Die-cast: NEO 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 Futuramic

Olds’ Futuramic coupe swooped its way toward the 1950s …

Post-WWII cars have their own charm and simplicity, yet even by 1949 General Motors was trying to get a little swoopy with their 2-doors, plus adding muscle. Plus at Oldsmobile the Rocket 88 was a name that launched the Greatest Generation into their growing family years.

This 1/43 scale model of the Olds Rocket 88 Futuramic 2-door Club Coupe is sharp, both in execution and looks. First, NEO beautifully replicates the body’s shape in resin and then finished it off with oodles of chrome and a gorgeous dark metallic red paint scheme. It looks great, but is way too glossy to mimic colors of the day. But on a shelf, this color will make the Olds a standout.

The History

Olds muscled up its 1949 models with a new overhead valve Rocket 88 V8 engine. That V8 cranked up to 165 horsepower, not so great by today’s standards, but it seemed gutsy at the time.

The Rocket 88 was dropped into Olds new 88, which replaced the former Olds 78 and became so popular that Olds dropped its entry-level Olds 76 models by 1950. And if you remember Olds, you may recall it also featured a 98 model; a lot of numbers to be sure in the Olds lineup.

Soon the rocket theme caught on and a rocket became the Olds logo as performance was its new calling card. The 88 was a big deal for the GM brand. In 1949 a convertible 88 was the Indianapolis 500 pace car and Olds earned a stout racing reputation in NASCAR where 88s won 10 of the 19 races during the 1950 season. An 88 even won Mexico’s Carrera Panamerican race conducted over the country’s roads that year.

Like many of today’s modern cars, there was a starter button to engage the engine and that Futuramic badge meant this model also had an automatic transmission when those were still a new option for most cars.

The Model

The fine chrome detailing on this model really sets it off from other 1/43 models. For instance there is not only thin etched chrome around the windows, including the split windshield and oval rear window, but on a drip rail over the large side and vent windows.

Wide chrome trim runs along the car’s baseboard and as an accent over the bulging rear fenders with little strikes that run down into the nicely detailed taillights. Bumpers are chrome as are the headlight rings and grille up front. The Olds logo is well executed on the nose and the hood ornament is impressive too.

There’s a chrome mirror on the driver’s side and antenna stub in the fender just in front of that mirror. Naturally the big mouthy grille is chrome with flat black in the openings to help set it off. There’s also PE lettering on the hood and trunk, an etched 88 in each rear fender and the cool Rocket 88 logo on the trunk lid’s left side.

Lights are sharp too and there are wide white sidewall tires on body-colored wheels with chrome hubcaps.

The interior is a saddle brown with ivory 3-spoke steering wheel and PE horn ring. The dash is well detailed too although with closed windows all around it’s a tad tough to peek inside for much study.

Still, you can see nice inner door trim, including chrome window cranks and door releases.

Vital Stats: 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88

Maker: NEO
Scale: 1/43
Stock No.: NEO45756
MSRP: $99.95

Link: American-Excellence.com

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