Stunning Vintage Advertising of 1948-49 Futuramic Oldsmobile
The Oldsmobile Series 70 was a full-size midrange automobile produced by Oldsmobile between the 1939 and 1950 model years. During this time period, Oldsmobiles occupied an unusual “middle” position in General Motors’ hierarchy of automobile brands. While Chevrolet and Pontiac were budget-priced models, and Buick and Cadillac were the luxury brands, Oldsmobiles fell somewhere in between.
GM shared its “A” body platforms between Chevrolet, Pontiac, and “B” body on Oldsmobile and Buick, while Cadillac remained on the senior “C” platform. Oldsmobiles were thus branded as “luxury level” Chevrolets and Pontiacs, while Oldsmobiles using the “B” platform were “budget-priced” Buicks and Cadillacs.
In 1948, the Series 60 was renamed the Dynamic, and the “Cruiser” tag was dropped from the Series 70, which was once again named the Dynamic 76 and 78.
The all-new post-war Futuramic styling that had been introduced to the C-body Oldsmobile 98 in 1948 was brought to Oldsmobile’s A-body, which it now shared with Pontiac and Chevrolet in 1949. The new name Seventy-Six, with the numbers now spelled out, became Oldsmobile’s entry-level model when the Series 60 was discontinued. The wheelbase was now 119.5 inches (3,040 mm) and was only available with the Oldsmobile straight-6 engine.
The previous 78 model was retired with the 1949 introduction of the Oldsmobile 88, which shared its new Futuramic A-body platform with the Seventy-Six but was equipped with the new overhead valve Rocket V8. The nameplate “Futuramic” identified an Oldsmobile approach to simplified driving, and the presence of an automatic transmission in the 1948 Oldsmobile Futuramic introduction.
The Oldsmobile Series 70 is a fascinating example of how General Motors’ brand hierarchy worked in the mid-20th century. While Oldsmobiles were not as affordable as Chevrolet or Pontiac, they were still seen as a more affordable alternative to Buick and Cadillac. The introduction of the Futuramic styling and the Rocket V8 engine marked a new era of innovation for Oldsmobile, and helped cement its place in the GM lineup. Despite its eventual discontinuation, the Oldsmobile Series 70 remains an important part of American automotive history.