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Top 7 Classic Oldsmobile Muscle Cars

This piece looks into seven top Oldsmobile muscle cars that had their ways into the enthusiasts’ hearts.

Classic Oldsmobile Muscle Cars

For many years, Oldsmobile was one of the long-serving car manufacturers with over 35 million vehicles released. With this reputation, enthusiasts took the news for a joke when GM announced it would kill the Oldsmobile brand. It was later revealed that GM meant business with the announcement. The legendary brand was finally gone.

To enthusiasts, Oldmobile’s departure might not be the right decision, but GM had genuine reasons to end the brand. While other brands were making efforts to keep to the high demand for modern technology, performance, and design from modern buyers, Oldsmobile couldn’t keep pace. Being aware of this, GM deemed it fit to end the legendary brand, and today, Oldsmobile is gone.

The question to ask is, why was the Oldsmobile buyer’s favorite? The answer to this is not far-fetched: the brand is a renowned automaker of muscle cars with millions of products on the lineup. What brought Oldsmobile into the limelight wasn’t only its muscle car production but also being the brand to release the first proto muscle car in 1949.

This piece looks into seven top Oldsmobile muscle cars that had their ways into the enthusiasts’ hearts.

71966 Oldsmobile Toronado

Top 7 Classic Oldsmobile Muscle Cars: Toronado

Oldsmobile could stand out among other GM divisions as it was known for products representing power and style. The brand could once again prove its reputation for this when it released the 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado. Coming as a front-wheel drive, it was popularly known as a powerful muscle car on the market.

Back in those days, all domestic muscle cars were rear-wheel drive, and an insignificant number of imports were front-wheel drive. But, Oldsmobile needed something new to penetrate the market, which triggered it to construct the first indigenous FWD system.

The muscle car was equipped with a 455 V8 engine rated at 385 HP. With this and the front-wheel drive, the Toronado was quick to make a name for itself.

RELATED: Top 7 America's Favorite Muscle Cars

61966 Oldsmobile 442 W30

Top 7 Classic Oldsmobile Muscle Cars: 1966 442

The 1995 Oldsmobile 442 wasn’t the end of the 442 excellent models. 1966 had light upgrades and was rated one of the most powerful Detroit muscle cars due to its new engine. Under the hood of the new model was a 400 V8 engine that produced 350 HP.

However, even with the enticing package and lower price tag, the W-30 didn’t gain much traction from buyers and lower sales. Oldsmobile could only build and sell 54 copies of the W-3, a small percentage of previous models.

51965 Oldsmobile 442

Top 7 Classic Oldsmobile Muscle Cars: 1965 442

Another classic Oldsmobile muscle car on the lineup is the 1965 Oldsmobile 442. It was one of the muscle cars that could compete with the popular Pontiac GTO. Though it didn’t make the same sales to its brand as the GTO did, Oldsmobile invested in its mechanical upgrade with a slight restyling.

The 1965 model of the 442 was equipped with the new 400 V8 engine rated at 345 HP, offering convincing performance. With this, the muscle car raked over 20,000 sales to itself.

41964 Oldsmobile 442

Top 7 Classic Oldsmobile Muscle Cars: 1964 442

Though the Pontiac GTO was known as the first muscle car to hit the market, the Oldsmobile 442 was released the same year. This might not make a big name as the GTO, but it was also a well-equipped car with reserved styling.

There were controversies about the name 442, which was later defined. The name came from four on the floor, four-barrel carburetor, and dual exhaust. However, Oldsmobile 442 came with an automatic transmission option.

Most people preferred the manual transmission because it offered the most out of 442. Overall, the 1964 442 was an excellent muscle car with impressive performance with the 330 V8 engine that delivered 310 HP.

RELATED: The 5 Best Muscle Cars in 1960s

31962 Oldsmobile Jetfire

Top 7 Classic Oldsmobile Muscle Cars: Jetfire

In the 1960s, there was a great competition between all GM divisions, and every division was looking for a great feature to add to its reputation. One mean Oldsmobile could think of was “turbo-charging”. Though the technology had been in existed, the brand was going to perfect it.

The engineers decided not to build a car from scratch but take one of their best products and modify it into a new muscle car. The compact F-85 model was a perfect choice to think of. While the engineers kept the small 215 engine, they introduced a new forced induction intake system, including a special Turbo Rocket Fuel tank and a Garet turbocharger.

21961 Oldsmobile Starfire

Top 7 Classic Oldsmobile Muscle Cars: Starfire

Though Oldsmobile was known to start the muscle car segment, the segment wasn’t active until other Detroit’s manufacturers introduced more powerful models in 1961. This triggered Oldsmobile to come up with something to beat the competition, and the Starfire was born. Though it wasn’t one of the biggest models on the lineup, it featured the same engine as bigger models.

While bigger models with the engine could deliver 325 HP, the Starfire delivered a whopping 330 HP through the 394 V8s engine, which added to the muscle car’s credibility.

Starfire wasn’t regarded as a true muscle car but took the look, performance, and power of a muscle car. With these features, the Starfire was an introduction to Oldsmobile muscle cars.

11949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88

Top 7 Classic Oldsmobile Muscle Cars: Rocket 88

The 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 wasn’t just a muscle car but also introduced a new 303 CID V8 engine called the Rocket V8. The muscle car came as a light and compact car and was loved for a new V8 engine with a two-barrel carburetor.

The light body and powerful engine were a great blend that made the car the first muscle car from Detroit. The car didn’t just gain the hearts but also made a name for itself on the race track. It featured in nine NASCAR races that year and won six of the races. Rocket 88 also had excellent performances on the drag strips.

RELATED: 1969 Oldsmobile 442 Reviews, Prices, and Specs

[1] ^ YouTube: Top 5 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442's in the World
[2] ^ YouTube: Detroit Muscle's Top 10 Muscle Cars
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