Junkyard Find: 1994 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency Elite

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

The very last generation of Olds 98 was the most distinctive-looking of any of the 98s built since the early 1970s. Though it was related to a number of Buicks and Cadillacs of the era, the 1991-96 Ninety-Eight had the kind of Oldsmobility that traditional (i.e., those who remembered the Lindbergh Kidnapping) Olds buyers weren’t going to find in those weird-looking Auroras.

The Ninety-Eight Touring got the supercharged engine, while the Ninety-Eight Regency got seating for six passengers and extra-cushy Detroit luxury. The Regency Elite was, well, elite.

One glance tells you that this car would be an excellent machine for a 2,500-mile road trip.

I suspect that these door-mounted seat controls suffered from more than their share of electrical glitches, but they look cool.

Yes, rear drum brakes just six years before the dawn of the 21st century.

Front-wheel drive was actually a good idea for this sort of luxury machine, due to all the extra interior space you get, but it’s too bad GM didn’t see fit to make a version of this car with the Aurora-ized Northstar engine instead of the not-so-smooth Buick V6.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Chicagoland Chicagoland on Sep 17, 2012

    "Cash for Clunkers killed a lot of these off." Mostly old SUV's, dealers here had them lined up and a local bone yard had them with "CFC" spray painted. Not a lot of actual cars. These are disappearing from Chicago low income areas, as the sands pass through the hourglass and younger generations looks at them as old fartmobiles. Chrysler LX cars and old Altimas, Galants, and Camrys at BHPH and Currancy Exchanges getting temps.

  • Mynameisjonas Mynameisjonas on May 11, 2014

    I remember this car clearly. My grandma had one; a '91 Regency Elite in brown that she bought new. That thing was the most comfortable machine I'd ever ridden in. And bulletproof, the only time she took it to a repair shop was when some dickhead in a Contour smashed it up. I recall she made it to 210k before selling it last year for a DTS. Wish I could have taken it, it was running brilliantly. Still see it floating around occasionly. They seem to hold up really well where I live.

  • Wolfwagen What I never see when they talk about electric trucks is how much do these things weigh and how much does that detract from the cargo-carrying capacity?
  • Wolfwagen I dont know how good the Triton is but if they could get it over here around the $25K - $30K They would probably sell like hotcakes. Make a stripped down version for fleet sales would also help
  • 3SpeedAutomatic You mentioned that Mitsubishi cars had lost their character. Many brands are losing that that element as well. GM is giving up on the ICE Camaro and Dodge on the ICE Challenger. There goes the Bad Boy image. Might as well get your teeth pulled and dentures put in place. Would like to see a few EVOs with cherry bomb exhaust and true 4 cylinder BIG blower turbos; 4 wheel drift capacity is mandatory!!🚗🚗🚗
  • Tassos Here in my overseas summer palace, I filled up my tank twice in May, at 68 and 52 euros (a full 90+ liter tank fillup has taken 130-135 Euros in the past, and I am 23 miles from downtown here, while only 1-2 miles in the US)Still, diesel here is MUCH cheaper than gas. Yesterday, I paid 1,488 a liter while gas was at least 1,899 (regular).Multiply by almost 4 for gallons AND by an additional 1.1 for $.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic IIRC, both China and the EU use a standardized charger connection. About time the US & Canada to follow.Would take some of the anxiety out of an EU purchase and accelerate adoption. 🚗🚗🚗