Update: 1980 Olds Ninety-Eight Diesel Back on the Road!

Back in April I did a post on a green 1980 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency with the 350 CID diesel V8. At the time it was available on Craigslist. Well, it sold. During this past summer the new owner, Ed Kelly, dropped me a line via FB. He’d seen the original article while doing a web search, and went, hey, that’s the same car! My car!

I told him I’d be happy to do an update for RG if he sent a couple pictures and told me a little bit about it. As he related: “I rebuilt the injection pump and it fired right up. I replaced all tires, all new brakes. Master cylinder. Pinion seal in rear end, new hoses & belts.”

“Replaced two injectors, then I compounded and waxed the entire car. Also cleaned the interior and brought the seats back to life with conditioning oil used for horse saddles. Oh, I also converted the AC system to r134 a and it’s ice cold!”

“This one has the replacement Goodwrench diesel, which took care of all of the problems they had. Runs great. The trick to keeping it running forever is strict 2500 interval oil changes. Also allow to warm up for 10 min before driving!”

So, at least one GM 350 diesel rides again! Cool.

9 Replies to “Update: 1980 Olds Ninety-Eight Diesel Back on the Road!”

  1. John C.

    Even in front of a convenience store, the opera lamps and formality bespeak a higher class. Thank you Mr. Kelly for bringing her back to the road. It must be interesting to see her in traffic next to ES350s, Q50s, and Genesis that have replaced her. Another case of are we really better for hollowing out and farming out. Do the modern replacements say the same thing about their owner that the 98 did?

    • CJinSD

      One of my good friends in high school’s first car was a hand-me-down 1979 Oldsmobile 98 Regency with a 403 and a ‘cloth’ interior. This Lazy Boy Recliner-caliber leather looks so much nicer than the greasy 100% synthetic velour of my friend’s car that we might not have all held that barge in such contempt. A good cooling system would have helped tilt the balance too.

      In the dark, the Oldsmobile said that we were cops in a 1985 Plymouth Gran Fury with the identical light signature. In the light of day, the Oldsmobile said someone’s great grand parents willed them a car. I didn’t live in the mid-west, but I can only theorize that the gas crunch took the remaining wind out of the sales of giant fake luxury cars in the college town that I grew up in. If there were any in the parking lots at Farmington, or STAB, or Birdwood by 1980, there was a 90% chance they were driven by people who were adults during WWII.

        • John C.

          If only your loser friends could have cajoled somebody else to pay for your friend to have a Fox GTI. Of course your velour would still be synthetic, but somehow we all understand that you would transform yourself to Mr. Velour. A Mazda Cosmo, paid for again by someone better, the synthetic velour yields Mr. Orgasmic Super Velour, able to conquer whatever is left of white shoe Wall Street in the cause of pedo tunnels.


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