Coupe Survivor! 1980 Oldsmobile 98 Regency

Normally, an Oldsmobile 98 find wouldn’t be that surprising. When one is discovered that is 40 years old with only 45K miles, and a two-door coupe to boot, well, that’s noteworthy. While hardly a performance maven like a more collectible 442, full-size coupes have a calling all their own and they just aren’t seen that often anymore. This 1980 Olds 98 Regency is located in Redkey, Indiana and is available, here on Facebook Marketplace for $6,500. Thanks to Ikey H. for this tip!

In keeping with traditional differences between the standard model Oldsmobile 88 and the upscale 98, the latter enjoys a three-inch longer wheelbase than the former, 119″ vs. 116″. Beyond that, and a similar difference in overall length, they are really the same car. The 98 is better appointed, features-wise, but an 88 could be ordered to pretty closely match a 98 if that were the buyer’s desire.

While standard engines differ between the 88 and the 98, this coupe has the optional, 160 net HP, 350 CI V8, courtesy of, according to the seller, Buick. GM was playing a game of round-robin with their engines in the late’70s and early ’80s as they tried to coalesce around fewer powerplants. By 1980, Buick V8’s were on the way out and research indicates that this was the last year for Buick’s version of GM’s various and ubiquitous 350 CI engines. All that said, the engine in this example looks like an Oldsmobile 350 to my eyes, primarily by virtue of the oil-fill tube positioned right behind the red heater hose. Unfortunately, there is no mention as to how well, or not, this Olds runs. Transmission activity is handled by a three-speed, Turbo-Hydramatic automatic unit.

The seller claims that this 98 has been in dry storage since 2012 and it is a very clean appearing car. The finish and chrome still possess a nice shine and the Light Blue Metallic, a standard GM corporate color, presents itself quite well. One place where the 98 and 88 differ is the rear-wheel opening. The 88 has an opened radius design while the 98’s is smaller and less round, finished off with a fender-skirt. My only reason for mentioning this is that I’m just not much on skirts, but this 98 wouldn’t like quite right with them removed.

The interior is, well a matter of preference I suppose. It appears to be in fine, clean shape but those seats, really? I know, it was all the rage in this era but a pillow-top seat, which would seem more appropriate on a mattress cover, just looks out of place in a car. These spotted seat enhancements look like they were boosted from lounge chairs. The seller claims the interior, as well as the exterior, to be “immaculate” probably not the adjective that I would use but yes, from what can be seen, the interior looks new and has clearly been lightly used and well maintained.

As said before, big full-size two-door cars will not come our way again so if that’s your thing, here’s another great find to consider like this full-size, 1967 Ford Galaxie 500 from last week. It is true, sometimes you just don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Considering condition and mileage, this Oldsmobile 98 Regency coupe seems like a pretty good buy at $6,500, wouldn’t you agree?

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Comments

  1. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Whoa, that’s gorgeous! Nice find, Ikey, and great write-up, Jim!

    Like 9
  2. Bob C.

    One thing about these 80s cars, they were super comfortable and rode good. Not fast, by all means, but at least it has a 350 and not a 307. BTW, I agree that’s an Olds unit too, because Buick would have a front mounted distributor.

    Like 12
  3. David Zornig

    Sold…

    Like 1
  4. George Mattar

    Rustproofed these when new at a very busy Olds dealer. Drove hundreds of them. Super comfortable. A ride far superior to any of today’s POS SUV s.

    Like 7
  5. Matt G

    That is a very long, very square car…

    Like 2
  6. Bhowe Member

    Absolutely love the interior. First of all, color!!! Not drab grey or black. Second, looks very comfortable compared to today’s junk.

    Now that I can afford new vehicles, the dont make anything comfortable anymore, and I prefer cloth over leather

    Like 9
    • S

      I agree wholeheartedly with everything you’ve said!

      Like 6
  7. S

    I love this. When American luxury cars were classy. Not overdone like a Cadillac. Buicks had those pillow top seats back then too but they were a different design, with a low pile velour on them. I like the color, the chrome, the formal look. Overall, just very nice and comfortable too! And the light blue is nice with the blue interior. As someone else said, it would be ok power wise with the 350. A lot of people changed their opinions on what a luxury car should be in the 80s (I sound like the Lincoln commercial!), but they switched their ideas over to European cars and Lexus. This kind of car didn’t appeal to as many people by 1990. Besides by then they were all front wheel drive and were smaller. Some people still appreciate this kind of car, just not as many as before.

    Like 4
  8. Dave Brown

    The author probably really dislikes the 1972 Oldsmobile 98 Regency. Those pillow top seats were the beginning of it all. The public loved them. Within a few years, all US manufacturers offered this design. I especially liked the 1974 Imperial with these seats in beige leather. Oh my God, they were beautiful! And I like fender skirts. And whitewalls. And standup hood emblems. And chrome. So many of todays vehicles are a styling nightmare. Body lines that go nowhere. Busy designs. Blacked out chrome that reminds me of WWII cars. Fish mouth front ends. They all represent bad design. What has happened?

    Like 11
  9. Maestro1

    I’m glad it has a new owner. It’s a great buy.

    Like 3
  10. David Miraglia

    Love the blue on blue. Understated class.

    Like 6
  11. roland schoenke

    I had a ’72 old 98, if the frame hadn’t rusted I’d still like to have it. Made me a land yacht lover.

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