1976 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency Coupe: Chris-Craft on Wheels

You all well know my fondness for those velour-clad, opera-lamped, gas-guzzling and totally impractical, totally awesome ’70s Detroit cruisers. So it will surprise exactly no one that I went gaga upon seeing this light metallic blue Olds coupe this beautiful, sunny Thursday afternoon, whilst sitting on my deck and working on gin and tonic #2.

Yes, ’76 was last call for the unapologetically huge big GM C-bodies: Cadillac de Ville, Buick Electra and the majestic Olds Ninety-Eight.

While the cheapest, relatively speaking of course, of the luxury GM land yachts, in my opinion the Olds was no less impressive.

Especially with those velourtastic, floating pillow seats that came with the top of the line Regency.

The lesser Ninety-Eight LS, while still a fine car, made do with a little fewer standard extras, and somewhat less ostentatious seats for its passengers.

The coupes were always (with the exception of the Cadillac Coupe de Ville) less common than the sedans, but I’ve always loved them.

The top-of-the-line Regencys far outsold their LS stablemates. 26,282 Regency Coupes were made, with a base price of $6,544. The LS Coupe, while cheaper at $6,271 sold a mere 6,056 units.

Of course, the most popular C-body Olds was the Regency 4 door hardtop with 55,339 made. Most Olds luxo-coupe fanciers went for either the Regency coupe or Toronado Brougham. The fourth and final Ninety-Eight model, the LS sedan, sold 16,802 cars, at $6,419 a pop.

So my Brougham radar went Awooga awooga! when I saw this one on the fb group, Finding Future Classic Cars. It’s currently on Pittsburgh craigslist.

As its owner stated in the ad, “Presented in Light Blue Metallic with white Landau top over dark blue velour interior, powered by an excellent running 455 engine with 400 turbo transmission (and) with just 44,500 original miles, this rare all original Ninety-Eight was built as the flagship model of Oldsmobile.”

“I am the 3rd owner of this lifetime western PA car. I have the original build sheet along with paperwork dating from 1985. Factory options include Tempmatic air conditioning, AM/FM, cruise control, power brakes, power steering, tilt wheel, power locks, power windows, power seats, rear window defogger, and quartz-crystal digital clock.”

While it’s clearly nice, the 10 K ask seems a little, ahem, optimistic to me. Especially with the bubbling rust under that Landau top. But it didn’t keep me from sharing this giant road vessel with all you fine folks!

5 Replies to “1976 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency Coupe: Chris-Craft on Wheels”

  1. AvatarLynnG

    Tom, great car, the two door cars were really great, just think 19′ long. 2 and half tons on steel to transport you to work every morning to the office on a family room sofa.
    The one issue I have is with the dash, Olds used taped letters to identify the controls and of the great full size cars of 1974-1976 Oldmobile had the less expensive looking dash (never use the word “cheaper”). Don’t know what happened, the Cadillac dash and the Buick dash were outstanding designs for 1974-1976 but somehow the Olds designers went flat with tape on lettering, but it is a minor point. Over all the design of the car, the integration of the bumpers, and of course that outstanding interior make up for that small detail.

    PS: you are correct, $10,000 is optomistic thinking on the owners part, but then again someone may come along and fall in love with it. It is a really nice example, and he does have the replacment fillers, now the hard part, triming them to fit, painting to match, and install them.

    Reply
    • AvatarCJinSD

      Didn’t an Oldsmobile have to look less impressive than a Buick or Cadillac to preserve Alfred Sloan’s grand design?

      Reply
  2. Avatarfishlaw

    My dad had one in burgundy. The 455 4 barrel (I think) really made it move when you hit the gas hard. I wish I had bought it from him when he was done with it.

    Reply
  3. AvatarGeorge Denzinger

    Wow, that’s not a Chris-Craft, that’s a pocket aircraft carrier! You could launch fighter planes off of the trunk lid…

    Wait, lifetime Western Pennsylvania car? Pass…

    Reply

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