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47k Original Miles: 1976 Oldsmobile 98

I keep asking myself, “Why do you like this so much?” I continually answer that question with another question: “Why wouldn’t you like this?” For those of you who can answer that second question, please speak up in the comments. I found this 1976 Oldsmobile 98 here on Facebook Marketplace in Manchester, Missouri for $12,500.

This 1976 model is from the last year of the ninth-generation of the Oldsmobile 98. As Oldsmobile’s flagship model it featured many “luxuries” as standard — power steering, power brakes, power driver seat, and, of course, fender skirts. Again, what’s not to like?

The 1970s full-size GM look isn’t for everyone, but I think the 2-door Oldsmobile 98 is the best looking of all. This one, in particular, lacking the vinyl roof and in excellent original condition made me take note. The red paint appears to have plenty of life left, the brightwork shines bright, and as minor as it may seem, I find the “not too wide” whitewalls to be a perfect fit. The seller says it is in “unbelievable original condition” and it certainly looks it.

The interior may not quite be in “unbelievable condition” but it’s been well preserved nonetheless. A tufted split bench seat offers plenty of space to go 3-wide up front. Rubber floor mats cover the front carpet, but the carpet in the back looks to be in great shape. I don’t see any tears in the upholstery, just some creases from normal use. The woodgrain on the dash and door panels hints at that luxury you’d expect from an Oldsmobile flagship model. I’d think a full interior detail would really bring this interior to life.

Powering this Oldsmobile is a 455 cubic-inch V8. A Turbo-Hydramatic sends that 190HP and 350 ft. lb. of torque to a (new for 1976) 2.41 rear end. We’re give no details on its running condition, but based on its position blocking most of the driveway, I think we can assume it at least runs.

With just 47k original miles this appears to be a well-preserved, original car. Based on some quick research there isn’t a shortage of ninth-generation Oldsmobile 98 survivors, but this one is the right look for me — low mileage, bold color, no vinyl roof, and black interior. So, for the third time, I ask: “Why wouldn’t you like this?”


  1. Avatar photo Bigcat Member

    Dad’s last car was a 74 Caddy CDV, same GM C body coupe as this. A comfy sofa you can drive. These look better with vinyl half top IMO but I wouldn’t kick her out for crackers.

    Like 11
    • Avatar photo Steve Clinton

      Who are you calling a cracker? (wink)

      Like 14
      • Avatar photo bry593

        I was going to say this is a Caddy in Olds trim but someone beat me to it. At any rate, this car is enormous. Larger footprint than modern extended cab trucks. Good luck finding a parking spot.

        Like 4
    • Avatar photo Ted M

      Yes needs the landau top & pin stripes!

      Like 6
      • Avatar photo Steve S.

        Nope. Looks smoother without.

        Like 24
      • Avatar photo Chuck Dickinson

        It’s a huge plus that this does NOT have a VT. While they can look good, they lead to rust problems underneath and especially around the rear glass. Be glad this doesn’t have one. While I do like the looks of a VT (either full or landau), any old car w/out a VT is a positive.

        Like 3
  2. Avatar photo J_Paul Member

    This is one of the few (maybe the only?) cars I’ve ever seen that just looks weird without a vinyl roof.

    Not bad, mind you….but the initial vibe I get is less “opulent 70s luxury barge” and more “company car for an affluent town’s fire chief”. Which is actually kind of interesting, now that I think about it.

    Like 28
    • Avatar photo Jonny Collier Staff

      I like that take. I can’t disagree with that vibe!

      Like 7
    • Avatar photo Dryheat

      Yes, those back windows were obviously designed for the landau top, but having owned a couple of VT vehicles and the inevitable rust bubble eruptions, better that it’s not there.

      Like 2
  3. Avatar photo chgrec Member

    That thing is huge! The space between the air cleaner and the front bumper is bigger than most of the cars I have owned… Would it even fit in today’s garages? Its a nice looking car though as a 2 door. If you like driving around your Barcalounger, this might be the one to have…

    Like 6
  4. Avatar photo Steve Clinton

    For the size and cost, why wouldn’t a buyer purchase a new 1976 Cadillac Coupe DeVille?

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Skorzeny

      I used to read a British car mag simply called ‘Car’. In the back of every month’s issue they would have small test summaries for every car they tested, which included a line or two of text. For one of the Cadillacs they tested, I’ll never forget it, it said ‘…as flash as a rat with a gold tooth…’. That’s why they bought this Olds…

      Like 5
    • Avatar photo Oldog4tz

      There was a time these were the province of non-profit Executive Directors. Looked better to the Board of Directors

      Like 4
    • Avatar photo Steve S.

