As the United States auto companies began to embrace more futuristic looks of the late 1950s and early 1960s, due in large part to the beginning of the country’s fixation on outer space, chrome started to make its appearance more and more. The 1958 Oldsmobile Super 88 was also called the “Chrome Mobile” because of the sheer amount of chrome on the body. The entry level Super 88, the Dynamic 88, ran from 1958-1966, and like the Super, it also had its fair share of chrome. For now, we’ll focus on the 1958 Oldsmobile Super 88.
The Super 88 was available in several different body styles: sedan, station wagon, hardtop, and convertible. Of those, the holiday hardtop versions are the most rare. To help the car glide along the road, buyers could opt for one of two transmission types, a 3-speed manual or an Automatic Jetaway Hyrda-Matic. Turning the ignition brought the Rocket 88 V8, 371 cubic inch (6 liter) engine roaring to life. Producing 305 horsepower at 4600 rpm, this engine was great for power that only added to the car’s cool looks. The car was quite heavy, weighing in at more than 4100 pounds. Purchasing the vehicle meant ponying up the $3110 starting price, which is equivalent to about $24,791 and change in today’s dollars.
Today, it is certainly not a surprise to see a 1958 Oldsmobile Super 88 at a classic car show, and it can be quite enjoyable to give this car a new paint job and shine the chrome to give it an extra pop at a show. Driving one of these classic cars is a thrill in and of itself, but it only gets better when driving one of the rare holiday hardtops.