Triple Deuce Rocket: 1957 Oldsmobile 88

The 1957 Oldsmobile 88 is a one year only car with its similar, yet varying looks from the 1954-56 88’s. This specific car was discovered in a barn in Oklahoma after a 30 year nap. With a solid appearance, and a J2 optioned intake manifold and carbs, this Oldsmobile still needs some work to hit the road. With several days remaining in the auction, no one has placed a bid for the opening amount of $12,500. Find it here on ebay out of Mooreland, Oklahoma.

Although not a J2 optioned car, this seller has added a J2 intake manifold and carb set up. The 371 cubic inch Rocket V8 offered 265 horsepower, but the J2 optioned Super 88 car offered a whopping 300 horsepower. This Rocket V8 is a runner, but how well it runs is not described. The seller has personally never driven the car, so there are some questions that arise from that remark. It would appear there is a fuel leak, or potentially a stuck float on one of the carbs. The sellers mechanic prescribes some brake booster work for this Olds to be a driver, despite a great deal of new parts, and maintenance.

Taking a look in the cockpit shows the grand design of the 88 dash. There are a few blemishes, but nothing severe from what can be seen in the photos. The steering wheel has succumbed to a great deal of cracking, looking to be on the verge of needing a restoration, or to be replaced. With no carpeting, the floors can be seen with ease, and they look as solid as you could wish for.

Sleek and attractive, this Olds has some fair quality paint that appears to be original, or an older repaint. Hazy in some places, but beautiful in others, I am certain this one would polish up nicely.  Almost rust free, there is a golf ball sized rot area at the bottom of the front driver fender. Aside from that detail, the body looks near mint. The chrome is bright and straight for the most part, as the rear bumper has some dents and dings, and there is a small area of rot as well.  Clearly a solid project, this Oldsmobile could be made into a very nice survivor like car with some detailing, and interior work. I would also add a set of wide black steelies with caps, and hit the road. Would you take on this 88?



  1. Bob

    Seller mentions that the rotors have been turned but the master cylinder indicates that the car still has it’s original drum brakes.

  2. doug6423

    Is there a car from ’57 that DIDN’T look good?

  3. 68 custom

    the rear shot of that car makes it look menacing! I like it…

    • Dennis M

      “I’m a friendly stranger in the black sedan,
      Won’t you hop inside my car.
      I got pictures, got candy,
      I’m a lovable man.
      And I can take you to the nearest star.
      I’m your vehicle baby …”

      The Ides of March, 1970.

      • George

        the pedophile song…
        but this is not a sedan.

  4. Doug

    Love the back window set up.

  5. Joe Haska

    If anyone is interested in this car, I know were they can get all the parts to make it a very special car. Some time ago a good friend of mine purchased a basket case 57 Olds , J-2, 3 speed trans, tons of parts, but definitely a project. For the right person this car restored would be a super find. From what I understand the 3-speed is extremely rare, supposedly had something to do with NASCAR.

    Like 1
    • Rob

      Hey Joe, I’m interested in your buddy’s car. 1978goldeneagle@gmail

  6. Mark S

    After seeing this car makes me think that the guys that bought the chevy’s are guys that couldn’t afford this car. What a beauty for me I’d patch the rust repaint the body and fix it mechanically. The one thing that I’d get rid of is that triple carb manifold in favor of a single 4v carb. The interior I would clean and repair as required.

    • Van

      Triple carbs make it cool.

      • Mark S

        And thirsty

      • Loco Mikado

        Not thirsty if you keep your foot out of it, drive like a normal person and it is like a 2bbl V8.

  7. The One

    He said he installed the carbs, so probably non factory to the car. 6 pax are a piece of cake to tune and the sound when you nail it is like nothing else I had 650 HP 440 tri power 1050 cfm.. the sound. the gas gauge. You could watch it drop as you went through the gears. heh..

  8. Gunner

    Beautiful lines on this unique car. Love the 3-piece back window. There is a gentleman in our neighborhood that owns a real 57 J2 that is immaculate, and has had it for many years. There is something special about a six-pack setup. These cars are not seen often.

  9. Joe Haska

    Rob, I tried your e-mail it didn’t work! My info- Joe Haska 303-668-4994

    A phone call is the best and easiest for me.

  10. BillB


    The list of what was done that follows this statement certainly does not look like $6K worth. But, it’s been so long since I even used a mechanic I may have lost touch with reality.

  11. Rustytech Member

    In these days of $100+ hourly labor rates and $400 headlamps it doesn’t take much work to reach $6k if your paying a restorer to do it. A friend of mine had one of these a few years ago with the j2 option, it was a two tone white over copper, that thing was gorgeous, and it was fast. It drove like a barge though. The under steer was atrocious, and you needed a foot ball field to stop it if going over 50 mph. He loved it though, and it always got a lot of positive feed back at the local car shows we frequently attended. If this is as solid as it looks I think $12.5k would not be an unreasonable number.

    • G 1

      My hourly rate has been about 0 for as long as I can remember.

  12. Boris

    The 3-piece back window setup was considered unhip and stodgy at the time this car came out, sort of a throwback to late ’40s or early ’50s design. Styling wise, the Olds looks ungainly compared to a DeSoto or Chrysler of the same year. Harley Earl was just about at the end of the line.

    • Craig

      I think the back windows in the olds is awesome and really sets it apart from the other cars ( except Buick had similar windows) of the 50s the Olds 1957 is a beautiful car and looks better the older it gets I wasn’t even born yet it 1957 and I love the looks of this car

  13. Jay

    I had a 67 gto as my first car. My brother, father, or me could never get the carbs in synch. Get one working good then another would mess up. It did burn some gas. We ended up putting a quadra jet 4 bbl and new intake finally. This monster would sure need some pushing it around. Mercury had a car in the 50’s that had two four barrels my parents had one.

    • moosie Craig

      Factory Tri-Power stopped in ’66 for the G. T. O. when they dropped the 389” and went with a 400″ with a Quadra-Jet 4 bbl.

    • Dick in SoCal

      The GM corporate office killed 3×2’s except for Corvettes. The one drawback to the J2 setup was it was vacuum actuated and if not used would “carbon up”. Unless you are going for show only, I would suggest converting to mechanical linkage. 1957 was the first year for the 371 but also a weight gain. I wish I had space for this one.

  14. Jay

    My car had the a 389 we salvaged out of a wrecked 66. The motor was blown up in my 67 when we bought it. Thanks for pointing that out Craig.

  15. Bob C.

    TRUE rocket 88.

  16. Dennis M

    The 88 put serious power to the road for the era. I had a ’57 identical to this (but in a LOT better shape!) in the mid-’60s. With the four speed HydroMatic the only weak spot was the drum brakes which faded quickly under hard use.

    Only beat once in “H Stock” and that was by a ’57 Chev that shifted right with me all the way down the quarter – with a 2 speed PowerGlide! Cheater!

    One of my favorite games was to sit stopped at the top of a ramp on the NY Thruway (speed limit back then 60), wait for a car to come under the bridge and then beat it to the end of the ramp! Classify under “Dumb car tricks” I guess,

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