In 1957, Oldsmobile marked its 60th anniversary, having been established as the Olds Motor Vehicle Company in Lansing, Michigan in August 1897. Ransom Olds had been experimenting with engines and self-propelled vehicles for almost 10 years prior to that. The Oldsmobile Division of General Motors, one of the original companies of GM founded in 1908, renamed the entry-level series to “Golden Rocket 88” to commemorate the occasion.
The 1957 Golden Rocket Oldsmobile was fitted with the desirable J-2 triple-carburetor option, which was originally designed for NASCAR competition. However, NASCAR Chief Bill France prohibited the use of this option, claiming that it was not a production option. Oldsmobile responded by releasing the J-2 for public sale in the middle of the year. Approximately 2,500 cars were sold with this option, but knowledgeable tuners could purchase the parts and install them themselves. With the J-2 package, the engine’s horsepower increased from 277 to 312 brake horsepower.