Saturday, August 20, 2016

1946 Oldsmobile 66 Special Club Sedan



"The New Style in Postwar Driving! Oldsmobile's smart new style is more than a matter of smooth, flowing lines, ultra-modern trim, and tasteful interiors. It's a new style of driving, too . . . the Hydra-Matic way . . . the easiest way of driving ever devised. No gear shifting to think about. No clutch pedal to bother with. Hydra-Matic Drive is the nearest thing yet to completely automatic driving. Just step on the gas and away you go . . . in style . . . in the brilliant new Oldsmobile with General Motors' new Hydra-Matic Drive."

This Oldsmobile from Havana shows off really dramatic proportions: the massive bonnet and front fenders create a stark contrast to the taut fastback cabin and make the car look a bit like a Bulldog on wheels.

Just like most American car manufacturers, Oldsmobile offered warmed-up prewar designs through 1948. Thus, the 1946 models were merely 1942 cars with updated trim. The little changes, however, did the Oldsmobile well, as the designers somehow had got lost in a very ornate front grille design in the early 1940s. For 1946, simple horizontal bars were introduced, which suited to the overall rather clean Oldsmobile design in a much better way.

More than styling, the noteworthy feature at Oldsmobile anyway was Hydra-Matic. This automatic transmission, developed in a joint effort between Cadillac and Oldsmobile, became exclusively available in the 1940 Oldsmobiles, while Cadillac jumped on the bandwagon one year later: apparently, GM didn't want to risk ruining the reputation of Cadillac in case the new technology was flawed.

But the Hydra-Matic was reliable and should become very popular: by February 1942, more than 210,000 cars were equipped with the new transmission. The trend gained momentum in postwar times. In 1948, when Pontiac introduced Hydra-Matic, 73% of buyers opted for the new transmission. In the same year, more than 90% of Cadillacs and nearly all Oldsmobiles were equipped with the auto tranny.

GM even sold the transmission to its competitors, and by the early 1950s, Lincoln, Nash, Hudson and Kaiser-Frazer equipped their cars with Hydra-Matic, too.

0 Kommentare: