It seemed to me this Olivetti Linea 88 was something worth investing my time in.


Something I could add to my “retirement project” pile.


The problem is, by the time I do retire, I’ll probably need to downsize my home and my collection.


“Quite the conundrum… 

but does the fee, once paid, not entitle the buyer to some assurance of reliability, hmm, hah, huh?

No, not really, Newman, no. Not for five bucks. Generally, you get what you pay for. And what I paid for is a parts machine with a WERTY keyboard.

Yes, that’s right, this typewriter was missing its “Q” key. It was also missing its “3” key. I say “was” because I eventually found these missing key-tops inside the body of the machine (buried in mouse shit, dead insects, leaves and straw).

Unfortunately, both Shift keys and the left-hand-side Shift Lock key-tops remain at large. The “R” key has also been replaced by a black imposter …


When I took this typewriter home the carriage was frozen to the far right of the machine.


This is where it was stuck before I managed to move it …


These pictures don’t do justice to the extent of the rust …


Removal of the carriage left me wondering how I’d managed to move it at all!


As far as parts go, the Linea 88 does boast an attractive pair of maroon platen knobs, and a chunky pair of chrome carriage release levers …


In fact, I’m a fan of the overall (Ettore Sottsass) design, including the much-maligned plastic shell. It’s a shame this one wasn’t better looked after by its previous owners.


According to the Museo della Scrittura Meccanica (Italian website) production of the Olivetti Linea 88 began in 1966.


Serial Number B005716 (1967-68?) on the right-hand side of the machine (under the carriage prior to disassembly).


If nothing else, for an outlay of $5, I’ve got a pair of original metal spools and four rubber feet …


Here’s another Linea 88 listed in the State of Victoria …


Had it been a local pickup in Perth I would’ve been tempted to hit the Buy it Now button …


Alas, there seem to be fewer and fewer Perth-based local pickups on eBay these days.


$45 AUD seems like a fair price to pay. As always, there’s plenty of variation in price …


Like I said at the beginning, it seems to me an Olivetti Linea 88 is something worth investing my time in. I just need to find one that’s reasonably priced, fully functional, with a narrow carriage, maroon trimmings, and with all its bits and pieces intact …


That’s not too much to ask, now is it?