The Oldsmobile 98 (spelled Ninety-Eight from 1952 to 1991, and Ninety Eight from 1992 to 1996) is the full-size flagship model of Oldsmobile that was produced from 1940 until 1942, and then from 1946 to 1996.

The name — reflecting a "Series 90" fitted with an 8-cylinder engine — first appeared in 1941 and was used again after American consumer automobile production resumed post-World War II.

It was, as it would remain, the division's top-of-the-line model, with lesser Oldsmobiles having lower numbers such as the A-body 66 and 68, and the B-body 76 and 78.

The Series 60 was retired in 1949, the same year the Oldsmobile 78 was replaced by the 88. The Oldsmobile 76 was retired after 1950. This left the two remaining number-names to carry on into the 1990s as the bread and butter of the full-size Oldsmobile lineup until the Eighty Eight-based Regency replaced the 98 in 1997.

Occasionally additional nomenclature was used with the name, such as L/S and Holiday, and the 98 Regency badge would become increasingly common in the later years of the model. The 98 shared its General Motors C-body platform with Buick and Cadillac.

Since it was the top-line Oldsmobile, the series had the most technologically advanced items available, such as the Hydramatic automatic transmission, the Autronic Eye, an automatic headlight dimmer, and Twilight Sentinel (a feature that automatically turned the headlights on and off via a light sensor and a delay timer, as controlled by the driver), and the highest-grade interior and exterior trim.

In 1954, Oldsmobiles were redesigned across the line, with a three body style Ninety-Eight series at the top. Convertibles were dubbed Starfires, after the previous year's Starfire dream car.

A slightly higher horsepower 324 cu in (5.3 L) Rocket V8 was shared with the Super 88 series. Standard Ninety-Eight equipment included bumper guards, rubber simulated carpets front and rear, electric clock, lined trunk, dual horns, cigarette lighter, aluminum door sill plates, turn signals, chrome rocker panel moldings, deck lid ornament, foam rubber seat cushions, padded dash, parking brake light, courtesy light package, stainless steel wheel discs, windshield washer, and Deluxe steering wheel with horn ring.

Upholstery choices were nylon and leather, in a variety of colors. Standard tire size was 8.00 (203) by 15 inches (381 millimetres). A slightly modified 1954 Holiday Coupe was used as a press car during the final Carrera Panamericana in 1954. Air conditioning was provided by Frigidaire optionally on sedans and hardtops, which consisted of a self contained unit that was retrofited at the customers request.

1955 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Holiday Sedan

In 1955 the Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight again had a longer wheelbase than the 88.

Standard equipment included turn signals, bumper guards, stainless steel molfings, dual horns, cigarette lighter, front and rear floor mats, inside rearview mirror, foam rubber seat cushions, stainless steel rocker panel moldings, front seatback robe cord, spun glass hood insulation, rear window ventiplanes, electric clock, stainless steel wheel discs, custom cushion lounge seats front and rear, hand brake light, courtesy light package, padded dash, Deluxe steering wheel with horn ring, and windshield washer.

Upholstery choices were covert and pattern cloth, leather and pattern cloth, leather and nylon, and leather and dimple leather. Standard tire size was 7.70 (196) by 15 inches (381 millimetres).

The optional air conditioning unit was moved to the engine bay instead of the trunk.

The turning diameter was 43 ft.[10] The Hydramatic automatic transmission gear selector had an S on it, which was used for better performance climbing hills.[11] At mid-year, Olds introduced the new pillarless four-door hardtop body, dubbed the Holiday Sedan, in the Ninety-Eight series.

The 4-door Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Holiday Sedan, along with the 4-door 88 Holiday and the 4-door Buick Century Riviera and 4-door Special Riviera, were the first 4-door hardtops ever produced. Perhaps because of the popularity of the new 4-door hardtop body style total Ninety-Eight sales set a new record of 118,626.


1956 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Starfire

Again in 1956 the top of the line Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight series had an exclusive 126.0 in (3,200 mm) wheelbase, 4.0 in (100 mm) longer than the 88. Power came from the 240 horsepower Rocket V8 shared with the Super 88.

Standard equipment included armrests, bumper guards, lined trunk, rotary door latches, dual horns, cigarette lighter, turn signals, rubber floor mats, aluminum door sill plates, sun visors, front and rear carpeting, foam rubber seat cushions, courtesy lights, front fender medallions, deck lid "Ninety-Eight " script, back-up light moldings, electric clock, Jetaway Hydramatic Drive, padded dash, power steering, windshield washers and Deluxe steering wheel.

Upholstery choices were pattern cloth and leather in a variety of colors and combinations. Standard tire size was 8.00 (203) by 15 inches (381 millimetres) made by either U.S. Royal, Goodrich, or Firestone. The parking brake was now a foot pedal.

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