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Home : Scrapbook : Roamin Angel Corner Index : 1957 Olds 88 Holiday Coupe

1952 Olds Rocket 88When Tom C. was going to high school, he was dating Linda and cruising around Grass Valley in a mild-customized ‘57 Olds 98 Holiday Coupe. Budget limitations did keep him from doing too much, but it was a cool car for the day. After graduation, he married Linda and stayed in Grass Valley, but the Olds went down the road. For years he and Linda had fond memories when they saw one like it. Then fellow NU alum and Roamin Angel Lannie N. found one just like it for sale in 1997 and Tom bought it. Business left him little time to turn it into one like he used to own, but he did not trust anyone else to work on it. Then Lannie offered to do the work at his shop, Lanmark Auto, and Tom accepted. They set to work with the goal of having it ready for an NU all-class reunion in 1999. Although the original 371 CID Golden Rocket J2 engine, which had been developed to run the NASCAR circuit, out 300 HP by using three deuces (three two-barrel carburetors), it was not enough for Tom. He had it bored and stroked, balanced and blue-printed. He had a Turbo 400 auto trans adapted to fit the engine. It had power steering, brakes, windows and seats, but no air. Tom added air, but with a special dash to make it look stock. The electronic gauges blend in as well. The interior has custom tuck and roll, just like he had in high school. On the exterior, he shaved all the emblems and nosed the hood (removed the emblems and filled the holes) as well as customized the grill. He even had paint blended to get as close a match to the metallic forest green that was on his Olds in high school as possible. He and Lannie finished it in time for the reunion. Barely. When he got there, old schoolmates thought it was the same car he had back when he was at NU. He jokingly told them, "yeah, same car, same woman. Nothing changes". But the only truly original sweetheart Tom has is Linda.

1952 Olds Rocket 88 - interior

To quote Yogi Berra, it’s “like deja vu all over again.” Tom’s Olds is almost identical on the outside to the one he had in high school. The 17' wheels and low profile tires are modern, though.

Tom kept the original appearance, down to the fuzzy dice. However the AM/FM/CD with a powerful amp, sub-woofer and great speakers were not even dreamt of then.

2009 © Story & photos by Ron C. - Roamin Angel Corner

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