The new design changed started with the 1954 Oldsmobile models with an entirely new look than anything before it. The changes were many. In 1954 the first thing you would have notice was a lower and longer body shell with wrap around windows on the front and rear. In addition to that, Oldsmobile offered buyers a choice of eighteen colors and eighteen two tone color combinations.
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The 1957 Oldsmobile Super 88 featured in this article also received a new look compared to the 1956 model. Among the changes for 1957 the Oldsmobile Super 88 had a lower roof and larger grilles and hoods. The body design looked very clean.
1957 Oldsmobile 88 Models
Engine Parts 1949 - 1964. Oldsmobile factory #571145 3 deuce J2 intake $150.00 Oldsmobile Factory 2 barrel intake (49-50) #555693 $ / 1950 Air Cleaner.
The Oldsmobile 88’s were offered in two models. These were the Golden Rocket and the Super Golden Rocket. These are essentially the same as the Rocket 88 and Super 88. Hard to find better marketing brands than these especially during the years of increased aerodynamics and tail fins. The Golden Oldsmobile also recognized the automaker’s fifty year anniversary. Engine colors were changed to gold to commemorate the anniversary. The Super Golden Rocket was an upscale version of the Golden Rocket.
1957 Oldsmobile Super 88
The Golden Rocket 88 was an entry level model and was also available as a convertible.
You might also come across the Olds Super 88 Fiesta Wagon. This is a rare four door hardtop vehicle which came with a standard 371 cubic inch engine. Today these wagons are rare running or not. The wagon was offered as a Golden Rocket 88 and Super Rocket 88. If you wanted extra power for your family station wagon you could also order the J-2 carburetor option. The Rocket engines gave Olds station wagons a unique aura. Total 1957 Oldsmobile Fiesta Wagon production was 8,981 units.
Oldsmobile’s J-2 Option
For 1957 Oldsmobile offered the J-2 option which was three two-barrel carburetors for the 371 cubic inch V-8 which was standard for both models. This engine was also called the Rocket 88. In a large way the J-2 option made the 1957 Oldsmobile a muscle car as well as a luxury car. The J-2 option was also referred to as the Tri-Power package. Surprisingly, Oldsmobile charged only $83 for the J-2 option. There was another off road J-2 option which cost about $385 and was really designed for competition use only.
Lee Petty, a stock car racer and father of Richard Petty, was recruited by Oldsmobile. The older Petty had won the 1954 Grand National Championship and Oldsmobile wanted him to help showcase their new engine. Petty pushed the Olds J-2 engine up to just under 145 MPH at Daytona.
As it turned out the engine was banned from racing shortly after when the AMA cited that the configuration was not a regular production engine when first introduced.
Olds was a bit late in offering the J-2 to the public. The Oldsmobile J-2 was discontinued after the 1958 model year because of rising highway deaths and because of the AMA racing ban.
This was also a period when, because of fatalities, the American automakers entered into a handshake agreement to discontinue their support of auto racing. While this ban was technically in effect, the automakers still kept their hands in racing in indirect ways.
1957 Olds Trim and wheel skirt
1957 Oldsmobile 88 Specifications
The 1957 Olds 88’s came with a standard 371 cubic inch V-8 with the J-2 option Rochester carburetor available. The standard engine delivered 315 horsepower. Other reports put the horsepower at an even 300.
The 1957 Olds 88 had a Fisher body with dimensions that included a 122.5 inch wheelbase, a 208.2 inch overall length, a 76.4 inch width and a height of 59.8 inches. Weight was just about 4,000 lbs.
Front suspension were independent coil springs with rear suspension comprising longitudinal leaf springs.
Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum. Power brakes and power steering were options.
Oldsmobile Super 88 emblem
Total Oldsmobile 1957 production was 384,390 vehicles. Super 88’s represented about 132,000 units. The largest model segment were Sedans at 42,700 produced and the second largest produced model was the Holiday Hardtop at 39,162 units.
As a comparison, 1957 Buick production numbers totaled 405,098 vehicles, 1957 Pontiac passenger car production totaled 334,041 units, and 146,841 Cadillacs were produced.
The 1957 Oldsmobile serial number will be found on the left front door pillar.
Compare this 1957 Olds 88 to the cars featured on our AutoMuseumOnline articles linked below…
1957 Olds 88 Make Great Collector Cars
Without a doubt, the 1957 Oldsmobile 88 is a coveted collector car. An Olds Super 88 Convertible with the J-2 Option (Tri-Power) in showroom mint condition is even better. Only about 7,100 of these convertible Golden models were built with a new car price of about $3,500 in 1957. For those models you will likely see auction prices in the very high five figure area. $80,000 to $100,000 would be an asking price.
A 1957 mint condition Olds Super 88 without the J-2 option might have an auction asking price approaching $50,000. We have also seen a Golden Rocket 88 convertible, non J-2, priced in the $70,000 range.
