxed up.  This one was perfect.  Big box with lots of packing paper, and sealed with tape that said “FRAGILE-DELICATE INSTRUMENT” all over it…a really nice touch I thought.  After it arrived, I dug out my old nasty one and took some side by side pictures to compare the two.  Click on the pictures for a larger view.

.


You’ll notice that the opening is the same shape, but the interior dimensions are somewhat different…the old one has a sort of “dogleg” shape up front that means it has a little more room inside because the interior drops down.  It also has an angled spot on the drivers’ side with a hole in the new box is lacking.  It’s possible that the 98 glove box was shaped slightly differently than the 88…maybe it was slightly bigger as an upgrade.  I don’t have a clear picture of an 88 glovebox to compare it to, but if someone has theirs out and want’s to take a picture, please send me one.  So, how does it compare to the original quality wise?  See below:

It’s actually quite good.  The cardboard material seems to be a pretty good match to the original, and it has the same sort of “fuzzy” interior lining as the old one.  The bends, cuts and staples are all on par with the original.  It’s a nice piece.  The last big question of course is “how does it fit?”…

I did a test fit after it arrived just to see.  It’s close…darn close.  Not quite perfect though–it’s going to need a very small trim on the front drivers side, and the hole that the light pokes through is just a little bit too tight.  I can’t quite get my light installed so I’ll have to open it up just a scooch.  Otherwise, it fit quite well.  One thing I do have ot mention though, is the fact that the original box has little metal tabs installed that the retaining screws go into, and the new box doesn’t have these.  You can get something similar that will work from any hardware store, but I’m going to pry the original ones out of my old box and see if I can make them work instead.  Once I have the box completely installed, I’ll take a picture of it in the car.  My car also has the power trunk release, and I can’t remember exactly how that was installed but I’m pretty sure it will work fine with this box.  It should come out really well.



The Sounds of 1960

17 May 2010

The Sounds of 1960 | Billboard’s Top 10 Hits

The radios used in the 1960 Oldsmobile predate the common use of transistors in car radios, and are instead powered by vacuum tubes.  When you turn one on, there’s a pause as the filaments in the tubes warm up and begin to glow, amplifying the sound before it leaves the radio and heads for the speakers, and eventually reaching your ears.  During that pause, you have a minute to think…ever wonder what would have played through those old tubes when the car was new?  I have, so I did a little research to find out and this is the result–the Top 10 Billboard Hits of 1960.  If you close your eyes, you can easily picture the soft glow of the dashboard, the stars overhead, and that special someone sitting next to you as you roll down the road in your new Oldsmobile…


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Winter Test Drive

8 May 2010

Winter Test Drive | Finland

Finland is famous for a lot of things, and winter is definitely one of them!  It’s also home to a number of 1960 Oldsmobiles.  Special thanks to Tatu Raatikainen for providing this special feature!  He’s a member of the GM Cruisers club, one of the largest car clubs in Finland, and is also working on a ’66 Chevy Bel Air.  Great looking Olds, Tatu!

Oldsmobile 1960 winter test

All the ’60 Olds freaks in Saukonoja gathered together on one Sunday in December to see how the Olds will do in real Finnish winter, also winter characteristics of Coker Classic bias ply tires could be tested in the same time. There are not so many ’60 Olds freaks here so I had to ask my friend Tuomas to help me.

The tested Olds is in a bit kustomized and unfinished state so the test results may not be officially acceptable but that wasn’t very high on our priority list anyway.

Test preparation were started previous evening by leaving the precious Olds to the mercy of Mother Nature to be able to see the real cold start situation. Unfortunately the temperature was only -7°C (not very cold) but it had snowed at night so the conditions were really wintery.

THINGS TO BE TESTED AND EVALUATED:

  • cold starting
  • amount and location of snow inside the car
  • heater performance and other winter characteristics
  • driving on icy/snowy country road
  • comfort and feeling in winter

Winter fuel economy is not on our list because we think no-one is interested in it and in any case enough fuel is definitely burned. The idea of this test brought to my mind Bill Monroe’s song Footprints in the Snow, so music choice for the test was more than obvious. Luckily during the test nobody went singing in the angel band like in that song.

