Oldsmobile Super 88 convertible 1957





Road Signature

scale 1:18

Model number: 92758


Review of the model:

When we go back in time to the mid 1950´ . It was when cars really change every year, as this make of Oldsmobile. Try to look at a model 55, and then a 1957, and lastly a model from 59.
These Oldsmobile’s are a true testimony in quickly evolution both in design and mechanical inventions. It was also a time when America was in full production of given the rising middle-class all of there desires in the material world of the space age soon to come. Often said as a phrase – “Living the American dream”

The 1957 Oldsmobile here is the Super 88 Convertible, from the model manufacture of Road Signature, from China in scale 1:18. Earlier models, from this maker were often sparse in the detailing and to some degree more toy cars than real collector model cars. But nowadays the new releases can be descent correct models. And in my mind can be good bargains. If you like I am, willing to invest a little time in research about the real car here on the net. We can get a fine model car for a low budget.

After I had opened the box, first thing that strike me is the marvelous chrome work on this model. You will never find loose parts on Road Signature model as all plastic parts is either screwed on or “sealed burn” by a very hot soldering iron. And now also this Road signature model comes with black painted “holes” in the grill, which gives the model more realism from the start! In fact the only modifications I had made on this model are the following: Liquid chrome painted bottoms on the cover for the ragtop and the mini grill a top of the instrument panel. Lastly a red burgundy paintwork on the doors rear side. Even the lenses in the headlight do not have prominent black “pupils” – the model here is good direct from the box or as mine model,  only need small modifications.

When we open the hood to look at the “Rocket V8” Super 88, we find wires, hoses and stickers – oh yes this motor room is well made for the price. One of the real gems of the Road Signature models is the prep and paintwork. Here we never find any imperfections, but in this case the white paint on the rear part of the model is having an issue – not much but never the less a problem – The white paint have small cracks! Just  like on ice! This problem can not be removed by polishing, as it seems to be a process regarding the other paint or varnish underneath. I have reduced the problem by given the area some after waxing. I do not think this problem is on every white on burgundy paint, Oldsmobile model out there. I was just unlucky in this case.

As always on the later models the gabs are minimal if we compare with other low-cost model cars and on this Olds the door hinges are the newer ones with “spring locks” to have a better fit when the door in closed. The hood itself fits well and no major gaps are present. The trunk of this model can not be open. The interior is quite good of this model and all the chrome shine as the real thing. Even the “leather” seats are well made and their paint scheme is overall well replicated. The right door side window has gab when the door is closed, but can easily be corrected by bending the plastic part.

Wheels, hubcaps, windscreen, and ornament are all in a good quality and the model will please many admires of the 1950 style – I can despite my issues recommend the Oldsmobile convertible 1957 to all fellow collectors out there.

I will give this model 3 out of 6 stars  ******

Below here are pictures of the model, historical description, old brochures, technical data and a some movie clips of the real car. So please enjoy!




  Late 1956 Showroom picture  
  A stylish color combination  
  Note the fine painted grill  
The lenses on this model don't have prominent black "pupils"
Wrap a round cardboard as background
The chrome shines in the spotlights
Oldsmobile 1957 for the people with success 
Stylish backlight in Art deco- style
Rear view
No fins but more like funnels - a typical Oldsmobile feature
Chrome trim panels is designed in style with a touch of class
Fine model car from Road Signature
The hood is open!
Burgundy metallic red and white
Nice feature white the cream steering wheel
Side view
The photo do not reveal the small crack in the white paint
The upper part of the instrument panel is liquid chrome painted
Well fit parts
Better hinges on the doors compared to earlier models from Road Signatures
The backside of the doors are painted burgundy red
A well made interior
Plastic "carpet" but looks good!
Ready to take her for a spin?
The 270 Hp V8 Rocket motor is detailed for a price range like this model (40,00 Euros)
W can find decals on the engine and air filter
Lots of chrome!
She is just beatifull!
  Good job Road Signature  




