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Rare 1965 Oldsmobile Jetstar 88 Spotted in a Parking Lot, It's an Original Survivor

Introduced in 1949 and produced until 1999, the 88 was Oldsmobile's second longest-running nameplate (after the 98). But this wasn't its only achievement. It was also the division's most profitable model from 1950 until 1974, and the first four generations are usually regarded as design icons of their respective eras.
1965 Oldsmobile Jetstar 88 7 photos
Photo: Junkyards and Barn Finds with Sean/YouTube
1965 Oldsmobile Jetstar 881965 Oldsmobile Jetstar 881965 Oldsmobile Jetstar 881965 Oldsmobile Jetstar 881965 Oldsmobile Jetstar 881965 Oldsmobile Jetstar 88
And of course, then there's the original 88 that not only debuted the famous Rocket V8 engine but also became the car to beat in NASCAR from 1949 to 1952. Some even say it was the very first muscle car, a title usually attributed to the 1955 Chrysler C-300.

But I'm not here to discuss the car that became the "King of NASCAR" before the Hudson Hornet arrived on the scene. This post is about a lesser-known version of the Olds 88 that was built in the mid-1960s. It's not particularly powerful, but it was around for only a couple of years, and it's quite a hard find nowadays.

I'm talking about the Jetstar 88, an entry-level version of the full-size Oldsmobile that shared some features with the smaller F-85. The Jetstar debuted for the 1964 model year, right before Oldsmobile redesigned the 88 for the sixth generation.

Unlike the slightly more expensive Dynamic, the Jetstar was not available as a station wagon and came with the smaller 330-cubic-inch (5.4-liter) V8 under the hood. Known as the "Jetfire Rocket," it was rated at up to 290 horsepower and slotted under the 394-cubic-inch (6.5-liter) "Sky Rocket" mill.

The Jetstar remained in the 88 lineup after the full-size version was redesigned for 1965 but lost its convertible body style for 1966. Oldsmobile dropped the name after that, so the Jetstar 88 disappeared altogether after only three years on the market.

Not to be confused with the Jetstar I, a high-performance full-size based on the Starfire (1964-1965), the Jetstar 88 isn't particularly desirable. But because many of them were abandoned in junkyards, finding an all-original survivor in 2022 is very unlikely.

And that's exactly why the fact that YouTube's "Junkyard and Barn Finds with Sean" spotted one in a parking lot is a big deal. A convertible version finished in white, this Jetstar 88 has to be one of the finest and most original cars of its kind still in existence.

It's not completely original as it was repainted and had its soft-top replaced at some point, but it's still all-original inside and cabin and under the hood. What's more, this exact car was used in the Miss America Pageant of 1965 and was signed by Mike Love of the Beach Boys on the dashboard.

Fortunately, the owner was kind enough to talk to our host and give us a full walkaround of this fine Olds. Check it out in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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