Oldsmobile Series 76 Station Wagon
On the heels of its all-new 98 line for 1948, Oldsmobile followed with new Series 76 and 88 models for 1949, based upon the B-Body platform shared with their Chevrolet and Pontiac corporate siblings. Their Harley Earl styling was fresh and modern, featuring design cues inspired by the sleek Lockheed P-38 fighter plane of WWII fame.
While Ford was the highest-volume manufacturer of station wagons, some Oldsmobile chassis were fitted with station wagon bodies as early as 1935, but it was 1940 before the model was added to the GM division’s catalogue. Through 1947, Oldsmobile contracted with both Hercules Body Company of Evansville, Indiana and Ionia Manufacturing Company of Ionia, Michigan for their station wagon bodies, but by 1948 Ionia was the sole supplier.
The Series 76 station wagon was the most expensive 76 model offered by Oldsmobile, and it was also the most rare, with only 1,545 produced for the 1949-model year. Less than half of the 76 station wagons had authentic wooden trim, as the station wagon was restyled mid-year with a full metal body and faux wood trim. Accordingly, original wood-bodied 76 station wagons are highly collectible and desirable today.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2012 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.
105 bhp, 231 cu. in. inline six-cylinder engine, Carter single-barrel carburetor, three-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 119.5"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel