X Games: 1980 Oldsmobile Omega Brougham

032016 Barn Finds - 1980 Oldsmobile Omega 1

Talk about a car you never see anymore, let alone one in this fine condition. This original 1980 Oldsmobile Omega Brougham coupe is found on Hemmings with an asking price of $4,450 and I think that it’s worth every penny of that asking price.

032016 Barn Finds - 1980 Oldsmobile Omega 4

I know, I know, these GM X-body cars aren’t beloved by the vast majority of the classic car community, or the car community, in general. To me, it’s a 36-year old car in excellent, original condition, it’s a great color, and it’s a 2-door; that means that it’s a collectible car in my world. I fully expect that there won’t be any love here for this car, but at least on paper you have to admit that this is a very nice car.

032016 Barn Finds - 1980 Oldsmobile Omega 2

This “dark green metallic” Oldsmobile Omega Brougham coupe has 23,000 original miles on it and as the name implies, this Omega is one of the last generation of Omegas to roll off the line. GM used the name Omega to imply the last, or the ultimate limit of a set, and this was the last generation that would be produced using the Omega name. As you know, the X-body cars also included the Chevrolet Citation, Buick Skylark, and Pontiac Phoenix. The new front-drive Omega was around 600 pounds lighter than the previous rear-drive Omega.

032016 Barn Finds - 1980 Oldsmobile Omega 3

This is a Brougham edition and this car is almost loaded, other than maybe not having a sunroof or a vinyl top which even the most hardened critics against this car should be happy for. Vinyl tops probably rank just below X-body cars themselves in popularity with classic or vintage car lovers. This is the Camel Tan Dover knit cloth interior and it looks as perfect as the rest of the car does. Well, other than the odd steering wheel. Oldsmobile made an SX edition but this wheel says GT on it. I’m not sure if the original one comes with this car or not. There were no airbags on these cars so changing it back to an original-spec one should be a cinch and that way you won’t lose points at the Hemmings Concours this fall… One thing that I was always curious about on these cars was that there didn’t seem to be an “off” setting for the fan, if I remember correctly. Without vent windows they wanted you to always have a fresh air supply, at least that’s what I was told by an Olds dealer in the early-1980s.

032016 Barn Finds - 1980 Oldsmobile Omega 5

Ok, so my almost-perfect-car scenario ends here; this engine could use a thorough detailing to get it up to the level of the rest of the car. This is GM’s 2.8L V6 which is the biggest engine offered in this particular car. This engine has 115hp which would have been acceptable power in 1980 since everyone was going to down-sized cars with down-sized engines. This car weighs around 2,500-2,600 pounds and with X-body cars having front-wheel-drive they had better than average traction in the snow. Of course, winter tires or snow tires are always better than all-season tires for driving in the snow. The owner says that they have recently put some work into it and it runs “great fires right up rides like dream.” You could offer them $4,448 for this car since you’ll need to fill the washer reservoir.

032016 Barn Finds - 1980 Oldsmobile Omega 6

There is that famous Oldsmobile waterfall grille, or a 1980 version of it and 1980 is the only year that the Omega used it. I really, really like this car. It’s one of those love-it-or-hate-it cars, there is no question about it, and I’m very much in the love-it camp. I know that older folks will consider this small, front-wheel-drive Oldsmobile as a sign that the end was near. But, there is some precedence for front-wheel-drive cars with the Oldsmobile Toronado, needless to say. I think that the collector car market is hungry for “newer”, smaller, usable-now cars in the $5,000 or under category for younger collectors who don’t care for huge vehicles and this one certainly fits that profile to a T. Are you a full-sized-or-nothing Oldsmobile fan or do you cut this X-body Omega some slack given its condition and its 2-door configuration?

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Comments

  1. ClassicCarFan

    Sadly, I think you are absolutely right in your assessment that there’s very little love out there for this sort of car. There’s nothing much to recommend it really. Not real stylish, (relatively) underpowered, malaise-era cheapness and build quality. I guess there’s a bum for every seat as they say, but I’d imagine the collector/classic car interest in a model like this is limited to non-existent.

    Having said that, it does appear to be in well-kept condition? I guess if you just wanted something that was older and just a bit different, it might serve someone well – but I think the asking price is a bit ambitious?

    • Doug C

      had a 1980 olds omega 4cyl 4 speed same interior and exterior no a/c am radio bumper strips bumper guards side molding best car I ever had.lived in orange county ny.snow tires all around.it pulled NY State trooper vech out of snow.He liked it and bought one.that sale price is close whit paid for mine .

  2. Mike H. Mike H.

    Personal observation: these were terrible cars. It’s been suggested here previously that the primary advantage to preservation of cars like this is that it forces us to remember a time when America (and really the rest of the world) produced dreadful cars for the sake of the mass market and corporate profit; that quality and reliability were of no consideration at a certain point in auto production.

