• Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
The 1965-1970 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight shared its platform with the high-zoot Cadillac DeVille and Buick Electra and lived at the very pinnacle of the Oldmobile Division pyramid. This '69 Luxury Sedan nearly made it to age 50, but now sits in its final parking lot: a Northern California self-service wrecking yard.



It's quite rough, though not rusty, and the presence of all the window regulators in the trunk suggests that its final owner may have begun a restoration project.



Unfortunately, even a 1969 Cadillac sedan needs to be cleaner than this car to be worth restoring. Perhaps a two-door Ninety-Eight in this shape might have made the restoration cut, but not a sedan.



You can see some flashes of the opulence that once held sway in this car's vast interior. The fold-down armrest was just as swanky as anything you'd find in a '69 Buick, for example.



Someone, probably a Cutlass owner, glommed the 455-cubic-inch V8 before I got here. Rated at 365 optimistic gross horsepower, the 1969 Olds 455 was one of the greatest of big-cube Detroit V8s.



This car's brochure includes a reenactment of a scene from "The Sheik." Using a 48-year-old silent film as a reference in 1969 speaks volumes about the target demographic for this car. Of course, the Oldsmobile Division went after younger car buyers that year, too.



List price on this car was $4,693, which amounts to about $33,200 in inflation-adjusted 2018 dollars. You got a lot of car for your buck with a Ninety-Eight back then! The 1969 Buick Electra 225 Custom four-door hardtop started at $4,611, but didn't have quite as many standard luxury appointments as the Oldsmobile; meanwhile, the $5,954 Cadillac Sedan DeVille awaited those buyers who weren't willing to settle for one of GM's lesser divisions.



A new Mercedes-Benz 280SEL, the ancestor of the S-Class, cost $6,622 in 1969 and had about half the horsepower of the Buick 455, Olds 455, and Cadillac 472 that year. You had to be serious about cars to get the Benz back then.



Yes, this generation of Ninety-Eight offered "motorcar quality and elegance in the grand manner."

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