1983 Oldsmobile 98 Regency 307 V8 from North America

Summary:

A very reliable, comfortable grocery getter!

Faults:

Valve cover gasket leaked.

Radiator had to be replaced.

Had the transmission rebuilt @ 150,000 miles.

Replaced heater/AC blower motor.

General Comments:

This was my first full size Oldsmobile, and I kept it for 12 years. I drove it daily through winter and summer.

It was without question the most reliable car I have ever owned (and I have owned many). It only failed to start ONCE in all the time I've owned it, and this was in deep sub-zero weather (about -30 degrees F.)

The 307 V8 engine always ran smoothly, and still did when I had to let it go because of excessive body rust. The 307 had adequate power and has a history of longevity. 224,000 miles was no stretch for this engine, and I've known of others who achieved well over 450,000 miles with them.

The weak spot for the rear wheel drive GM vehicles of this vintage, and not just Oldsmobiles, were the 200 series transmissions used in them. The 200's are not known for longevity, but with regular fluid changes, and minimal if any towing, they're typically good for the 150,000 of service I received.

I enjoyed the car so much that I have to date owned five of them. Most recently I was extraordinarily lucky enough to have found, and purchase a 1983 98 Regency 2 door with an astounding 1,600 original miles on it! (yes, you read it right!) Virtually a new car in every respect! Truly an Oldsmobile lovers once in a lifetime dream car!

Typical gas mileage for these are 16/17 city and 20/22 highway on regular gasoline.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th January, 2003

21st Oct 2009, 16:31

Actually, speaking generally, the transmission is almost always the weakest point of any vehicle.

1983 Oldsmobile 98 Regency 5.0 V84BBL OHV from North America

Summary:

I dream about this car and so should you!

Faults:

The only thing that has gone wrong is it is starting to rust from wear and tear over the years. The rust spots are hardly noticable.

General Comments:

This is the most comfortable car I have ever driven or ridden in. The beast is older than most vehicles, but it can still ball with the good ones. The Olds has no problem smoking my friends Caddy and not to mention looks a heck of a lot better. The Rear wheel drive is fun in the snow and delivers plenty of pulling power.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th January, 2003

1983 Oldsmobile 98 Regency V8 305 (yes 305, not 307) from North America

Summary:

A rock-solid beast

Faults:

Note: I had two '83 Olds Ninety Eight's. One is Regency, the other a Regency Brougham. The current 98 that I'm driving has had no problems whatsoever so far. The previous one, the Regency Brougham, has had the following problems:

Blew Transmission at 150,000 miles.

Radio doesn't work.

A/C No longer works.

Water Pump was replaced.

Carburetor needs replacement.

Power Steering Belt snapped.

General Comments:

These cars are fantastic.

The first 98 that drove was my grandmothers and I received it in June of 2002. It was my first car, so I was pretty hard on it. The car was very comfortable to drive, mostly because the car is so big.

The car withstood my abuse for about 2 months, until I was with my friends one night and the "Check Engine" dummy light came one. I opened the hood to discover the dismal stench of a severely overheated engine. Apprently the water pump had a breach in one of its seals. I drove the car until I could afford to repair it, and simply filled the radiator with water on a daily basis. I managed to forget this job a few times and the engine overheated again and again, yet still ran just as good as it did when I first got the car.

Other than these driver-inflicted problems, the car was very reliable, and actually got pretty decent mileage for its size, averaging between 17-25 miles per gallon. Though the car never was a speed demon, it was fast enough that I would be jerked to the back of my seat when I hammered the gas.

Sadly my first Olds was nearly totaled in early August when a 2 ton GM pickup made a left turn right in front of me. I was going 40 and I quickly turned the wheel and did a 180. The rear passenger side of my car from the passenger door back was smashed like tin can, and my bumper was sitting in the intersection when I got out of the car. This guys pickup was smashed in the same spot and the damage was even worse then mine, thanks in part to this cars rock-solid body, and neither I or the other party involved sustained any injuries.

I drove the car for another 3 months smashed up, and it ran perfectly.

The second 98 that I have has been in my possession for about 2 weeks, and has run perfectly. I made some interesting observations about this car, most notably the fact that its equipped with a 305 engine instead of the factory stock 307 (the catalyst confirms this), and this model is equipped with a factory-installed 8-track stereo system. This is by far the best car that I have ever driven.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th December, 2002

11th Jun 2003, 12:59

There are actually quite a few olds with 305's in them instead of the 307. mostly in canada though. having owned both. I would take the 305 any day of the week. seemed to move the car a lot faster. plus they respond better to mods. all though. I did like the 307. buttery smoothness.

21st Oct 2009, 16:25

I've had quite a lot of 305s and 307s, and strongly prefer the 307.  As you say it is smoother, but it also felt more powerful to me.  It seemed to have more torque, or more at a lower revs, which is most important I think.