Boring Four-Door With A Mystery Engine

Boring Brooklyn Find

How much would you pay for a four-door Olds? If you are like me, not much. What if that car had something interesting under the hood though? The seller of this 1970 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight Royale just purchased it from the original owner and didn’t even bother to move the title into their name before relisting it for sale. I’m not encouraging that kind of behavior, but there sure seem to be a lot of people interested in this less-than-desirable car. Sure, it is very original and has relativity low-mileage, but that can’t explain why bidding is already up to $3,800 here on eBay with 51 bids! The Q&A section at the bottom of the listing could hold some clues though. Apparently, there is some confusion about which engine is in this car. Some guys are telling the seller it’s just a 350 while others are saying it’s a 455. The seller has his own ideas. I know that a high performance variant of the big block was available in the late sixties, but I’m not sure what exactly is sitting in there. Any guesses?


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  1. Rick

    Back in ’82 or ’83 I had 69 88 2 dr post stripper that I paid $250 for, anyhow it came with a 455 that looked just the mill in this barge, pretty sure mine only had a 2 bbl. The folks I bought it from were the original owners and used it to tow a big boat. I flipped it for $375 to one my friends, but not before annoying the neighbors for several days running with large clouds of thick tire smoke

  2. RayT Member

    Yeah, I’m thinking 3500 scoots is a bit pricey for this Olds. Not being an expert, I can’t say the engine is a 455, but have seen enough 350s to be pretty certain this isn’t one. Rocker covers and sparkplug placement seem wrong for a Chev. motor. Somebody will have to trace the VIN to be sure.

    Even so, something about the ad makes me a bit suspicious. If I were to buy it — which I won’t — I wouldn’t just hop in and drive it away.

    • JW454

      Ray T.,

      There was and Oldsmobile 350 Cu. In. that looks like this motor. That’s what they saying.
      On the other hand, 19 Million miles seems like a bit much but, people do drive more these days. LOL 19 million miles. People need to proof read their stuff closer.

  3. JW

    Nice original car but like stated a boring 4 door boat, if that’s what you want who am I to say no. It would make a nice highway cruiser for trips if you can afford the gas. When I was younger and living in Illinois my buddies and I would get together and take a car like this to run to Peoria to Big Al’s strip club that way if anyone banged in to the car while we were inside we didn’t give a crap.

  4. Dave at OldSchool

    Sure looks like a 455 Olds to me.

  5. don

    sorry, but calling B/S on mileage, try 178k , not worth what it is selling for, $3800? to much for what it is.

  6. DENIS

    a 455 WOULD BE BLUE….350 IS GOLD…..Only way to tell w/o checking #s is the 455 is wider than the 350, so you can tell by the width of the intake manifold…
    it’s a 350…

    • Dave at OldSchool

      yes, Denis, I recall the 455 in my Gen3 Cutlass WAS blue……

    • Dan

      Looking at google images, and having once a 1971 Olds Cutlas S, the 350 engines I found in this year span were gold, the 350 engine in an Olds is nothing like a Chevy engine, a little wider, spark plugs above the exhaust manifolds, I had a plug pop out about a month after buying mine and replaced it on the road,..never had the problem again, I assumed someone before me had worked on it and just didn’t tighten that one down all the way.

  7. JamestownMike

    $3,800 already for a 70 Olds 88 4 door??…….I’m confused! Even IF it has an Olds 455, what’s the most that motor could be worth?? Buick and Pontiac 455’s are all different. Also, who puts black seats in a gold on gold car?

  8. Chebby

    These are nice, durable cars with lots of power. Not the handsomest year or best color, but with cheap gas I’d rock this Rocket Oldsmobile.

    Olds 350 engines were painted gold and the 455s were blue, but without knowing the originality, I’d guess it’s the small block. Those black seats were likely recovered from gold fabric as well.

    This guy sounds like a skeezy flipper who bought this from some grandma cheaply, and does not know much about cars. If the old owner’s name is still on the paperwork they are liable if it’s stolen or wrecked. Not titling the car and then driving it for a month is illegal AFAIK. It doesn’t mean it’s still one owner, it means you are an asshole.

