Oldsmobile Tail Fins – As General Motors entered the 1950s Chevrolet was the best selling automobile in the U.S.A. Buick was second, Pontiac was third and Oldsmobile was fourth. Chevrolet was known as the price leader, Buick was known as the ‘doctors car”, Pontiac’s had a reputation for reliability and Oldsmobile was known for its performance, engineering and unusual tailfins.
1949 Oldsmobile Tail Fins
In 1949 Oldsmobile introduced a all new appearance package called Futuramic and a new Rocket V-8 engine. Futuramic styling also included small tail fins that was a strong indication of things to come.
1950 Oldsmobile 88 and 98 Tail Fins
To separate the top the line Oldsmobile 98’s from Oldsmobile 76’s and 88’s, Olds 98’s got a different tailfin hosting round tail lights. Note the small chrome fin on top of the rear fender of the Oldsmobile 88 on the left. This fin continued on the Olds 76 and Olds 88 for the next 2 years.
1951 Oldsmobile Tail Fins
Oldsmobile dropped its six cylinder engine for 1951. So all models were equipped with the Rocket V-8 engine. Also new was the 1951 Super 88 model. The 1951 Oldsmobile 98 again featured a unique tailight and side trim treatment.
1952 Oldsmobile Tail Fins
Oldsmobile received a number of changes for 1952 and over 200,000 units were built. Revisions included a 25 horsepower boost, power steering, Autronic Eye automatic headlight dimmer and Olds 98’s is now spelled out as “Ninety-Eight”.
1953 Oldsmobile Tail Fins
New for 1953 was Oldsmobile’s flashy Fiesta convertible that cost almost $6,000.00 and featured unique spinner hub caps. Oldsmobile 88’s now had a similar tail treatment as the Ninety-Eight. Ninety-Eight Holiday coupe’s were equipped with fancy wire wheels.
1954 Oldsmobile Tail Fins
1954 Oldsmobiles had a much sleeker, longer, more modern look with a squarer body like Buick and Cadillac. Engine size increased from 303 cubic inches to 324. Slight trim and tail fin restyling occured on the 1954 Olsmobile.
1955 Oldsmobile Tail Fins
After being restyled in 1954, Oldsmobile entered 1955 with relatively minor changes. Unfortunately for Oldsmobile there were many redesigned automobiles introduced in 1955 including the “Hot One” by Chevrolet. However, Oldsmobile held its own in total sales.
1956 Oldsmobile Tail Fins
A large loop front bumper and revised side trim marked the 1956 Oldsmobile. Other than the that very few changes since 1954. Even the tailfins looked the same. This 1956 Oldsmobile Holiday 88 two door hardtop cost $2800.00.
1957 Oldsmobile Tail Fins
Not since 1950 had Oldsmobile offered station wagons. In ’57 they returned under the Golden Rocket Fiesta name and offered as 88 and Super 88 models. Also new in 1957 at Oldsmobile were more powerful engines. One with three two barrel carburetors rated at 300 horsepower.
1958 Oldsmobile Tail Fins
A solid contender for the “King of Bling” was this redesigned Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight. Under the hood was a 371 cubic inch 312 horsepower engine. This 1958 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight two door hard top with its giant tailfins cost almost $4100.00.
1959 Oldsmobile Tail Fins
1959 Oldsmobile had a linear look and restyled tailfins. They were also safer, quiet and had a “Glide Ride”. This 1959 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight convertible topped the price scale at $4366.00. Oldsmobile would continue its reputation as an engineering leader thoughout the 1960s. However, Olds mighty tailfins grew smaller and slowly disappeared.