Ready To Rock It: 1950 Olds Rocket 88

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Thanks to reader John G for sending us the link to this very nice looking 1950 Olds Rocket 88 two door for sale here on craigslist in Seattle, Washington. Even though this is a non-running example that has been sitting in storage since 1960 and there is very little information provided about its condition, this car is likely to sell fairly quickly at or near the asking price of $3,500.

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The car is said to be complete, 100% original, including paint, and its fender skirts are in the trunk. As was very typical for these cars, the floors and rear quarters are rusty and will need work. Nothing said about interior, which may well need to be replaced. The engine turns over by hand but has not run in over 55 years, and it’s very possible this car was put away in 1960 because of mechanical issues.

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1950 was the second year Oldsmobile offered the the now-famous Rocket 88, featuring the first mass produced overhead valve V-8 (with 303 cid in these early years) in the relatively light intermediate size GM body. Drivers who liked to go faster than their neighbors loved this Oldsmobile 88, which the company labelled “Futuramic” to make sure potential buyers knew this was a new design for the post-war era.

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The car offered for sale here is called a club coupe, even though it looks like a sedan. Many of these cars were hot rodded or made into mild customs over the years – above is a beautiful example that was featured in a Hot Rod magazine article a few years ago. This one is stock looking but heavily modified with thousands of hours of work done to modernize and improve on the original.

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Despite the amount of work this car for sale here doubtless needs, I think it is going to be purchased fairly quickly and either restored or made into a custom like the one pictured here. Compared to so many similar cars I’ve seen recently, even with the work needed, this good looking, complete Olds looks like a good deal for its next owner.

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Comments

  1. TLouisJ

    Ahhhhh….my very first car was a ’49 Olds (circa 1964). Never got it running, had a blown piston. I did sit in it and day dreamed a lot (14 yrs old). Of course the very heavy and not too powerful 303 was usually swapped out by rodders for a 324 or a 371 or better yet the mighty 394 which was the last version and a virtual bolt in. The 4 speed Hydramatic was heavy but very strong as were the rear ends. Those were both used by drag racers for decades to come. 🙂 Terry J

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    • David ward

      Nice memories and information.Thanks.

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  2. Tom

    My father had one of these in the early 60’s. it was like a tank ! Loved that old monster. Only thing to kill it was rust finally (Detroit winters)

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    • Mike H.

      From “A Christmas Story”:

      Some men are Baptists, others Catholics; my father was an Oldsmobile man.

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  3. Jose

    As for me, I was a Baptamercmobile. Today, I guess I could say my longings are for an old Lincboat. Regrettably, my wife says, “No!” Since we’ve only been married 58 years, that old Lincoln may win out.

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  4. Scotty G

    What a flashback! My brother got two of these for his high school graduation present in 1979; $500 for both of them. Of course, they were both project cars, one with a drivetrain and one for parts. This is probably a similar deal in today’s money.

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  5. Rotag999

    Thanx for posting John G.

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  6. Keith

    I had a ’51 Super 88 a couple years ago with a 455 in it…..thing just FLEW. This is not a club coupe, this is a sedan. But the price is quite decent considering the initial appearance. Important if it has all it’s trim pieces and they are good shape because finding replacements is an expensive endeavor.

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  7. starsailing

    As Kids in South Mpls very early 60’s we watched some older teen stick a 58 Olds engine in a 50-51 Olds. Within a day or two he had it running. Then he had it painted the color of “Sugar Baby” candy brown. 5 yrs later my best friend Les bought it. The car would jump off the line….after about 20 times of this the motor mount would tear loose and do a little damage to radiator…Les put in about 3 of these as of course…burnouts and racing took their toll. His dad just welded a couple steel rods from fenderwell to valve cover for solution! At same time, Les kept going through rear ends…about 7-8 of them…replaced whole housing last time…cured the problem as housing was bent from previous owner welding on traction bars. The car burned up as fuel pump cracked and gas streamed up at plug wires….I was driving it home by myself…from some 19 yr old girls apartment party without license…(Curfew was midnite)when I was 15. Friend wsn’t leaving…I just took it! Drove like a tank!…Raced a few cars….fire started as I cruised it through huge food drive in hangout. Lifted the hood, could not get fire out …gas flaming everywhere….grabbed a snow shovel nearby and shoveled dirt from the railroad tracks onto the engine. Finally got it out! Left it there as I hitch hiked home. Friend’s dad called next morning asking if I knew anything of the whereabouts of his son, as police called about the flamed out Olds sitting at drive In. I said Nope! !!
    About 7 years ago, came across old timer at car show w/early 90’s vette with huge bottle of Nitrous showing in back window. we talked…turns out he was the guy who put the 371 into the Olds. Gave him the bad news.
    So I spotted a 49 olds Fast Back..98?..the big one…with a Nova sub frame…told my neighbor….he bought it. I had a 58 Impala and 54 Buick hdtp Super. He bought a 51 chev …then when I bought the 54 Larry bought the 49 Olds. If I bought something..Larry would do same. Boat…Larry bought boat. a trailer, then motorcycle…..Then I told Larry I was buying a motorhome…Larry bought one…but I backed out. His wife came over after that and asked me to qui\t buying things and telling Larry of any thing I bought or was buying. …as they were broke….So there sat this solid 49 Olds in his backyard for about 11 years….I convinced him to sell it so someone could finish it. Hope it got finished!…Hope someone finishes the above Olds….I would love a shot at it if I had the money.

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  8. michaelj

    ha very nice but you cant bet a hr sedan 1966 lo

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