The first-generation Olds 88, which debuted in 1949, was a proto-muscle car, arguably America’s first: it was fast and lightweight but it had a powerful engine. Its streamlined design, along with its overhead-valve, high-compression “Rocket” V-8 engine, made the car a force to be reckoned with, and it dominated the NASCAR circuits. By the mid-1950s, other cars outpaced it, but the 88 remained Oldsmobile’s top-selling line through 1974.
But the car’s long, impressive history isn’t what inspires Sam Raimi’s love for the car; it’s the history he’s shared with his own Delta 88. “The Classic” wasn’t the best, coolest car ever made, but it was Raimi’s first car, and a car so beloved that Sam Raimi transformed it into a cinematic icon.
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