In 1949, this beautiful Nankeen Cream Oldsmobile Futuramic 98 Convertible Coupe chauffeured Miss Patti Grubbs—the 1948 Miss Indiana—to the various official functions held in conjunction with the Indianapolis 500 race. She also rode in the car during the parade lap on the day of the race. The Oldsmobile Futuramic 88 was the Pace Car for the Indy 500 that year.
Mr. Evert Johnson’s daughter Virginia saw this 98 at many of the 500 functions and told her father how wonderful it would be to have the car. Evert purchased the car as a birthday surprise for Virginia. It was presented to her during a surprise party for her 17th birthday.
Virginia loved this car and drove it until 2009, when she passed away. At that point, the 42,000-mile car was willed to her son Evert Hauser. He kept the Oldsmobile convertible until 2015, after which it was sold to a dealer in Tennessee. William “Red” Lewis of De Pere, WI acquired this car in September 2015 for his collection. He then presented it to The Automobile Gallery, which he founded in the city of Green Bay. Almost immediately, his restoration experts began a total body-off-frame overhaul of the car.
This top-of-the-line Oldsmobile came equipped with the new “Rocket 88” engine (which inspired the first rock-n’-roll song). the engine is an overhead-valve V8 with a cast iron block. Bore and stroke: 3-17/32 x 3-7/16. Displacement: 303 cid. Compression ratio: 7.25:1. Brake hp: 135 at 3600 rpm. Torque: 263. Valve lifters: Hydraulic. Carburetor: Carter WGD 714-S dual downdraft with built-in choke.
The car also has a four-speed Hydra-Matic transmission. Included in its long list of standard equipment are a solenoid starter, fender skirts, an E-Z-I rearview mirror, foam rubber seat cushions, front and rear bumper guards, a vacuum booster pump, a plastic radiator ornament, dual horns, dual sun visors and a cigarette lighter. An optional deluxe equipment package added front and rear floor mats, a deluxe steering wheel, wheel trim rings, rear seat arm rests, hydraulic power windows, a hydraulic power seat and a hydraulic power convertible top.
During the restoration of this car, The Automobile Gallery displayed the Oldsmobile’s frame and drive train, while the rest of the restoration work was carried out. This 1949 Olds has a marvelous, every nut-and-bolt restoration and an interesting history as a former Indy 500 Official Car and parade vehicle. The car is flawless in appearance and operation. It is worth about $85,000.