Oldsmobile created the 1950 Oldsmobile 88 in 1949 by combining its new high-compression Rocket V-8 from the big 98 series with the smaller, lighter platform of its six-cylinder 76 models. The result, America's first "factory hot rod," was a sensation on road and track -- especially in dashing convertible form.
Though designed independently of Cadillac's larger new 1949 V-8, the Rocket, too, was an efficient lightweight engine with great tuning potential. Even with mild 7.25:1 compression, this 303-cubic-incher initially delivered 135 horsepower, giving the 88 a 22.5:1 power-to-weight ratio -- outstanding for the day. With that, the 88 brought to thousands of buyers the kind of performance once reserved for high-priced cars -- or home-built hot rods.
The 1950 Oldsmobile 88 offered home-built hot rod power at an attractive price.
See more pictures of classic convertibles.
The 1950 Oldsmobile 88 retained its popular Futuramic styling for the convertible.
The 1950 Oldsmobile 88's Rocket V-8 made a stir both on and off the race track.
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