1951 Oldsmobile Super 88 sedan
The 1951-1953 Oldsmobile Super 88 was a replacement for the 1949-1950 Deluxe 88 -- a separate in-between series introduced along with a substantial '51 Olds restyle.
The previous 88 line with its full range of body types (save wagons) was cut to just two standard-trim sedans (called "Deluxe 88" for 1952-1953) to make room for the similar group of Supers, which also used the smaller GM B-body and, for '51, the same "Rocket" V-8 that powered all Oldsmobiles.
Thereafter, base 88s had less power than Supers or top-line 98s, making the middle series the true successor to the original Futuramic 88 as Lansing's hot rod.
Though Supers (and 98s) gained 25 horses for 1952-1953 (via a higher-lift cam and new "Quadri-Jet" four-barrel carburetor), Olds was eclipsed in NASCAR racing by the surprising six-cylinder Hudson Hornets.
But 88 sales kept rising anyway thanks to expanding options -- ever-improving Hydra-Matic, power steering for '52, air conditioning and power brakes for '53 -- plus trendy, if not timeless, styling.
Somewhat overlooked by collectors -- though we can't imagine why -- the Super 88s are now better appreciated for their fine performance and the solid craftsmanship typical of Olds in these years.
Pluses of the 1951-1953 Oldsmobile Super 88:
- Good period go (about 12 seconds 0-60)
- Solid workmanship
- Fairly plush
- Broad model choice
- Active club
- Still relatively inexpensive
Minuses of the 1951-1953 Oldsmobile Super 88:
- Appreciating slower than 88s before and after
- Some body and trim pieces hard to find
Production of the 1951-1953 Oldsmobile Super 88:
- 1951 club coupe: 7,328; Holiday 2-door hardtop: 3,914; Deluxe Holiday 2-d hardtop: 14,012; Deluxe convertible: 4,468
- 1952 club coupe: 2,050; 4-door sedan: 70,606; 2-door sedan: 24,963; convertible: 5,162; Holiday 2-door hardtop: 15,777
- 1953 4-door sedan: 119,317; 2-door sedan: 36,824; convertible: 8,310; Holiday 2-d hardtop: 36,881
Specifications of the 1951-1953 Oldsmobile Super 88:
Wheelbase, inches: 120.0
Length, inches: 203.8
Weight, pounds: 3,579-3,895
Price, new: $2,219-2,853
Engines for the 1951-1953 Oldsmobile Super 88:
Type Size Horsepower Years ohv V-8 303.7 cid 135 1951 ohv V-8 303.7 cid 160-65 1952-1953
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