Cold starting

First when the test was started normal routines like checking the oil and coolant levels were done. Also the choke usually needs some attention so it was checked too. This time the choke would have needed a bit more attention than normally, so we went on without choke. Rochester’s hot air-choke is definitely among the most reliable devices in the world but it needs some tender care. Little tweaking weekly, if it doesn’t help then thorough cleaning and lubricating will.

So, this time the choke did not work (usually it does) but it wasn’t really necessary. The engine started well, first running on three or four supported by the starter. As soon as all eight cylinders fired, it ran just fine.

There was no snow at all inside, it was a surprise, this made me think there’s  something good about winter driving. When it’s raining, it’s always raining inside too.

HEATER PERFORMANCE AND OTHER WINTER CHARACTERISTICS

Heating seemed to be a bit slow, maybe the engine temperature rose slowly, would the thermostat be stuck? The Deluxe Heater controls worked like a dream when helped manually just a bit. Windows remained completely bright when there were only two of us. We didn’t have the chance to test with more people but I believe it would have been just fine. Mexican blanket upholstery felt nice and warm against butt cheeks, so who needs any seat heaters after all?

DRIVING ON SNOWY AND ICY COUNTRY ROAD

When I drove to the town on non-plowed road to get some gas I noticed that there’s almost no traction at all, also stability was ”slightly” lost as the Olds was fishtailing all the time.  Braking performance was although surprisingly good but rear-weightednes of the brakes was more significant than in summer. The positive thing would be that no energy drinks are needed to keep the driver awake even on a longer journey.

For the test itself we put a little ballast in the trunk, about 120kg, just in case. The extra wight had a huge impact on driving, even that much that it made me think I could drive the Olds all winter if the weather would be always like this (usually it’s warmer and rainy all winter) and the roads would not be so salty. With the ballast the tires’ traction was unbelievably good, you really can’t judge a book by it’s cover in this case. Even in non-plowed road the Olds runs straight as a train and traction is good enough when you follow good winter driving manners. So, we were on the safe side in all the ways. A bit less ballast might have been enough to avoid rear suspension sitting against the bumpers.

Driving comfort and feeling in winter

These things, comfort and feeling are the most important when driving, not to talk about life itself, as much in summer and winter. So in our test we focused the most on these things. Comfort level is exactly the same than in summer, there’s warm enough inside, and good music playing, so it’s very nice to drive in good company even if you wouldn’t be going anywhere. Snow scraping under the chassis gave an illusion of a sleigh ride, cool!! The feeling may be even better than in summer, maybe because this was something new for me because I haven’t driven the Olds in winter even though I’ve had her over ten years. The fact that the car turns heads more than is summer raises the feeling as well.

CONCLUSION

Pros:

  • cold starting
  • heater
  • driving characteristics
  • comfort and feeling
  • safety
  • no snow inside

Cons:

  • lack of real winter weather
  • salty roads, I should finish (paint, corrosion protection) the Olds to be able to drive in salty roads…too much trouble

All in all I don’t understand anymore why I just don’t drive my Olds more in winter. It’s way cool, all of you who have the possibility, drive in winter too!!

Thanks to Tuomas for helping and Mother Nature for nice weather!

Text, photos and Olds: Tatu


New T-Shirts and Mugs!

7 May 2010
There's a new '60 Olds T-Shirt available, featuring some of Oldsmobile's
engine features.  Check it out...

There's also a new coffee mug with part of that design...

There’s a ton of other fun ’60 Olds gear over there in the Gift Shop including calendars, mugs, t-shirts, even a few ties!

Welcome to the new 1960 Oldsmobile.com!

29 April 2010

The old site is still available  here , and will continue to be in it’s old location so if you linked to it, nothing will change.  Most of the old content has been migrated to the new site.  Videos are up!  Photos coming soon…  Stay tuned!

1960 Oldsmobile.com Member’s Calendar still available!

You can still order them, and the best part is you can get them for any months you want, so your 12 months can start today if you want.  Awesome!  Thanks again for everyone that submitted a picture, and for everyone we couldn’t fit this year, we’ll definitely get you next year!

There is also a special edition 50th Anniversary calendar available as well, featuring 12 different 1960 Oldsmobile models.