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Lot 243

1953 Oldsmobile 98 Fiesta Convertible Coupe

  • Chassis no. 539M26760

Sold for $143,000

170bhp, 303.7 cu. in. “Rocket” overhead valve V8 engine, four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel power-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 124"

Oldsmobile, which had steadily grown in market share with strong engineering and excellent value for the money, added trendsetting style to its repertoire with the dashing Fiesta Convertible. The most luxurious and powerful model Oldsmobile had offered to date, the Fiesta was based on the 98 model and originally created for the GM Motorama travelling auto shows of 1952. It clearly represented a styling preview of upcoming Oldsmobile models and included a fashionable panoramic wraparound windshield, distinctive “spinner” hubcaps, and a multitude of impressive options and amenities.

The production car was available from Oldsmobile dealers in 1953 and was priced at a then-lofty $5,715. The Fiesta carried an impressive list of standard features, many of which were previously unavailable, including power steering, power brakes, a deluxe radio, a heater/defroster, whitewall tires, backup lights, hydraulic servos for the windows and seats, a custom leather interior and a shiny black or natural tan Orlon convertible top. Up front, the Fiesta’s “Rocket” V8 engine was equipped with a larger, less restrictive carburetor and air cleaner assembly as well as special high-compression cylinder heads and larger exhaust manifolds. Producing 170 horsepower, this 303 cubic inch V8 engine was mated to a standard Hydra-Matic automatic transmission.

Oldsmobile produced just 458 Fiestas in 1953, and while the model reportedly never generated any profits for the marque, it certainly fulfilled its intended purpose – drawing many potential buyers to Oldsmobile showrooms and encouraging additional sales. This excellent example continues to draw crowds of admirers to this day. Upon its acquisition by the current owner, it received a comprehensive, professional restoration to original condition and specifications, and it shows approximately 80,000 miles. Thanks to careful and knowledgeable ownership, maintenance and storage it continues to present very well.

Its characteristic two-tone exterior finish remains glossy and beautiful and is joined by very impressive brightwork, as well as dual sideview mirrors, rear bumper guards, and a set of period correct wide whitewall tires and skirted rear fenders. The roomy leather-trimmed interior is likewise period correct and impressive in its presentation, with comfortable seating accommodations and a padded dash, as well as correct and handsome instruments and controls.

The current owner is an astute collector of the finest American cars and this car is no exception. It remains in running order and benefits from strict maintenance, as do all the cars in his collection. Beloved by collectors, the number of surviving Fiestas is relatively low, particularly when compared to the original production run of nearly 500 cars. In fact, some enthusiasts believe fewer than 50 remain today.

Elegantly finished and presented, this wonderful example is sure to please the collector who is looking for one of the most rare and stylish automobiles of the 1950s, built by the sole American marque to be established in the 19th century and survive into the 21st. Additionally, as one of the original “Triple Crown” of GM Motorcars, which includes its Eldorado and Skylark counterparts – both of which also made their debut in 1953 – the Fiesta holds tremendous value in the eyes of astute collectors.

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

Cameron Smyth

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... 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