1964 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Review
Wonderful Car But Built For A Different Time. — Power enough to light the tires when traveling 20 mpg yet smooth as butter on the highway. Very quiet with little to no wind noise and minimal tire hum. Some noise if used the vent window in front of the main front seat windows (I really miss those). Built for use with "leaded super octane" and not very happy if you try to feed it anything less than aviation fuel (we had local gas station that would sell to stock car driver a 107 octane that worked very well but at a $2/gallon premium. It inhales 20 gallons at a gulp so that didn't happen often. Commonly found 102 unleaded was marginal and would knock with more than 1/4 way to floor and 88 octane was almost unusable. Very hard to judge speed as dead quiet and lack of feedback from steering and bumps. I live in an extremely rural state and I don't think this will be a common issue but I feel I need to warn you that it's front end will air dam and lift up if traveling over 120 mpg (easy to do with an inch of pedal before the floor and scary as holly hell- thank you to very straight, flat roads and 20 mile visability) No Cruise control but did have "safety sentile" that would buzz if you exceeded a manually set speed. AM only radio but actually had fair sound and 1000 mile reception. The quiet interior and AM only radio actually encouraged you to have conversation in the car! It was suburban class heavy and stopping distance with disc brakes was way, way, too long especially if loaded (picture deer in front of you - I've hit 3 and one cow). They didn't make all that many of the 1964 cars and body parts are bloody hard to find especially after you hit another deer 2 days after the paint dried from the prior repair. Pictures really can't give you picture of how big this car is until you walk around it. With nice weather and no airconditioning I would get 9-10 mpg at 60 mph and it just gets worse, about 4 mpg in town if winter and short distances. Steering is one finger light but novacaine numb. Trunk the size of my living room. Back seat felt like it had 18 inches of leg room. Heavy enough to be fairly good in snow even though rear wheel drive. It was very nicely balanced in terms of front/back weight and despite weight not much body roll. Turning radius requires several swings into parking slot at the grocery store. It actually was very easy to drive and felt much lighter and smaller than it was. I very felt like I was driving an aircraft carrier (like my wifes van). Fit and finish very untypical for American cars in that it was absolutely perfect. Thing I loved the most was the locomotive like torque - it simply never needed to downshift. I was very frustrated in all my following cars until my most recent Subaru Turbo which has some of the torque at low RPM qualities. Mine was from my grandfather who bought it new and I got it with just 22K. I finally gave it up when I was forced into frequent parallel parking and a gas burning 30 mile commute and an apartment with a garage it would not fit into. I loved this car for 8 years despite all the Moby Dick jokes. I really had very little maintance issues with this car and it was very easy to do things like change the oil yourself.
Primary Use: Family transportation
Pros: Smooth, Powerful, Room to spare
Cons: Exceptionally poor milage, brakes not up to bulk
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