Oldsmobile 98 was part of the Series 90 and was powered by an 8-cylinder engine. This full-size automobile, which served as a flagship model for the Oldsmobile (a GM division) got its name through these specifications. The 98 had the same General Motors C-body platform as the Buick and Cadillac. As a high-end model, it was well equipped with advanced technology features such as an automatic headlight dimmer known as the Autronic Eye, the Twilight Sentinel, which automatically turned the headlights on and off via a timer, and the Hydramatic automatic transmission.
1941: First generation
Introduced in 1941 as part of Series 90, this first-gen Custom Cruiser 98 came in four body styles: 4-door convertible, convertible coupe, club coupe and a 4-door sedan.
1942-1947: Second generation
The Custom Cruiser 98 soon became Oldsmobile’s main competitor in the market’s luxury segment. It was offered in three body styles, minus the 4-door convertible that was dropped, and had the technical features and standard equipment of a top-of-the-line Oldsmobile model.
1948-1953: Third generation
This generation of Oldsmobile 98 was inspired by the Futuramic styling concept. New body styles were introduced, as well as engine upgrades and updated options and features. It hit high sales over the years and had remained on top of the Oldsmobile line.
1954-1956: Fourth generation
In 1954, Oldsmobile vehicles had a redesign. During the next two years, the 98 received a wheelbase that was longer than the 88’s. Aside from these, the vehicle also got a more powerful engine, a 240 hp Rocket V8.
1957-1958: Fifth generation
The Oldsmobile lineup was completely reengineered in 1957. Its models received a retrograde three-piece rear window treatment, and the 4-door body style 98 series became the top-of-the-line Oldsmobile. In 1958, major styling changes were made on the 98, which came in four body styles during that time.
1959-1960: Sixth generation
Oldsmobile vehicles were redesigned in 1959, but they still retained their full perimeter frame. The 98 was powered by a 6.5L Rocket V8, which was used from 1959 to 1964. It was the top-of-the-line series of Oldsmobile in 1960.
1961-1964: Seventh generation
In 1961, the Oldsmobile 98 came in five body styles, including the new 4-door, 6-window hardtop. In 1963, the Custom Sports Coupe hardtop was introduced as a new body style for the 98, while in 1964, the 98 was offered in six body styles (2-door, 4-door, and convertible configurations).
1965-1970: Eighth generation
The 98 was redesigned along with other full-size vehicles from GM, but it maintained its larger C-body. The 1965 model also used a new engine, a more powerful 7L Super Rocket V8. In 1966, five models were available. The 98 and Toronado were the only remaining luxury vehicles in the Oldsmobile lineup in 1967. By 1969, a hardtop version of the Luxury Sedan was included in the six body styles, and by 1970, it still remained as part of Oldsmobile’s luxury vehicle lineup.
1971-1976: Ninth generation
By 1971, the 98 was the biggest full-size car by Oldsmobile. For the automaker’s 75th year, a 4-door hardtop called the Regency was built and sold, and a new sales record was set at 121,568 units sold. The 98 became the longest-running series of Oldsmobile in 1974, and it remained popular for a long time.
1977-1984: Tenth generation
For the 1977 model year, the Oldsmobile 98 was redone and downsized. It was again restyled in 1980, while in 1981, the Buick 252 in³ V6 became a standard. The new Regency Brougham model was unveiled for 1982.
1985-1990: Eleventh generation
The year 1985 saw the further downsizing of the 98, as well as a switch to a front-wheel drive platform. The sales of the 1985 model year reached an all-time high at about 169,432 units sold. The eleventh generation was enhanced through updates on interior and performance. By 1990, the 98 was more powerful than ever and had a harmonic balancer.
1991-1996: Twelfth generation
Year 1991 saw the final redesign of the 98. It was longer and was designed with rear fender skirts, low nose, split grille, and wide tail. The modified design made it a more distinctive luxury vehicle from Oldsmobile. In 1996, the production of 98 was discontinued.