Today, the 1961 Oldsmobile 88 is worth about $9,000. For a quarter of a century it was Oldsmobile's biggest seller. There hasn't been a new car under that badge in 20 years. The 1959 was the last one with any real grace. Everything that came looks identical to most everything else through the Reagan administration.

The Super 88 was powered by a Skyrocket V8 rated at 325 horsepower. And the initiative the ad talks about was good marketing word play. The changes this model represented came about because of a 1958 recession.

Ronald Reagan was still working for General Electric -- doing the weekly TV show, giving motivational speeches to GE employees. I wonder if he ever got to those events in an Oldsmobile.

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