Friday, April 22, 2016

Enter the Space Age in your Rocket 88!

A few blocks from my store in Gowanus there's a body shop that's constantly working on amazing old rides. Occasionally they'll have one parked nearby that they're most likely freshening up in some way. This was a particularly sweet one!
This is a 1964 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 in the wonderful color Holiday Red. As straight-up and close to stock as this example is it still looks like a lowrider. Obviously those rectangular '80s fog lights are a later addition, as are the blue tinted inboard headlights. Some people can't leave well enough alone!
This was the last year for this body style that was introduced in 1961. The Jetstar 88 was entered into the Olds lineup as a lower trim level version of this very car, which elevated the Dynamic 88 to the top of their mid range offerings. The chrome fender skirts are pretty over the top but I guess there's enough shiny trim to carry it if that's your thing.
The Space Age writing is great, especially when you consider that the Olds engines were named Rocket. This ride, being the top of the 88 series, would have been equipped with the 394 Sky Rocket V8 as opposed to the smaller 330 Jetfire Rocket V8.
The Lake Pipes are a great touch. I think they're legit because they have those vent slots where the drivers ankles might hit them; just cooling that area enough to save you from a serious burn. The round refrigerator key on the right off this pic below the trim is probably an old alarm.
Window louvers on the interior of the rear window! Awesome period touch. This really seems like an old school lowrider in the most traditional sense. Maybe it was and they repainted it?
Terrible pic I know but I included it to show the odd and totally impractical placement for the tachometer; down on the console in front of the shifter.
From this angle you can see another '60s GM oddity; the hardtop roof has simulated bow lines as seen directly above the rear window to make it seem like a convertible. Of course there's 1 out of state plate on the back that I'm not buying. Unfortunately there's also a single brown exhaust pipe too so I guess the Lake Pipes are for show after all.
The Space Age vibe is present in the awesome taillight design too. Reverse lights were still an option on most cars but probably came standard on the Dynamic 88.
This body style was shared across the entire GM lineup with only front and rear fascias differentiating them. A detail specific to the Olds in the straight fin on top of the quarter panels, which are omitted from its Buick and Chevy counterparts.
The missing paint above the left headlight is the only real damage I could find on this car. I think these '60s designs hold up today, and as daily drivers they are pretty manageable. Whoever is prepping this for summer use is a lucky duck.

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