Motor City

25 July 2015

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Lot 107

1961 Oldsmobile Super Eighty-Eight Convertible

  • Chassis no. 615L-09303
  • Engine no. G-219886

Sold for $35,750

325 bhp, 394 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, three-speed Hydra-Matic transmission, coil-spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with trailing-arm coil-spring suspension, and four-wheel power hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 123 in.

  • Superbly preserved, low-mileage car
  • Original with new top and repaint in factory color
  • Rare model from 1961 model year

The 1961 model year brought significant changes to the Oldsmobile product line. For the first time, there was a compact car, the F-85, in the catalogue. The “big Olds” models, Dynamic Eighty-Eight, Super Eighty-Eight, and Ninety-Eight, were continued but significantly redesigned.

Underneath new, up-to-date sheet metal lurked a new perimeter-type chassis frame. The rear suspension replaced 1960’s semi-elliptical leaf springs with a trailing-arm coil-spring arrangement. While Olds’s Rocket V-8 still owed much to its revolutionary 1949 forebear, for 1961, it had grown to 374 cubic inches and developed 325 brake horsepower, thanks to 10:1 compression and a Rochester four-barrel carb. The earlier four-speed Hydra-Matic, too, had given way to a new three-speed Roto Hydra-Matic, which featured a torque converter in place of the old fluid coupling. Despite having the same wheelbase, the 1961 Super Eighty-Eights were smaller than the ’60s, some five inches in length and three inches in width, making them significantly more maneuverable. Visibility improved, too, such that the driver could see all four corners of the car and thus park more easily, and elimination of the windshield’s “wrap-around” made entry and exit much easier.

This stunning 1961 Oldsmobile Super Eighty-Eight Convertible Coupe was purchased new by Raymond Coppola, of New Haven, Connecticut. As delivered by the Brown and Thomas Company, the local dealer, it came equipped with Hydra-Matic, power steering, power brakes, a Deluxe heater, Deluxe radio back-up lights, windshield washers, an electric clock, a tilt mirror, white sidewall tires, and undercoating. Interestingly, Mr. Coppola traded in a 1960 MG toward the $4,465.27 purchase price!

Today, the car shows barely 37,000 miles. The owner reports that the Sky Rocket engine is whisper-quiet and the Roto Hydra-Matic shifts as new. The white vinyl convertible top is new, but the red vinyl interior is original and nearly flawless, as are the engine compartment and trunk. The car has had one professional repaint in the original Provincial White. The original sales invoice, owner’s manual, and other documentation accompany the car.

Just 2,624 Super Eighty-Eight Convertibles were built for 1961, fewer even than the prestige Starfire model or the top-of-the-line Ninety-Eight. Rare when new, this superb example has no equal today.

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