Cars used to be boats, as in they were so long that some folks called them land yachts.
Case in point, the 1959 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Hardtop … size, etc. and riding on a monster 126.3-inch wheelbase. That’s just a bit shy of today’s Chevrolet Suburban. No wonder the 5 kids fit so well in the back seat and the trunk carried luggage for a family of seven or eight.
NEO recreates the lengthy Ninety-Eight in all its chrome-trimmed glory in 1/43 scale and for a modest price, considering the inflation in small collector car prices the last couple years.
The Ninety-Eight was Oldsmobile’s largest, and finest car, sharing its looks with the next model down, the Eighty Eight. Olds had four models in its Ninety Eight line-up, but the hardtop (meaning no B-pillar) was the looker of the bunch. All were related to other top GM models, the Cadillac Eldorado, Sixty Special, Deville and Series 62, plus Buick’s big boy, the Electra.
The Olds models featured power air scoop brakes, Jetaway Hydramatic transmission, power steering, a Safety spectrum speedometer, rocker panel moldings, and clock. Power came from a 394 cu.in. 6.5-liter, Rocket V8. You gotta love any engine called a Rocket V8!
While Ninety-Eights were long, the good news is that NEO created this Olds in 1/43 scale, so it’s only 5 inches long so will fit on any shelf or in any display case. The light gold review model is crisply formed in cast resin, which gives it plenty of heft, and as with other NEO models of this scale, detail is strong and the glossy paint job pristine.
First, the car looks great in profile with the rounded edges of the top and mid-sections of the front fender sweeping back to just in front of the hardtop’s doors. And the trim coming from the jet-like points atop the hood go the car’s length, culminating in rounded subdued fins just before the detailed oval taillights. Quad headlights and the taillights look even more realistic than some I’ve seen in 1/18 scale for about this same price.
Chrome is abundant with the finely detailed front grille and bumper along with the rear bumper with its slim extensions that run back around the rear fenders toward the rear wheels. Windows are chrome trimmed, including the delicate looking vent windows, plus door handles and twin mirrors.
Oldsmobile is etched into the white trim facing under the massive trunk lid and there’s a logo on the hood’s nose and Ninety-Eight in script on the rear fenders.
This interior is a highlight. While the doors don’t open, the side windows are down so you can easily see the two-tone tan and gold seats and darker brown area behind the rear seat and under the Olds’ large sloping rear window. There’s a slim stylish two-spoke steering wheel with chrome center and dash gauges are nicely detailed for this size model with the main gauge pod easy to see and the passenger-side glove box and dash face trim well detailed.
For those of us who lived through the 1950s and early 1960s this Ninety-Eight brings back memories of stylish and sizeable hardtops.
This one is a lot easier to park though, on a shelf or in a display case!
Vital Stats: 1959 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Hardtop
Stock No.: 185937