Pick of the Day: 1949 Oldsmobile 98

When Oldsmobiles were marketed in the late 1940s, a marketing campaign entitled “Futuramic” was used to promote the all-new design language. The revamped General Motors C-body was said to be aircraft-inspired and it was touted to be reflective of “the dramatic design of the future.”

The Pick of the Day is a 1949 Oldsmobile Futuramic 98 convertible listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Nicholasville, Kentucky. (Click the link to view the listing)

“Take a look at this beautiful 1949 Oldsmobile,” the listing begins. “This is an original Florida car done in a beautiful almond green paint over tan interior.” The seller says that the exterior panels line up and the brightwork is noted to be intact and well-kept.

The 98 (which later was spelled out as Ninety-Eight from 1952 through 1991) was a full-sized flagship model from the Oldsmobile family. There were some important advancements in standard equipment beginning in 1948 – among the included items were fender skirts and bumper guards. I’m particularly fond of the space-themed adornment on the leading edge of the hood, as well as a similar design at the center of the steering wheel. Designers really were thinking ahead!

Under the hood, power comes from a rebuilt Rocket 303cid V8 mated to a rebuilt Hydramatic automatic transmission. The seller says that the drivetrain is strong-running. One unique thing about this featured car is that it is said to have been used in a 2023 Ethan Hawke film Wildcat. I had not heard of the movie, but it premiered at the Telluride Film Festival last September and is due for a limited release in the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for this Oldsmobile!

Did the original prediction about this 98 being “the design of the future” hold true? Well, Oldsmobile as a division of General Motors was phased out in April 2004 – exactly 20 years ago – after producing over 35 million vehicles. So, we don’t really have a current-day Olds to review, but it is fair to say that some of the styling attributes that launched in 1948 have endured and evolved. It makes you wonder where automotive design is headed 50 or 75 years from now. Time will tell!

“A great cruising Olds that will elicit looks and compliments every time you drive,” the seller says. “One you will be happy to own, show, and drive.” The asking price is $42,500.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, you can find it in the archives at Pick of the Day.