1952 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Convertible: Ahead Of Its Time

Aug 20, 2019 2 min read
1952 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Convertible: Ahead Of Its Time

This car is equipped with some high-tech options for its day.

Times were much simpler back in 1952. Seat belts had yet to become standard features, yet other safety and convenience options were just starting to trickle in on some of the higher-end vehicles. This 1952 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Convertible is part of an online-only auction being held by The Vault from August 28 through September 11, and it highlights some of these optional features.

New for 1952, the Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight offered options such as hydraulic power steering and the Autronic Eye headlight dimmer. This latter feature used a dash-mounted sensor to detect oncoming headlights, and if the Oldsmobile's high-beam headlights were turned on, they would be automatically dimmed. Once traffic had passed, the bright lights would come back on. Both of these optional features are equipped on this 1952 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight.

Although the 1952 model year was the second to last year for this body design for the Ninety-Eight, this convertible was still beautiful. Penned by renowned GM designer Harley Earl, there are no boring lines on this convertible, and the color combination of the white exterior and two-tone silver and red interior is elegant and stunning. The paint, chrome and soft top all seem to be in flawless condition, but one of the more telling cues to this car's originality is that the VIN and fender tags have not been painted over and they are still riveted in place. Even the small details are here, too, from the original owner's manual and complete spare tire kit right down to the body sticker showing how to change a tire.

The odometer on this Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight shows 41,559 miles, and while it's unknown if those are original miles or not, the car's overall condition sure seems to suggest that's the case. The engine compartment is as clean as the rest of the car, and it properly showcases the legendary 303 CID OHV Rocket V8. Like the Ninety-Eight itself, this engine was ahead of its time and was the first mass-produced overhead valve engine.


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