1965 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight: Maximum Mitchell

When Bill Mitchell took over GM Design in the late ’50s, his presence was felt almost immediately in the new GM cars, particularly in the 1961 models. Simple, clean elegant lines were his forte, when compared to the brash, wild and bechromed chariots favored by his predecessor, the unforgettable Harley Earl.

As the early Sixties progressed into the mid Sixties, the long, low clean look increased as fins were totally left behind and squared up lines became more prominent. This was perhaps most noticeable on the 1965 GM C-bodies, the Buick Electra, the Cadillac 62/de Ville/Fleetwood, and the Oldsmobile Ninety Eight.

The top of the line Olds Ninety Eights were especially squared up, but they sure looked good, at least in your author’s opinion. Large, but smooth.

And you don’t see them too often. I’ve seen many ’65 Cadillacs, and a decent amount of Electras at the dozens of car shows I’ve attended over the years. I did see one aqua ’66 Ninety Eight sedan at a local classic car dealer several years back, but that’s about it.

So you may understand why I got all excited when I saw this excellent 1965 two door hardtop on the electronic bay recently. I especially like the white paint with aqua top and aqua interior. Oh, that interior. Hubba hubba! But then, I’ve always had a soft spot for aqua paint and interior trim on 1960s and 70s classic American land yachts.

Anyway, according to the seller it’s got 37,000 miles and is an original car. And that 425 CID Olds Rocket V8 would no doubt get you to the steakhouse in no time. It’s not the traditional auction per se, but one of those 30-day listings. And even if you don’t want to drop 25K on this Mad Men-era luxury conveyance, you can at least ogle the many fine pictures! Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to fix a fresh gin and tonic.

5 Replies to “1965 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight: Maximum Mitchell”

  1. AvatarJohn C.

    If we assume that the original buyer of this two door sedan chose it to be a touch sportier and less common than the four door sedan lets compare the packaging to the modern four door coupe. The four door coupe offers the lower roofline but Olds manages something just as low. Olds also makes the interior much wider on a similar width by not having the wideness just being flared bodywork to encase steemroller sized tires. Nice benefit of 14 inch wheels.

    Notice also how the center hump is less prominent on this car than anything today even front drives. Notice how the dash manages a/c and/ radio controls in the center without bulging out on the bottom restricting leg movement.

    The modern four door coupe will likely have 4 thin and hard dentist chairs to steel the occupants for the coming impact harshness and all around sensory overlord.

    The Olds offers softly padded couches front and rear to attempt to relax the occupant who Olds assumes is stressed out enough by family and work pressures. The four door coupe might have a point on this with so many more people underemployed and underfamilied with the accompanying depression requiring strong sensory inputs to try to give them a few seconds of excitement. This however is not a sign of progress but degeneration.

    Olds for the win.

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      This one sadly does not have A/C, which was still thought of as an unnecessary luxury by many Scrooges and Grinches living outside the sunbelt in 1965.

      Reply
    • AvatarOne Leg at a Time

      Nice breakdown of the design, Mr. C.

      The only thing that you ‘missed’ was the so-very-sixties script that they used on the glovebox, and the quilting stitching on every soft surface.

      Gorgeous car. Hubba hubba indeed, Tom.

      Reply
  2. AvatarGlenn Kramer

    Tom,

    Good call on “Maximum Mitchell”. All ’65 GM cars were outstanding, maybe the best ever styling for GM as a group. I don’t think there’s a bad car in the entire lineup. From Corvair to Fleetwood, all exuded the upscale elegance that set GM as the #1 corporation. This Olds looked exactly as it should, and sold accordingly.

    Reply

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