Outlawed by NASCAR: - 1957 Oldsmobile J-2
Partly by Jim Donnelly

Oldsmobile. As solidly middle-class as the suburbs, instant mashed potatoes, Wally and The Beav on the old Du Mont, and backyard fallout shelters. If a Chevrolet was what everyone in America could afford, Oldsmobile was what everyone could aspire to--a better, more comfortable way of life that was, quite likely, within reach.
Middle-class both by definition and by placement in GM's Chevy-Pontiac-Olds-Buick-Cadillac sales ladder, Oldsmobiles offered comfort, power and style to an ever-more-affluent American audience. If a Cadillac was unobtainium for the suburban masses, and a Buick was a Cadillac for someone who earned his own money instead of inheriting it, then Oldsmobile was for the upwardly mobile middle manager--a car for someone who had already achieved a level of success and continued to strive higher.

Like an awakening dinosaur, the American auto industry was coming to the realization, in 1956, that horsepower, and not just acres of chrome, helped to sell cars. It was a dizzying time, with Chevrolet's small-block V-8 and Chrysler's first-generation Hemi replacing the flathead Ford as the performance engine of choice. People were now buying, rather than building, their drag cars. In the South, the nearly stock NASCAR Grand National circuit was a regional phenomenon.

At Oldsmobile, it was crunch time. Company CEO J.F. Wolfram knew his brand-which had made some inroads into the nascent performance market-was in the hole when it came to making serious speed. For example, the 1956 Olds had 38 more horsepower than its 1955 counterpart, but was actually slower to 60 mph due to its ballooning girth. Oldsmobile's best for 1956 was a 324-cu.in. OHV V-8 with 230hp, but that was woefully short of Chrysler's 354-cu.in. Hemi, with 10.1:1 compression and 355hp, that was laying waste to the Grand National fields that year in Carl Kiekhafer's team of 300Bs. In the meantime, Chevrolet had developed its landmark small-block V-8, and Ford, in arrears since the flathead's supplanting, was actively exploring supercharging.

Action was clearly needed, and in a hurry. Brand prestige was going to be bludgeoned otherwise. An image-rescue team of engine designers was thrown together, and it included Bill Holt, now the last surviving member of the group that developed Oldsmobile's J-2 Rocket triple-carburetion package for 1957, a little-known story of achievement overcoming the double demons of cost and time.
"It was right in the middle of that era where everybody was horsepower crazy," said Holt, 91, who still has solid recollection of the events that led up to the J-2's creation. He started his Oldsmobile engineering career in 1941, in the engine department, and stayed at it for 30 years except for designing automatic cannons during World War II. When civilian production resumed, he was part of the engineering group that built Oldsmobile's first high-compression V-8, which bowed in 1949.

"Right after the war, we decided to go to a V-8 with overhead valves, and that was called the Rocket. It was quite a departure from anything Oldsmobile had ever done before. That was the start of the golden days of the horsepower race during the Fifties," he said.

When it comes to Oldsmobiles from 1957, the hardtop was the second-most-popular body style, with 49,187 units produced. The best estimates for cars fitted with the J-2 option vary, however, between 2,000 and 2,500 during 1957 and 1958, the only two years the tri-power setup was offered.

Enough paper has been expended on writings denigrating the melodramatic excesses of late-Fifties cars and their extravagant styling. Regardless of your opinion on the 1957 Golden Rocket's (thusly dubbed in honor of General Motors' forthcoming 50th anniversary) appearance, rest assured this is a muscle car in every sense of the word, built expressly to race under the era's NASCAR regulations that mandated largely stock cars. The Hummers, die-hard Olds fanatics, are fully aware of their hardtop's place in American performance history.

