88 / Eighty Eight
After a few years of marketing changes, the basic ’88’ lost the ‘Futuramic’ and ‘Rocket’ prefixes. Following a third name experiment in 1953, the plain jane no-nonsense ’88’ arrived for 1954, replacing the Deluxe 88. The body style was brand new for the big Olds this year. Styles included post coupe, post sedan, and the Holiday hardtop coupe, and Holiday hardtop sedan. Powering them in ’54 was a 324 CID 2bbl V8 which made 170hp. Power on the same engine rose to 185 for ’55/’56. It was on sale in name only through 1956, then replaced by another name experiment, the one-year-only 1957 Golden Rocket 88.
This basic, no frills, no prefix, no suffix 88 model returned for the 1996 model year on GM’s front wheel drive H-platform. This time the name was spelled out with the full wording of ‘Eighty Eight’. From 1996-1998, it had trim levels of base and LS. The only body style this time around was a 4-door sedan. For an engine, these used a 3.8L EFI Buick V6, known as the 3800. It made 205hp, which goes to show you just how far engine technology came since 1956. The Eighty Eight stuck around through 1999 and in its final year, a 50th Anniversary Edition was offered as well.