    Does anyone else recall the malady referred to as “morning sickness”? That the GM X-body and the A-body which followed them would suffer from a groaning and leaking power steering rack when cold? The steering racks in these cars were aluminum bodied and lacked any sort of a bushing or bearing against the Teflon sealing rings on the spool valve, which would wear grooves into the aluminum housing of the rack and pinion resulting in an internal bypass of pressure.

    It’s nice that this one still exists and is so well preserved, but I agree that the ask is very ambitious for a car which will never have any real collector status. They made millions of these, and few have survived for a reason. I wish the seller luck in finding a buyer for this, and I agree that there is – in fact – a bum for every seat.

  3. piper62j

    Very nice find.. These IMHO are very nice cars and this one in particular will make a great driver.. Economical too..

    Yep! Price is right too…

  4. Mike

    My Sister-in-law had the Chevy Citation and it had such a problem with the rack and pinion power steering fluid leaks, and my Brother which hand hands the size of a bear when it needed power steering fluid, he would struggle to get his hands down to pump and would not always get the cap back on the steering pump, I bet he went through 20 of those caps before they got rid of it, it got to the point his wife would take it to Dad’s shop to have it checked and filled. Nice looking old car though, it would make a nice car for a little old lady type. Of course I still have 1 kid in college that could use a little daily driver like this, she would kill me if I took her 66 Super Sport away from her, oh well it is a thought for about 1.2 seconds!!!!!!

  5. Fred

    I for one have a hard time imagining these cars ever being collectible, because most of the domestic cars at this time were so poorly built and designed. Of course, in the Eighties if you had suggested that a Ford Falcon would one day be in demand car guys would have looked at you like you were insane. What goes around comes around.

    Like 1
  6. Howard A Member

    Truth be known, these cars are in high demand.
    http://www.vintoniowa.org/images/pics/torqzilla_c92a86.jpg
    I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. Actually, this car is pretty nice, but they had problems when new, I can’t imagine they got any better over time. Again, unless there’s some kind of emotional attachment to this car, pretty limited market. If nothing else, it would be a good used car, and there’s always that ^^^.

  7. Andacar

    “a car you never see anymore.” There’s a reason for that. Still, I have a soft spot for my old 72 Pinto (which does not extend as far as wanting to buy another one), so what do I know?

  8. Tom

    I think this is only the second time an Oldsmobile Omega of this era was posted here and this little green machine is very neat. However, with a 4500 price, it makes you think about the blue 82 Omega that was featured here last July with only 150 original miles with an asking price of 5000. That car is still on the market and I would guess that it could be bought for the low 4g range so it does not take a lot of thinking for an Omega shopper to decide on which car seems to be the better buy here.

  9. Chebby

    These were not good cars at all, but I admit I’m feeling a soft spot for a loaded model in good colors that survived all these years. (A feeling I admit I could not raise for that puke colored Cavalier the other day.)

    Maybe this one was built on a Wednesday. The 2.8 was surprisingly peppy and had a nice snarl to the exhaust. Much better than the Iron Duke. That steering wheel is a Grant GT from Pep Boys.

  10. Barzini

    If I don’t have a soft spot for these cars by now, I never will. But I still like seeing them again from time to time. It reminds me how far we have come.

  11. KKreul

    My great grandma bought 2 of these new. The second I rode to the dealership with her to pick up and I’ll never forget the dark burgundy interior with pillowed seats. Very fancy for me at the time. They then were passed to my grandma, then my uncle who beat the living crap out of them. If I had to spend that money though, I’d spring for a same era Cutlass Supreme.

  12. BradL

    Someone please push it back in the barn.

  13. MDW66

    Oscar your new car is here.

  14. PaulieB

    I had an ’81 Citation with the Iron Duke 4 cyl.. The oil filter was back toward the firewall and doing an oil change was an exercise in frustration. The lifters collapsed on it at around 28,000.. I had new ones installed then the entire engine gave up at around 60,000.. My mechanic.. a saintly man by the way.. found another engine for me and that one last until the rear main seal started to go.. it had 140,000 on the car itself.. I don’t know the mileage on the 2nd engine.. That’s when we gave up on it and bought….a 1988 Beretta.. yeah I’m a glutton for punishment..

  15. Matt

    My 80 Brougham brought me no joy. You can have fond memories of many cars you have owned but this Olds was really a piece of junk. Poorly designed and manufactured. I bought it new after reading a Fortune magazine article on how this was the future of GM automobiles. Neither GM or the dealer were very helpful or interested in correcting a never ending list of problems. It was the last GM I purchased.

  16. Mark Fischer

    I had a maroon 1980 olds omega. I put gold inke wheels on it with a nice Dunlop tire, sunroof, tinted the windows, and put a huge stereo system in it. It was a great car until I blew the motor over a slipping tyranny. I’m only on this stand because I am looking to buy one in my older years and pimp it out again. Seriously looking.

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