1949 Oldsmobile ConvertibleEmail Send Email
1949 Oldsmobile ConvertibleEmail Send Email
Model:Futuramic Series 88 Convertible Coupe, Deluxe
Body Type:2-Door Convertible
Engine:90-Degree V8 (Valve in Head)
Exterior Color:Chariot Red
Interior:Red Leather
Comment:1st car bought when 15 1/2. Lived in Abbotsford Housing Project in Phila. Did not have driver's license.


Original Base Price: $2400.00
Number Produced: 5434
Wheelbase: 125-Inches
Track, Front: 57-Inches
Track, Rear: 62.4375-Inches
Length: 202-Inches
Curb Weight: 3845-Pounds
Engine: Rocket V8
Displacement: 304cid (303.7 Actual)
Compression Ratio: 7.25:1
BHP (Brake Horsepower): 135@3600rpm
Rated Horsepower: 45
Carburetor: 2-BBL, Various Manufacturers
Transmission: Hydra-Matic, Automatic
Differential: 3.23:1
Front Suspension: Independent Coil Springs
Rear Suspension: Coil Springs with Solid Rear Axle
Brakes: Hydraulic Drum, 4-Wheel
Front Brakes: 11-Inch, Drum
Rear Brakes: 11-Inch Drum
Ignition: Distributor and Coil
Battery: 6-Volt
Tire Size: 7.6 x 15
Fuel Capacity: 18-Gallons
Oil Capacity: 5-Quarts
Cooling System: Centrifugal Water Pump, 21.5-Quarts


Hank’s first car was a 1949 Oldsmobile 88, purchased when he was just 15-1/2 while living in the projects in East Falls. The 1949 Oldsmobile 88 was the first car to have an Over Head Valve, V8 made in the USA. Cadillac was the only other car company to offer an Over Head-Valve V8 in 1949. The Rocket V8 was paired with the Hydra-Matic, four-speed automatic transmission. A unique feature of the Hydra-Matic was that there was no “PARK” position. Reverse was all the way at the end of the dial. When you stopped your vehicle you simply left it in gear then applied the parking (emergency) brake.

The introduction of the Futuramic Series 88 complimented the already-existing 76 and 98 models, and it replaced the Straight-8, model 78. Using the same “B” body platform the new 88 replaced the straight-six engine, 76 but was now paired with the new, Rocket V8 and Hydra-Matic transmission. This car is widely considered to be the first “muscle car” with its relatively small, lightweight body and large, powerful 304-cid engine. This was the car to beat in NASCAR competition, winning six of the nine NASCAR late model division races in 1949. It was pure power that made the 88 the King of NASCAR Competition.