"Other than the original high-compression V-8 (of 1949), this was actually the first real muscle or performance car that Oldsmobile built," Tom said. "The whole selling point of this car, with the J-2 package, was power and racing."
Produced first with 303 and later 324 cubic inches, the Rocket V-8 became a prolific winner in NASCAR during the early and mid-Fifties in the hands of Buck Baker, Red Byron and Curtis Turner, taking two straight Southern 500s before the competition caught up. It quickly became obvious that single carburetion wasn't going to cut it in the evolving Grand National division for very long. The solution, coupled with a displacement advance to 371 cubic inches, was the adoption of triple carburetion atop the Oldsmobile intake manifold, along with a slight compression bump to 10.0. The inline arrangement placed a choke-equipped Rochester 2GC two-barrel in the center, with a nominal flow of about 280 cfm, assisted at the front and rear by Rochester 2G two-barrels capable of flowing 290 cfm. In normal driving, the engine was fed by the center carburetor, but once enough poundage was planted on the pedal, the vacuum-operated secondary carburetors snapped open, allowing the big-inch Olds to swill a hearty 860 cfm, or thereabouts, of the oxygen-hydrocarbon cocktail. The consequence: The 371's normal output of 277hp got kicked to 300, with a corresponding torque increase from 400 to 415 foot-pounds.

This meaty powertrain is clothed in one of the most memorable body styles in Oldsmobile's history, a one-year-only fling with a wraparound three-piece rear-window treatment that harked back, in a somewhat detached or perhaps Fifties-exaggerated manner, to the Forties styling cue of separating the rear window with plated straps. A "ridge" on either side of the main rear window ran upward into the roof. Oldsmobile also adopted unusual barrel-shaped fins tipped with ovoid taillamps, and reverted to its 1954 practice of applying a downward-and-back angled spear to the quarter panel. Up front, chrome-hooded headlamps were set into fenders topped with-surprise!-tiny rockets above a downturned, sour-puss grille that is curiously reminiscent of the indifferent smiley face on the old "Have a Nice Day" buttons.

Although NASCAR racers running J-2 Oldsmobiles made do with the standard column-shifted three-speed manual transmission, in keeping with Grand National rules that mandated largely stock cars, the four-speed Hydra-Matic transmission was the option of choice for many of the road-going cars. As Holt recalled, the progressive carburetor linkages were developed by the Oldsmobile transmission team, since they were directly linked to the Jetaway Hydra-Matic kickdown linkages. Meanwhile, the engine team had its own do-it-yesterday assignment, getting the air cleaner to fit beneath the new 1957 hood line, since the hoods were already being stamped at the body plants and couldn't be modified.

Even though the J-2 option was intended for racing, Oldsmobile intended to offer it as an option throughout its model lineup. You could order a J-2 station wagon just by checking off the option box. But Olds wanted to sell those cars by winning races, and fitted the J-2 for competition with solid lifters and adjustable rocker arms. They started looking for a "marque" driver, and found one in NASCAR pioneer Lee Petty, who had won the 1954 Grand National championship in a Dodge. His son, Maurice Petty, who was chief engine builder at Petty Enterprises in Randleman, North Carolina, for a generation, still remembers the friendly persuasion that preceded the switch to Olds.

"The Olds people came to us with a little deal, a little money," he said. "Hey, we had to live, and Dodge didn't offer us anything."
Petty, who now builds engines for NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams and regional short-trackers, emphasized the huge gap between the largely stock Grand Nationals of the Fifties and today's purpose-built Nextel Cup machines.
"Back then, the rules were pretty strict, so you really couldn't do that much to them. We'd do a basic blueprinting to the engine, give it a valve job, but that was about all they would allow you to do. It was a pretty good engine; better than what Plymouth or Dodge had that year, which was nothing," he said.

Oldsmobile's J-2 program came to a premature end when NASCAR, in one of the abrupt rules changes that still occur today, banned multiple carburetion partway through the 1957 season. Lee Petty stuck with a single-carburetor Olds through 1958 before heading back to Plymouth. By then, the street J-2 program was also done, as the industry moved, at least publicly, to endorse the 1957 Automobile Manufacturer's Association recommendation that they back away from supporting racing and high horsepower as a pro-safety gesture, however empty it may have been.

