Buffalo in the 50s: The ‘hydra-matic,’ ‘futuramic’ Rocket-88 Oldsmobile

By Steve Cichon

In the 1980s, the jingle reminded us that “This was not your father’s Oldsmobile.”

Assuming those “father’s Oldsmobiles” were being sold in the 1950s, those dads were told a new Olds would make them space-age and future-cool.

No matter how young ad executives tried to make Oldsmobiles seem, for generations, they were generally seen a sensible, comfortable car that a dad or a grandpa would love.

General Motors stopped making Oldsmobiles in 2004. One of the dealerships listed on this ad from 65 years ago this week sold the cars until the bitter end.  The Tunmore family sold Oldsmobiles for 73 years starting in 1931.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.