In November of 1967, Chevrolet loyalists Alvin and Elizabeth Moore decided to jump ship and buy an Oldsmobile, so they drove their 1964 Impala to their local Oldsmobile dealership, and purchased a top-of-the-line 1968 Oldsmobile four-door Luxury Sedan.
Painted in Willow Gold, the sedan stretched 18 feet, 7.5 inches between its massive bumpers, and was supported on a 126-inch wheelbase by a set of 8.85-inch-wide white sidewall tires that highlighted the deluxe wheel discs.
One of 40,755 Oldsmobiles manufactured, the 1968 Luxury Sedan had chrome door moldings, auxiliary floor mats, soft-ray tinted glass, deluxe push-button radio with bi-phonic rear speakers, four-season air conditioning, and the almost-obligatory-for-the-time vinyl top roof covering. The total cost was $5,430.
The ‘68 Olds — with its mighty 365-horsepower V-8 — was used sparingly by the couple for several decades, so they decided to sell it. Through friends and family they found interested buyers.
Norris and Betty Waterfield were smitten on first sight of the 4,273-pound Oldsmobile. “We’ll take it,” Norris remembers telling the owners. He recalls Mrs. Moore’s reaction: “Sonny, you make hasty decisions. You haven’t even listened to it run.” So she insisted he start the engine and listen to it. Waterfield obliged, and then repeated his earlier decision: “We’ll take it.”
“It was never driven in the rain or snow or after dark,” Moore said. Nor was sunlight ever permitted to work its damage on the car. That helps to explain its fabulous condition.
The Waterfields bought the spectacular 1968 Oldsmobile, and once they got their gem home, Norris gave the car a mechanical physical examination and found almost everything as it left the factory. The vintage wiring was replaced, as were the entire exhaust and brake systems.
Inside the spacious Oldsmobile is a built-in vanity in the rear of the front seat. The car features stainless steel window frames and pull-down armrests in both front and rear seats. Power steering, brakes, windows, and a power seat are amenities expected in such a top-of-the-line vehicle. The Turbo-Hydramatic transmission is controlled by the usual lever alongside the two-spoke steering wheel. The 120-mph speedometer is nestled in one of the three instrument pods.
The Waterfields have been very involved in antique automobile events and had long sought an air-conditioned antique car to use on tours. The Oldsmobile precisely fits their needs. They recall one summer traveling from Virginia to New York and packing their bags into the 14.5-cubic-foot trunk to attend the Antique Automobile Club of America. By the time they returned home they had driven 1,394 miles.
They reported fuel economy of about 17 mpg on the highway, except when the air conditioner was employed, bringing the figure down to 14 mpg. Perhaps that’s why the car came equipped with a 25-gallon fuel tank. Despite the low fuel economy, the Oldsmobile performs the way the new owners like. “It’s a beauty.”