With a majority of production taking place during the malaise era, the tenth-generation Oldsmobile 98 is indicative of its time period – boxy, floaty, and hugely inefficient. Today, you have the opportunity to purchase a 1981 Oldsmobile 98 Regency that appears to be in great condition despite its age.
This particular Oldsmobile sedan is posted for sale online, and is in unrestored original condition. Listed in the Cleveland, Ohio area for nearly $20,000, this 98 Regency features just 13,000 miles.
The most notable aspect of this 1981 98 Regency is undoubtably the powertrain, as it’s equipped with the infamous Oldsmobile Diesel. For those who may be unaware, the naturally aspirated 5.7L V8 LF9 diesel engine is well known for its various shortcomings. More specifically, General Motors decided to keep the head bolt design and pattern the same as the original gasoline 5.7L V8 the LF9 engine was based off of. Unfortunately, due to the immense pressures diesel engines experience, catastrophic head bolt failures were a common occurrence.
Another noteworthy piece GM skimped out on was the lack of a water separator. During this time period, high-quality diesel fuel was difficult to come by, and was often diluted with water.
Interestingly, sales of the LF9 diesel peaked in 1981 at 310,000 units. However, demand drastically dropped off shortly thereafter, and the Oldsmobile Diesel was discontinued following the 1985 model year.
Getting back to this 98 Regency, the exterior is painted in a stark white and is complimented nicely by a red interior colorway. The seller notes that the 80s sedan is equipped with a limited-slip differential, as well as extensive documentation.
So, what do you think? Is the $19,900 asking price too steep for this 1981 Oldsmobile 98 Regency due to infamous legacy of the Oldsmobile Diesel? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comment section below!