The Don Davis Collection

27 April 2013

Lot 139

1950 Oldsmobile 88 Deluxe Club Coupe

Sold for $41,250

  • Chassis no. 508A1558


135 bhp, 303.7 cu. in. Rocket OHV V-8 engine, two-barrel carburetor, Hydra-Matic 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.

  • Oldsmobile’s original “muscle car”
  • Subject of a recent frame-up restoration
  • Long-time Texas ownership


The muscle car may have reached its peak in the late-1960s, but the idea had been planted decades earlier, the exact date depending upon what company you believe was the first to put a powerful upmarket engine into its mid-sized product, resulting in flabbergasting speed. General Motors was certainly one of the innovators, and a landmark in the race towards cubic inches and big horsepower was Oldsmobile’s 1949 introduction of the “Rocket” V-8.

The 303-cubic inch “Rocket” produced 135 horsepower in standard tune, although Oldsmobile’s engineers had thoughtfully designed it to accept higher states of tune for more performance shenanigans down the road. Put in the Olds 98, it made for a great cruiser, capable of running easily on the modern highways that were beginning to spread across the United States. However, the buyer in-the-know ordered the 88, which used the shorter, smaller platform of the six-cylinder 76, but dropped in the “Rocket” V-8. The result was Oldsmobile’s original, true muscle car, and by 1950 standards, it did, indeed, have muscle to flex. It was the hottest automobile for the money that could be had on the American road.

The car shown here is exactly the car that a hot-blooded teenager would have admired at the local dealer in 1950: an 88 Club Coupe in red. It underwent a full body-off restoration in the care of its previous owner, a West Texas collector who is a great enthusiast of these Oldsmobiles, and as such, it is very correct throughout. It includes desirable upgrades, such as the exterior sun visor, fender skirts, traffic light viewer, AM radio, fog lights, and vacuum wipers. It would be most welcome at judged shows or simply rolling up to the cruise-in at the local drive-in…just as it would have in 1950.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more