The fact is that the 1957 Oldsmobiles were popular cars with big engines and more power options with the J-2. They were also milestone cars celebrating Oldsmobile’s 50th year which helps their value.
J2 Racing Engine
The 57 Olds were not immediately big collector cars but they’ve gained that position over the past few decades.
As mentioned above, the 1957 models celebrated Oldsmobile’s Golden Anniversary and any restored models in showroom like condition with or without the J-2Tri-Power option should command good values. If you’re looking for the most popular models they would likely be the Super 88 convertibles and J-2’s.
(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)
|Production||1949-1951 (90 units)|
|Model years||1950-1951 (J2)|
1951-1954, 2018-present (J2X)
1999 - present (J2X Mk I and Mk II)
|Assembly||Clapham, London UK|
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive|
|Wheelbase||2,540.0 mm (100 in)|
|Length||3,937.0 mm (155 in)|
|Width||1,727.2 mm (68 in)|
|Kerb weight||940 kg; 2,072 lb (18.5 long cwt)|
The Allard J2 is a sports roadster that was made by Allard. The J2 was mainly intended for the American market. Since 1981, replicas of the later J2X have been manufactured by a succession of companies in Canada, whilst a continuation of the original models is also now being produced in the UK.
The standard J2 engine in Britain was the 3.6 L flathead V8 engine from the Ford Pilot, delivering 85 hp. A 4.4 L Mercury V8, delivering 110 hp was also available. American enthusiasts modified their cars by fitting an Oldsmobile, Chrysler, or CadillacV8. J2s exported to the United States were shipped without engines. Then, an engine of the buyer's choice installed locally. This proved to be very successful, and the use of American components made it very easy to find parts for Allard's customers. The front suspension was a swing axle with coil springs while the rear had a De Dion tube system with coil springs, inboard brakes and a quick-change differential.  Ninety J2s were built between 1950 and 1951.
In 1952 Allard replaced the J2 with the J2X. It was produced until 1954. In an attempt to improve handling, the J2X had redesigned front suspension arrangement that allowed its engine to be positioned about 18 centimetres (7.1 in) further forward than the J2 engine had been. This did a few things beside improving the weight distribution: it gave the driver more leg room, and also facilitated easy identification between the two models J2 and J2X ('X' for extended). The longer nose sticks out beyond the front wheels (unlike the J2 where the nose stops even with the front of the front tires) and this is the easiest way to differentiate between the two. The J2X also had side access panels for the engine and most models came with a standardized wide flat hood scoop, unlike the J2s where each one has a different custom built hood arrangement. Also offered as an option was a differential with quick-change ratios, and a larger fuel tank. Its 170 hp engine could propel the car from 0-60 in 10 seconds and gave the J2X a top speed of 111.6 mph. 83 J2Xs were built. The interior remained simple with only a few gauges.
Canadian replica Allards
Beginning their work in 1981, two Canadian enthusiasts in Ontario revived the J2X concept as the J2X2. Mel Stein and Arnold Korne, who owned the coachbuilding company A.H.A. Manufacturing Company Limited, characterized their effort as a revival rather than a recreation, although a number of changes were carried out compared to the original design. The wheels on the J2X2 are considerably smaller than period pieces, the bodywork is in a mix of aluminium and fibreglass, the steering rack was swapped to a rack and pinion unit, while the front suspension was changed to a more conventional wishbone design. The brakes were power assisted, and the front drums were replaced by discs. It was available in kit form, or fully built. The fully built version received Chrysler's 5.2-liter V8 engine and a four-speed manual gearbox, although an automatic unit was available. The car also received rudimentary protection from the elements in the form of loose side windows and a simple hood. There was also a competition version without the intrusion of modern bumpers and with a shorter windscreen. A right-hand drive version was available for British buyers. Allard's son Alan fully approved of the car, even taking on the European distribution. A total of 250 units were planned.
Roger P Allard's, Allard Motor Works, located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, builds what their website calls 'a modern hand-crafted version of the famed British competition roadster that stirred crowds in Europe and North America', known as the J2X MkII. While looking similar to the original J2X, its glass-fibre body is dimensionally dissimilar and the chassis and drive-train are entirely different. Aside from the badges, few if any parts are transferable between this and a Sydney Allard built car. Roger Allard and Allard Motor Works are not connected or related to the original Allard company or Sydney Allard in London England.
Oldsmobile J2 Engine History
The 'J2X MKII' is a fibreglass bodied lookalike in the spirit of the original 1951-1954 J2X. Allard engineers hand built the car at a rate of 100 per year, while keeping it in compliance with modern standards for automotive safety. The new J2X has a GM RAM Jet V8 engine that produces about 350 hp and 400 lb/ft of torque. Other engine choices include a 600-hp 6.1-liter Hemi, a Chevrolet 350, Cadillac Northstar or Ford 351. The 0-60 time is 4.5 seconds and the quarter mile time is 12 seconds at 110 mph. Power is transferred through a Tremec TKO five-speed manual transmission. The price for the J2X is $138,500.
