80s Olds 98 Regency Page-1980-1984 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency



Background19801981 | 1982 | 1983/1984 | End of the Road


1983 / 1984 MODEL YEARS

A slightly revised grille marked the appearance of the 1983 models. Other than that, not a whole lot changed inside or out. Reliability, however, was improved over 1982 models.

1984 models were so similar to 1983 that one would have to look very close to tell the difference. In fact, the only exterior clue was a revised side marker lamp cover which was now solid orange in color. The front grille was identical to the 1983 design. This allowed Oldsmobile to actually re-use their 1983 brochure photos for 1984. In fact, other than airbrushing the side marker lamps in each exterior photo, the photos shown in the 1983 and 1984 brochures were exactly the same!

Click on any image for a larger view

Cruise controls for all GM vehicles were upgraded significantly in 1984. This included a new cruise control module which offered both Resume and Accelerate features.

Under the hood, however, lurked one very significant change of which few Oldsmobile owners were aware. For the 1984 model year, the Federal Government rolled back the 5 mph impact standard for automobile bumpers in the United States. This allowed GM to radically alter the structure underneath the front and rear bumpers.

Up until now, large gas-charged "energy absorber" units were bolted between the bumper and the frame and a heavy-duty sub-structure lay underneath the chromed "skin" that made up each bumper. For 1984, the energy absorbing assemblies were made much smaller and the structures underneath the bumpers stripped down significantly to save weight. This makes 1984 models extremely vulnerable to minor impacts! In fact, a 1984 Regency can sustain heavy damage from a slow-speed collision that would not have even scratched earlier models.

[ Fortunately, this problem can be remedied. If you own a 1984 model, remove both front and rear bumpers and swap them with those from an earlier model (1980-1983 will be a perfect fit). Be sure to replace the bumper sub-structure and the energy absorbers (four in all). ]

One final change to note, in 1984 GM re-named the chassis on which the Regency was built as "D-Body." This was due to the fact that the next generation vehicle that would replace this classic model would be designated "C-Body" even though it was an all-new FWD chassis design. Some Cadillac models were already referred to as "D-body" so this could be confusing as the Cadillac Fleetwood and DeVille actually ride on a slightly different chassis than the Regency with a longer 121-inch wheelbase.



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