As Seen On Craigslist – 1950 Olds 88

I had two initial thoughts when I saw this car advertised.  First, I thought of Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson, because this primered hot rod looks a lot like “Greased Lightning” from Grease. Second, I thought of Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road.”  Yes, that’s the second bootlegging reference I’ve made in this blog, but if this thing doesn’t have 50 feet of copper line in the trunk I’d be amazed – and mocking it up like a rumrunner would make for a conversation piece at the average cruise-in or car show.

Interestingly enough, what is widely considered to be the first rock-and-roll song was inspired by this very car (or more specifically, the engine).  “Rocket 88” is an R&B song made popular by Ike Turner’s Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats, later covered by Bill Haley.  It’s a typical post-war Delta blues song, but the guitarist’s amplifier was damaged on the way to the studio, resulting in the fuzzy, distorted sound that became synonymous with rock and roll.

OK, so enough pop culture history.  The satin black “rat rod” trend is getting stale, but on the right car like this it looks fantastic.  I’m not normally a street rod type of guy, but the red wheels, wide whites, and original instrumentation hit all the right notes.  Rig up some flamethrowing tailpipes and hit the drive-in.


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