The J2X MkII is recognized by the Allard Registry, which has awarded the J2X MKII special serial numbers and a place in the Registry.
New British Allards
In 2012, a new Allard company, Allard Sports Cars, was formed by Lloyd Allard, and announced they would be making new versions of the J2X. Unlike the Canadian versions, which are new designs based on the original, the British cars are continuations of the original designs. The company officially reopened its business and began production in September 2018.
In 1951, Bill Pollack drove an Allard J2 with a Cadillac V8 to victory at the Pebble Beach Road Race.Sydney Allard and Tom Cole drove a J2 with a Cadillac engine to third place in the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans.They achieved this even though the first and second gears of the 3-speed gearbox were broken Of 313 documented starts in major races in the 9 years between 1949 and 1957, J2s compiled a list of 40 first-place finishes; 32 seconds; 30 thirds; 25 fourths; and 10 fifth-place finishes. Both Zora Duntov (the father of the Corvette) and Carroll Shelby (the father of the Cobra) raced J2s in the early 1950s.
J2 Racing Engines
Arriving later during a time when sports racing car design was developing rapidly, the J2X was not as successful in international racing as the J2, as it was not as competitive when compared to more advanced C and later D type Jaguars with disc brakes, alongside Mercedes, Ferrari, and Maserati works entries. Thus, it headlined less often in major international races and of 199 documented major race starts in the 9 years between 1952 and 1960, J2X's garnered 12 first-place finishes; 11 seconds; 17 thirds; 14 fourths; and 10 fifth places.
Overall, both cars epitomize the pinnacle of the Allard Motor Company and are generally the car design thought of when the name Allard is mentioned.
- ^ abcMort (2009), pp. 33-34.
- ^ abcDron (1996), p. 61.
- ^ abc'LA 2009: Allard J2X MkII drops our jaw'. AutoBlog. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- ^ abcWood (2003), pp. 32-33.
- ^ abcdeCulshaw & Horrobin (2013), p. 31.
- ^ abcGulett (2011), p. 16.
- ^Mort (2009), p. 34.
- ^Dron (1996), p. 59.
- ^'1949-1952 Allard J2 and J2X'. HowStuffWorks. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- ^ abSimeone, Frederick. '1950 Allard J2'. Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
- ^ abDron (1996), p. 60.
- ^ ab'1953 Allard J2X (LeMans, JX2, LM, J2XLM)'. conceptcarz. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
- ^Mort (2009), p. 35.
- ^Hingston, Peter (2007). The Enthusiasts' Guide to Buying a Classic British Sports Car. USA: Hingston Publishing Company. ISBN978-0-906555-25-5.
- ^'Allard Sports Cars'. HowStuffWorks. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
- ^ abFrey, Peter (June 1983). 'Allard J2X2'. Automobil (in Swedish). No. 5. Vällingby: Paper Maker AB. p. 63. ISSN0280-1981.
- ^ abcFrey (June 1983), pp. 64-65
- ^Frey, Peter (September 1982). 'Domesticated - but far from tame'. Motor Trend. Vol. 34 no. 9. Petersen Publishing. p. 84.
- ^ ab'Allard J2X MKII To Go On Sale in Europe'. TopSpeed. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- ^Matt Prior. 'Allard J2X MkII review'. Autocar. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
- ^'Allard Sports Cars Limited - Officers'. Companies House. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
- ^'The Revival'. Allard Sports Cars. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
- ^Andrew Merrell (11 September 2018). 'Car manufacturer begins production in Gloucestershire'. Punchline Gloucester. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
- ^'1951 Cadillac-Allard J2'. Car and Driver. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- ^Falconer (2007), p. 15.
- ^'1950 ALLARD J2 COMPETITION ROADSTER'. AutoCherish. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Allard J2.|
- Culshaw, David; Horrobin, Peter (2013) . 'Allard'. The complete catalogue of British Cars 1895 - 1975 (Ebook ed.). Poundbury, Dorchester, UK: Veloce Publishing. pp. 31–32. ISBN978-1-845845-83-4. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- Dron, Tony (February 1996). Coucher, Robert (ed.). 'Great British Sports Cars: Allard'. Thoroughbred & Classic Cars. London UK: IPC Magazines. 23 (5): 54–62. ISSN0143-7267.
- Falconer, Tom (2007). Original Corvette, 1953-62: The Restorers Guide. St. Paul, MN USA: MBI Publishing. ISBN1 870979 90 7. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
- Gulett, Mike (2011). European Style with American Muscle. ISBN978-1-257-90496-9.
- Mort, Norm (2009). 'Anglo-American Cars of the 1950s'. Anglo-American Cars: From the 1930s to The 1970s. Dorchester UK: Veloce Publishing. ISBN978-1-845842-33-8. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
- Wood, Jonathan (2003). Ultimate History of Fast cars. Parragon Publishing. pp. 32–33. ISBN1-40541-593-2.