Entry Level Classic: 1974 Oldsmobile Omega

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The Oldsmobile Omega is not generally thought of as a collector car, having a comparatively short production run from 1973-1984 with very little in the way of performance editions. Here is a relatively solid 1973 coupe located in Lucerne Valley, California. It is advertised as like a Nova and found here on eBay, with a purchase price of $2995.

This could be a reasonable entry-level car as long as some expectations are limited. Not a car quite ready to hit the road, it is advertised as a V8 car but frustratingly no engine pictures are included. The engine would be Olds 350 as opposed to the more universal Chevrolet small block. One of the heads is located on the passenger floorboard. It may be a spare but this doesn’t look good for the condition of the engine. The hood looks to have haphazardly placed back, leading me to believe it was removed for major engine work. However, it seems to have a normal stance, looking to still be bearing the weight of an engine.

What the seller does provide is numerous underneath pictures showing a straight and solid car, revealing a minor spot on the bottom of the door. There is a bucket above one of the mufflers? The car originally had a vinyl roof, and the California sun seems to have gotten the best of it, with the owner removing the rest. There is a spot on the roof above the rear window which looks like rust through but is hard to tell. This may be a problem. Vinyl roofs can be evil,  holding moisture against non-painted metal. The roof should be painted or treated as soon as possible to avoid further damage.  Overall the exterior paint looks quite usable as is.

Originally equipped with buckets and a console, the interior now needs refurbishment. Not likely the original upholstery with imitation buckles could be sourced, but perhaps more common Nova parts could be used. Hopefully the same could be said about the door panels. The headliner has sagged down and requires replacement. The aftermarket has stepped up and provided a one-piece unit for the Nova, original type of material utilizing the bows is also available. The trunk area is filled with all sorts of rubbish, obscuring the view of the trunk floor.

I like this car; it would make a great father-son project. Regardless of the era, it represents how many of us could have been introduced to cars, slowly fixing up a non-descriptive 2 door, all the while having big dreams. If this car were in the northeast, the rust-free body would make it a reasonable buy regardless of the engine. In sunny California, there may be more driveable or popular models available from this era, however. It is my hope this one gets saved, preferably introducing a young person to the car hobby.

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  1. Matt steele

    Too much $ not enuff car

    Like 4
  2. Bob

    $2995.00 ?? $29.95 is the highest I will go!

    Like 3
  3. 8banger Dave MikaMember

    You guys are hard. I’d take it for $33.00

    Like 8
  4. Kenneth Carney

    I like it. But not 3K worth. I’m being
    generous but I’d give $500 for it as is.
    The car has good bones and would make
    a great little hot rod for not a lot of cash.
    For the cost of an over-inflated Nova,
    you could have a nearly finished project
    for under $10K. A warmed over 350
    would do the trick, but I wouldn’t turn
    down a Pontiac 455 as you could use
    Super Duty parts from a Trans Am–
    provided you could find the parts you
    need to spice it up. Then to crank up
    the fun factor a wee bit more, I’d slip
    in an M-22 rock crusher 4-speed mated
    to a 12-bolt posi rearend running 3.73:1
    gearset for reliability’s sake. Inside,
    I’d use an original interior with the
    exception of some Strato bucket seats
    from an early ’70’s Chevelle to replace
    those awful high back buckets these
    cars had as an option back then. Cover
    the body in metallic silver, add the hood
    scoop from a Trans Am, and you’ll have
    a sure fire winner! Call me old school,
    but that’s the way I’d do it.

    Like 3
  5. Michael Kemp

    I live in the Northeast and I would pay 500$ if it ran.

    Like 2
  6. local_sheriff

    There’s a lot of vintage trash into this one ; is that an attempt from seller to prove it’s been sitting for so long – or just laziness?
    I like the fact it’s an Olds, as it’d be nice camoflage for a beast-under-the-skin sleeper.Good it’s very similar to the Nova though, its rough for sure!

    Like 0
  7. CCFisher

    Entry level? Perhaps. Classic? No.

    If I could go back in time, I would choose something less desirable but and less dilapidated than the Flintstone-esque ’68 Mustang convertible that was my entry level choice. However, this seems to be neither desirable, nor well-kept, nor inexpensive, so I don’t see the appeal.

    Like 1
  8. Duaney

    All of the above comments are ridiculous. You have a sporty rear wheel drive coupe, straight body, I didn’t see any rust. It also has the rare buckets and console. This will easily sell for $3k. I’ve sold similar vehicles here on Craigslist, usually didn’t have to wait more than a day or two.

    Like 2
  9. David Ulrey

    3 is a bit more than I’d like to pay but these cars despite being a Nova cousin stand out on their own accord. I had one in 1987. Sure it was only 13 years old and in better condition. 350 Olds under the hood and an automatic. Only slightly warmed up with a mild cam and dual exhaust. Still had the factory 4bbl intake and Quadrajet. Fastest and meanest car around? No but it would fry the tires at will and surprised more than a couple people because I kept the hub caps on and it wasn’t loud at an idle. Really liked that car. It was one of a few that I regretted selling. Almost immediately in that case.

    Like 2
  10. KevinLee

    No rust ? Look above the rear window.

    Like 0
  11. Tony T

    <> Oh, stop it!

    Like 0
  12. Doug

    Price is a little high, but some cash in hand could change that. Interior is going to be a chore. But, a good starter. A big block Olds Rocket 455 would fit in nicely, and it could an all Olds weekend car.

    Like 0
  13. Stevie G

    About 15 years ago I had the Pontiac version of this, same orange color (but not faded) with a black top & black bench interior. Mine had the Pontiac 350 and a 3 speed on the floor. What a little tire roaster! I couldn’t win a race in that little car and I knew that, so I never tried. I loved that car but my wife (now ex-wife) had some chemical dependency issues & I had to sell it to pay some bills after she spent the money I set aside for those bills. I sold a lot of cool cars for the same reason. I should have kept the cars & got rid of her sooner lol.
    No way this car is worth the asking price. Not in bad shape compared to an average car from this part of the country (Milwaukee), but mine was darn near pristine, a local car, and I paid $1,500.
    Yup, shoulda kept it!

    Like 0
  14. Dennis Read

    Guys it is not 1974 it’s a1973 the grill is key too many vertical bars and floor shifter is wrong

    Like 0

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