Exploring the Legacy of the 1957 Oldsmobile Golden Rocket 88 J-2 Convertible

In 1957, Oldsmobile marked its 60th anniversary, having been established as the Olds Motor Vehicle Company in Lansing, Michigan in August 1897. Ransom Olds had been experimenting with engines and self-propelled vehicles for almost 10 years prior to that. The Oldsmobile Division of General Motors, one of the original companies of GM founded in 1908, renamed the entry-level series to “Golden Rocket 88” to commemorate the occasion.



The 1957 Golden Rocket Oldsmobile was fitted with the desirable J-2 triple-carburetor option, which was originally designed for NASCAR competition. However, NASCAR Chief Bill France prohibited the use of this option, claiming that it was not a production option. Oldsmobile responded by releasing the J-2 for public sale in the middle of the year. Approximately 2,500 cars were sold with this option, but knowledgeable tuners could purchase the parts and install them themselves. With the J-2 package, the engine’s horsepower increased from 277 to 312 brake horsepower.




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