The Oldsmobile Rocket 88 in 1955 has a major cosmetic upgrade sporting a new grill, revised tail lights, with more chrome body trim. The base 88 engine is now putting out 165 hp with the super version offering 202 hp (148.6 kW). There is a newly released four door hardtop without side window posts available in ’55 which is the first time this variation has ever been made. The car has full complement of gauges offered as well as air conditioning available if you like.
The 1956 models feature a split grill, with revised tail lights, and rear deck. The horse power ratings keep going up with the base now giving 230 (168.16 kW) and the super putting out 240 (176.52 kW). The old style automatic has been scrapped with a new “Jetaway Hydra-Matic” an option for those that don’t like to shift. This new transmission has a “Park” position added. The dash has an oval speedometer and the “T” handle parking brake is replaced with a foot operated version.
Golden Rocket 88is the moniker for the base model in 1957 but the only visible badging is the logo with the 88 on a rocket ship displayed beneath each tail light. The power options keep increasing with a “J2” package you can pick that is three two barrel carburetors and mounted on the now 371 cu in rocket engine will give 277 hp (207 kW]. The automatic is the most popular transmission but the three speed standard is still available. Styling changes are not extreme but they are evolutionary in ’57 with a three piece rear window used on some versions. The interior of all the 88 models this year features a new deeply recessed steering wheel for safety.
The 1958 Olds has received the nick name of “Chrome Mobile” due the extensive use of this material for trim but the dealers called it the “Mobile look”. The name may be debatable but one thing is a certain fact for ’58 model year is the upgraded sticker price most specifically on the uptown versions. This is the year of the dynamic 88 as the base and the dynamic is a name that sticks around for eight more years. The base model comes with a detuned engine and the two barrel putting out 265 hp (198 kW) while the upscale super with the four barrel offers 300 hp (220 kW) but you can still optionally kick that up a notch-this year the “j-2”-the three two barrels delivers 310 hp (231 kW). A replacement for the horn ring is a honking bar as an added feature this year if you choose.