This is one of my favorites- an amazing Rocket V8 powered 1949 Futurmatic 98 Convertible! We spent many hours preserving all of the originality in this 16k mile car but making it run and drive just as it did in 1949. Well, maybe even a bit better as it now rides on radial tires! Details:
The Ninety-Eight Series was top of the line for Oldsmobile in 1949, but it was more than that. It was the “Futuramic Ninety-Eight.” The interest in space was on the rise, and we were about to enter the ‘50s.
In 1948, Oldsmobile had decided, once again, to offer different body styles for each series during the model year. By 1949, they had trimmed this down to two styles. The lower models shared the same body, but the Ninety-Eight was reserved for special treatment. The 1949 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Convertibles would carry on with that unique Futuramic styling.
Just like the Seventy-Six and Eighty-Eight Series beneath it, the Ninety-Eight contained both standard and DeLuxe models. The convertible fell in the DeLuxe camp, offering such extras as the DeLuxe steering wheel, chrome wheel trim rings and, for the convertible only, leather seats and a power top.
Proud of their “New Look” from the previous year, Oldsmobile was now shouting about, “The New Thrill!” Not just the thrilling eye-appeal but the thrill of the performance too. Brand new for 1949 was Oldsmobile’s overhead valve, 303.7 cubic-inch V8 engine producing 135 horsepower. It was affectionately known as the “Rocket 88,” a name that carried on through the 1950s and would cement itself in people’s minds, especially when it became the title of a Rhythm and Blues song recorded in 1951. All Eighty-Eights and Ninety-Eights came with Hydra-Matic automatic transmission as standard.
Inside, there is a lovely leather interior and in the center of the DeLuxe steering wheel, the “Planet and Stars” hub. The optional AM radio cost $98 extra.
This spectacular unrestored Ninety-Eight is truly a Benchmark-level preservation class example with just 16,600 miles from new. Wearing its stunning original Almond Green paint with its factory installed black original top and dark green interior, it is the perfect example of post-war American optimism and style, not to mention its strong Rocket V8 and smooth Hydramatic transmission that were groundbreaking advancements in 1949, so much so that everybody else had to scramble to catch up with their own OHV V8 engines.
When removed from its decades-long storage in 2019, I purchased the car and commissioned a cost-is-no-object, sympathetic mechanical restoration to return this time capsule to use without disturbing its incredible originality. Great care was taken to properly restore all of its original systems while making them look undisturbed in the process. As a result of this $28,000 process, the car now operates as new in all respects from the whisper quiet operation of its Rocket V8 to all power accessories and more. The addition of new Coker bias-look WWW tires add additional safety and a comfortable, quiet ride. The original front seat cover was removed to preserve it, and an exact copy was installed on the car so passengers can pile in and out without worry.
While any 1949 Ninety-Eight Convertible is a rare find, discovering one in this exceptional original condition with just 16,600 miles and ready to show in any preservation class or simply enjoy driving is an opportunity not to be duplicated.
- Year: 1949
- Mileage: 16,600 mi
- Condition: Benchmark Unrestored
- Exterior Color:
- Interior Color:
- Transmission: 4 speed Hydramatic
- Final Drive:
- Engine: 303 CID Rocket V8
- Drivetrain: RWD