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Friday, July 25, 2014

Spotted: 1949 Oldsmobile 98 Futuramic Series Coupe Deluxe

1949 Oldsmobile 98 Futuramic
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Don’t you just love the back end on this car? Saw this beauty at the Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue show last month. Not only had I never seen a Futuramic before, I don’t think I’d even heard of one, but it certainly caught my eye. Can’t say I’m surprised to find that Harley Earl had a hand in its design.

While it seems quite retro now, it was definitely forward-looking when it was built. Ever since the Second World War had started, no one had worried about styling since they could sell every car they made, and manufacturers basically kept putting out their 1942 models each year. By 1948 it was time for something new.

1949 Oldsmobile 98 Futuramic
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Wikipedia says the Futuramic styling concept was first used on the 1948 Oldsmobile 98. While what was under the hood was the same old flathead straight eight Oldsmobile had been using for years, the body, based on the new C-body (shared with Buick and Cadillac), was all new. By 1949, Futuramic styling traits were extended to the Oldsmobile 88 and 76 series as well.

1949 Oldsmobile 98 Futuramic
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Oldsmobile introduced the Rocket V8 in 1949, so the new body had a new engine to go with it. Not surprisingly, some of Oldsmobile’sadvertising for the Futuramic line has a rocket/space theme. It was the Futuramic 88 they were pushing, though, as the lowest-priced car with the “rocket engine.” And, with its lighter body and the Rocket V8, the 88 has been called by some “America’s first muscle car.”

Check out this video (below) of ads for the Futuramic if you’d like a closer look at the car and its features. Among other things, it had power windows and seats, a powered roof on the convertible, and an automatic transmission. The top of the line 98, while not as speedy as the 88, was a very nice car for its time. I wouldn’t say no to a ride in one today.



[SOURCES: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1948-1949-oldsmobile-futuramic-98.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldsmobile_98]


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