If you want to get really technical, this is a six cylinder Oldsmobile that someone turned into an 88, or a “Rocket 88”, as it was called in an early rock and roll song. The Oldsmobile 88 was the first big motor put into a smaller body car. It was also the first overhead valve motor which was the most modern design at the time. It took awhile for Detroit to catch up to the Oldsmobiles after the war. So it has that kind of little mystique for me.
I get the question all the time if this thing is “done” and the answer is yes. In my mind it just needs more dirt! Mechanically it’s running just fine. We restored the engine using vintage speed equipment that was all from the early 1950s era. I don't have any interest in restoring the exterior because I’ve done that already. I have a black 1950 Oldsmobile coupe that's restored to a fine polish. Basically, this car is a barn find that I turned into a barn find.
This car was a different project for me inspired by the history of 1950s NASCAR. I was doing research one day and came across some photos of the Flock brothers who ran Oldsmobile in NASCAR in ‘49 and ’50. Those cars looked beat to shit but they were top of the line. Most people don’t really understand the history of NASCAR and why that has so much to do with this type of look. When I was doing it 15 years ago, it wasn't popular, but now interest is growing a little bit. Still, not a lot of people can wrap their minds around getting an older car that is not being restored cosmetically, but is being restored mechanically. Fortunately for me, I’m not interested in popular opinion.