1983 Oldsmobile 98 Regency Brougham

This rust free Arizona car was built in Mesa, Arizona by Glenn Hilge while he was working at the GM proving grounds in 1998.  He began with a 50,000 mile original white Ninety Eight.  The body and interior were all Oldsmobile.  The power train came from a 1995 Chevrolet Caprice with the 9C1 Special Equipment Options code for a police package vehicle. The car includes the original 98 full perimeter steel frame with the 9C1 oversized front and rear sway bars, high-output alternator, four wheel disc brakes, quick-ratio power steering and transmission and power steering oil coolers, stiffer body mounts, and true dual exhaust.

It has a 1995 LT-1 350 fuel injected engine, a 1996 4L60E electronic 4 speed automatic transmission, 4-wheel ABS Disc Brakes, an 8-1/2 3:42 rear axle and street legal performance headers and exhaust.  The body chrome was removed from the car and the fender skirts did not need to be removed to accommodate the Super Sport tires and wheels.  He polished it off with a fresh black paint job.  He had LT-1 decals designed for the front fenders.  If you look closely at the work that was done you can tell that Glenn did an excellent job of making this car appear to be all Oldsmobile - he even took special care to details such as under hood decals.  Glenn enjoyed driving the car and took it to two of the Hot Rod Power Tours and to the Woodward Avenue Cruise.

Richard saw the car at an auction in Dallas in November 2005 where he bid for and won the car.  When he called me to tell me about the car and said he just bought a 1983 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight 4-door there was dead silence on my end of the phone. All I could picture was a car someone’s mother or grandmother would drive—a big, 4-door hunk of iron.  I reminded Richard that he had promised not to buy another car until some of the other cars we had were sold. Richard figured he was really in trouble so instead of staying for the rest of the auction he headed home to Austin, babying the car all the way home, not knowing if everything worked.  The car performed beautifully. 

The next morning I got up and went outside to look at the car and came back in to report that the car looked better than imagined and so we took a test drive.  I started out slowly, turned the corner and was going 15 mph before nailing it.  The car turned sideways and flew down the road - OH YES!!!!  I was sold and this was a keeper. We drove the car to the North Texas Oldsmobile Club Christmas Party in Dallas in December that year and we got 20 miles per gallon driving 70-80 mph.

Since buying the car Richard added positraction and replaced the gray velour interior with gray leather seats from a 1995 Cadillac Fleetwood.  The front bucket seats are power and heated.  The bucket seats needed no alterations to fit the car (even the mounting holes were the same), but the rear seat was about 4 inches too wide and slightly too tall.   The trim shop did a beautiful job altering the rear seat leather covers to fit the 98’s rear seat frame.  The most difficult part of the interior retrofit was installing the wiring harnesses.  The velour and vinyl trim on the Oldsmobile door panels have been replaced with gray leather to match the seats. 

It may be an LT-1 but the car has the rumble of an Oldsmobile. 

This car is our OLDS-CHEVY-CADILLAC.

This is definitely not your mother's... or father's ... Oldsmobile.