      Olds and Buick were the cars for people who wanted to look prosperous but not status-seeking. If you were middle-class you might feel silly buying the lower-trim Caddy even if you could afford it, because you worried that the neighbors might think you’re acting like a fake big shot.

      Olds aimed dead-center at the middle class while Buick was a bit more upscale and for older people. My Dad’s dream car for as long as I could remember (I’m 53 now) was the Olds “Big 98”, and he finally got an ’87 model in gunmetal grey.

      Like 6
      • Avatar photo Cam W.

        My late grandfather was CEO/owner of a large national company. He drove the Buick’s version of this (a new one every year), saying that Cadillacs were too showy, and “people would think you were making too much money”.
        After he sold the company, he did switch to Cadillacs. He even bought a new one in his late 80s (after his licence got pulled) saying he wanted it ready “when he got better”. After he passed away, his “brand new”, by then 5-year-old, Seville was for sale. It had a few hundred miles on it (grandpa drove without a licence a few times until caught by police). It looked great, but like most Barn Finds, had mice, seized brakes, and contaminated/corroded fuel system.
        The GM dealer (family friend) ended up taking it.
        As for the family fortune ,”Grandpa grew it, the kids blew it!”

        Like 4
    • Avatar photo jerry hw brentnell

      maybe he didn’t want the caddywack do ya think! we had a female real estate agent with more money than brains at my fathers garage she bought a new 76 caddy, this was a rolling heap of problems! you name it it didn’t work! six months later she got rid of it and bought a 77 chrysler new yorker! end of problems!

      Like 1
  5. Avatar photo Jcs

    Very cool, very clean cruiser. Not many ever made more comfortable on the road.

    Perfect for lots of Cars and Coffee attention on the cheap.

    Like 3
  6. Avatar photo Stangalang

    Those low powered big block engines were hard to kill..this one is a beautiful car and is it just me or does 10 gallons of red paint make it look much bigger. Talk about an eye catcher!!

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo Stan Marks

      You could never have enough red paint. What a beauty…..

      Like 2
  7. Avatar photo Cold340t

    I see an 8sec. DONK with chute on the back end.

    Like 3
  8. Avatar photo AndyinMA

    All Caprice in the front, all Deville in the back. An automotive mullett!

    I would drive it proudly.

    Like 16
  9. Avatar photo Autoworker

    A clean car that wears the red color well.

    Like 8
  10. Avatar photo KC John Member

    ” Why wouldn’t I like it?” The horrible, I’m guessing krylon, paint matching all over. The price for a slow car with horrible paint. Just sayin

    Like 2
  11. Avatar photo geezerglide85

    Love the look with no vinyl top, not too many made this way. I never liked the looks of them, they always seem to break up the lines of a car. Last year for the big ones and everybody will see you coming in this. COOL!

    Like 7
  12. Avatar photo Scott

    I use to have a 1975 98 regency. I think it had that same motor. My dad drove it as a traveling salesman and then I got it as a hand me down. When I got rid of it that car had over 275,000 miles on it and still ran down the interstate @ 75 mph and got 21mpg. Last a saw it a Pump in North Omaha had it and had put curb feelers on it.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Stan Marks

      Ask the young drivers, today, what are curb feelers?
      Their answers will make you laugh.

      Like 5
  13. Avatar photo 455BobJ

    Leather interior is rare. Most are pillow tufted fabric.

    Like 7
  14. Avatar photo Ronnie Johnson

    Wonder how it starts with no battery cables attached?

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo jerry hw brentnell

      ever think its got side post battery connection ? every gm car had them! wake up and smell the roses!

      Like 7
    • Avatar photo Rich C.

      Bet this had a side mount battery connection and the battery had both.

      Like 2
  15. Avatar photo Joe

    Is it me or do the rear quarters look like they’re a different color red?

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Ian C

      they are just in a different time zone.

      Like 23
  16. Avatar photo Tom

    I had one bought from the first owner in ’82. Wife wouldn’t drive it. Couldn’t pull the door shut at the curb. 😊

    Like 2
  17. Avatar photo David K Sebben

    This is like driving the state of Nebraska !!

    Like 3
  18. Avatar photo Matt G

    The rear side windows on these look awkward and out of place to me- the shape is like “let’s just put a window here that exactly fills the space without standing back to look at the lines of the car”.

    Like 1
  19. Avatar photo Vance

    This car weighs over 4500 lbs, has a 27 gallon tank, gets about 12 miles per gallon, and is just kinda blah. Maybe a different color and a vinyl roof would snaz it up a bit. The front end is rather boring, but it is still a nice car. 13 large is a lot to spend, hell, you would spend at least that much on the pole barn you would have to build to park it. Its to blase for me but its still nice to see someone take such good care of a vehicle.

