Powered by a then-new 303-cubic-inch (5.0-liter) V8 mill, the "Rocket" 88 not only won the NASCAR championship twice but also took first place in the inaugural Carrera Panamericana.
Its motorsport success came to a halt in 1952 and the 88 slowly morphed into a larger, heavier rig, but that's not to say that Oldsmobile didn't try to bring the nameplate back to the oval track.
It happened in 1957 when Oldsmobile redesigned the 88 for the third generation and introduced the J-2 high-performance option. Essentially a three-two-barrel carburetor upgrade similar to Pontiac's Tri-Power option, J-2 bumped the output of the 371-cubic-inch (6.1-liter) Rocket V8 from 277 to 300 horsepower. Torque was just as impressive at 415 pound-feet (563 Nm).