1949 Oldsmobile 88


1999 Oldsmobile Futuramic "88" Convertible.

1949 Oldsmobile 88

Considered by some to be the first American muscle car, the ‘Rocket’ 88 marked the beginning of Oldsmobile’s performance history. The design was a simple idea of using combining Oldsmobile’s new Rocket V8 engine with the relatively light 76 chassis.

Aimed at the youth market, the performance of the ’49 Oldsmobile was a resounding success.

Later in the year became the official pace car of the 1949 Indianapolis 500 and Red Byron won five Grand National races in his own 88.

Eventually, Oldsmobile’s luxury division took over the brand and cars like the Rocket 88 were phased out of production.

In Detail

type Series Production Car
engine Rocket V8
displacement 4965 cc / 303 in³
power 100.7 kw / 135 bhp
specific output 27.19 bhp per litre
r suspension Live Axle w/Semi-Elliptic Leaf Springs
transmission Hydra-Matic Automatic