Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday Hardtop

Oldsmobile entered the 1950s with strong momentum thanks to advancements in styling and engineering that trumped many competitors. While the new-for-1949 Oldsmobile line carried the exciting aircraft-inspired styling of Harley Earl’s Art & Colour Section, the big news was release of the modern, overhead-valve “Rocket” V8 engine. Oldsmobile posted sales of over 288,000 units for 1949, an impressive increase of 67 percent over 1948. While the entire new car market dipped in 1950, Oldsmobile continued to post strong sales results throughout the 1950s. Racing victories, including first place in the inaugural Carrera Panamericana, translated into sales success as well.

By 1953, total Oldsmobile production amounted to over 330,000 units, earning the marque a sixth-place sales ranking. While the famous Hudson Hornets of 1952-54 proved troublesome on the racetrack, Oldsmobile remained very competitive and soon began to overwhelm the competition, capturing nine NASCAR victories in 1953. Most notably, the famed Buck Baker won the Southern 500, and Bob Pronger set a new speed record at Daytona with a 113.38 mile-per-hour run in the flying mile with an Oldsmobile 88.

For 1954, the Super 88 continued as the most popular Oldsmobile series, with the “Rocket” V8 enlarged to 324 cubic inches, and thanks to its four-barrel carburetor, 185 horsepower was achieved.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in July of 2010 at the Shotwell Gustafson Pavilion at Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester, Michigan.

185 bhp, 324-cu. in. “Rocket” overhead-valve V8 engine, four-barrel carburetor, four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and power-assisted four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 122"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credits: Copyright Darin Schnabel and Simon Clay

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