Dad’s Coupe: 1983 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight

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I’m of the mindset that you should – at all costs – avoid using the word “honestly” too often in any listing of any item for sale. It just pokes the mind into wondering, “Well, what aren’t they being honest about?” Grammar and style aside, I don’t think there’s much to worry about regarding this 1983 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight coupe here on eBay, which, honestly, looks like it’s ready to roll despite being laid up in the barn. 

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The photos of this Ninety-Eight in the barn reveal a car that has been stored with nothing more than a car cover and the rear tires flat, looking practically melted into the ground from stagnation. The seller himself seems surprised to admit that the car fires up with ease and runs like a sewing machine despite years of dormancy and very limited use by the previous owner, his father, who just used the car for in-town drives and is said to be an Oldsmobile fanatic.

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You don’t often see these in coupe bodies, making this Oldsmobile somewhat rare despite the massive numbers of cars originally produced. The bumper chrome looks presentable from this angle, and it’s good to see matching hubcaps and none of the beltline trim missing. The seller doesn’t mention any significant rust despite years of being stored over a dirt floor, but his reference to the car representing an “easy project” make me wonder what it needs.

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The red cloth interior looks acceptable but also appears to be suffering from some level of sun fade and general wear-and-tear. If the car doesn’t sell this go-around, the seller pledges to put it back in the barn for another decade, letting it marinate a bit more and supposedly grow in value. I don’t know if that will happen, but it will likely emerge from storage looking a bit worse for the wear, so I hope it finds a new home sooner than later.

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Comments

  1. nessy

    Oh how I love Oldsmobiles with 98’s being my top pick. This 98 either has very faded seat covers, also faded carpets or the original seats have been replaced. This car came from the factory with the plush pillow Regency interior, those are not Regency seats. That ragtop is also aftermarket. Again, I can not understand why people think a car looks better in photos with flat tires, a tarp hanging off it and the hood unlatched.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Agreed on the seats and the faux vert top. I’ve often wondered why the coach upfitters put the emblems and coach lights back on the sail panels after the top was installed. Kinda defeats the intention of the convertible effect.

    • Tom Driscoll

      Agree, seats and top are a huge distraction and will hurt it’s value.
      BF, please find me a B-body with low miles, 403, and a moonroof and I’m a buyer. Better yet, make it a Bonneville with snowflakes, pwr everything, and a floor shift!

    • Mark S Member

      This is not a rag top this is a factory vinyl top. And yes gm did put the badging on top of the vinyl this was very common on high end domestic cars of this era.

  2. 61Bat

    Looks like it has covers over the original seats, hopefully preserving the original interior ………if the mice didn’t get to it.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      If they are covers, those were some dang nice seat covers…look at the reverse stitching and welting at the seams.

  3. Mr. TKD

    I’ve always liked BIG two-door coupes — and this Ninety Eight is a great example of the genre. If it’s cheap enough, I’m a buyer. And have I mentioned my irrational attraction to cars with fender skirts?

  4. Rustytech Member

    The fake convertible top and seat covers are after market, the top may have been a dealer installed option. If you look closely at the seats you can see it doesn’t have the detail stitching, and the headrests show the correct seat color and are not faded. These were great cars, somewhat under powered by 1983 as I believe they were down to a 301ci by that time. I had a 1977 Delta 88 Royal that I ordered new with the 403 ci. It was the only way you could guarantee you’d get an Olds engine not the Corp. 305 or 350 ci were rebadged Chevrolet engines. It was a great car, and fast for the time. This car looks great!

    • ACZ

      This is likely a 5.0L (307 Olds V8). A diesel was also available. Buick’s Park Ave., which was also a “C” body like the Olds 98, had a 4.1L V6 available. Maybe Olds did, too. The last 403 was used in 1979. This also would have had a 200-4R overdrive trans.

  5. Steve

    My mom had a champagne 1983 olds 88 with a 307 olds engine and a th350 trans. No vinyl top but dark brown manual vinyl seats. Swapped the seats for set of power velour seats out of a buick electra i found at the salvage yard. Put a little over 150k on the engine and it started to miss. Pulled the valve covers and it was about to drop a valve due to worn retainer. Pulled engine for rebuild and got it back in car but befire i had a chance to rebuild the q jet (dieseling at shut off) my mom got antsy and traded it for an 85 fwd v8 Cadillac. Biggest POS ever.

  6. Bill Owens Bill O Staff

    I can just see the pillow top back seats, the front seat covers look almost custom or home made. Also, notice the dash cover. The father must have really tried to take care of this car interior. However, what is that over the armrest; looks like it snaps over to protect the original armrest; hope it doesn’t leave the snaps behind. Odd that there’s no molding and pinstripe on drivers side, but is on passenger side. I had a 1984 Delta 88 Royale Brougham LS 4 door; came out to take place after 98 was downsized and was even fitted with the even plusher Ninety-Eight Regency Brougham interior; however, I don’t think 2 doors were available in the Regency Brougham, but Regency only.

  7. CJay

    “Fires up with ease” how does that work? After 3 months Ethanol turns to crap and the lawnmower won’t start for me!

  8. Howard A Member

    Fast forward many years,,,”Daddy”? Yes son”? “What’s an Oldsmobile”?
    Probably some of the last great Oldsmobiles, right here. Collectibility wise, I don’t think there’s a big call for these, especially like this, that’s been sitting. No doubt what a great road car this was at one time, and could be once again, but probably be a pain until you got it straightened out. Most of us have fond memories of Oldsmobiles, it was the car of choice for young families. I’m sure there were many of these as the last Olds dad or mom had. They knew what car to buy.

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