Car: Oldsmobile Super 88 Convertible ( Car shown currently at Dragone Classic Motorcars in Orange, CT )
What makes it special: The Oldsmobile division of General Motors produced the Super 88 as a full-sized offering from model years 1949 to 1999, and it was the top seller through 1974. In the years 1949-1951 it was the company’s image leader and one of their best performers because of its small size and a combination of light weight and advanced overhead-valve, high compression V8. With an engine destined for the larger, more luxury 98 series, it also replaced the straight-8 of prior years. Having the larger, high performance V8, it is considered by many to be the first “Muscle Car,” but as always that title has been disputed.
What made it famous: By the 1953 model year, the base 88 was re-named the “Deluxe 88” for only that year, while “Super 88” was still the more upscale version. It’s engine and transmission choices were still the same as the 1952 model year. A fire that destroyed GM’s Hydra-Matic transmission plant forced GM to build thousands of cars with the two-speed Dynaflow transmissions until services could be resumed at a new locale. New options for the Super 88 for 1953 were Frigidaire a/c, power steering and power brakes.
Why I would want one: I like the fact that you don’t see many of these, so for those who want to stand out, this is a perfect way to do it. This is also a very stylish performance convertible.
Fun fact: Among the great successes of the 88 series was the song “Rocket 88,” considered the very first Rock & Roll record.
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