Fusing 1940s Design with Modern Performance: The Oldsmobile Rocket 88 Restomod

   

Whether the classic restomod for the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 goes with a V8 or fully electric, either way, the render looks incredible.

 

Classic car designs of the golden post-war era are instantly recognizable, with many similar-looking cars to come from that first decade or so and many vehicles sporting aeronautical-inspired design features.

Oldsmobile’s 88 Rocket is a space-inspired car if only by name, but thanks to today’s exclusive render courtesy of HotCars artist Rostislav Prokop, there is a modern take available that really does look more like a spaceship than a sports car.

Let’s take a walk around the Restomod of a car from seven decades ago that breathes fresh air into today’s modern car aesthetic.

UPDATED MARCH 2023: Article updated with any new information on the Oldsmobile brand, current values of the classic Rocket, and we ask what the modern equivalent to the nameplate would be in 2023.

The Custom Oldsmobile Rocket 88 Restomod Is A Sight To Behold

 

Despite only having around 135 hp, the Rocket did well in racing, and today the standard car is most appealing to collectors. What we have here is something different altogether – a Restomod Rocket – with the end goal being that of a post-modern restoration and a pro-EV ethos.

Its low, sleek exterior features custom bodywork and wheels; the gunmetal-gray color works with the tinted windows and dark trim pieces. The build is similar to many other 50s classic restomods.

Some Work Equip 05 wheels hide large disc brakes and yellow calipers, the front features LED lights up top and LED DRLs also sit within the lower bumper, where the radiator is visible where a grille would normally sit.

Crafting An Oldsmobile Restomod Out Of An IconOldsmobile Rocket Render Rear EndHotCars Photo © 2023 Valnet

 

The Oldsmobile logo sits proud and center on the curvy hood amid a somewhat busy front end, but things improve drastically up back where a sweeping rear quarter terminates in a low-slung fastback trunk.

Rostislav’s Oldsmobile Rocket 88 Concept is perhaps best in its execution from the rear angles where there is a subtle diffuser and three exhausts in the center which is a nice touch.

If this was in fact an EV, the pipes would be gone and there might be a potent powertrain under the vehicle’s silky body, but we like the idea of a modern V8 like the 6.2-liter supercharged Dodge Hellcat engine complete with rumbles, vibrations, smells, and old-school torque.

Of course, the Rocket would make for a good electric vehicle considering its modern aesthetic here and the LED lights are a great touch. But whatever your view of restomods from the golden era, it’s nice for one of the original muscle cars to see a little recognition more than seven decades on.

The Oldsmobile Rocket And Oldsmobile Brand In 2023Oldsmobile Rocket Render Front EndHotCars Photo © 2023 Valnet

As we already know, the Pontiac GTO was the first substantive muscle car. The 1964 Pontiac Tempest LeMans package that became a standalone ‘GTO’ model in 1966 is normally hailed as the first car you could call a muscle car – but the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 arrived around 1949 with a 5-liter V8 and impressive speed.

 

A small, lightweight body and relatively-high power output made the car a success – today, the Oldsmobile brand is defunct, but the Chevrolet arm of General Motors still produces a small V8-powered car: the Camaro. You can get the 455-hp / 455 lb-ft Chevrolet Camaro LT1 from around $38,000 according to the Chevrolet website.

In March 2023, the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 has an average value of $32,000 according to Classic.com, with auction values ranging from $10,000 all the way up to $100,000, making it a reasonably-affordable classic icon.

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