Oldsmobilewas once the oldest and longest-serving car manufacturer in America and fifth in the world behind Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Skoda, and Tatra.
Founded in 1897 by Ransom E. Olds, Oldsmobile produced and sold over 35 million vehicles and has established itself as one of the most iconic manufacturers in America. When GM announced that they would stop production in 2004, the news came as a shock to
classic carenthusiasts, Oldsmobile fans, and the automotive industry.
In its prime years, the 1950s-1970s, Oldsmobile manufactured many
luxurysedans, memorable models, and coupes. They introduced the first turbocharged engine and front-wheel drive in a mass-produced American automobile.
While other brands made efforts toward modernity by updating with new technologies, Oldsmobile couldn't keep pace. Aware of this lackluster, General Motors deemed it fit enough to end the legendary automotive lineup.
What made Oldsmobile successful?
Many Oldsmobile models were successful due to their design, value, and reliability. Oldsmobile models manufactured during the mid-1950s through mid-1990s are mainly remembered as being some of the most iconic American cars, thanks to Oldsmobile's partnership with Hurst shifters, according to
Oldsmobiles were available in a wide variety of body styles throughout their production run, making the Oldsmobile one of the most popular cars to own during its time.
Before its downfall, Oldsmobile built some of the most stunning and groundbreaking vehicles over the years. Here are some of the coolest Oldsmobile cars, according to
1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais 442 W41
Oldsmobile released this new special-edition model in 1991 bearing the 442 and W41 badges. They used their 1984 compact model Cutlass Calais, which evolved into Oldsmobile's 1985-1989 Chevrolet Beretta coupe version.
The 442 W41 made its debut during the car's final production year. It featured a revised version of GM's 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 150 horsepower in other Cutlass Calais models but was uprated to 180 HP for the 442 trim.
While it didn't have the horsepower of other sports coupes from that time, like a Ferrari 456, its 200-horsepower engine was decent. The car also came with weight-saving measures and race-tuned suspension and gearbox, so it accelerated quickly. Oldsmobile built only 204 units to meet homologation requirements for racing championships in SCCA at the time.
1970 Rallye 350
In 1970, the Oldsmobile was already in danger of going extinct as the oil crisis and emission regulations threatened big-block muscle cars. Oldsmobile introduced a "junior" version called the Rallye 350 with new technology like fuel injection engines to prove that they were not obsolete yet.
The Rally 350 was one of the last attempts to revive and save the muscle car class. It featured numerous upgrades, such as a V8 engine with 310 horsepower. It also came equipped with a new suspension to improve the ride quality and handling of the car on curvy roads, along with sports mirrors that make it easier for drivers to see around their vehicles.
The Rallye came with bright yellow painted paint, a smaller engine than its predecessors, yet still packing a solid punch that brought down insurance premiums and boasted the Oldsmobile's best mileage in its class. Oldsmobile produced 3,547 units of Rallye 350 from 1970-1971.
1968 Hurst Olds
In the late 1960s, Oldsmobile developed a collaboration with Hurst to create one of America's fastest production cars, according to
MotorCities. Hurst developed the 442 into the fastest car in North America by equipping it with the famous shifter and its signature black and silver or gold and white paint.
At that time, GM had banned companies from putting cars with 400 CID or more due to safety concerns.
Because of this restriction, 442s couldn't receive larger engine options like those Mopar muscle cars, which came equipped with up to 440 CID motors under their hoods. Since it was an independent company and not bound by these rules at all, Hurst broke each car into parts before reassembling them to fit a bigger motor inside every one of them.
1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88
The Delmont 88 was Oldsmobile's bestselling model from the latter half of the 20th century. It featured several luxury items, powerful engines, and a good value for money.
The 88 was powered by a V8 engine packing 390 horsepower and came loaded with the latest technology and advanced equipment in 1967. However, since it was priced above Chevrolet and below Cadillac in terms of hierarchy within GM brands, it wasn't as affordable compared to its competitors.
Get insurance coverage for your Oldsmobile from Jerry
From the Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais 442 to Oldsmobile Delmont 88, Oldsmobile is one of America's most iconic car brands. Even today, these models are still popular among classic car enthusiasts.
If you own a classic Oldsmobile car, getting insurance is a common factor. However, different insurers will offer unique coverage and terms depending on your car and driving habits.
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