Oldsmobile Super 88 J-2 Convertible

By the late-1940s, as American automobile buyers progressed from seeking basic, economical transportation and began demanding more comfort, power, and style than ever before, Oldsmobile led the performance charge with the release of the 303-cubic inch “Rocket” V-8 engine. A thoroughly modern, compact, and powerful overhead-valve design, the “Rocket” almost instantly became an American performance legend. It also influenced the era’s popular culture as the inspiration for Ike Turner and his Rhythm Kings’ massive 1951 hit “Rocket 88,” which remains famous to music fans everywhere, and is as arguably the first “true” rock ‘n’ roll song ever recorded.

The “Rocket” was continuously updated and improved over the years, growing to 371-cubic inches and 277 horsepower in basic form by 1957. Just prior to AMA’s infamous ban on motor racing that year, the J-2 option added a trio of two-barrel carburetors and delivered a stout 300 bhp. In addition, Oldsmobile’s many high-profile NASCAR victories solidified its growing reputation as GM’s “engineering” division.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in July of 2012 at The Inn at St. John's, Plymouth, Michigan.

300 bhp, 371 cu. in. OHV “Rocket” V-8 engine, authentic J-2 intake with triple two-barrel carburetors, Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 122"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

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