CC Outtake: 1985 Olds 88 Royale – The Rare Non-Brougham


As I was leaving the bank this morning, I noticed this surprisingly clean Oldsmobile parked just outside the door.


As recently as ten years ago, seeing a car like this would have been a non-event. But today, with the number of eighties cars on the road dwindling – and with so many of its B-body brethren dying a slow and cancerous death – I decided to whip out my crummy camera-phone and snap a few pics.

This particular car looks miraculously clean, considering it’s a local car and thus has surely seen plenty of Minnesota winters. Aside from the ding at the top of the right rear quarter, it looks to be in pretty nice shape.

I’m not able to tell whether this is an ’84 or an ’85 – the Eighty-Eight remained much the same for those two years. But it’s definitely no older, given its dual-colored taillight lenses. And it couldn’t possibly be any newer, since its FWD replacement came to market for model year 1986.

This car also has the uncommon distinction of being, ahem, non-Broughamy. No padded top, no opera lights, none of that jazz – just two-tone paint, wire wheelcovers, and a respectable cloth interior. (Lose a couple of doors, and you’d really be speaking my language.)


There’s no doubt in my mind that this is a senior citizen owned car. It could even be in the hands of the original owner still… bought at the dealer down the street and kept forever, like so many cars of its vintage are in this aging town. Regardless, it’s good to see that its owner has kept it up and doing the job it was built for.

What’s equally commendable is that, despite the temperature having been -25°F just a couple hours ago, the car and its owner are still out and about. Apparently Gramps and/or Gram have no problem getting their Olds started on such brutally cold days as this.