It wasn't ever designed to be more than a disposable people hauler, and the 1959 Oldsmobile is rarely included in a conversation of the most attractive designs the late 50s had to offer. Even so, to us it's hard to imagine anyone would argue that this 1959 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Fiesta station wagon, wearing the same shade of "Russet Poly" paint it left the factory with, is anything but beautiful.
Station wagons have an unbelievably high mortality rate for fairly obvious reasons. Few people ever bought a new station wagon to take out cruising on sunny days or as a second fun car. Station wagons were (and by many still are) viewed as purely utilitarian vehicles and that is exactly how they were used. As a result of the regular use and abuse many of them experienced, most wagons were crushed or destroyed at the end of their usable lives. These days that means vintage station wagons are rare, and therefore collectible.
I'm guessing whoever bought this "Linear Look" Oldsmobile wagon new would never have dreamed it would be the object of a 26 year old's desire half a century later—but it is, in a pretty serious way. I look at more cars for sale in a given week than I can honestly admit without sounding deranged. Many of them I immediately forget, some float around in my mind for a while, but every once in a rare while a car really strikes me in a "calculate the approximate summation of my worldly possessions so I could potentially own it" kind of way. For whatever reason, that is exactly what happened when I laid eyes on this Oldsmobile wagon.
Sure it's well detailed and the pictures are well lit, but it's more than that. The recently completed paint job shines, the oversized wheels appear surprisingly appropriate, and the car was lowered just enough to look good without being obvious. The interior was redone to close to original specifications and hasn't lost any of its late 50s charm. Underneath the hood the 371 V8 remains stock, but a recent rebuild ensures the engine is likely still producing close to the factory rated 270 horsepower.
All of these elements combined give the impression of a rare and attractive vintage wagon that is ready to drive a long distance as it sits, which is an extremely appealing proposition. Any wagon from the late 50s is rare, but 1959 Oldsmobile wagons are a particularly endangered species—especially ones this nice. Unfortunately it appears I am far from the only one to recognize this fact.
With about a day and a half left on the auction, bidding has reached $17,655 with the reserve still not met. Depending on your perspective, that could be a lot of money for a weird looking old wagon with big wheels or a decent (albeit unattainable) price for a rare and beautiful long roof that is ready to hit the highway. You already know where I stand on the matter.