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All-Original J2 1957 Oldsmobile Super 88

It’s debatable, but generally agreed upon that the first American muscle car was the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88. Relatively small, attainable, and powerful for its time, it was influential enough to inspire an entirely new genre of music, and Oldsmobile kept its beloved 88 in production for a solid five decades. This 1957 model features the rare J2 performance option, including three two-barrel carburetors and higher compression than in the base Rocket V8 engine. It’s all-original, and comes with a beautiful patina. You can find it here on eBay.

The seller doesn’t include many images of the car itself, but one of the posted images is of what appears to be a spare intake manifold, complete with the three Rochester carburetors. In the description, the seller states that the transmission has been rebuilt, and the car starts, runs, and drives well. As always, though, be sure to do your due diligence to make sure the car is in the condition you, as a prospective buyer, would be okay with.

Oldsmobile has a lot of firsts to its name. Among them: first muscle car (1949 Rocket 88), first color touchscreen infotainment (1989 Troféo), first turbocharged car (1962 Jetfire), first automatic transmission (1939 Hydramatic). The interior looks in remarkably good condition based on the included screenshots, and you can just make out the telltale PRNDSL on the dashboard of Oldsmobile’s innovative transmission. With two bench seats and more space inside than a modern SUV, this is arguably a practical choice of car, classic or not.

As far as dailyable classics go, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything better than a large, powerful, easy-to-drive Oldsmobile. The design, inside and out, oozes the quintessential excess of postwar American car culture. Complete with the J2 engine option and Hydramatic transmission, you’d be driving a rolling piece of history around. With a trunk of that size, you could just as easily make a Costco run after a trip to your local Cars & Coffee. As historic works of art, midcentury Oldsmobiles are sadly underrated and a welcome diversion from the Tri-Five Chevrolets that litter every car show–who aren’t without their own merits. There’s something special about a nice Oldsmobile, though.


  1. Seabecker

    Really love that rear window design.

    Like 35
  2. Bud Lee

    Man Olds loaded this thing with jewelry . This would make a whole parking lot of 57 Bel-Air owners cry .

    Like 34
  3. Gord

    The description says the tri power is in the trunk so I wouldn’t assume it’s a spare one in the pictures. How does one tell that it’s an original J2 car ,

    Like 9
  4. Renzo

    Nice looking survivor..Bidders should check out the rust bubbles peeking out in numerous areas

    Like 3
    • BrianT BrianT Member

      A few days ago you featured a 1960 Olds and I commented that they really missed the styling mark that year. This year Olds is in the opposite end of that spectrum. Beautiful! That rear window seals the deal.

      Like 10
  5. Rw

    No motor pics??

    Like 9
  6. Grog

    Hands down, one of the most desirable cars I could possibly imagine. The design front to rear(rear window included) classy and stylish for all time!

    Like 26
  7. HoA Howard A Member

    Olds really took a left turn after ’57, what I consider the nicest Olds of all time, but, t’was no muscle car. The tri-power was merely an attempt to distribute Niagara Falls worth of gas to pass that lumbering, smoky semi truck on a 2 lane highway,, and it did. Fact is, however, a 1957 Rambler Rebel V8 , claimed to be one of the 1st REAL muscle cars FROM THE FACTORY,( the ’49 Olds was just the 1st V8’s and considering what was around then, I suppose it could be classified as a muscle car) could eat this car for lunch, up to 100, that is. But this car wasn’t about 1/4 mile or NASCAR( that came later), it was a car your well to do single uncle, who lived at home had, and was more about impressing the ladies, and none better than a ’57 Olds. Tri-power? Meh, not needed, except for the “wow” factor. I think they ran on the center carb mostly and the other 2 never got used.

    Like 14
    • Car Guy Beancounter

      During my college days at GMI in Flint and Lansing, I bought a used ’57 Oldsmobile like the one pictures, except it was a 4-door Holiday. I purchased it used from a secretary at Oldsmobile. This was in the 1961-62 timeframe. It was originally equipped as a J2. The J2 setup had been removed, and as you say, only the center carburetor remained. I suspect this was done for fuel economy. It did not work! This gas guzzler almost killed this poor college student! A wonderful car, fond memories. Fortunately, at that time there were always gas wars in Flint, so I could typically buy gas for $.199 to $.239 per gallon.

      Like 4
    • scottymac

      Howard A: Not much later! Lee Petty won the inaugural Daytona 500 in a ’59 Olds.

      BrianT: You probably already knew, but some models of the ’57 Buick used the same roof.

      Like 5
      • BrianT BrianT Member

        That roof design is a thing of beauty.

        Like 5
  8. Frank D Member

    My dad had a 57 Olds 2 door coupe. What a Tank! Carbs were an issue adjusting to make the Olds run correctly. Some owners had the J2 set up removed for a 4 barrel carb instead. I guess Corvette Fuelie car owners did the same thing.

    Like 0
  9. joenywf64

    Is that a poor man’s dash cover above? Gave me an idea.

    Like 1
  10. Vince H

    I had a 57 Holiday coupe Super 88 with the J2 and I sure wish I still had it. I liked i better than my 57 Chevy. I just could never get the Studebakers out of my blood.

