38,500 Mile Survivor: 1977 Oldsmobile 98

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This is about the only decent picture of this huge Oldsmobile Ninety Eight, but it sure seems like a bargain to me, so I’m writing it up anyway. Available for a buy it now of only $2,250 here on eBay, this 38,500 mile gem (and I think it may be real mileage after looking at the pictures) is located in St. Louis, Missouri. 

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I did warn you about picture quality, didn’t I! However, the seller tells us that there is no rust, and this sure looks like the original paint, doesn’t it? This was the first year of the “downsized” Ninety Eight that actually weighed roughly 4,000 pounds, which was 800 pounds less than the 1976 models! But we are still talking about a car that has a 119″ wheelbase and an overall length of 220.4″. Evidently the downsized model was a hit, with over 139,000 sold (a record for annual Ninety Eight sales at the time).

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I included this shot for two reasons; it highlights the good tires and shows that there’s no apparent rust down there.

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The interior is said to be like new, although it looks like it could use a good cleaning. However, it isn’t very worn, and that 38,500 mile claim is looking more credible. The seller tells us that the car even has a new exhaust system!

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This could have been either a 350 V8, a 403 V8, or a UFO! I have a hard time believing that someone would post a picture this blurry! Actually, I was curious enough to put the VIN into this decoder and the car was equipped with the 350 V8. Another picture from the ad that only shows half the engine does show the air conditioning compressor, which we’re told used to work. The only other issue is with the power door locks, although since it sounds like none of the four work, I’m guessing it’s a fuse as the seller postulates. I just asked my wife about buying the car, flying to St. Louis, letting a shop fix the air conditioning before driving home and just enjoying the trip back to North Carolina. She actually said okay, but after looking at the size of the car, she asked me which two Triumphs I was going to sell to make room! Since that’s not happening at the moment, I’ll leave this grand old barge to one of you! Who’s going to pick up this bargain?

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Comments

  1. Tman

    Those are FUNNY pictures ! Like the SNL skit of Stevie Wonder doing the camera commercial !

  2. Blyndgesser

    These cars are surprisingly nice to drive if the suspension has been properly maintained.

  3. Fred W.

    In 1977 if you were used to full sized cars, plopping in the seat of one of these seemed almost like sitting in a compact. They were smooth and handled nicely. If this car has had monthly exercise it will also be quite reliable. Probably a great deal even if for nothing more than daily transportation. A 38K original interior is hard to fake.

  4. DrinkinGasoline

    Having owned numerous 70’s Oldsmobiles, Buicks and a couple of Pontiacs, the vinyl roof may be an issue. It looks to be semi-padded which can hide some rust problems. If it was stored indoors and the owner kept up with the vinyl preventing shrinkage,etc. then it might be a good deal. Stripping a vinyl top is no fun…been there.
    The r/r bumper filler might be a bit difficult to locate.

  5. Blueprint

    Back in the summer of ’89, I bought a ’77 LeSabre summer job beater. The car was in great shape, a bare-bones base model with the 350. Had 177,000km on the odo, and barely got 12 mpg. The only part that broke (despite burning rubber with the open dif) was the starter switch, 25$ at the GM parts counter. These full-sizers are very cheap to run, except for their drinking problem. Oh, and on the highway you have the steering feel of an old arcade video game.

  6. Trent Poole

    Reproduction rear 1/4 fillers are available for about $130.00 for the pair.

  7. Rhett True

    I love these 77-79 B and C Body GM’s – I WILL own one someday. I’m thinking a LeSabre Limited or a 9C1 Impala….

    • DrinkinGasoline

      My 79 Electra 225 was a joy to drive.

  8. DrinkinGasoline

    I would classify this Olds as well as the Crown Vic as “Survivors” unlike the (modified) 70 Camero.

  9. Mark Hoffman

    My dad bought a 1980 Olds 98 Regency in 1989. One local well known owner, 49,000 miles, working A/C for $2500

    He, my brother and I all drove it until after my dad died in 1994.

    Great cars

  10. David Skulstad

    Sometimes no use of a car is almost as bad as misuse. It all depends on how it was stored and how you “wake” it back up. A lot of bad things can be hidden.

  11. jaymes

    probally a diesel

  12. ronebee

    deal

  13. 68custom

    I know at least a few of these left the factory with SBC 350s and a big lawsuit for GM. this one however appears to have a Olds 350, note oil fill.

    • Dennis

      GM was phasing out Pontiac and Oldsmobile engines. My aunt had a 77 88 with a Chevy motor. I had a 79 that had an Olds motor.

    • Utes

      @ 68custom….
      That ‘R’ in the VIN designates an Olds motor, ‘X’ makes it a Buick, & ‘C’ makes it Chevy-powered.

      • Ralph H.

        Wasnt a chevy 350 an L?..

  14. MH

    These cars can do massive burnouts!!!

  15. Eric Dashman

    This looks a lot like the used car my parents bought for my father when he was in his early 80s and still driving (he did so until his death at 87 from lung cancer). They bought it because they needed something that they wouldn’t care about when he scraped the garage wall on entering or leaving, or when he backed into something that he didn’t see, or if he had an accident of larger nature (they wanted something substantial around him…he did wear his shoulder belt). He had all his marbles, but his night vision and reflexes were worrisome to say the least. What are you gonna do? You surround him with steel and hope for the best. And it worked. He had one bad one…just didn’t see the other guy. Fortunately no one was hurt, but it did shake him up and he was a lot more shall we say ‘circumspect’ about his driving. He let her drive a lot more too.

  16. nessy

    As an Oldsmobile fan with 98s being on my top list, this car is a base model LS, not a Regency which makes all the difference in the world with the interior. The difference was like night and day. The LS is a rare find but in this case, rare is not better than a plush Regency. Also, no 98s had any other engine except Oldsmobile engines at this time. The Delta 88s were the only full size models where they sometimes slipped in a Chevy engine, a Buick engine once in a while too.

    • ChevyTruckGuy

      Yep, you have it 100% correct, Nessy. You beat me to it! My grandparents had a 1978 Regency in Firemist Mint Green. Loved that car. They drove it for years, accumulating well over 200,000 miles. I’m very much a fan of Ninety-Eights (Olds is my favorite GM brand, after Chevy), and intend to buy one of my own, someday. Thanks for sharing the facts! : )

    • Ralph H.

      Yes, seats give away the LS…my brother owned a 78 LS, the seats were even vinyl!…

      • Ron

        Yes, and the absence of the opera lamps. In 80, they dropped the LS and went with the base Regency and Regency Brougham classifications.

  17. Chebby

    This would be a nice driver car and it’s priced appropriately, unlike its cousin the non-running 79 Caprice asking $6k.

  18. whippeteer

    Finding a DD at $2K isn’t bad these days. Cheaper cars just aren’t out there in driveable shape it seems. At that price I would probably do it. Although my father’s 78 Impala had horrible fit and finish.

  19. Carl

    Beautiful Olds and a great deal, nice find! IMO these are exactly what a fullsize car should be, unlike everything they lie and call fullsize today! I wish Chevy would build a retro Caprice even close to this size. Their needs to be at least 1 real fullsize car.

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