Every Oldsmobile Sports Car You Should Know

Take a closer look at each Oldsmobile sports car to get an insight into the American automaker’s sporting history.
Written by Mariza Morin
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
What was the first muscle car? Many car enthusiasts often point to the
Rocket 88 that came out of Detroit in 1949. The legendary American automaker went on to create classic sports cars from the 1966 Toronado to the 1991 Cutlass Calais 442 W41.
Before General Motors took over in 1908, Oldsmobile was originally established as the “Old Motors Vehicle Company” by Ransom E. Olds back in 1897—making it one of the oldest automobile brands in the nation. Though the iconic automaker shut down in 2004, it left behind some of the coolest muscle cars that are still revered by many car aficionados today. 
Don’t know where to start with this American classic? No problem!
, top-rated
car insurance
broker and automotive
super app
, is here to walk you down memory lane with a guide to Oldsmobile’s sports cars, from 1949 to 1999.

Did Oldsmobile make sports cars?

Yes—technically. However, Oldsmobile referred to their vehicles as muscle cars. And according to CarFax, “all muscle cars are sports cars, but not all sports cars are muscle cars.” Muscle cars focus solely on acceleration, while sports cars prioritize overall performance
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s take a closer look at a few of the most popular sports cars from Oldsmobile over the years. 
Make safe driving pay
Get rewarded for safe driving. Earn points and unlock benefits. Totally free.
Start earning now

1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88

Have you ever heard the classic rock and roll tune Rocket 88 by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats? The 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 was so beloved that there was a song written about it! 
In 1949, Oldsmobile produced a new CID V8 engine called the Rocket V8 with a two-barrel carburetor that cranked out 135 horsepower and up to 253 lb-ft of torque. The 88 was capable of soaring from zero to 60 in 13 seconds with a top speed of 97 mph. Though this may not sound like much to contemporary ears, it was actually quite powerful for the time. 
Combining the Rocket 88’s light body with a mighty V8 engine resulted in what is now thought of as the first muscle car to emerge from Detroit. The muscle car was popular not only on the streets but on the race track as well. And the 88 proved to be a winner—the renowned sports car went on to win six out of nine NASCAR races in 1949.
The Oldsmobile 88 remained in production until 1953 when it was replaced by the Super 88 model. The final 88 was built in 1999 before General Motors retired the Oldsmobile brand.

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

Another first for the legendary auto brand came with the introduction of the groundbreaking  1966 Oldsmobile Toronado. This powerful luxury coupe was innovative at the time—it was equipped with front-wheel drive, which wasn’t exactly the norm among domestic vehicles.
The full-size Toronado muscle car came equipped with a powerful 455 V8 engine that growled with an impressive 385 horsepower. Not only was the 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado a beast on the streets, but the overall design was absolutely extraordinary.  Its phenomenal body shape, low roof, and hidden headlights will still take your breath away today. 

1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais 442 W41

The muscle car era might have ended in the early 1970s, but Oldsmobile attempted to keep the magic alive throughout the late 70s, 80s, and into the 90s with the 1991
Oldsmobile Cutlass
Calais 442 W41, inspired by the original 1964 Oldsmobile 442.
The compact, front-wheel-drive two-door muscle car came equipped with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that boasted 190 horsepower. Again, this may not sound like much these days, but the Calais 442 was lightweight with a race-tuned suspension and gearbox that helped the sports car to accelerate rapidly—flying from zero to 60 in just seven seconds

A history of the Oldsmobile sports car

The Rocket 88, Toronado, and Cutlass Calais 442 give you an overview from the beginning to the end of the Oldsmobile empire. But what about all the peppy muscle cars in between? Below is a timeline of the greatest highlights in the history of the Oldsmobile sports car. 
1957: Oldsmobile rolled out the unique Fiesta Wagon, which featured a V8 engine that produced between 277 to 300 horsepower. It’s an extremely rare sports car today as it was only in production for two years. 
1961: Though the Rocket 88 is considered by many as the first muscle car, Oldsmobile became active in the muscle car game with the introduction of the Starfire. This classic convertible came equipped with a V8 engine that generated 330 horsepower. 
1964: Coming out the same year as the
Pontiac GTO
, the Oldsmobile 442 was a new model that was part of the Cutlass lineup. Marketed as a “gentlemen’s hot rod”, the elegantly designed sports car came with a 330 V8 engine under the hood that boomed with 310 horsepower. 
1970:​​ Though the muscle car trend was starting to come to an end by the 1970s, Oldsmobile held strong as they unveiled their Rallye 350. This “junior” muscle car, as it was referred to, featured many upgrades, including a 310-hp V8 engine with a new suspension, dual exhaust, rear spoiler, and sports mirrors. All original Rallye 350s were painted in a bright Sebring yellow, which obviously made this one-of-a-kind sports car noticeable coming down the street!  
1983: After taking a hiatus for a few years, Oldsmobile came back with a limited-edition Hurst/Olds model. The popular rear-wheel-drive sports car came equipped with a 307 V8 engine that produced 180 horsepower and went from zero to 60 in under eight seconds—thanks to its famous Oldsmobile Lightning Rod shifter
rating reverse-full
"I’m earning
awesome rewards
every week, just for driving safe!”

How to save money on Oldsmobile insurance

If you’re in the market for a
classic car
like an Oldsmobile sports car, it is beyond necessary to find the right coverage to protect your highly sought-after investment. And with comparison super app
in your pockets, the process is as speedy as your favorite muscle car.
Here’s how it works: just download the Jerry app, enter your information, and in 45 seconds you’ll receive several customized quotes from some of the top providers in the nation. Once you pick a new policy, Jerry’s team will get straight to work finalizing all the paperwork, phone calls, and we’ll even help you with your old policy. 
Jerry is the one-stop-shop all drivers need in their pockets. On average, Jerry users save over $800 on car insurance a year!
“As a young person who owns a sports car and a high-end sedan, I couldn’t find quotes below a certain threshold. By using
, I managed to find full comprehensive coverage on both vehicles and saved $150 a month!” —Channing Y.
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
This app is great, but the customer service is even better! Not to mention convenient! My husband and I got the lowest rate (much lower than the rates I was finding online through my own searches), quickly, and pretty much all through text message! Thank you so much for a hassle free experience👍
Gabriella R.
Find insurance savings
rating primary
4.7/5 Rating on App Store
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare quotes and find out in 45 seconds.
Try Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings