Sunday, May 21, 2017

1957 Oldsmobile Super 88 convertible coupe 

Oldsmobile sold its ‘88’ series from 1949 through 1999, and for 24 years the 88 was Oldsmobile’s top-selling marque. The ‘88’ was redesigned for the third time in 1957 based on the 1956 Motorama Oldsmobile two-passenger show car with stylized rocket emblems  mounted on the fenders above the headlights and taillights reminiscent of jet engine exhausts. 

There were three trim levels the basic model was known as the ‘Golden Rocket 88,’ with the next step up the ‘Dynamic 88,’ and the highest trim level dubbed the ‘Super 88.’  Of the near 385,000 Oldsmobiles built during the 1957 model year, 132,000 were 'Super 88' models and just 7,128 were Super 88 Convertibles like this mildly customized version owned by Win and Edda Moore seen at the Moraga Community Faire car show held May 13 at the Rheem Valley Shopping Center. 

Under the hood, the Oldsmobile ‘Rocket V8’ engine in the ‘88’ series sported 371 cubic inches of displacement and to celebrate Oldsmobile’s 50th anniversary all engine blocks were painted gold.  The base level 'Golden Dynamic 88' engine produced 277 horsepower, but the engine in the 'Super 88' series featured a four-barrel Rochester Quadrajet carburetor and produced 300 horsepower. 

The high-performance 'J-2' option added three two-barrel carburetors and high performance camshaft  which increased output to 310 horsepower with 400 ft/lbs of torque.

The convertible coupe rode on 122-1/2 inch wheelbase chassis with front coil springs and rear leaf springs and a curb weight of 4285 pounds.  A 1957 Oldsmobile Special 88 could accelerate from a standing start to 60 miles per hour in just over 9 seconds, and when equipped with the J-2 option knocked a second off that time.  

In the interior for 1957, Oldsmobile added a "safety" deep-recessed steering wheel. This car is equipped with the Hydramatic transmission instead of the three-speed column shifted manual transmission. 

All photographs by the author

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