I’ll save you the effort of visiting every new car dealership in town: If you want a land yacht, you can’t buy a new one. They simply don’t exist. Soft-riding sedans are a thing of the past. Even the cushiest ones like the Toyota Avalon now come in quasi-sporty TRD form.
If you want to set sail, wallowing down a highway in utmost old-school comfort, you need something built at least a decade ago. Preferably something closer to 30 or 40 years old. And preferably something from Detroit.
Enter this 1983 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency. It ticks nearly every 1980s Detroit iron stereotype: big 5-mph chrome bumpers, whitewall tires wrapped around wheels with wire hubcaps, a vinyl roof with opera lights, fender skirts, and, of course, acres of tufted blue upholstery.
Now this was motoring, once upon a time. Under its hood, you’ll find five liters and eight cylinders of
power eventual motivation linked up with a 4-speed automatic transmission. OK, to be fair, Oldsmobile didn’t exactly pitch the Ninety-Eight as a quick car. The 4-barrel carbureted V8 merits only brief mention sans any power ratings in that year’s brochure, though it was admittedly a better choice than the optional and highly problematic diesel V8.
Instead, the Ninety-Eight was about comfortable cruising. Those split-bench seats up front offered power adjustment, and their pillow-top cushions look like something an occupant could sink into for hours — and so many miles — at a time. Air conditioning, a quartz clock, various lighted interior features, and a stereo were standard fare.
From the specs, this one actually looks like a relatively low-option example as it seems to lack leather seats, cruise control, and a cassette player. Eh, who needs those when you’ve got cornering lights, a hood ornament, and a trunk that may qualify as an auxiliary dwelling unit in some municipalities (check your local regulations!).
Big Detroit sedans eschewed modern unibody construction and independent suspensions for tried-and-true ladder frames and solid rear axles. That inherent durability made them last quite a while, though by now just about any Ninety-Eight you might find will look way worse for wear. But not this white one, which has covered 14,000 miles and is on offer at a used car dealership in Connecticut for $40,000. That’s big cash, but, as with so many classics in this kind of condition, when are you going to find another one? Find an Oldsmobile Ninety Eight for sale