The Oldsmobile 88 (a.k.a. Eighty-Eight) was a full-size car sold by the Oldsmobile division of General Motors and produced from 1949 until 1999. From 1950 to 1974 the 88 was the division's top-selling line, particularly the entry-level models such as the 88 and Dynamic 88. The 88 series was also an image leader for Oldsmobile, particularly in the early years (1949–51) when it was one of the best performing automobiles thanks to its relatively small size, light weight and advanced overhead-valve high-compression V8 engine originally designed for the larger and more luxurious 98 series but dropped into the smaller six-cylinder Oldsmobile 76 body, creating what was considered the granddaddy of the musclecars of the 1960s.
Oldsmobile introduced the 88 badge in 1949. It was named to complement the already-existing 76 and 98. The new car used the six-cylinder 76's A-body platform with a powerful new Rocket V8 engine. This combination of a relatively small light body and large, powerful engine made it a precursor to the muscle car. The Rocket 88 vaulted Oldsmobile from a somewhat staid, conservative car to a performer that became the one to beat on the NASCAR circuits. It won six of the nine NASCAR late-model division races in 1949, 10 of 19 in 1950, 20 of 41 in 1952, and eventually eclipsed by the low-slung, powerful Hudson Hornet, but it was still the first real "King of NASCAR." This led to increased sales to the public. There was a pent up demand for new cars in the fast-expanding post World War II economy, and the 88 appealed to many ex-military personnel who were young and had operated powerful military equipment. The 88 enjoyed a great success, inspiring a popular 1950s slogan, "Make a Date with a Rocket 88", and also a song, "Rocket 88", often considered the first rock and roll record. Starting with the trunk-lid emblem of the 1950 model, Oldsmobile would adopt the rocket as its logo, and the 88 name would remain in the Olds lineup until the late 1990s, almost until the end of Oldsmobile itself.
Styling changes for the 1950 model include the replacement of a two-piece windshield with a one-piece unit and the addition of the Holiday hardtop coupe to the line. Also a three-speed manual transmission with column shift became available as a "delete for credit" option to the Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. The 88 now outsold the six-cylinder 76 lineup, which was dropped entirely after the 1950 model year.
This amazing original car has had only 4 owners from new and is completely original with the exception of the tires. The car was purchased from the widow of the original owner in 2006 by a noted Oldsmobile restorer who did a valve job and installed a new wiring harness, before being talked out of the car by a another collector, who brought it to Georgia and was talked out of the car by our client. Our client intended to drive the car so he had new coker wide white radials installed, installled a new 8 volt battery for better cranking ability, cleaned and relined the fuel tank, installed a new Fuel Pump, and had the original and very rare carburator rebuilt by a specialist. The car runs and drives without fault and all the instruments work except the radio. He enjoys driving the car and taking it to shows and it did win Best of Show at the Peach Blossom Car Show in 2008.
He mentioned the car to me in passing and I talked him into selling the car, so here's your chance! Only after repeated cajoling did the photos arrive on my desk. If you follow this website at all, you have undoubtedly noticed I am a sucker for original cars, and love to represent them. Here's an HPOF Award just waiting to happen.
The paint and brightwork on this car is in as new condition. The upholstery is in very very nice condition for the cars age with just the right amount of wear to be believable, look at that headliner and the beautiful dash with that lovely starfield in the horn ring! The trunk is just what we like to see, obviously rarely used and in impeccable nick. The really killer rocket trim bits like the mascot and "88" rear trunk rocket and tail light bezels are in great condition. The stylish top treatment with the fully skirted rear fenders really wrap up this exciting and sleek car!
This is a special car!