HARD-TO-FIND '40 OLDS, BONE-STOCK, 230 FLATHEAD SIC, 3-SPEED, RUNS/DRIVES GREAT!
1940 was a big year for Oldsmobile, as they were the first to receive GM's revolutionary Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. They didn't sell many, but it gave the whole line, including this 1940 Oldsmobile Series 70 4-door sedan, a big boost in showrooms. With proven powertrains and handsome styling, today Oldsmobiles are fantastic starter collectables that deliver a lot of fun for not a lot of cash.
This is one of those solid old cars that has simply been maintained rather than restored, and in many cases they're better cars because of it. After all, do you really think a restorer can put one of these together better than the factory? Wearing simple black paint, this one has the look it might have worn after the war, a little worn but still totally functional and upscale. The paint is a little weathered and there are some scratches here and there, but cars like this have a lovely patina that's impossible to duplicate and which suggests great history is behind it. You could paint this one and end up upside-down in value, or you can just enjoy it as-is and realize that most people prefer a little character instead of shiny perfection. It's not banged up, it's not rusty, and all four doors close with that heavy precision that no modern car can duplicate. And the chrome really is nice, with that beautiful grille, stylish bumper and hood ornament look fantastic for their age. I might invest in re-covering the running boards, but then again, they're only original once.
The interior has probably been reupholstered at some point, but it looks quite authentic with tan fabric and factory-style upholstery. The carpets and door panels are likewise in very good shape, making this a great place to spend some time. There's high style on display with ornate garnish moldings on the windows and a center stack that mirrors the grille up front. This one didn't get the Hydra-Matic, but three-on-the-tree was still the more popular choice and makes the most of the 6-cylinder's powerband. There's also an optional AM radio which sadly isn't working but is a welcome extra. The big steering wheel makes you feel like you're really at the helm of something important and the big back seat will leave everyone happy with their accommodations. Even the trunk is neatly finished and includes a spare tire assembly, just in case.
The 230 cubic inch flathead six is just about as reliable as they come, and despite the demise of Oldsmobile, parts and knowledge are still readily available, even at your local auto parts store. The six is torquey and smooth, and even relatively thrifty with its single downdraft carburetor. There are signs of regular care, with recent ignition components and the sucker sure runs smooth and quiet! The 3-speed manual shifts easily and there's enough torque to pull it around at low speeds in top gear, so not a lot of shifting is required. Tallish gears in back mean it's happiest around 50-55 MPH on the highway, but if being in a hurry is your thing, then you're missing the point of having an old car like this. It's a little grungy underneath, but no major issues and a new exhaust system gives it the right grumbly soundtrack. Steel wheels with hubcaps and Firestone wide whites are the right look, and a set of wide whitewall radials would make this car ride and handle like new.
Go ahead and try out something you might not have considered, something like this cool old Olds. You just might find that the '40s were a great time to be a car owner. Call now!
- AM Radio
- Cloth Interior
- Front Brakes
- Rear Brakes
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