1949 Oldsmobile Futuramic 98
1949 Oldsmobile Futuramic 98 | Image Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

1949 Oldsmobile Futuramic 98

For 1948, and carrying into 1949, Oldsmobile gave its flagship 98 Series a freshened look that drew heavily from the marque’s Futuramic styling concept. That year, Futuramic design language was applied to four 98 body types on the 125-inch wheelbase chassis, including the convertible. In period advertising, Oldsmobile promised that the 1949 Futuramic offered “the dramatic design of the future—the finest of functional modern design in any field.” With one look at the stunning convertible offered here, most post-war automobile enthusiasts would agree that Oldsmobile hit the mark.

While the styling of the Futuramic was a great success, perhaps the bigger news was the 303-cubic-inch Rocket V-8 engine for 1949. Along with Cadillac’s similar unit, it was the first of General Motor’s postwar, high-compression, overhead-valve V-8 engines. The Olds engine displaced 303 cubic-inches, and with hydraulic valve lifters and 7.25-to-1 compression, developed 135 horsepower. Oldsmobile had pioneered the Hydra-Matic automatic transmission in 1940, so fittingly many its cars in 1949 were so equipped. Optional on the 76 and 88 Series offerings, it came standard on all 98 Series models, along with a solenoid starter, fender skirts, E-Z-I rear view mirror, and hydraulic windows, seats, and convertible top. By any definition, the Futuramic was a luxurious cruiser born to blast down the road in comfort and style.

Story by RM Sotheby’s

1949 Oldsmobile Futuramic 98
1949 Oldsmobile Futuramic 98 | Image Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
1949 Oldsmobile Futuramic 98
1949 Oldsmobile Futuramic 98 | Image Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
1949 Oldsmobile Futuramic 98
1949 Oldsmobile Futuramic 98 | Image Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
1949 Oldsmobile Futuramic 98
1949 Oldsmobile Futuramic 98 | Image Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s