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Oldsmobile, Gone But Not Forgotten Classic Muscle

Oldsmobile Muscle Cars At Their Finest

Updated May 31, 2017

On April 9th of 2004, Oldsmobile produced its last car – a nondescript sedan. In the 107 years of the brand, there were far better cars made. Here are a few.

Oldsmobile was formed on August 21, 1897 by Ransom E. Olds and the company was sold to General Motors in 1908. Olds started a new company using his initials for the company’s name, which produced a truck named the REO Speed Wagon.

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1949 Oldsmobile

The Olds Rocket 88 5.0L V-8 was the first OHV engine introduced after WWII. First offered in 1949, by 1956 the 5.3L version was producing 240 horsepower. Needless to say many a hot rodder installed a Rocket 88 in their rides.

1957 Oldsmobile Fiesta Station Wagon

1957 Oldsmobile Fiesta Wagon

Only 8,981 of the pillar-less four door Oldsmobile Super 88 Fiesta Wagons were built in 1957. Today there’s likely to be no more than a handful in running condition. This owner went the resto mod route with his wagon, painting the car a color they’d think was bright even in the 1950s.

1960OldsDynamic88

1960 Oldsmobile Dynamic Celebrity Two Door Sedan

The base Oldsmobile for 1960 was the Dynamic 88 two door Celebrity Sedan with an MSRP of $2835. The car carried a 371 V8 with a two barrel carburetor, and a three speed synchromesh transmission. A total of 13,545 were built that model year.

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1962 Oldsmobile F85 Cutlass

For the 1961-1963 model years, Oldsmobile, Buick, and Pontiac shared the Y Body platform as the basis of their entry-level compact car. The Oldsmobile F85 was powered by an aluminum  3.5L V-8 engine, a version of which was also installed in the Buick, though there were many design differences.

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1963 Oldsmobile Cutlass F-85

As a one year only change, the F-85 was stretched by four inches and the styling was more squared-off and, in fact, appearing more like the larger upcoming 1964 model than the 1961 and 1962 cars. Of the three year run, 1963 was the best selling model.

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1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass 4-4-2

The first year of the legendary 4-4-2. Based on the police spec that offered upgraded engine and chassis components the package was dubbed 4-4-2 based on its combination of four-barrel carburetor, four-speed transmission, and dual exhausts. The package added $285.14 to the price of the car.

1966toranado

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

The Oldsmobile Toronado was introduced for the 1966 model year as a personal luxury car, alongside the Buick Riviera (whose platform it shared). The key difference was that the Toronado featured front wheel drive while the Riviera had rear wheel drive. In fact, the Toronado was the first American car to feature FWD since the 1930s.

Olds 442

1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass 4-4-2

1970 represented the peak of Cutlass 4-4-2 development, now with the 455 cubic inch V-8 standard, good for 370 horsepower with the W-30 package, which added a fiberglass hood (option W25) with functional air scoops and low-restriction air cleaner, aluminum intake manifold, special camshaft, cylinder heads, distributor, and carburetor. Stock the car was capable of a 13.7 quarter mile.

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2003 Oldsmobile Aurora

By the time the Aurora was released, Oldsmobile badly needed to break out of the conservative image it had created for itself over the previous 20 years. Sales had dropped from 1,066,122 in 1985, to just 389,173 in 1992. Launched in 1995 the Aurora was widely praised for its quality, design, handling and performance.  When the second generation Aurora was launched in 2001, it was forced onto a smaller chassis by corporate politics and a V-6 was now offered alongside the 4.0L DOHC V-8. The concept had been watered down and besides GM had already announced the winding down of Oldsmobile. It never had a chance.

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Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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