Oldsmobile Golden Rocket

Oldsmobile Golden Rocket 1950s American concept car

In the mid-'50s, Oldsmobile's image looked decidedly dowdy. The 'Golden Rocket' was about to do something about that. Ultimately, it was just a 'dream car' concept. A missile on wheels, visually,the Golden Rocket was never destined for the open road. It blazed a trail at the '56 'Motorama', nonetheless. The Golden Rocket toured the US as part of GM's state-of-the-art show. Fast-forward a year and a half - and it was tripping the light fantastic in France. The car was a must-see exhibit at the Paris Motor Show, that year.

When it came to its shape, the Golden Rocket went ballistic - literally. Space-age design was all the rage at the time - and GM had really gone to town. In profile, it was as much like a projectile as a car. With its chromium nose - and 'bullets' back-end - the Golden Rocket made a startling statement of intent. The subtly-styled 'shark fins' - rising at the rear - only added to the suspense.

Inside, too, the Golden Rocket impressed. When one of its doors was opened, things automatically swung into action. First off, the roof-panel pivoted up. At the same time, the seats rose 3″ - and swivelled invitingly! The position of the minimalist steering-wheel was adjustable. The Golden Rocket, then, was more than a mere showcase ... it was a technical test-bed, too. This was a heady time to be a GM designer. The automotive future seemed up for grabs. With an iconic V8 engine, the Golden Rocket was not completely divorced from the past. But, its mission was to innovate. In that respect, it was a breath of fresh air in Detroit. Garbed in glittering gilded plastic, the Oldsmobile Golden Rocket promised a brave new motoring world.

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