    • JamestownMike

      OBVIOUSLY he isn’t a “car guy”, you’d think he’d do a 2 minute Google search (like I did) to find out what motor you have!?! WOW!!!!…….he OPENLY admits to driving the car FOR A MONTH without it being in his name. I’m pretty sure the Grandma or Grandpa he bought it from isn’t aware of that! It’s probably even an “open title”, which is illegal here in NC………not sure how else he can sell it to someone (unless it’s in your name or OPEN)?? He might just earn the “skeezy flipper of the day” award!

  9. sunbeamdon

    JW – wasn’t that the guys and you just last weekend at the strip club?? Do you even remember why you used to go? Truly, do we ever grow-up? All us car nuts never will! Just last weekend I was on I-5 bang shifting my Kirkham Cobra with 452 cu in side-oiler – double-clutch from third down into second at 60+ mph it’ll sound like a July 4th mortar, flames out the side pipes (scares the wee out of the neighbors!)

    By the way – pass on this boat!

    • JW

      sunbeamdon HA HA !!! Very Distant memory that’s for sure.

  10. Jim

    Back then you could get a car any way you wanted it. My brother-in-law had a 67 Olds Cutlass that was a 4 dr with a 442 engine & 4 speed tranny from the factory.

  11. JamestownMike

    Sure enough, 1970 Olds 455 was BLUE, 1970 Olds 350 was GOLD. Looks like it’s an Olds 350! That’s a BIG, HEAVY car……..surprised they even offered an Olds 350 in 1970 for that BOAT!

    • JOE

      this is a 455 all day people i would bet anything on it have the same car parked outside

  12. Andrew M.

    Non original seats and an air freshener… Ok, who died in it?

  13. Charles H.

    That 442 engine would have been a 400 cu. Jim

  14. Luke Fitzgerald

    Well I like it – that’s a cheap car – tell me, if some held a gun to your head and said find one – could you?

  15. Luke Fitzgerald

    I mean ‘someone’ – I once read that the city of NY towed a thousand cars a week off their streets – even if that’s an over statement – how many, like this simple car are gone? – sure the seats are pox, but it’s an oldies car – I’m glad he got it and someone bought it to hopefully preserve it – and everyone knows a 4 dr sedan is put together better and is more solid than any other style – price? Are you guys kidding? – people pay more for a 10 day holiday! (without the beer)

  16. Dan

    I found a web page that has a lot of Olds info for these engines. I wouldn’t mind find an old boat with a 455 in it after reading this guys page…

  17. jim s

    sold for $3800. will the new owner be happy or will the seller be relisting?

  18. dpb

    It’s a 350 2bbl, low compression 250 h.p. confirm by numbers cast in front of the intake and above the water pump, and no, it never was available with a Chevy engine.

    • Ed P

      The Olds-Chevy engine debacle did not occur until 1975 and only involved the 350 v8 from both divisions. It appears that the Olds engines were used in California cars of several GM divisions due to state emissions regs.

  19. lance

    I had one of those. Its a 350.
    455 in 70 wd be red, or possibly blue.
    If its got a number cast on the head its a small block. If the head has a letter its a big block.

  20. james boyd

    Its an Olds engine for sure, They are not as durable as the Poncho or Buick engine but they do have tons of torque. The oiling system in oldsmobile as well as ford clevland engines oil the top and bottom end at the same time,so its easy to starve the crankshaft if you are winding it up.

  21. Rex Kahrs Member

    Yeah cruise this baby to the CVS for a Depends and Maalox run.

  22. Keith

    For $3800? Fark no.

    For $380? Fark yeah.

    Drive it ’til it rusts in half, or flip it to someone who needs it for sentimental reasons.

    Likely also the reaction this seller had when buying it from the old lady next door. Next!

  23. Booya

    That’s a 455. My dad had one just like it, right down to the color and trim level. We actually slept in it for a while. Bought it for $1800 in 1978, drove it until about 1981. Got about 10 MPG driven gently. The 455 4 bbl really hooks up when you stomp on it.

  24. Barry T

    Ghastly color.

  25. Mike B

    My late Grandparents had one of these for a few years, and it came out with a 455 in it, because it was so funny that my Grandmother had such a lead foot, she was always getting pulled over for speeding. They traded it on after 2 years and bought a 72 Buick Electra LE also with a 455 in it, and I bought it from them some years later, and ran it until the doors fell off of it. As my Dad always said the 455 could pass anything on the highway except for a gas pump.

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