    Like 4
  20. Avatar photo JoeNYWF64

    Those quarter panels are HUGE! I bet people who sat in an older true hardtop with roll down windows in back would not like sitting in the back seat of this car at all!
    The fender skirts actually work well on this & the fullest size GM cars of the ’70s.
    Tom, your wife would hate the doors on detective Cannon’s Lincoln even more than this car’s.
    Chgrec, you might find a sizable garage for this car, but not a parking space or construction zone highway lane wide enough to hold it TODAY – beware of the concrete barriers, most of all!

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Drake

      C”mon now. We still have semis sliding through construction zones with barriers everyday. It’s not that serious. Parking may be however.

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo JoeNYWF64

        You definitely do not live in my state – we’ve got a highway here that in many sections that have not been widened, but mysteriously gained 1 or 2 lanes over the years! lol
        & they love to put the concrete construction barriers right smack O N either end lane marker – or both! – i saw a 1st gen camaro taking up 2 lanes! I’m SURE if that was a wider ’70 challenger or, my God, a ’70 imperial, the driver would poop his pants. It is a toll highway here that prohibits commerical trucks, btw.
        & i seen parkin spots here in the most congested areas that are too short for a 1st gen camaro! Ridiculous!

        Like 0
  21. Avatar photo Rhett

    I love tis car, despite myself. The 71-76 GM B and C bodies are terrific driving cars and I’m a huge fan of them all. I never was a fan of bright reds on a full size car, but am intrigued by the lack of vinyl – i honestly have never seen another from any GM make. I had a 76 Custom Cruiser, it would not spin a tire with a maybe 2.76 rear but had immense torque, and would go 80 MPH on a 10% uphill grade loaded with LP albums in milk crates and a PA system. I always felt the nose was reminiscent of a Cadillac, and the 76’s were more subtly handsome than the 75’s. It’s not what I’m looking for, but if it fell in my lap I’d fall in love with this one easily.

    Like 4
  22. Avatar photo DETROIT LAND YACHT

    The gas crisis asteroid had already hit…and these beasts were the last of the species…lumbering around in vain…looking for the 30 cent per gallon pump.
    Love these old whales…but I’ll take the 1970 ragtop over this one any day.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Stan Marks

      This is definitely a weekend driver. Unless you owned your own oil field.

      Like 2
  23. Avatar photo Rich C

    Very seldom see these big GM coupes without the vinyl, esp landau, top. Makes me think it probably had one prior to a repaint. Even less common in the more upscale Olds.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Michael Proctor

      This vehicle was ordered without L/T
      I know because I own it and I have the original retail order and window sticker.

      Like 2
  24. Avatar photo BC

    Maybe it’s the lack of a vinyl top or the color, but to me the design lacks cohesion. The front and back look like they were borrowed from plainer and fancier cars respectively. Also the rear side window looks tacked on. The seats should be red, not black.

    Like 1
  25. Avatar photo Moparman Member

    As large as these cars were, and with the engineering prowess of GM, one would think that they could have found a way to make the rear windows retract. I would imagine, though, the bean counters wouldn’t like the cost, and A/C was probably more profitable.

    Like 0
  26. Avatar photo Joe Spinelli

    i love the 70’s stylings of cars they were so unique and distinct but ohhhh so disappointing horse power wise and im 60 such a shame what could have been

    Like 0
  27. Avatar photo Russell Einhorn

    As a youngster (early 20’s) I had a 1976 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham loved that cart. fully loaded crushed velour seats the works,except it loved to eat starters as it got older! 2

    Like 0
  28. Avatar photo S

    OK – since you said “what don’t I like” – I’m not a fan of the huge back seat window that doesn’t roll down in 1975 and 76. I like the 1971-74 Olds 98 coupe so better which had hardtop styling and a window that rolled down in the back. I dont think these cars wore the rectangular headlight look well in 75 and 76. The 71-74 round headlights look better on this body style. I DO like the red paint, however on a car this big, a contrasting color vinyl roof would really look much better to break up the acres of all one color. The 1977-79 Olds 98 was also a big styling improvement over these. Also poor gas mileage. If you want a very large car, there are other cars that are styled better. The good styling would have to offset the downside of getting 10 mpg. And I prefer cloth interior to this. And $13K is a LOT of $ I think. So there, since the author asked, I said what I didn’t like. On the plus side, I do like that someone appreciated this and preserved it. I like the red color, since that is unusual on these. The interior looks to be in nice shape. I like that it has a 455 and some nice options. I like the wheel covers. In general I like this era of cars, even if this one isn’t at the top of my list. And I like most Oldsmobiles. So there you have it.

