eBay Find: 1978 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency

Look what I spotted today on ebay. A 403-V8 powered, opera-lamped luxocruiser. I’ve always liked these freshly downsized late ’70s C-bodies, and this one appears to be a really nice example.

You know I love Oldsmobiles, in fact this is at least the fourth Ninety-Eight I’ve written up since last summer. But I had to share this one; it’s so nice.

According to the seller: “Color #61 Light Camel Beige, black top and interior.Originally a Texas car, clean underside, solid body.”

“Runs and drives great, velvet smooth 403 V8. Just completed 1400 mile trip from Wisconsin to Florida, performed great, cold AC with cruise set 75 mph.”

“Factory options: rare custom chrome wheels (which are pictured in the 1978 Oldsmobile brochure), 403 V8, 8-track, 6-way power driver and passenger seats. Car gently driven & lovingly cared for.”

“It shows impressively although there are some flaws. You won’t be disappointed with this car. It is garaged around the clock. Please reach out any time with questions. Thanks for looking!”

As modern cars get further and further away from the traditional three box American sedan, survivors like this one look better to me by the day.

Anyway, If you feel the same, you have six days to bid on this gem.

26 Replies to “eBay Find: 1978 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency”

  1. AvatarCarmine

    The cream and black is a nice combo, you would almost expect it to be a cream on brown with more brown and brown…..

    Reply
  2. AvatarGeorge

    That was my car. I sold it to a retired GM mechanic in Wisconsin in 2004. I purchased it when it was brought up from Texas to Minnesota. It’s an outstanding automobile. I maintained that car impeccably. I know every inch of that car.

    Reply
        • AvatarCJinSD

          Let me offer my assistance by reminding you that the people you love were made more vulnerable than necessary by the archaic engineering of a Lincoln Town Car that had two decades of evolution in its favor over this Oldsmobile. I wouldn’t usually make a safety argument for anything, but I remember this car like 1987 was yesterday. I doubt ’77-’79 98 Regencies have improved with age. I was incredulous when I lifted the hood and read on the emissions decal that the engine was 6.6 liters, 403 cubic inches. Had I been buying the gas, maybe it would have been a credible displacement for a car that was not meaningfully quicker than any of our other Malaise era hand-me-downs. Some of our classmates that we weren’t particularly friendly with were even less lucky, since it was faster than a six cylinder ’57 Chevy four door, a jillion-mile Mercedes-Benz 220D, a Ford Granada with a 2.3 liter/4-speed combo, and various out-of-tune air-cooled VWs. I don’t recall those cars overheating as often though, or their paint falling off in sheets.

          Reply
          • AvatarCarmine

            “You’re going to die in there!!!!!”

            -Thank you Rev Kane, the rest of us will continue to not be pussies, I wonder what your reply would have been if Jack would have been considering a clean 78 Civic or a 240D?

            I mean, telling someone that rides a motorcycle that an an old 4000-lb. land barge is dangerous is almost the dumbest thing I’ve read here, and that says a lot considering John C’s posts…..

          • AvatarCJinSD

            My point was that there is no bad reason not to buy this car, which perhaps you’d have picked up on if you were a tenth as smart as you think you are.

            I owned a 240D in the ’80s. It had some interesting qualities, but you can’t go back. I had an opportunity to pick up a 1984 or 1985 300D Turbo Diesel and an early ’90s 300D 2.5 Turbo about three years ago. They were sitting in a young widow’s driveway for years, and a friend I used to crew with and I got them both running in about a day. That they could run with the old diesel fuel in their tanks and little more than a jump start was the most impressive thing about operating either of them. I think the closest I ever came to a 1978 Civic was getting a ride home from a coworker in one that was a brown station wagon when I was fifteen. It didn’t make an impression.

          • AvatarCarmine

            It was a glowing endorsement, you really missed your call….Hallmark is missing your talents……the words sprinkled cinnamon and sugar as they leapt out of my monitor, practically gave me diabetes how you sweetly said this car was a dangerous pile of shit that was marginally better than a out of tune Beetle……

          • AvatarCJinSD

            I suppose it is only fair to mention that the Oldsmobile was far more reliable than four of my friends’ Saab 99s and 900s; cars whose ages ranged from several months to a dozen years at the time. It still wasn’t as reliable as a badly rusted FIAT 124 Sport Spider that I bought a year or two later. Not even close.

        • AvatarJohn C.

          It is fun to think of CJ in his W114 240D with the giant 74< bumpers that MB told us was a safety vehicle. He remembers himself has superior to his friend that was beating an old 98. After all he was sacrificing any enjoyments he might have had in a car with dignity and authority to one that was slow austere and only quality was that it didn't particularly offend pinkos that he now claims to hate. Even PN was telling stupid girls not to buy it.

