Lot 122

The Don Davis Collection

1950 Oldsmobile 88 Deluxe Convertible


$101,750 USD | Sold

United States | Fort Worth, Texas



Chassis No.
  • The Rocket 88: an American performance legend
  • The recipient of a frame-up restoration by a marque specialist

135 bhp, 303.7 cu. in. Rocket OHV V-8 engine, two-barrel carburetor, transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms, coil springs, and anti-roll bar, live rear axle with coil springs and trailing arms, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 122 in.

The 1950 model year for Oldsmobile was one of relatively minor changes. It followed 1949, which had been a watershed annum as the company rolled out its newly restyled post-war line, carrying the new and exciting aircraft-inspired design theme of Harley Earl’s Art and Color Studio, including a modern one-piece windshield. The biggest news to come out of Lansing was, however, under the hood: a V-8 so potent that it was simply dubbed the “Rocket.”

With 303 cubic inches of displacement, the “Rocket” V-8 was one of the first overhead-valve small block V-8s debuted by an American automaker, signaling a new era of high performance ahead. Initially released with a low 7.25:1 compression ratio, it was designed for levels as high as 12:1, in anticipation of higher-octane fuels for the heady days to come. The engine produced 135 horsepower and 263 foot-pounds of torque, powering Oldsmobiles to first place finishes in the inaugural Carrera Panamericana of 1949 and the first NASCAR championship.

Don Davis’ 88 Convertible desirably combines this “hot” engine with the lightest convertible model of 1950. The recipient of a body-off, frame-up restoration while in the care of a previous West Texas owner who was a true Oldsmobile enthusiast, the car presents in wonderful, well-detailed condition throughout. One can see the thoroughness of the restoration in the high-quality leather hides and exacting standards to which it was executed.