Sunday, January 12, 2014

1960 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Sport Sedan



"Radiantly Styled ... for the Rocketing Sixties. Here is the new shape of the '60 Oldsmobile  . . .  fresh, balanced, enchanting symmetry, from its crisp, trim grille to the lean contours of its clean-sweep rear deck. This Olds Original is a complete-size, complete-quality automobile — planned for those who demand the best the medium-price class has to offer. In every way, Olds for '60 is completely satisfying!"

"Linear Look" was the new conviction at Oldsmobile since Harley Earl went into retirement in 1958 and his long-time protégé Bill Mitchell stepped into Earl's shoes at the helm of GM Styling. Starting with the lineup for 1959, all GM cars became much leaner and cleaner, leaving the flamboyant styling of the "chrome and tailfins" era behind. The 1960 models would become the first designs styled solely under Bill Mitchell's direction, and unsurprisingly they would sport an even simpler, cleaner and, well, quite "Linear Look".

Our pictured Oldsmobile 98 from Havana, unlike other "late arrivals" on the island, looks pretty battered. Still, you can clearly see the horizontal lines and simple intersecting volumes that should make the car look long, low and composed. Tailfins were almost gone now, being muted to horizontal taillight extensions. Only the roof with its curvaceous A-posts is still a remainder of the 50s and shows that this car was merely a big facelift of the 1959 Oldsmobiles, rather than an all-new design. Straight A-posts that the competition already had "re-discovered" in 1960, would only arrive with Oldsmobile's 1961 models.

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