          CJ, you were in San Diego right. Were you pulling behind it a trailer holding an extra stock of cheap Tijuana diesel like the brother of PN, our old Austrian friend?

          Reply
          • AvatarCJinSD

            I was in central Virginia, and the diesel was one of nine cars I owned in my first eight years as a licensed driver. I sold it because it was too slow and boring after I’d gotten over my self-imposed penance for flipping a CRX Si at over one hundred miles an hour and a Festiva into a snowy ditch in little more than the span of a year. I followed it with a string of West German five-speed gas-powered cars that drove better than the obvious alternatives and the cars that came with my employment. Eventually, I experienced a number of truly low quality new reunified German vehicles and noticed that they were driving more stolidly with each model year.

            I must admit that the idea of getting a W123 or W124 diesel did hold a bit of appeal during my decade in San Diego. There was no smog check for gross polluters like diesels and land scapers’ trucks, so there were people putting amazing engines into 240 and 300Ds. The ones I admired most were powered by elephants and LAs, but there was a time when Lingenfelter would build you a nice SB2 that would have fit right in. I’d rather have a TRD pushrod V8, but I suspect all the action is in LS V8s these days if the loophole is still open. The idea of a 600 horsepower African taxi was pretty tempting, but it wouldn’t have been enough to make me give up the car I was already filling an incredibly valuable parking space with while I used company cars the vast majority of the time.

          • AvatarJohn C.

            Nice twist CJ. Imagine a Beirut taxi with a good ole boy installed TRD pushrod V8. Has Mr. Toyoda and Marla Maples/ Charlotte Earls pulled off such a middle finger since Dan Gurney sold out and kneeled at gonzo man Brock Yates’ suggestion?

  3. AvatarCJinSD

    This color combination really brings out the Sedan De Ville lurking behind the 98’s anonymous face. I don’t think I ever saw one with these ‘optional custom chrome road wheels.’ I think they’d look better with thin or no white walls. Otherwise it isn’t a bad survivor that has held up far better than my friend’s did over the nine years it lasted.

    Reply
    • AvatarDave T.

      Hi George,

      I was just wondering because when I lived in MN years ago a friend of mine, Ralph, owned a business in the Minneapolis suburbs called Texas Plus Auto Sales. He loved 1977-79 403 98’s and Electra’s and purchased many in Texas and transplanted them to the Twin Cities in the early 90’s since all the local cars of that age had mostly rusted away. I believe he retired in the mid to late 90’s. He often called me when he had these cars so we could take them for a spin and talk about how great cars used to be. Just curious if he was how you found this car.

      Anyway, I happen to be the current owner of the 98 discussed here. I acquired the car in 2015 with 91k miles from what I recall were the children of the retired auto mechanic owner since he was in a care facility.

      After purchasing I drove the car to Florida and have enjoyed it tremendously! I always exercise my classic cars, and this spring drove the 98 up to Wisconsin for the summer, and just returned home to Florida a couple weeks ago. It’s an amazing car that I would drive anywhere. I am hoping it goes to a good home!

      One of my car friends alerted me to this nice write up. A big thank you to Tom K. for highlighting the car, and Jack B. for hosting, and everyone’s kind enthusiasm here!

      Dave

      Reply
      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth

        Dave, this is a truly wonderful car and if I hadn’t already bought a Grand Marquis this year I’d be your top bidder.

        Reply
  4. AvatarGeorge

    That’s amazing. Ralph probably brought it up from Texas for the man I bought it from. The man I bought it from had it tucked away in his garage in South Minneapolis. I bought it for my mom who lives with me, but she wasn’t using it much and I never wanted to expose it to a Minnesota winter, it was just too clean. I ran out of room and was forced to sell it and buy her a car we could drive year round. I always carefully exercised my classic cars, but never kept them outside or exposed them to winter. How many of those do you see that still have their bumper fillers intact! I was so thrilled to find out this car was still in excellent condition, except for the crease in the right fender. I wish I could buy it back, my mom and I both loved that car. The factory wheels are beautiful. I hope it goes to a good home! Thank you so much for communicating with me. I would be so tempted to come and get it if it was not winter, I would hate to expose it to salt. I live in Minnesota and work in Wisconsin. I wish I would have seen it in Wisconsin, I would have tried to buy it from you!!

    Reply
  5. AvatarGeorge D

    Dave, I would love it if you called me on my cell phone sometime at 651-491-9047. We could talk about the car and I could send you a few old photos I have. Completely up to you, no pressure.

    Reply
    • AvatarDave T.

      Hi George,

      Sounds good, I’ll ring you tonight.

      Car came close to selling on eBay, listing it again to see what happens! All part of the fun!

      Dave

      Reply

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