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Oldsmobile Golden Rocket 1956

Automobiles from 1950 > Extra about cars in 1950 J-Z

One of the stars of General Motors’s 1956 Motorama line-up, this space-age dream car certainly added sparkle to Oldsmobile’s dowdy image. Its interior, too, boasted clever ideas that made for easy access despite a very snug, close-coupled cockpit. When the driver or passenger door was opened, a roof panel would automatically swing upwards. Simultaneously, the seat would rise by 3in (8cm) and swivel round 45 degrees to accept the occupant. Once enclosed, the driver was then faced with an incredible steering wheel. A thin rim was supported by two spokes that formed, de facto, the steering column, tapering right back into the dashboard to converge with the distant steering wheel “center,” which was actually a large speedometer. Buttons on the wheel meant it could be tilted to suit the driver, or make access even easier-a genuine innovation. The rocket-inspired exterior suggested ultra-rapid forward acceleration. Positively glowing in its burnished gold paintwork, the plastic body featured prominent chrome warheads fronting each wing, which then tapered gently to two chrome tips. The effect was like two torpedoes, enlivened with two small fins at the rear that looked something of an afterthought. Among its 1956 Motorama stablemates on their pan-US tour, the Golden Rocket was eye-catching; on its own, it was sensational. When it was exhibited solo at the Paris motor show 18 months after its American unveiling, it was still acclaimed as one of the absolute stars of the show.

Oldsmobile Golden Rocket 1956
YEAR REVEALED  
1956
PLACE OF ORIGIN  Detroit, Michigan
HISTORICAL STATUS  prototype
ENGINE  V8-cylinder, 371ci (6,079cc)
MAXIMUM POWER  275bhp
LAYOUT front-mounted engine driving the rear wheels
BODYWORK  two-door, two-seater coupé
TOP SPEED  unknown
NUMBER BUILT  one

Oldsmobile Golden Rocket 1956
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