QOTD: Which Big Car From the 1940s For You?

I sure don’t want folks to get the idea I’m a big car hater, although I admit I’ve never owned one. But that’s not to say I haven’t lusted after many, especially certain ones from the 50s and 60s. So let’s take each post-war decade at a time for a QOTD, and decide which big car is the one you’d most like to have.

I do like me a bit of pep, so the 1940s car for me would have to be an Olds 88, with the brand new Rocket OHV V8 in the smaller A Body, essentially a 1949 Chevrolet with a few inches longer front end (119″ wb), and the 135 hp 303 cubic inch Rocket under the hood. And although I’m a fan of manual transmissions, I’ll take mine with the four-speed Hydramatic, as I suspect it was little or no slower than the manual, it was quite efficient, and it just seems part of the package, a glimpse of the future of American cars: V8s and automatics.


Turns out the one I found on the web is the same as the one in this ad. I’ll make a date with this honey.

The new Olds engine was instantly embraced by the go-fast crowd, which means that the parts to perk it up were available in short order, like this tri-carb induction system and the Offy valve covers. With an Isky cam and higher compression, this Rocket would be making 200+ hp in short order, thanks to its fairly well-breathing heads. Put on some wider wheels and 7.60×15 tires, and this is what I’d be rocking in in 1949.

And good luck catching me. This is what you’d be looking at as I rocketed by you.

And now you’ve got 24 hours to figure out how to catch me in the 1950s.


Update: you’re taking a time machine back to the ’40s, and this is your daily driver.