On a late night cruising around
in a rusty loud Rocket 88
with the radio cranked up
she whispered flames of words
that made my heart scream
let’s leave this town
go to Vegas, fool around
take a stroll through a chapel
laugh at Elvis impersonator
but not say I do
for we both know it wouldn’t be
A little history.. In 1949, Oldsmobile introduced the Rocket 88. It is widely considered the first muscle car produced. It was very popular on the NASCAR circuit,overall, the 88 won more than half of the races it entered from 1949 to 1951, becoming the first “King of NASCAR.”
Although it wasn’t advertised as a performance car, the first-gen Oldsmobile 88 is, without doubt, the car that pioneered the formula that led to the birth of the muscle car. It was a breakthrough design and it introduced one of the first post-WWII overhead valve V8 engines. It prompted other American carmakers to join NASCAR, also forcing them to up the ante in the V8 performance department. Which they did, giving us legends like the Ford Thunderbolt, Plymouth Barracuda, and the Dodge Charger.
The Rocket-powered Olds also inspired the popular 1950s slogan “Make a Date with a Rocket 88”, as well as the song “Rocket 88.” Recorded by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, who were actually Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm, the single reached number-one on the Billboard R&B chart and it’s often considered the first rock and roll record.