25th Jan 2015, 23:05
Assuming condition and mileage are similar, I would prefer the Oldsmobile 98. I've had great luck with several early 80s Olds 98s and 88s. However given both are very old already, and the '83 is seven years older, be sure to check it out very closely.
26th Jan 2015, 01:56
The Cadillac will hold its value much better, as it is a lot more desirable among collectors, plus it is 7 years newer.
26th Jan 2015, 11:52
Buy the Olds for a lower negotiated price. Parts will be cheaper. If and when repairs arise, set aside the dollars saved from the purchase price. If you travel a lot and need a mechanic, it's better getting the Olds fixed on the road.
26th Jan 2015, 14:16
If you think "they're basically the same car and look very similar", what difference does it make? Flip a coin and go with that.
28th Jan 2015, 02:43
That really is a tough one, as both cars ride on the same platform and use the same engine and transmission (and probably so many other similar components). They do look scarily similar, as they use the same platform as I said before. Both vehicles offer virtually the same driving/riding experience, and have almost all the same luxury features.
Everybody here is right, both cars are a great buy for the money and will last a long time with no real problems, so long as they've been correctly maintained. I would get a quote for both cars, and if the Oldsmobile comes out significantly cheaper (it likely will), I'd shoot for that instead of the Cadillac Brougham.
The Brougham is a great car, but the Oldsmobile 98 is a better buy. As noted by previous posters, parts are cheaper, and they don't have the cheap pla-rubber fillers that will break down after a couple years and cost a fortune to replace. The 307 it comes with is also a little less wheezy, and believe it or not, the Oldsmobile has very slightly more interior and trunk space to boot as well.
Personally, I've had better experiences with the Oldsmobile 98 than the Cadillac Brougham, despite the two being so similar. Both cars are really great, but the Olds is a bit better. I've had less reliability problems and they're more understated, meaning they don't get nearly as much attention as the Cadillacs do, which is what I personally prefer. Shame on GM for not carrying on the C-body Oldsmobile in at least a renamed form like the Brougham to compete with the Mercury Grand Marquis.
28th Jan 2015, 08:38
My dad flipped back and forth from Cadillac to Lincoln from 1950 up. In the end he went with the Lincoln Town Cars. He bought his cars new. Interesting enough he bought a Chrysler Newport in the mid seventies that had an unbelievable ride.
My most reliable car ever in a larger sedan category was a 1990 Bonneville. It may have been a stellar year to buy. The car simply never broke. Maybe overkill on all the instrumentation vs idiot lights, but it also rode and handled great. All cars bought new and garage kept tend to be less troublesome. This car is still being driven long distances daily by the person I sold it to. So other than Olds or Cadillac, add these cars to be considered as well. Some of these cars look pretty worn and faded today. Especially paint. If you can find a clean, presentable, garage kept example, it is even better to own.
28th Jan 2015, 22:36
Your 1990 Bonneville was certainly one of a whole family of 'best buys'. The late 80s through early 90s Bonnevilles, Olds Delta 88s and 98s, Buick LeSabres and Park Avenues, and even the Buick Century/Pontiac 6000/Olds Ciera of those years were all just about the most reliable and cheapest to run of any cars in the post 'real car era'. By post real car era, I mean these were front wheel drive cars without frames, so inherently a bit second rate. But GM did a wonderful job on them. What is sold now is overcomplicated, trouble-prone junk, and probably the biggest culprit is the passing of the fully cast-iron push-rod engine.
31st Jan 2015, 07:30
I would get the Caddy. It looks better and has more features than the Olds. I like the digital dash, electronic climate control, level ride air suspension, automatic headlights... etc. It's more luxurious than the Olds.
Both have the wimpy but reliable 307. The one in the 90 Caddy has roller lifters and a knock sensor. It's a smooth engine and runs sweet when it's running right, but can be tricky. Just make sure the timing is set correctly, pay close attention to the EGR system - especially the valve itself and the EGR passages. The passages get blocked with carbon, which causes the intake manifold and carb to overheat, and the carb will lean out resulting in sluggish performance and dry cold starts.
Cadillac had some really sharp looking true wire wheels back then. Dayton makes an exact replica of the original factory vogue wire wheels Cadillac was offering back then. The Caddy has swag and looks cool. The Olds has no swag and looks like old grandpa. I'd get the Caddy.
31st Jan 2015, 22:58
I disagree. The only way an 80s car has 'swag' or looks cool is in the 'ironical sense' - you can't really 'mean it'. Thus, the Oldsmobile wins on that front, though both are fine.
1st Feb 2015, 16:03
There are quite a few 80s cars that still look cool and have aged well when you see them in good condition IMO. Monte Carlo SS, Grand National, Hurst Olds/442, Corvette, Delorean, Continental Mark VI & Mark VII, early 80s Riviera and Eldorado, Trans Am GTA, Z28 & IROC-Z, Mustang GT, Toronado Trofeo, Caprice Classic Brougham, Beretta GT, Cavalier Z24, Jaguar XJ6, 500 SEL... just to name a 'few'.
1st Feb 2015, 19:50
I have to agree, that while the 60s and 70s were the epitome of good looks (I love big American luxury cars), the 80s had some very decent looking cars. In my opinion, the whole formal boxy look was taken a little far by then, but on some cars like the Town Car and Brougham in particular, it really looked sharp.
In my opinion, the styling of the past is far superior to 99.9% of the cars on the market today. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and there are a slew of people that will sharply disagree with me, but I think that almost all modern cars are just plain ugly and anonymous, and look like the appliances they are designed to be. The romance of the automobile is gone. Look at an early 90s Cadillac Brougham or mid-90s Fleetwood next to a new XTS, and tell me which car has more class and substance. Sure the new one has computer gadgetry that was never dreamed of 20 years ago. But the car just looks cheap bar none.
Modern cars just aren't proportioned right, they have practically no overhangs, they are tall, and have long wheelbases. I realize this is to get maximum passenger room, but in the end the cars resemble a turtle. This look is such a departure from the low slung look that was all the rage in the 50s-70s. You have to wonder what some of the greats like Harley Earl would think of our modern transportation.
3rd Feb 2015, 09:50
This a very good post that I wholeheartedly agree with. Modern cars have one shape (Blob), and that hasn't really changed since 1990. The old classics from way back (50s-70s) all had distinction, sharp curvy lines, and character that was easily noticeable a mile away. The days when a Cadillac looked nothing like a Lincoln, even the way the interiors smelled, was totally different to each car brand. While today, they all feel, smell and look the same on the inside and out.
Regardless if they had mechanical issues, the point being is that the vintage Cadillac's turn heads, especially the ones that are in nice shape. The class, the soul, the styling said it all! The new Cads have none of that. Sure they look kinda nice, but they also have this very cheap plastic look on from an exterior standpoint. The chrome is sadly plastic and probably won't hold up in 30 years, unlike the old school cads that used chrome metal everywhere.
The build quality on the 50s-60s Cads was top notch. Everything felt solid and was meant to last forever. No sacrifices were spent trying to save a buck in those days. You wonder if anybody will ever care about these modern Cads in 50 years. That's if they can manage to hold up for that long, which I don't think they will.
3rd Mar 2015, 08:55
I have ample experience driving a 1988 Cadillac Brougham. How different would the early-1980s RWD C-body Oldsmobile 98 be in terms of driving dynamics? Would the steering be tighter or looser, the braking be the same, the handling, the ride, etc.?