THE WHITE PEARL’S STORY
This 1950 Olds convertible was a six-year labor of love in the 90’s. The owner selected it because it is the same model he had in high school when he and his wife of 62 years dated. It was restored from two trailer loads of convertible pieces-parts. Over two years of heavy metal re-construction. The plan adopted was to replicate it as close as possible to the original car. Having pictures of it made it easy to see details.
With many upgrades and new technology added, the results were fabulous. Done in a mild custom, like they did in the 50’s, nosed and decked. There is no body surgery to change any of the proportions except frenched headlights. The trunk is operated by an electric motor/solenoid. The stance was changed with the front lowered 2-1/2” with dropped spindles. The steering geometry was corrected to eliminate any bump steer. He did decide to stay with the original engine; a 303 Rocket 88 that was modified immensely.
When he was getting ready to start building the engine he was introduced to a former mechanic who had built and worked on these engines while with a NASCAR race team in the 50’s. This veteran mechanic had a lot of contacts and tribal knowledge about what was done to improve performance and reliability. With his help, knowledge, and ability, they created an outstanding engine. Years later an engineering company developed and built a set of roller rocker arms for it, and what a difference that made! The engine produces about 350 HP and is married to a Turbo 350 transmission thru a 10inch torque converter with a special designed adapter built just for this conversion. It has 2 trans oil coolers. One has a powered fan if needed. A Magna Flo mandrel bent exhaust system gives it a distinctive sound.
The frame/suspension is the original convertible one with some modifications such as; rebuilt and modified shocks, power brakes, and rack&pinon power steering operated with an electric pump. It runs the original Olds rear end. The car rides superbly and is very stable. It was driven about 40,000 miles over 20 years of touring the western United States attending many shows.
The interior is done in all leather. The seats (front and rear) are on the original frames but custom built to create semi-buckets. Added was a classy leather padded dash and sun visors. The original dash was left alone but an extension was designed and added to the bottom of the dash to accommodate gages, switches, and controls. The stereo is hidden behind the speaker grill with a CD changer under the seat. It also has an Ididit tilt steering column with a LeCarra steering wheel. Vintage Air air conditioning and cruise control make driving any distance a real pleasure. The extra gages installed are Dakota Digital; speed, tach, water temp, oil pressure, battery voltage, fuel level, trans. temp, and fuel pressure. Fuel pressure is created with a Mallory electric pump and a back-up electric fuel pump because there is no engine driven pump. High quality carpeting is throughout the interior with floor mats. The windshield wipers are electric.
The convertible top system is stock with an up-dated electric/hydraulic operating system. It is finished off with a custom made leather tonneau cover. The wheels are stock steel 15in with wide/white wall radial tires, installed new in 2019. The hub caps are original stainless ’54 Olds flippers like those on the original car. The White Pearl is painted white with blue pearl and has some mild pin stripping. A California Car Cover keeps it clean and protected. It also has a 3 piece bra.
The car has collected numerous trophies and awards over the years and has brought many smiles and memories to a lot of folks. It has definitely given the owners enormous fun and enjoyment for many years and will be very difficult to part with.