5 Cars That Made Oldsmobile Great (5 That Destroyed It)

Oldsmobile was the oldest surviving American automaker at the time of its demise in 2004. Amassing 107 years of history, Oldsmobile cars can be described as proper ‘classic cars‘. But it’s clear that GM never learned to understand heritage. How else can you explain their choice to end the oldest truly American manufacturer, founded in 1897 by Ransom Eli Olds? With that, we say goodbye to all the iconic Oldsmobile vehicles that have made us proud throughout the ages.



The 1940 Hydra-Matic vehicles were the first to include fully automatic gearboxes, which were introduced by Oldsmobile. Oldsmobile’s Cutlass series, which competed with both Chevrolet and Ford, became the best-selling automobile in the United States in 1976. Oldsmobile has developed some of the world’s fastest and most powerful automobiles over the years. And they kept adding to their performance profile until the very end. Oldsmobile muscle vehicles were never particularly popular, but they were often a cut above the competition. Not only in terms of performance, but also in terms of looks, features, and elegance.

Oldsmobile’s demise may not have been the best decision for fans, but GM had legitimate reasons for doing so. Oldsmobile couldn’t keep up with the increased demand for new technology, performance, and design from modern purchasers. Because of this, GM decided it was time to retire the renowned brand, and Oldsmobile was no longer available.

10 Great: 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88

The 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 was not only a muscle car, but it also debuted the Rocket V8, a new 303 cu V8 power plant. After WWII, the Olds Rocket 88 5.0-liter V8 was the first OHV engine to be introduced. The 5.3-liter variant, which was first available in 1949, produced 240 hp by 1956.

The 1949 Oldsmobile 88 was the first muscle vehicle from Detroit, thanks to its light body and powerful engine. That year, it competed in nine NASCAR races, winning six of them. The Rocket 88 was a game changer in automotive history.

9 Great: 1961 Oldsmobile Starfire

The Starfire was the pinnacle of the Oldsmobile series. Oldsmobile came out with a sporty convertible in 1961, just as performance cars were starting to gain traction. They used 394 V8 engines with 325 hp in all major Oldsmobiles. However, the engine produced 330 hp in the Starfire, establishing the 1961 model’s performance credentials.

These models were more luxury vehicles than true muscle cars. Nonetheless, they provided power, performance, and a stylish appearance. The Starfire was a wonderful introduction to future Olds muscle cars because of these three traits.

Related: 1961-66 Oldsmobile Starfire: Costs, Facts, And Figures

8th Great: 1966 Oldsmobile 442 W30

The 1995 Oldsmobile 442 wasn’t the ultimate model in the 442 series of superb cars. Because of its new engine, 1966 was classified as one of the most powerful Detroit muscle cars. The new model included a 400 V8 engine with 350 hp underneath the hood.

You received special ram-air induction with tubes running from the front bumper to the carburetors if you went with w30. The W30 bundle was not expensive, but it was strangely ignored. As a result, just 54 were manufactured.

Related: Check Out This 1-Of-113 1972 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 Convertible

7 Great: 1968 Hurst Olds

The partnership between Hurst and Oldsmobile was one of the most successful between a big automaker and a tiny aftermarket manufacturer. In the late 1960s, GM’s muscle car divisions faced a new challenge: a 6.55-liter engine size limit in all small to midsize automobiles. GM guidelines did not apply to Hurst because it was an independent business.

So Oldsmobile transported partially dismantled 442s to Hurst, where they added the massive 7.45-liter 455 V8 with 390 hp and their famed shifter. And the result was one of the best cars in the Oldsmobile lineup of all time.


6 Great: 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais 442 W41

Oldsmobile has been attempting to rekindle the magic of the original 442 muscle car since the muscle car era died in the early 1970s. The 1991 Cutlass Calais 442 W41 is a high-performance variant of the small Oldsmobile Calais with extremely limited homologation. There were just 204 of them made in total by Oldsmobile.

It had a highly tuned four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 2.3 liters that produced 190 hp. The tiny Cutlass Calais 442 W41 has a lot of power. In fact, it may be able to outperform considerably larger and more expensive vehicles. They unveiled this automobile about 30 years ago, at a period when 200 hp was considered a significant amount of power.


5 Terrible: Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Diesel

Because of the 1973 oil crisis and the growing popularity of European automakers’ diesel automobiles in the United States, General Motors launched one of the earliest attempts by a US carmaker to produce a diesel engine.

As a result, the Oldsmobile 1979 Cutlass Supreme Diesel, a mid-size car with a 4.3-liter diesel V8, was among the poor performers. The engine was prone to failure after only a few miles, making this the poorest Cutlass and Oldsmobile in generations. The 4.3-liter diesel engine made 90 hp before bursting into confetti and was only available in the 1979 Cutlass.

Related: Ranking The 10 Best Diesel Engines Ever

4 Terrible: Oldsmobile Bravada

The history of Bravada is brief. They made it when all of GM’s divisions had virtually the same cars with various badges. In the instance of the Bravada, it debuted in 1991 as a model based on the GMT330 platform.

Since the 1920s, Oldsmobile has not produced an SUV or a truck-based vehicle. Customers required considerable repair work as a result of recalls, and sales were dismal in comparison to comparable SUV models.

3 Terrible: Oldsmobile Omega

The Omega shared a lot of DNA with the failed Chevrolet Citation, making it one of GM’s X-most Platform’s lackluster variations. The Omega was supposed to be a sporty car for the early 1980s, but it was spoiled by the “Iron Duke” engine and X-Body.

Unfortunately, these four- and six-cylinder automobiles did not receive enough R&D. The Omega was breaking records, too…in terms of engine, gearbox, corrosion, and other concerns. These X-body automobiles were a fiasco, plagued by recalls and problems within warranty their whole lives.

Related: Here’s How Much A Classic Oldsmobile Omega Is Worth Today

2 Terrible: 1986-1992 Oldsmobile Toronado

The Oldsmobile is an automobile manufactured by Oldsmobile. In the 1960s, Toronado had established a reputation as a full-size luxury cruiser that was both luxurious and powerful. Unfortunately, when Toronado celebrated its 20th anniversary in 1986 by introducing a brand-new wedge-shaped automobile, they decided to “downsize” the label with a dreadful remake. The sleek design, open headlamps, and, of course, the V8 engine were no longer present.

Because of dropping gas prices, they made it even smaller than before. As a result, it was a huge miss. The Toronado was eventually discontinued, and they introduced the Aurora sports car in its place.

1 Terrible: Oldsmobile silhouette

It is one of the oddest-looking vans ever seen. With some unusual features, such as a built-in child seat, a power-sliding door that plays a melody when it closes, and a dashboard large enough to fit a whole pizza box on it. It’s easy to understand why folks were suspicious of this odd vehicle.

It was too little, too late, despite the fact that it was innovative. However, the odd design proved unappealing, and they built it on the same base as other GM vehicles. Unfortunately, all of that style was just to make it look like a Dustbuster, a famous hand-held vacuum cleaner. The Silhouette barely took off because the driver’s seat was too terrible.

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