1953 Oldsmobile Fiesta Convertible
Offered at Gooding & Co’s 2010 Scottsdale Auction and was not sold with a high bid of $130,000 USD. Auction description follows:
When it was first restored in 1983, the Fiesta presented here was a very healthy and complete, one-owner car. The owner at the time, a noted Oldsmobile collector, reportedly commissioned a complete frame-off restoration in its factory-original color combination by dedicated Oldsmobile restorer and enthusiast Don Spieldenner of Fremont, Ohio. Beyond his extraordinary restorations, Mr. Spieldenner had owned a number of award-winning Oldsmobiles, from classics of the 1930s to post-war collectibles, and was a long-time member of the AACA.
In 1985, just after the restoration had been completed, the Oldsmobile suffered some minor panel damage when a tornado struck the region where it was stored. This unexpected circumstance left the car in need of some repairs but, rather than doing things by half-measures, the car is believed to have been the subject of a complete cosmetic restoration. Between 1985 and 1987, Classic Auto of Connecticut performed a restoration on the ultra-rare Fiesta that returned it to its original splendor, utilizing numerous hard-to-find original components. Upon completion in fall 1987, the Oldsmobile was driven to Hershey, Pennsylvania, where it earned its first Junior National Award at the AACA national meet, a marvelous testament to the careful restoration work and authenticity of the car.
When the car was sold in 2005, the new owner reportedly rebuilt the entire braking system and replaced the fuel pump and gas tank in an effort to make the car a sound driver. In addition, it has been recorded that the powerful “Rocket” V-8 was disassembled and equipped with new valves so that the Fiesta could run more efficiently on modern, lead-free fuel.
Over the summer of 2007, the car was thoroughly detailed and prepared for another concours appearance. When Alan and Nancy Hanks proudly displayed their pride and joy at the Greenwich Concours, it captured everyone’s attention and captured the award for Best American Open Car 1950–1954. Until they sold their Oldsmobile later that year, the car was continually kept in heated storage and lavished with attention.
This careful maintenance has continued into the Fiesta’s current ownership. It has recently received a fresh leather interior in the correct aquamarine and white, as well as a new leather dash, carpets and a new top. This has given the car a very fresh, crisp appearance that will make it a contender at any show it enters. With its known history in the hands of respectful caretakers, comprehensive restoration work, splendid 1950s design and important role in the history of American collector cars, this lovely Fiesta is deserving of a cherished place in a collection of great post-war classics. Only 458 of these magnificent cars were built and, today, only approximately 30 examples are known to survive, making this a rare opportunity to acquire an exciting “Triple Crown” Oldsmobile.
Story by Gooding & Co.
Auction Sales History
1953 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Fiesta 539M41579 – sold for $170,500 From the Peter Klutt Legendary Motorcar Collection. One of Just 458 Examples Produced for Oldsmobile’s 50th Anniversary. Lowest Production of the GM Triple Crown Automobiles. Long-Term Collectors Include John McMullen No-Expense-Spared Professional Restoration for Peter Klutt. Exceptionally Clean Styling. Auction Source: The Pebble Beach Auctions 2015 by Gooding and Company
1953 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Fiesta Convertible 539M26760 – sold for $181,500 Offered from the collection of Richard and Linda Kughn. Part of the 1953 General Motors Trifecta. Incredibly rare; one of few survivors of the 458 built. Formerly owned by Dennis Dow and Charles Cawley. Auction Source: Amelia Island 2014 by RM Auctions
1953 Oldsmobile Fiesta Convertible – did not sell for $130,000 Oldsmobile made a splash at the 1953 Motorama with its limited edition Fiesta, a luxurious and powerful convertible that gave GM customers a sneak peek at future styling and technical developments. Characterized by “hockey-stick” side styling trim, low-profile Panorama windshield, rear fender skirts, bullet taillights and spinner-style wheel covers, the Fiesta also had fresh power in its 303/170 HP “Rocket” V8 engine and GM’s new Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. Purchased by its present owner years ago in Riverside, CA, this rare Fiesta is one of only 472 built. It was given a frame-off nut-and-bolt restoration and finished in its original Orange on White with a matching two-tone interior and White cloth top, a fine example of one of the boldest periods in GM’s heralded design history. Auction Source: 2011 Monterey Daytime Auction by Mecum
1953 Oldsmobile Fiesta Convertible – sold for $125,000 Spectacular, no expense spared frame-off restoration. First place winner at the Oldsmobile Club of America Nationals. Finished in its original, correct colors of Surf Blue and Polar White. Hydra-Matic transmission. Power steering. Power brakes. Power windows. Power seat. Factory clock and radio. Factory windshield washers. Twin mirrors. Rear fender skirts. Continental kit. Power antenna. Power convertible top.
Auction Source: 2011 Monterey Daytime Auction by Mecum
1953 Oldsmobile Fiesta Convertible – sold for $143,000 This 1953 Oldsmobile Fiesta was the recipient of a body-off restoration in 1990. The engine, transmission and all mechanical systems were rebuilt. It was judged at 985 points for First Place by the Oldsmobile Club of America at an Ohio national meet later that year. It was also selected to drive in the “Ring Around the Capital” event at the Olds Centennial Celebration in Lansing, Michigan in 1997. It achieved 999 points out of 1,000 in judging that was very in-depth, going so far as under-dashboard inspection. Auction Source: 2011 St. John’s Auction by RM
|type||Series Production Car|
|price $||$ 5,717|
|block material||Cast Iron|
|fuel feed||Single Rochester 4-Barrel Carburetor|
|displacement||4965 cc / 303 in³|
|power||126.8 kw / 170 bhp @ 4000 rpm|
|specific output||34.24 bhp per litre|
|body / frame||Steel Body|