State Of Saturday

Frugal Friday will not return until after Labor Day.


According to a not always reliable source, on this day in 1950 the five millionth (5,000,000th) Oldsmobile was built. As I have written before Oldsmobile was the only American auto company to manufacture cars in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.




From this 2014 Hemmings article a picture of a 1950 Oldsmobile 98 Holiday Coupe. The subtitle reads, “More than 8,000 Oldsmobile 98 Holiday Coupes were built for 1950, yet few are known to exist today. Why?”

Most of the 8,000-plus 98 Holiday Coupes were of the Deluxe model, 7,946 of 8,243 to be exact. Some prose, facts and figures from the aforementioned Hemmings article:


“…GM’s postwar, fashion-forward hardtop coupes were a revelation. Frameless side glass and doors, and eliminating the B-pillar merely by tightly aligning the window-edge chrome, once seemed impossible, yet GM had a brisk trade in doing the impossible. Adding to the open-air feeling were wrap-around rear windows, which were also claimed as an industry first.”

“Launched mid-1949, GM’s three highest-end divisions (Buick, Oldsmobile and Cadillac) were each bestowed a hardtop model: Buick had the Roadmaster Riviera, Cadillac had the Coupe De-Ville, and Oldsmobile actually had two Holiday Coupe models, on both the 98 and the hot new 88 model. These hardtops managed to split the difference between solid-top safety and security, and a convertible’s feeling of fresh-air freedom and ability to bring the outside in.”

“Oldsmobile’s 98 had introduced its fastback Futuramic styling concept for the 1948 model year with the low-line 76 and the division’s new hybrid model, the 88, following suit. Olds stylists did it once again for 1950, giving the 98 all-new slab-sided styling and a one-piece windshield that would also hint at what was coming for the 1951 A-body 88. Olds division sales went from strength to strength in the late ’40s and early ’50s: from 172,852 cars sold in 1948, to 288,310 for 1949, to 408,060 in 1950, skipping from eighth to sixth in the national sales race. Breaking 98 Holiday Coupes out of those numbers, just 3,006 were built in that abbreviated 1949 model year, but production nearly tripled to 8,263 (inclusive of 317 cars lacking Deluxe equipment) in 1950.”


A decade or so ago cars from this era did little for me. Now, I can be quite smitten with those I consider to be the best of the period. These 1950 Oldsmobiles fit that description.


I pass along the link to this informed exposition about C8 Corvette styling without opinion, passion or prejudice.






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