1949 Oldsmobile 88Station Wagon
Year of manufacture1949
It’s fair to say, at no time in the history of Oldsmobile since the introduction of the Curved Dash model did the company make such an impact as it did with the introduction of the Rocket V-8 on September 15, 1948. Oldsmobile introduced what is considered America’s first modern overhead valve V-8 engine. Available in both 88 and 98 models, the new engine offered impressive stats for the day – 7:25 to 1 compression ratio, 135 bhp at 3,600 rpm and 263 lb/ft of torque at 1,800 rpm.
Styling was all-new, too. Called Futuramic by Olds marketers, the sleek Harley Earl design was concurrent with the introduction of the industry’s first production “hardtop convertible” dubbed Holiday. An Olds 88 convertible paced the Indy 500. And, NASCAR stock car racers quickly found out that new V-8 was the hot ticket. Of nine races on the 1949 season, Olds took the checkered flag six times.
An all-new wagon was offered in the 76 and 88 Series. The Fisher-supplied body came equipped with leather upholstery and mahogany panels. By mid-year, the wood trim was gone and Olds joined the ranks of those offering all-steel wagons. Just 1,355 were produced. Data does not exist as to how many wood trim vs. all-steel wagons were built. Regardless, one can assume this is a rare vehicle due to the switch in production.
Finished in Seafoam Green with contrasting cream-colored wheels, this handsome wagon is the beneficiary of a professional ground-up restoration, completed in October 2015. It is equipped with 135 bhp 303 cu. in. V-8, Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, pushbutton AM radio, and clock. Outside, the beautiful wood trim is accented by the proper rear fender skirts and period-appropriate Silvertown wide-whitewall tires. Paint, chrome, wood trim, and the red leather interior all present beautifully. Since restoration the car has been used sparingly and as a result, the consignor reports that it drives great and is in beautiful condition throughout.
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo20.