Although it’s been 16 years since General Motors stopped producing cars under its Oldsmobile name, some of that company’s launches have gone down in history.
With over 35 million units produced over the past half century, here are a few models that are still revered today. The Oldsmobile Rocket 88 was the first American-made muscle car, while the Oldsmobile Starfire was the first car to feature an automatic transmission.
OLDSMOBILE ROCKET 88
The Oldsmobile 88 was launched in 1949 as a replacement for the 70 series. This model was in production for over 50 years, with over ten design generations up to 1999. However, the first generation of this car is still the most iconic and revered in the industry. It uses an engine developed by Cadillac and was one of the first American muscle cars. This car used a lightweight body design with a powerful engine, winning more than half of NASCAR races from 1949 to 1952.
Launched in 1941, the most recognizable version of this car was the fifth generation, released in 1957. Although it was not considered as luxurious as its contemporary, the Cadillac Series 62, it certainly had some rather premium features for the car. ‘era. Some of these features included power windows, ambient lights, and power brakes. Body types included four- and two-door coupes and convertible models.
The Starfire debuted in 1961, and although this car started its own line, it shared its bodywork with the Super 88 and Dynamic 88. This car offered more than standard equipment with leather buckets, an account -towers and a floor shifter. . This car was the very first full-size production car in the United States equipped with an automatic transmission. However, such features were enough to make this car a premium offering at the time with a hefty price tag.
The 1962 Jetfire was an interpretation of the compact Cutlass model and was in production from 1961 to 1963. With the era’s first-ever turbocharged engine, this car’s signature look came from its pillarless hardtop. However, the car suffered from some engine reliability issues, which cut short its production years.
This nameplate was introduced to the market in 1963 after the Pontiac had unparalleled success with the GTO. It was Oldsmobile’s very first full-fledged performance car capable of delivering 360 horsepower, which was quite impressive at the time. The 442 remained in production under its original nameplate until 1980, after which it featured in the Cutlass Supreme and Cutlass Calais.
It was a two-door coupe that made headlines as the first American car to feature first-wheel drive in at least 30 years. However, that was not all. This car also features new trends like a heavy-duty Turbo Hydramatic (automatic) three-speed transmission, a spherical exhaust that could prevent leaks, and a draft-free ventilation system. All these features made this car quite a nice model.
OLDSMOBILE VISTA CRUISER 442
Launched alongside the 442, this car shared many of its design cues with the coupe. That said, this car was best known for its fixed glass skylights above the second row. The raised roof with glass panels above the cargo area was also something the market really appreciated at the time. This car could produce a maximum power of 320 hp and was equipped with a 5.4 liter V8 engine.
OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS SUPREME HURST
This too launched with the 442 and has been seen making comebacks with several other models. This car was relaunched in 1983 after a four year hiatus from this limited edition Cutlass Supreme. Compared to other Hurst models, this car was a bit underpowered. However, this showed no compromise with the actual power of the car, requiring less than 8 seconds to hit 60 mph from the start.
OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS CALAIS 442 W41
In 1991, a new version of the car using “W41” and “442” badging was launched. Known for being the last year of production for this car, the 442 W41 boasted a revised model of its 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. While the original Calais Cutlass could produce 150 horsepower, this model could go up to 180 horsepower. However, this car was not just about power. It came with race-tuned suspension along with other weight-saving measures, making it quite faster than standard offerings.
OLDSMOBILE ACHIEVA SCX W41
Replacing the 1992 Cutlass Calais model, this car gained its prominence in the history of Oldsmobile automobile manufacturing due to its aerodynamic bodywork. This design has brought a new perspective to the automotive industry, making this car more fashionable, modern and sporty. This car produced 190 horsepower with its 2.3-litre, four-cylinder engine.
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