    Like 2
    • marlin

      OH! yeah!! those Low Boys were the poor mans Corvette and the gals did not know the difference !! Any of the J2’s I ever knew of were true Rocket Ships that no one wanted to get in a drag race with!!

      Like 0
  11. t-bone BOB

    Located in:
    Santa Clara, California

    Like 2
    • Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

      Thank you, t-bone. I don’t understand why the writer couldn’t have included the location and current price in his write-up.

      Like 0
      • 19sixty5 Member

        The writer, Ben Rybisky does, as do all the writers here from what I have seen, include a hyperlink in the writeup at the end of the first paragraph where it says IN RED “here on ebay” The red is important, it is a hyperlink to the original ad. Click it and you are taken directly to that ad. Anything in red in the ad is a link, try it, you’ll like it!

        Like 2
  12. Dan

    There has to be plenty of rust on this old girl.. and no motor pics. Hard to bid on something with so few pics and info..

    Like 1
  13. Charles R. McCook

    Beautiful, regret ever selling mine! Hade one in 1964, yellow with black and yellow interior. One four-barrel carburetor. A 1957 ford antenna in the middle of the trunk, fender skirts, and glass packs.

    Like 1
  14. 19sixty5 Member

    Ben, the definition of the term “muscle car” these days is certainly debatable, but the first use of the term was used to describe the GTO in the March 1964 issue of Car and Driver Magazine by the legendary Brock Yates. There were cars that preceded the GTO that were “muscular” in terms of performance, but it originally referred to the use of a large passenger car engine in a mid-sized or smaller body. I *think* the shift indicator should read PNDSLR, not PRNDSL. All in all, what a great car this would be to own. It appears to be in remarkable condition.

    Like 8
  15. Thomas H Piercy

    Not just today, but I have always thought this was the best looking car of the fifties.

    Like 7
  16. Phil

    My dad was shop manager for an Oldsmobile dealer in the 60’s when I was a teen driver. He would occasionally drive a used car home and let me drive it. Drove a 57 J2 once and opened up all 3 carbs. Fast. Also drove a Jetfire and opened up that turbo. What was he thinking? Capper was my 65 442. He bought it from Olds rep (brass hat?) on my 18th birthday. Lots of stories there but will share that once outran state police car, but not his radio. What was I thinking?

    Like 6
  17. trav66

    $25,000 now with a day to go. I’d take this over a Chevy any day!

    Like 6
  18. Hal

    A fantastic creation combo…..class with out bragging,

    Like 0
    • 57Chevy

      As a former 57 Olds owner, I agree Hal, they were a beautiful car, however with so few pictures,, it’s hard to tell the real cond. of this one. I saw several flaws in the paint,, & wonder what the dash looks like underneath that pad. No interior shots, No engine shots, No interior trunk shots Etc Etc. Very Short description too!

      Like 2
  19. Dave Peterson

    I had a Century with foot start that I am sure had the R at the far right side of the shift indicator. This could be a false memory, but like the original Hydramatic, there was no P that I recall. Or not. Please refresh my memory.

    Like 0
  20. Chuck Dickinson

    I noticed an antenna but no radio in the dash ‘hole’. Perhaps is has the transportable radio?

    Like 0
    • 19sixty5 Member

      Trans-Portable radio was offered in 1958.

      Like 1
  21. 57Chevy

    In 1965 I had a ’57 Olds just like this one, except mine was Black & No J2 (had a single 4 barrel). ii was a nice Cherry beautiful Calif. car (as that’s where I lived at that time) While driving thru Pa. the Transmission went out & had to trade it straight across for a Rust Bucket ’57 Buick that ran good but Oh My, the east coast Rust on that thing, Holes in the trunk, Etc. Etc. Etc. (I had No Choice) as I didn’t have the money to have the tranny fixed & Had to be on my way. Missed that Olds ever since!!!!!

    Like 0
  22. Roseland Pete

    People constantly rave about the 63 split window, well, this car has two of them. :)

    Like 2
  23. Mike H.

    That rear view of the car is sexy. Only thing that could improve it might be a nice Continental Kit. I guess I’m showing my age ain’t I?

    Like 0
    • BrianT BrianT Member

      Noooooo! Please. I’m not a fan of continental kits on anything but that would destroy the looks of this car. In my opinion of course

      Like 4
      • Mike H.

        Brian, I was just playing around and found a black 57 with the CK on it and it was way cool. I love Oldsmobile’s, and recently sold 2, and lean toward the newer ones but looking at this 57 could change my mind. I love the back window in it. I don’t think either one of us was wrong about this car Continental Kit or not. Have a great day!

        Like 0
      • 57Chevy

        i am totally with you Brian. In my opinion, a continental kit totally destroys the looks of Any Car!!! Growing up in L.A. in the 50’s, we called cars that had them “An Old Man’s” car. Now I’M an old man & STILL don’t like them!!!

        Like 2
  24. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    I would love to see a continental kit on a Prius or a PT-Cruiser . .

    Like 2
  25. Araknid78

    Ended: Mar 01, 2022 , 12:30AM
    Winning bid:US $25,100.00
    [ 7 bids ]

    Like 0

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