Since the muscle car segment exploded in 1970 with big block power, some manufacturers offered smaller and nimbler alternatives to those 427, 455 or 454 engines. And one of those forgotten and obscure models is the Oldsmobile W31. You probably know about the Olds Rally 350 they made for 1970 only.
But this W31 was its twin with less “in your face” styling and similar power from the high revving 350 V8. The car featured lots of “go fast” options, too. However, it flew under the radar since most customers didn’t know it even existed. In the end, Oldsmobile produced just 116 of those interesting machines for the 1970 model year.
Oldsmobile Series 60
Introduced in 1938 and sold until 1948, the Series 60 was Oldsmobile’s entry-level model with all the important brand features. The Series 60 models were affordable, comfortable and quality machines with dependable six-cylinder engines and decent power.
In those days, Oldsmobile battled Chevrolet and other brands in the economy car field. But after World War II, the company moved to a more upscale market, abandoning their inexpensive models.
Oldsmobile 88 Station Wagon 1949
Station wagons as car class slowly started emerging in the late ’40s. So, Oldsmobile had its 88 series models converted to a long roof configuration. And they equipped them with their signature wooden panels.
In 1949, the 88 Station Wagon was the least popular Olds model, so they produced just 1,355 models that year. This car was also the last “Woodie” wagon Olds produced. But people soon forgot it because the company started producing more modern models.
Although Oldsmobile started the muscle car segment, it wasn’t active until 1961. That was when the rest of Detroit’s manufacturers introduced more powerful models that gained respect on the streets and the strips. But Oldsmobile saw the potential, so they introduced the Starfire. It was their top of the line model featuring an engine from their bigger models.
All big Oldsmobiles used the 394 V8 with 325 HP ratings. But in the Starfire, the engine delivered 330 HP, giving the 1961 model some performance credentials. These models weren’t true muscle cars since they were more luxury machines. However, they still had the power, performance and looks of most muscle cars.
Oldsmobile Starfire GT
The mid-70s weren’t an especially good period for Olds performance. But when they introduced their new compact Starfire model, the Olds engineers decided to present the performance version of this car. They called it the Starfire GT and this model was an appearance package on the regular Starfire hatchback.
With special body stripes, color, details, wheels and a stabilizer bar, the Starfire GT was a bit more dynamic than their regular models. And it was the closest thing Oldsmobile had to a sports car in 1976.
Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon Brougham
In the late ’70s, Oldsmobile was doing great with their annual production of over one million cars. But one of the reasons for their popularity was that Olds had lots of models on offer. Also, they were constantly introducing new models. One of the cars that Oldsmobile introduced was the Cutlass Salon Brougham.
It was an interesting hatchback version of the regular Cutlass model but with more luxury and a new name. The five-door hatchback was common in foreign cars but nonexistent on American models. So, Olds wanted to capitalize on that fact, so they presented the strange Salon Brougham. However, they dropped and forgot about it a few years later.
Oldsmobile Hearse and Ambulance Models
During the better part of the 20th century, Oldsmobile and Cadillac were the most popular cars for commercial use as hearses and ambulance conversions. Many coachbuilders all over America used those big Oldsmobile chassis. So, the company always included naked chassis in its catalog, especially for those kinds of buyers.
Companies like Divco-Wayne Corp or Cotner-Bevington bought the biggest Olds 98 chassis, along with 455 engines. They used them as platforms for their hearse and ambulance conversions. Buyers could buy stretched limousines, as well, but those models were less popular.
These are the 20 forgotten classic Oldsmobile models that probably deserved better respect. These discontinued Oldmobiles are rare, so most people have forgotten about them. However, there are still many car enthusiasts who would love to see them return in modern form.