1976 Oldsmobile 98 Reviews from North America

1976 Oldsmobile 98 Regency 455 4bbl

Year of manufacture1976
First year of ownership2013
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 455 4bbl Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired97300 miles
Most recent distance97600 miles
Previous carToyota Camry

Summary:

A luxurious classic ride from the 1970's

Faults:

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.

General Comments:

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

16th Aug 2013, 09:07

"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.

16th Aug 2013, 11:02

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.

1976 Oldsmobile 98 Regency 4-door 455 "Rocket"

Model year1976
Year of manufacture1976
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 455 "Rocket" Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10

Summary:

A big boat, fun and interesting car, nice details/options, comfy, impractical

Faults:

Fuel filter.

Exhaust.

Power steering pump.

Brakes.

Leaked oil.

General Comments:

My first car, bought in 2003.

Fuel filter went bad in a couple weeks, then ran like a charm.

Had the most amazing power steering ever... you could steer with your pinky, but then the power steering went, and boy, maneuvering a 20 foot boat like this in a parking lot is a workout.

EXTREMELY ROOMY - 6 passengers had room to stretch, the trunk was large to a point that most young people today wouldn't be able to comprehend.

Very comfortable ride, and the cruise even worked.

The brakes were going too, had to pump them to stop. Wish I could find it again someday to keep as a second car, but I'm sure somebody has used it in a derby by now.

The 4 door was great - no pillar between front and back windows, so when you put them down it was one huge opening front to back (if that makes sense).

Lot's of power from the 7.8l V8. Only about 12MPG.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th February, 2009

25th Feb 2009, 12:47

I wish they can make cars like that again, I've always loved them 1970s biggies.

27th Feb 2009, 15:06

People, as long as a few of these cars are left, we have rolling evidence that the American standard of living was higher in the 1970s than it is today. Don't let anyone fool you - it has ALL been downhill since the '70s. Can anyone guess why?

16th Aug 2013, 19:52

Back in the early 70s a single young middle class breadwinner, here on the east coast in my area, could buy a nice single family average home for 25000. I made 15000 year. An average car was under 4 grand and gas 35 cents a gallon. I had a 2 bedroom nice apartment for under 200 month prior to buying my home.

Now fast forward as a 25 year old doing the same today. Homes in my first neighborhood run 250k plus, and the same size car 30k. A car loan was 36 months then as well. Do the math. It used to be a piece of cake and jobs were plentiful. Gas was so secondary as far as vehicle choices. Buick, Olds and Pontiac full sizes were still middle class. New Continentals and Cadillacs were for the rich then. You rarely heard of defaults on loans. Welcome now to 2013.

Average review marks: 8.1 / 10, based on 8 reviews