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While Oldsmobile is a retired automotive brand fondly remembered by many in the car community, even the most devout enthusiasts aren’t familiar with the F-88.

During its tenure as a division of General Motors, Oldsmobile slotted into the middle of the operation’s five vehicle divisions – above Chevrolet and Pontiac, but below Buick and Cadillac. Oldsmobile has long been noted for its ground-breaking technology and designs, and was one of America’s oldest automotive production companies prior to it’s shut down in 2004. 

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While some models such as the Oldsmobile 88 and Oldsmobile 442 are relatively well known in car collector circles as prized acquisitions, the now retired automotive titan had plenty of other classic cars worthy of the attention of vintage auto enthusiasts. For the professional collector or even savvy investor, the rarest and most valuable Oldsmobile ever released is regarded as the legendary F-88. 

Why The Oldsmobile F-88 Is In A League Of Its Own 

If there was a definitive answer as to which make and model would be considered as the rarest on the planet, the Oldsmobile F-88 would all but certainly be in with a shot – especially considering the fact that only three were ever made. 

Designed by Bill Lange in 1954, the Oldsmobile F-88 was a “dream car”, or a form of concept car purposefully made to showcase new technology or styling.  The Oldsmobile F-88 was powered by a 5.3 litre 324 cubic inch Super 88 V8 engine, and with a four-barrel carburetor, the engine managed to produce 270 horsepower. The fact that the F-88 used the same chassis as the famed Chevrolet Corvette tends to surprise people, especially when considering that it also shared the same fiberglass body. However, if you’re wondering why the Oldsmobile F-88 never made it into the ranks of pop culture like the Corvette did, it’s important to remember who was ultimately in charge at Oldsmobile. 

By the 1920’s, the six and eight cylinder vehicles produced by Oldsmobile sat right in the middle of the General Motors lineup. While consumers were seemingly loving that Oldsmobile models were the less expensive options when compared to Buick or Cadillac models, they still sat comfortably ahead of Chevrolet options. Oldsmobile even made it through the Great Depression, and developed a reputation as being GM’s “experimental” division – even introducing the so called “safety automatic transmission” in 1938, a precursor to the 1940’s “Hydra-Matic”, or the world’s first fully automatic transmission in a motor vehicle. 

However, by the time that the concept of the Oldsmobile F-88 was beginning to take shape, General Motors was already in the midst of an internal power struggle. Engineers from the many divisions of General Motors – particularly Chevrolet, Buick and Oldsmobile – were actively being pitted against each other to create innovative automobiles all but guaranteed to line the pockets of the board. 

As the infamous Corvette was unveiled to the public just six months before the intended release of the Oldsmobile F-88, it was the latter that got the short end of the stick, as General Motors believed that their best bet at finding commercial success lay with the ‘Vette. Whether the F-88 had what it took to take on the ‘Vette, we’ll simply never know. 

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If you were hoping to get your hands on an Oldsmobile F-88 now, your chances would be all but nil. At the 2005 Barrett-Jackson Auction, the sole surviving F-88 concept car sold for a whopping $3,240,000 USD, and holds the record for the highest ever sale price at the famed auction house. While it’s alleged that there may be one other F-88 hidden away somewhere by a private owner in the United States, it’s unlikely that we’ll see another of this make and model again. 

How To Get Your Hands On A Classic Car 

As a piece of American history, a social experience and an all round affordable classic sports car, owning a muscle car has been on the bucket list for many car lovers young and old – but where do you find one?

Finding a fellow vintage auto enthusiast can feel a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, but rest assured that Wayne’s Garage understands the thrill more than most. Having spent forty years collecting anything and everything from matchbox cars to hub caps, he’s successfully followed his passion to source, collect and stock beautiful and low mileage classic automobiles from around the world. With extensive experience in the automotive industry, it was only a matter of time before Wayne expanded on his love of vintage, iconic vehicles to share his knowledge and passion with the public.

Although his passion is for automobiles built before 1978, with a particular love for Buicks, Cadillacs, Lincolns, Oldsmobiles and even Fords, Wayne is just as passionate about the stories of the owners. Just like the cars, he has found that his fellow classic car enthusiasts all have wildly different attractions and logic behind their passion or hobby, and this often translates into how the car is presented. If it’s even remotely different, rare or just plain unusual, Wayne will overcome the relevant logistical and geographical challenges of bringing the cars to his showroom in Australia. 

Wayne’s Garage is a showroom conveniently located at Seventeen Mile Rocks, that specialises in the restoration and sales of vintage automobiles. In fact, he’s got a medley of fully restored vintage models in stock right now, which can be viewed online via Wayne’s Collection. If you’re on the hunt for Brisbane classic cars – quite simply, Wayne is your man. If you would like to arrange a viewing or inspect any other of our classic vehicles, please get in touch with us today.