    Like 2
  29. Avatar photo Mark Kurth

    The old man bought one new in Jan of ’76. He was an ad exec and Oldsmobile was an agency client. If I remember right, he was able to get some kind of “family” pricing on the big Olds. Dad was more interested in European cars and his preference was for the Cutlass Salon. But with three teenage kids to stuff in the back, Mom thought the 98 was a better choice.

    It was a great family car. We drove down to Florida many Springs from Chicago in first-class comfort. It was really at home on the Interstate. It did multiple college moves for us kids and survived my youthful enthusiasm for 455-powered hole shots! My brother and I still tell the story of setting the cruise control at 100 mph on a trip down to Champaign on I-57. It just settled in and kept the pace with no fuss.

    GM had some quality issues in those days but our Olds was a good one. We never had a problem with it, other than replacing a bad alternator (and tires!).

    Like 1
  30. Avatar photo Stan Kaminski

    One of the first cars to have airbags. Wonder if it has it? Mom had a 1976 delta 88 four-door hardtop sedan (no airbags ). Compared to my 1967 Lemans Sprint coupe you could tell you were dragging around 1500 extra pounds around. It felt like a tank compared to my Pontiac. With all that huge white vinyl interior you needed to wear sunglasses all the time!

    Like 0
  31. Avatar photo Chris

    Nice looking car I would drive all day long …..

    Like 2
  32. Avatar photo Denny

    I was blessed to be in the sales management side, of the automobile business, in this era, into the 1980’s, when I moved I to a different area, of the automobile business.
    I loved the GM full size cars, of this style, and drove many of them…the Olds 98 coupe, was a huge favorite, very comfortable road car, handled nicely, good power, for what was available, certainly not a slouch…and always looked good, in every situation. It would fit nicely in my garage, I love red cars, and I always liked the vinyl top delete, a nice clean look.
    As for what would stop me from buying it, other than ready cash, nothing.
    What isn’t to my liking, black interiors…their were so many better looking choices at Olds, back then, just my personal taste. Hopefully, it is fully loaded, so the only other thing would be a serious, serious detailing, including underneath, the trunk area, and that engine bay…a beautiful ride.

    Like 0
  33. Avatar photo cmarv Member

    What a great car ? It is great that it exists in the condition it’s in . Overpriced ? Find another optioned this way in this condition . No vinyl top ? If it bothers you that much , install one . I love this big block boat .

    Like 5
  34. Avatar photo Joe

    I’m surprised no one mentioned the propensity for vinyl tops to get rust under them around the edges. No vinyl tops for me.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Stan Marks

      Absolutely, Joe. B tops look best when they’re on the showroom floor.
      Once the car leaves the dealership, the rust gremlins begin the feast. Rust starts between the body and the vinyl edge.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo Stan Marks

        V tops. Not B tops…….

        Like 0
  35. Avatar photo Dave Mathers

    The new buyer will be a BIG hit down at the marina!! LOL

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Stan Marks

      They can use the plush seats as a flotation device.

      Like 0
  36. Avatar photo AW

    It’s the first 98 of that era I’ve seen that has no full vinyl top or “landau” top. It actually looks better without the top, plus you don’t have to worry about rust forming under the vinyl from trapping moisture. And this car has the optional leather interior. Can you say Cadillac “junior”?

    Like 3
  37. Avatar photo Gary

    I love it. I’ve always been a fan of all the big Oldsmobile cars. I wonder if anyone under the age of 21, knows what a fender skirt is. LOL
    Nice car.

    Like 2
  38. Avatar photo Cecil

    As originally designed this car was supposed to be built with davits in the back for either a dingy or a refurbished BMW 600. An uncle had one of these — lived on a ranch and parked it in a barn. Ultimately, it was sold for scrap. I think the uncle got 42 pounds of scrap…

    Like 0
  39. Avatar photo Bill Evans

    Always loved the 2 door land yachts. had a 65 bonneville conv. 2 door. loved the car. this one looks great

    Like 0
  40. Avatar photo Mike

    I always loved the big coupes! Of course, I always envisioned myself buying a brand new Coupe De Ville at retirement time as a sign of having “made it”! Now that’s a thing of the past and song.
    Yes this Olds is beautiful, and built right. You got a ton of car for the money. After this, cars became smaller, duller and more expensive.

    Like 1
  41. Avatar photo Mike Brown

    This is what a REAL car looks like! While I’m not a big fan of red, if I was still in the market for an interstate cruiser, I’d give this a serious look. I already have the one that I want though, a 1975 Coupe DeVille that my wife and I use for 1200+ mile round trips to visit our grandsons on long weekends. Point it south on the interstate, set the cruise and terrorize Toyota’s from Ohio to North Carolina and back!

    Like 0
  42. Avatar photo Jcs

    Fun thread.

    Like 1
  43. Avatar photo PaulG

    Sold for 11.9

    Like 0

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