1988 Oldsmobile 98 Regency Brougham 3800 Series I


Well worth $1200. I will drive it for years to come... maybe until it turns 40


Interior lights and power locks on the same circuit. Dead short there somewhere.

Auto headlights not working.

A/C not working.

Windows are slow and the passenger one only goes down half way without falling off track.

General Comments:

29 years old and it rides like a dream. Like driving a La-Z-Boy.

Rack and pinion, brake lines, ECU, and full tune up by the previous owner.

Cannot complain. I will drive it until I cannot afford to maintain it in the future.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th September, 2017

6th Sep 2017, 16:41

Fix the A/C. It's worth it with only 83,500 miles, you are good for another 100,000. This was the best and most reliable years of the 3800. No plastic intake, plastic coolant bypass elbow, and pathetic belt tensioner design. Not to mention "Dex-crap" coolant.

8th Sep 2017, 05:26

These are great cars, lots of old school luxury touches with amazing reliability and highway fuel economy from the bulletproof 3800 engine. The super plush seating offers comfort that one just does not find in a modern car at any price. I've owned 2 of these platform cars in the Buick variant, a 91 Lesabre and an 89 Park Avenue. Both were older cars with high mileage, but I never hesitated to take them on long multiday highway roadtrips. The highway fuel economy was amazing for an older large car; the exact same or better than other newer cars I've driven, like the 2003 Century, 2004 Accord, etc.. If you are lucky to find a rust free one, don't hesitate to buy it!

10th Sep 2017, 02:47

These were solid cars by 1988. 1985s were trash, taking a few years get decent quality - especially the drivability (lots of random stalling), and the transmissions struggled to make 50,000 miles without a major failure.

The only consistent issue at this point (as you found) out is the power windows.

The regulators are junk, but parts to fix them can still be had. Worked at a Buick dealer in the early-mid 90s, saw lots of LeSabres/Park Avenues with windows stuck/off the track. The motors and switches aren't perfect, but are a bit more reliable.

This was the 1st year for the 3800 V6 - better performance AND better reliability - Win-Win :)

7th Oct 2017, 15:11

Great reviews. Had a couple of the Olds 98s when I was younger. Just brought a Regency Brougham with 117K. In great shape. No rust to speak of. Black with maroon leather interior. Hope to have it for years to come.

1988 Oldsmobile 98 Regency Brougham 3.8 V6


There's no finer car for the money


I have owned this car since it was new, and the first significant "failure" came when I had over 387,000 miles on it. The transmission was replaced.

Other than that, this car is all original, as far as the drive train is concerned. Virtually everything else is original too. Very, very few problems, and when something does wear out, I have it replaced.

Electric door locks have been "sticky" from time to time; serviced several times.

General Comments:

This 3800 V-6 engine is the one Superman would have in his car, if he needed one. In 2003 I celebrated the 500,000 mile achievement with a trip around the country... well over 10,000 miles. Great mileage (30-35 on the highway). Made it to over 600,000 miles in 20 years of ownership. I still enjoy driving this car. It is extremely efficient and reliable. These days, however, I try to avoid salt, snow, and ice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th April, 2010

15th Apr 2010, 11:07

Hmmm. If GM had kept building cars like these, they might not have went bankrupt? These were some great cars, better than contemporary Hondas and Toyotas.

15th Apr 2010, 12:16

Wow! Any tips you can give us to making OUR cars last this long??

15th Apr 2010, 23:19

Amazing. When I was 17 I owned an '88 Delta 88 Royale with the 3800 motor & I loved it. My friend busted a window out in a fight and the harmonic balancer went out, (made the car loud as hell!) which I tried to fix, but screwed up the timing. I let the car get scrapped at about 165k, which is a shame.. all because I wanted my dad to buy me a big-body Olds.

Picked up an '85 Delta Royal Brougham, which is a whole nother story, but damn I had some good times in that first one!

I'd recommend ANY 1980's Oldsmobile, except those with the Quad 4 (Cutlass Calais to be exact).

21st Apr 2010, 20:21

If properly maintained, the original 3800 Buick V6 from 1988-1991 was and still is easily capable of 32 MPG highway. Same goes for the first fuel injected 3.8 liter Buick V6's from 1984-1986. These engines were available under the hood of a very wide range of GM cars at some point.

Today we have Toyotas with uncontrolled acceleration.

And Honda thinks it's big news that the Fit, a tiny, underpowered lightweight 4-cyl can achieve 33 MPG highway. I'd much rather ride in the reviewer's Olds any day.