"When you're driving on the center two-barrel, it's really like you're driving any other car," he explained. "Until you really kick it down. You have to get the accelerator down about three-quarters of the way, and because it's a vacuum-operated linkage, it takes a second for the other two carburetors to kick in. From a standing start, you really have to floor it. The whole selling point of the package was, you spent most of your time driving on the center carburetor. But when it does kick in, you can certainly feel the surge. I used to have a Corvette, and it had that same feeling, when you got on it at 60 or 70 mph, it would just press you back in the seat and take off. The J-2 is kind of like that."

"In terms of handling, I guess the best way to put it is, the faster you go, the better it floats. When you get into a corner, it's not as good as my '66 Toronado, in that it leans a lot into the curves," he said. "The brakes aren't good, and that was one of the drawbacks of the '57s. I've never tried it with this car, but I had a friend whose uncle had one, and he was driving it when a dog ran across the road, and he jammed on the brakes, and it wouldn't even slide the tires. The brake surfaces seem large, but the car is heavy."

Weak anchors aside, Hummer said it's indisputable that the J-2 constitutes as much a benchmark in Oldsmobile performance history as its groundbreaking high-compression V-8, and later, the 4-4-2. His father-in-law readily agrees.
"It was just one of those things. It was the Fifties, horsepower was king, and we had to have it," Holt said. "That J-2 was a going machine."



Defines the term "alternative muscle"
Styling is bold, but not excessive
Recent prices don't intimidate


Prodigious curb weight
Reproduction parts scarce as free Krugerrands
Leave yourself LOTS of stopping distance

Technical specification:

Base price: $2,591

Options on car :

J-2 induction system ($83)

Jetaway Hydra-Matic transmission ($215)

Air conditioning ($430)

Power steering ($100)



Type: OHV V-8, cast-iron block

Displacement: 371 cubic inches

Bore x Stroke: 4.00 inches x 3.69 inches

Compression ratio: 10.0:1

Horsepower @ rpm: 300 @ 4,400

Torque @ rpm: 415-lbs.ft. @ 2,800

Valvetrain: Hydraulic lifters

Main bearings: 5

Fuel system: Dual Rochester 2G two-barrel carburetors, single Rochester 2GC two-barrel carburetor, vacuum linkage

Lubrication system: Full-pressure, mechanical pump

Electrical system: 12-volt

Exhaust system: Dual



Type: Four-speed automatic, dual fluid couplings

Ratios 1st: 3.96:1

2nd: 2.63:1

3rd: 1.55:1

4th: 1.00:1

Reverse: 4.30:1



Type: Hypoid, semi-floating axles

Ratio: 3.42:1



Type: Recirculation ball, power assist

Ratio: 22.7:1

Turns, lock-to-lock: 3.50

Turning circle: 43 feet



Type: Hydraulic four-wheel expanding drum

Front: 11-inch drums

Rear: 11-inch drums



Construction: Welded steel body over I-beam channel frame with center X-member

Body style: Six-passenger hardtop

Layout: Front engine, rear-wheel drive



Front: Coil springs, anti-roll bar, tubular shock absorbers

Rear: Live axle, semi-elliptic leaf springs, tubular shock absorbers



Wheels: Stamped steel discs

Front: 14 x 6

Rear: 14 x 6

Tires: U.S Royal bias-ply whitewalls

Front: 8.50 x 14 inches

Rear: 8.50 x 14 inches



Wheelbase: 126 inches

Overall length: 216.7 inches

Overall height: 58.2 inches

Overall width: 76.38 inches

Front track: 59 inches

Rear track: 58 inches

Curb weight: 4,119 pounds



Crankcase: 6 quarts with filter

Cooling system: 21 quarts

Fuel tank: 20 gallons



Bhp per c.i.d.: 0.80

Weight per bhp: 13.73 pounds

Weight per c.i.d.: 11.10 pounds



Old brochures of the Oldsmobile 1957





































Video of the real car from Youtube

  1957 Oldsmobile  (Ninety-Eight)  
  1957 Oldsmobile Early TV Ad  
  1957 Oldsmobile Early TV Ad  


If you have any question or comment your are free to contact me at: aeronautic@stofanet.dk



Dealers are welcome to get their models reviewed too.






Aeronautic Jan. 2018


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