Postwar Flagship: 1949 Oldsmobile Futuramic 98 Convertible – Sold!
It’s hard to believe sixteen years have already passed since General Motors pulled the plug on its Oldsmobile division. The brand was synonymous with innovations throughout its 106-year history. Among the most innovative model years was 1949 and this restored Almond Green over Tan Leather Oldsmobile Futuramic 98 Convertible Fastback just listed recently on Craigslist in Hanover, Massachusetts (Cape Cod) was likely one of the most expensive models that year. With its fastback styling, 303 cubic inch overhead valve V8, and Hydramatic Automatic, this sedan is state-of-the-art post-World War II technology now offered for $7,800. While Hagerty Insurance oddly does not provide a value currently for this model, comparing this price against the NADA Guides Classic Car Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has his 98 priced below the midpoint of the current “Low”, “Average”, and “High” retail value range of $17,160, $39,380, and $60,610, respectively.
The top of the line 1948 Oldsmobile 98 drew heavily from the Futuramic styling concept that would be used on all 1949 Oldsmobiles. Standard equipment on 98s included a solenoid starter, fender skirts, E-Z-l rearview mirror, and foam rubber seat cushions. The 98s also included front and rear bumper guards, vacuum booster pump, plastic radiator ornament, dual horns, dual sun visors, and a cigarette lighter. Deluxe equipment added front and rear floor mats, Deluxe steering wheel, wheel trim rings, rear-seat armrests, and hydraulic window, seat, and top controls on all convertibles. The upholstery was either broadcloth or optional leather. With the introduction of new postwar styling, Custom Cruiser 98 was renamed the Futuramic 98.
Oldsmobile revamped its 98 line-up for 1949. Now standard was the new 303 cubic inch, overhead valve Rocket V8 engine producing 135 horsepower. The 1949 model was equipped with an ignition key and a starter push-button to engage the starter. Pushing the starter button would engage the starter, but if the ignition key was not inserted, unlocking the ignition, the car would not start. The car was equipped with an oil bath air cleaner. At the bottom edge of the front fender directly behind the front wheel was a badge that said “Futuramic” which identified an Oldsmobile approach to simplified driving, and the presence of an automatic transmission. V8 Oldsmobiles were automatic-only in 1949 as Oldsmobile lacked a manual gearbox that could handle the torque of the new engine.
This 1948 Oldsmobile Commercial explains the brand’s origins of the word “Futuramic”:
Late forties Oldsmobiles such as the example featured here are really growing on us as we learn more about them. These cars exemplify the post-war optimism and true American manufacturing leadership many would argue the U.S. lacks today. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s detailed description:
“Following the Second World War, the 98 models became the flagship vehicle for Oldsmobile. This convertible embodies all of the design and technological features that helped Oldsmobile become one of GM’s best performers. Under the hood, this convertible is powered by the famous 303 c.i. Rocket 88 V8 engine, new for Oldsmobile in 1949 and coupled with the Hydromatic automatic transmission. The Rocket 88 was so successful that it quickly became an American icon unto itself, earning notoriety on the street, on the track, and in popular music. This is an original Florida car done up in a beautiful almond green paint over tan leather. The paint is in overall very good condition with a few nicks and imperfections as shown. Replacement leather Interior is in excellent condition with no rips or tears. Matching leather door panels. The car is equipped with a power top that works as it should. Original wheels and covers. Clean undercarriage and strong running rebuilt engine with recent work that includes new wires. plugs, electric fuel pump, and the water pump. New shocks as well. All gauges work as they should and the car has recently passed MA inspection. The heater will need some attention as it is not currently working. The car comes with a repair manual and new uninstalled weather stripping for the trunk. All the panels on the car line up nicely, all of the chrome trim is completely intact and the chrome bumpers are in excellent condition. This is a rare Futuramic 98 Convertible in overall very nice condition. A great cruising Olds that you will be happy to own, show, and drive.
Call Jeff for more information or to schedule a viewing. Car is currently garaged on Cape Cod in MA.“
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