1948 Oldsmobile: 'The last word in luxury'

(January 27, 2016) Oldsmobile called the 1948 model the "Car of Tomorrow." Although it didn't have a new engine, the Futuramic 98 carried a sleek, new style. The flathead straight 8-cylinder engine did get a slight gain in horsepower from 110 to 115.

Tom McCahill of Mechanix Illustrated called Oldsmobile's carryover engine "a product of the dark ages." But Oldsmobile advertising had different perspective noting that "you'll marvel at the satin-smooth, surging performance you receive from Oldsmobile's powerful 8-cylinder engine."

The two-minute advertising pitch here did not dwell on the engine, but on the new styling. A two-piece curved glass windshield was fitted, a first for Oldsmobile — and a feature that Buick wouldn't see for another year. Front fenders blended smoothly into the doors, instead of being "tacked on," as had formerly been the case, and rear fenders were no longer detachable, although they still carried a prominent bulge.

Taillights on the lesser 1948 models were redesigned to look similar to those on the new 98, though they weren't interchangeable. The 98's wheelbase was reduced by two inches, overall length by three (with the turning radius shortened correspondingly), yet thanks to its sleek lines the car looked longer than the 1947 model.

The ad pitch called it "the last word in luxury, the miracle car of tomorrow — and it's here today."

Sources: How Stuff Works, Wikipedia