5-6 October 2017

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Lot 153

1953 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Fiesta

  • Chassis no. 539M37898

Sold for $132,000

  • One of just 458 examples
  • Immaculate restoration to period-correct cosmetics
  • A true rarity, ready to be enjoyed

One defining event of 1950s American car culture was General Motors' traveling Motorama. It was a truly extraordinary, no-expense-spared display of dazzling technology, stunning styling, and modern American ingenuity. The series of dramatic styling exercises by the legendary Harley Earl captivated the public, but most of the designs were never made for sale. For 1953, though, GM made an exception. The company offered three of the previous year’s “dream cars” in limited-production numbers to the lucky few who could afford the staggering price tags and who had the personal influence required to secure one from “The General.” The three models available were the Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado, the Buick Roadmaster Skylark, and the car offered here, the Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Fiesta.

Though all three were produced in very limited numbers, the scarcest of all was the Oldsmobile “98” Fiesta which cost an astonishing $5,715. It was, and remains to this day, a stunning design that pioneered several features at Oldsmobile, including the cut-down, wraparound windshield, “spinner” wheel covers soon to be popular in the Kustoms crowd, and attractive two-tone paint schemes in exclusive colors. Each Fiesta came well equipped with leather upholstery, power steering, power brakes, power windows, and a power seat. It was the rarest of the 1953 GM Trifecta of dream cars, with a total production run of just 458 examples. Today, surviving examples rarely become available for sale.

The car offered here has been immaculately restored to truly stunning, show-ready condition, with a sparkling metallic finish in White over Turquoise two-tone, which is accented by an exceptionally beautiful blue and white interior and blindingly white top. Typical of a General Motors car of this period, it is full of wonderful Space Age details, including a steering wheel hub that proudly announces “GM Power Steering” and a rear-mounted continental kit spare. The car was a participant in the 2016 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, cementing its status as one of the finest extant examples of this incredibly rare luxury convertible.

This Fiesta, presented in particularly beautiful colors, is a wonderful example of the car that, in their 1953 advertising, AC Spark Plug referred to as a “sportster,” establishing it as the most stylish car produced in Lansing during the Rocket Age.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more