1976 Oldsmobile 98 Regency 455 4bbl
A luxurious classic ride from the 1970's
TH400 automatic transmission rebuilt at 87,000 miles.
Heater core replaced.
2 alternators and a starter through 37 years.
Carburetor was rebuilt at 91,000 miles.
Otherwise... just general maintenance items have been maintained.
Air conditioning not brought up to revision -- so not operable.
The 1976 Oldsmobile 98 is the last of the "full" size land yachts built in the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's by GM. I have owned this car for just a couple weeks, but I have already planned on getting another if this one fails!!
Although fuel economy IS a big consideration with this vehicle (10 to 12 miles per gallon), the comfort and driveability of this automobile cannot be overstated. As I've read in other reviews, this car cruises with unbelievable comfort -- whether at 25 or 55 miles per hour, it rides uncommonly smooth. The 455 cu. in. motor provides nice acceleration when you need it; with the emission stuff coming into play during this era, the car only has 195 horsepower in the 1976 model... this was the last year for the 455, replaced in '77 by the 403 cu. in... I haven't had enough experience directly with the frequency of repairs on this engine, but what I was told by the previous owner, is that it performs quite well even in winter cold -- it rarely left him stranded for any reason... judging by the receipts he maintained, it looks like few issues over the years, and most have been "reasonable" to repair. Parts appear to be plentiful in the auto parts stores and low cost.
Other aspects of the car... the paint, while slightly oxidized, has held up remarkably well, too. One of the amazing aspects of the car is the interior -- this "98" came equipped with the velour seats - and, man, how they have held up for over three decades -- all interior equipment -- heat, power windows, etc. have held up flawlessly.
In short... a great car; somewhat expensive to own due to high fuel consumption, but overall a bargain when you look at repairs, etc... this car is free of the on-board computer stuff and is reasonably simple to repair by the "shade tree" mechanic.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th August, 2013
"I haven't had enough experience directly with the frequency of repairs on this engine"
My experience with the 455 Olds V8 is that if you pay attention to oil changes, it'll last forever.
Not only is the 455 Oldsmobile one of the most durable engines made, the 400 turbo is one of the most durable automatic transmissions made, perhaps the most durable. I'm surprised this one needed rebuilding at 87,000 miles - that's quite unusual.