Oldsmobile 98 photo

1941 Oldsmobile 98

The Olds Motor Vehicle Company was founded on August 21st of 1897 in Lansing, Michigan, and was (until it closed in 2004) America's oldest manufacturer of automobiles. Ransom Eli Olds experimented with automobiles as early as 1887, by the early 1900s, his curved dash Olds was America's first quantity-produced car. By December of 1908, the company was part of William C. Durant's General Motors company.

Oldsmobile offered four-, six-, and eight-cylinder models through the 1910s and early 1920s before settling on six-cylinder power in 1923. In 1932, an eight-cylinder model joined the six, and although Oldsmobile had used V-8 motors in the past including as early as 1916, this was their first use with a straight-8. Oldsmobile would offer both six and eight-cylinder power through 1948 and the wheelbase size of both chassis were similar.

Many manufacturers changed and updating their naming schemes during the late 1930s and early 1940s, and this was true for Oldsmobile, who used the 'F' and 'L' Series from 1932 through 1938, with the F-Series representing their straight-6 models and the Series L with eight-cylinder power. In 1939, the F-Series was replaced by the Series 60 and the L-Series was replaced with the Series 70. The Series 70 used the GM B-body platform and the Series 60 received the A-body. An even larger C-body joined the lineup in 1940 and it came with a straight-8 engine and was dubbed the Series 90.

In 1941, Oldsmobile offered both engines on the Series 60, Series 70, and the Series 90. To differentiate which engine was installed, the second digit denoted the number of cylinders. The six-cylinder Series 90 was known as the Series 96 and the eight-cylinder version as the Series 98. Thus began the '98' name that would remain with Oldsmobile through 1996. In 1981, the standard engine became a V6 unit, yet it remained the '98' instead of being called the '96.'

The 1941 Oldsmobile Series 90 rested on a 125-inch wheelbase and had a length of 213-inches. The six-cylinder engine had a 238 cubic-inch displacement, four main bearings, mushroom valve lifters, a single downdraft carburetor with automatic choke, and developed 100 horsepower at 3,200 RPM. The eight-cylinder engine had a 257 cubic-inch displacement, five main bearings, dual downdraft carburetor with automatic choke, and delivered 110 horsepower at 3,400 RPM. Both engines were backed by a three-speed sliding gear transmission with synchromesh, a single plate dry disc clutch, and steering column controls. Many Series 90's received the optional Hydra-Matic transmission. The suspension used coil springs, ride stabilizers, and double-action shock absorbers.

The six-cylinder Series 96 was offered as a convertible priced at $1,190, a coupe at $1,045, and a four-door sedan at $1130. The most popular was the sedan with 4,176 examples built followed by 2,176 of the coupe, and 325 of the convertible. 1941 was the only year that Oldsmobile offered the Series 96 as most customers preferred eight-cylinder power.

The eight-cylinder Series 98 was offered as a Custom Cruiser Convertible priced at $1,230, a four-door phaeton at $1,575, a coupe at $1,060, and a sedan at $1,135. Oldsmobile offered the phaeton only in 1940 and 1971. The convertible top could be lowered or raised without leaving the driver's seat thanks to a vacuum mechanism operated by the engine and controlled from the dash. The rear luggage compartment was large and carpeted. The sedan was very popular with 22,081 units built, followed by 1,263 of the coupe and convertible, and 119 of the phaeton.

by Daniel Vaughan | May 2021

Related Reading : Oldsmobile 98 History

The Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight was a full-size vehicle introduced in 1941 and continued in production until 1996 with only one brake during that time period while efforts were switched to production of military equipment during World War II. The 98 had been formerly known as the Series 90. The 98 was the top of the line offering for Oldsmobile while its siblings had lower numbers such as the 76.....
Continue Reading >>

Related Reading : Oldsmobile 98 History

The esteemed flagship of the Oldsmobile division of GM, the Oldsmobile 98 or Ninety-Eight was a full-size model that would hold its place as the top-of-the-line model well into the 90s before the arrival of the Oldsmobile Regency in 1997. The 98 name first arrived on the scene in 1941 and was revived following WWII. It shared its GM C-body platform with Cadillac and Buick, and occasionally added....
Continue Reading >>

1941 Vehicle Profiles

1941 Oldsmobile 98 vehicle information

Convertible Phaeton

The First Olds 98 and Last 4-Door Convertible
R.E. Olds founded Oldsmobile Motor Company in 1897. he sold out in 1904 to the Smith family, who soon sold to Billy Durant, who formed General Motors Corporation in 1908. Oldsmobile Motor Comp....[continue reading]

Convertible Phaeton

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1941 98
1941 Oldsmobile 98 Price Range: $1,060 - $1,575

Other 1941 Oldsmobile Models


125.00 in.
6 cyl., 238.00 CID., 100.00hp
8 cyl., 257.00 CID., 110.00hp
$1,060 - $1,575

Industry Production

1946Ford (468,022)Chevrolet (398,028)Plymouth (264,660)117,623
1945Volkswagen (12,852)
1942Chevrolet (254,885)Ford (160,432)Plymouth (152,427)67,783
1941Chevrolet (1,008,976)Ford (691,455)Plymouth (522,080)270,040
1940Chevrolet (764,616)Ford (541,896)Plymouth (430,208)192,692
1939Chevrolet (577,278)Ford (487,031)Plymouth (423,850)137,249
1938Chevrolet (465,158)Ford (410,263)Plymouth (285,704)99,951
1937Chevrolet (815,375)Ford (765,933)Plymouth (566,128)200,886
1936Ford (930,778)Chevrolet (918,278)Plymouth (520,025)198,987

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