2007 Shannons Melbourne Winter Classic Auction
1939 Oldsmobile 70 Series Sedan
This lot is no longer available
Oldsmobile, the oldest surviving name in American motoring at the time of its demise in 2004, was originally founded in 1897 by Ransom Eli Olds in Lansing, Michigan. After becoming a part of the General Motors empire, Oldsmobile was positioned as the more affordable luxury marque and earned a reputation for technical innovation. For 1939, Oldsmobile freshened up their styling with a less controversial front end, and marketed three distinct model lines - the F-39 Series 60 with a 216-cid six-cylinder motor, the G-39 Series 70 with a more powerful 230-cid six-cylinder and the top-of-the-line L-39 Series 80, uniquely powered by a straight-eight. In Australia, only the Series 60 and Series 70 were sold by the local arm of General Motors (the straight-eight had been dropped by the end of 1938) with a choice of three body styles made by Holden. The sedan, sloper coupe and roadster were all catalogued on the Series 60 (115-inch wheelbase) but on the longer (120-inch wheelbase) Series 70 model only the sedan was listed. Major mechanical improvements included coil sprung rear suspension and a column-shift gear change. The better appointed Series 70 was sold here for 489 pounds and came with extra equipment like wheel trim rings, clock, cigar lighter deluxe steering wheel and lacked running boards for a more streamlined, modern appearance. In America, Oldsmobile consolidated its position in the sales race, partly due to some very competitive pricing, and finished sixth overall in the final analysis for 1939.