Some Rusty Mondays are meant to make you cringe. If you’re into rare post-war American cars you know what this is. If you’re not read on. This find we’re calling the Holy Grail of rust. It is a 1953 Olds Fiesta convertible. In 1953 GM produced four very special limited-edition models each for Chevy, Oldsmobile, Buick, and Cadillac. Each one was partially hand-built. They were exclusive and expensive.
Cadillac introduced its 1953 Eldorado convertible, the first Eldorado. With cut down doors and a lower windshield, it was considered an American sports car though it weighed close to 5,000 lbs. It was twice as expensive as the next highest-priced Cadillac convertible, the Series 62 convertible, at $7,750.
The Skylark and Fiesta shared the same cut down convertible body
Next up was the 1953 Buick Skylark. It shared the same cut down convertible body with large wheel cutouts and a nice, thin strip of metal trim that flowed from the front fender down the door and swept back up over the rear wheel openings. Meant to celebrate Buick’s 50th anniversary only 1,640 were built.
The 1953 Corvette was Chevy’s special for 1953. It was the first year for the Corvette and was limited to only 300 models. Rare and super desirable, you don’t see them change hands too often today.
The 1953 Olds Fiesta sold the least amount at only 458 made
The fourth special was the Fiesta convertible. It also shared that cut-down door and rakish windshield with the Skylark and Eldorado. You could say it probably featured the least amount of body changes of the three big convertibles. It also sold the least at 458. It is probably one of the most sought after post-war Oldsmobiles. Possibly even for all GM post-war models.
They were very special, are extremely rare, and at times have sold for more than $200,000 restored. So you can see why these images are so hard to look at. This particular Fiesta has been sitting in this spot in Rhode Island since 1972.
Parts of cars normally immune from rust are rusting through this particular Olds
Imagine all of the winters it sat unprotected and then you’ll understand why parts of cars normally immune from rust are rusting through this particular Olds. It recently came off of eBay listed at $10,000. Whether it is really worth that, or whether it will ever get restored is a puzzle.
Though illegal, the best option for someone to restore this would be to buy an unrestored 1953 Olds convertible and take everything unique to a Fiesta and transfer it to the donor convertible. Including the VIN numbers. We said it was illegal. But even some of the unique pieces like the doors, upper quarters, and trim are in rough shape.
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What always kills enthusiasts of cars like this is why the owner let it get this way? If they wanted to restore it why not keep it in the best shape you can? And if they didn’t plan on restoring it why not sell it to someone who will? Yet over the years, we have seen this happen to Mopar wing cars, Ferraris, and many a rare classic.
Just trying to move the Fiesta might cause it to buckle in the middle
Just trying to move this car might cause it to buckle in the middle. Especially since it seems like the frame has been sitting in the mud for almost 50 years. So the possibility of this actual rare, Holy Grail GM Fiesta being restored is probably nil.
If you restore cars or just know the ins and outs imagine what a project this would be to restore. It will take a big heart, crafty hands, and lots of cha-cha for this to ever be back on the road. What a huge waste.