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