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Ready to Rock It Too: Another 1950 Olds 88


I spend a lot of time scanning ads for Barn Finds (and for my own pleasure, I will admit – I do love Oldsmobiles, especially 49-51 88’s). Most of the Rocket 88s I find seem to be four door cars, and no matter how nice they are, I can’t help preferring the cars with fewer doors.


When I recently posted a 1950 Olds Club Coupe that’s for sale in Seattle, Washington, I never expected to find another almost identical car so soon.


This very decent looking two door is for sale here on craigslist in La Canada, California. The seller says very little about the car’s condition, and there are no pictures of the interior or the engine, but this Olds looks very promising.


If it’s a California car, as we must hope it is, the evident lack of rust might extend to the floors and trunk. The paint is terrible and clearly, the car needs some work, but the seller’s done a fair amount of work on it, including a new honey comb radiator, Protronics distributor, brake shoes, wheel cylinders, master cylinder, hoses, brake lines, plug wires, spark plugs, water pump, and a rebuilt four barrel carburetor. Perhaps it can be a driver, as is? If so, this nice Olds should be snapped up in a hurry.


Oh yeah, while the ad states a $6,500 selling price, if you read to the bottom of the ad you can buy this car for only $4,000 cash. If I lived in LA, this car would be mine today.


  1. JW454

    The ad is down so it may have sold. Looked like it was in pretty good condition. I like these little coupes.

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  2. DENIS

    I want one in the worst way…have a 455/turbo 400 looking for a home…too far away and too late :-((

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  3. joeinthousandoaks

    Damn….I can’t believe I missed that. Now I’m bummed

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  4. Terry J

    My first car as a 14 year old kid was a ’49 88 (as I said).They were comparatively light weight, known as the “Chevy bodied” Olds. Emerald green much like that one. It was actually a 4 door, but the back 2 doors had been welded up and leaded in, very well done at that. Had 2 door seats in front. The 303 introduced the first industry 4 barrel carburetor but that wasn’t until 1952. The stock ’49-’51 303 had a 2 barrel back draft carb on it, as I learned to my surprise when I received one from JC Whitney to replace my missing carb. :-) Terry J

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  5. Rick

    If those were the original black CA plates (and I would bet you they were by the the letter sequence) the Olds has been in California since at least 1963, so 53 plus years, almost its whole. And it has the original CA car corrosion-free look. Anyhow, neat looking car, my fave 49-51 Olds is the 88 (or 76) Fastback (equivalent to the Chevy Fleetline series of the same years) I remember seeing those as a little kid and liking, I could tell they were chevy-bodied even then, Somebody got a neat project that looks respectable enough to start driving right away

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  6. Ron

    This Olds is a sedan, not the more desirable coupe. The difference is the sedan has larger rear side windows, and the car itself is slightly longer. Either way, this car is a nice start at a fair price. Thanks for posting it. When I get ready to sell my ’50 Olds 88 coupe later in the year (a driver with original 303 V8, auto trans, original interior and no modifications from stock other than paint and wheels), maybe I can let you know so I have a better chance of reaching an audience of vintage Olds lovers. Thanks, Ron.

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    • David Wilk Member

      Ron – thanks for pointing out that this one is a sedan, which I missed. When you are ready to sell yours please contact me. I’d love to own an 88 coupe of that era. Original is best, at least for me.

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  7. Ron

    Thanks, Dave. Will do. Ron…

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  8. speedster47

    Years ago I had a 1950 2 door Sedan like that one, it just was not quite it, so I sold it and found a 1950 Coupe, stick, late 50 one piece windshield. Oliveria Eng in Berkeley put in a 1957 Olds posi, muncie 4 speed on the column, and the rare 1956 #10 heads on the 303 with an edmunds 2/2 and headers. It’s almost done. The coupes are the real deal.
    speedster 47

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  9. Ron

    Speedster 47: I agree that coupes are the real deal. The look created by the smaller rear side windows and the car’s shorter wheel base is pure 50s hot rod. And personally I like the look of the early ’50 Olds with the two-piece windshield. It’s just a bit more “old school” than the one-piece windshield. I hope you can post a few pictures of your Olds when it’s done. Ron…

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  10. speedster47

    Thanx Ron, The question to ask is “Do the rear side windows slide or roll up and down? Slide is a coupe, up and down is the 2 door sedan. FYI wheelbase is the same, but the roof line is different and also the truck lid is either longer or shorter. Finally many started out as 76er’s vs 88’s thus side trim may be different. best always, speedster47

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  11. Andrew C.

    I wonder if this was a Police Car due to the whip antenna on the left side. These were common antenna used by police during this time period. My Uncle was with the highway patrol during this time and I am familiar with cop cars.

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  12. Ron

    Andrew C: Interesting observation. If it was a police car there should be lots of other clues in the car such as old radio mounts on or under dash; auxiliary wiring under dash, or in trunk; spot light mounts, and etc. Maybe the owner of the car can weigh in here? Of course the black plates would have come much later after the car was sold at auction. Ron…

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