1973 Oldsmobile 88 Royal Makes Less Than Zero Sense in the Modern World, Still for Sale

The standards by which Americans define what constitutes a luxury car have changed quite a bit over the last half-century. Want living proof of that notion? Look no further than this 1973 Oldsmobile 88 Royale. A design so outdated even when it was brand new that it might as well have been built in 1873.
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You see, back in the early 70s and even up until 15 or so years ago, what defined a luxury car in the USA more than anything else was not the quality of the ride or the exclusivity of its materials. Instead, what made Americans fall head over heels for a car was if it was bigger in size than everything else around it.

By those standards, the 18-foot-long, nearly three-ton 1973 Oldsmobile 88 certainly fits the criteria for an early 70s American luxury vehicle. But by modern standards, not only is this car built completely ass-backward from what modern luxury drivers have come to expect, but it’s also big, wasteful, and frankly, a bit stupid in hindsight.

The 350 cubic inches (5.7 liter V8) may very well have been a great engine in the late 60s, and 1973 was indeed the final year of pre-oil-crisis lack of emissions standards. But one has to imagine that means the equivalent of an entire fleet full of modern cars is exiting the big Olds’ exhaust pipe every minute it runs.

At least this example, for sale via an anonymous private seller on, only sports 45,651 miles on the odometer, and the metallic silver paint job only shows minor blemishes. Still, that doesn’t make this classic land ship any more practical of purchase unless you’re a certified member of the absolute mad lads club—and the kind of person who fancies old land barges more than you do a modern equivalent.

If you happen to be such an individual, it will cost you $13,900 before taxes and fees before you have the privilege of the thing draining your entire life savings just in the cost of fuel. Gasoline sure as heck wasn’t $4 a gallon back in 1973, and it really shows.

Editor's note: Not supported or endorsed by a third party


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