Oldsmobile’s 75th Anniversary Tiffany Edition…
Presenting the Ninety-Eight Regency
Once upon a time…America was the purveyor of the luxury car. General Motors was at the summit of the automaker’s craft. Luxury sedans like the legendary Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight powered by the formidable “Rocket V8” engine offered unpretentious, uncompromising luxury…unlike the luxury cars of today that lack the aristocratic flare. For the 1972 model year Oldsmobile offered “The Tiffany Edition” Ninety-Eight Regency to celebrate their 75th Anniversary.
This eminent series was registered with Tiffany & Company and built at a restricted pace to reflect its exclusivity. The illustrious Oldsmobile brand was America’s oldest automobile manufacturer. An Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight was the company Flagship. Oldsmobile built 121,568 Ninety-Eights for the 1972 model year and set a new sales record for the model. “There was a special feel…in an Oldsmobile…”
There was nothing quite like the traditional full-size luxury sedans. An Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight, Buick Electra 225, and Cadillac Sedan deVille were GM’s luxury leaders. The Oldsmobile Series Eighty-Eight and Series Ninety-Eight were so forward thinking that they both were used as Cadillac’s “test car.” Before Cadillac would introduce a new feature or accessory it was first “test-driven” on the Eighty-Eight/Ninety-Eight Series first. The fabulous first generation front wheel drive 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado was actually “test-driven” as the Oldsmobile Toronado then refined.
Oldsmobile was the oldest American automobile manufacturer. Ransom Eli Olds founded the brand in 1897. During their 107 year history around 35 million vehicles were built. Oldsmobile was the first high-volume gasoline powered automobile manufacturer. It was originally named the “Olds automobile” and became the top-selling American automobile. From 1901 to 1904 the Oldsmobile Curved Dash was the first mass-produced car made from the first automobile assembly line.
Contrary to belief, as Ford being the first with the assembly line system, they weren’t. Ford was first to build cars on a “moving” assembly line. Whether one referred to it as an “Olds” or “Oldsmobile”…or even better “Rocket Olds”…the brand was an American institution. The Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight name was first used in 1941. The Ninety-Eight evolved more luxuriously each model year retaining its place as company Flagship.
For Oldsmobile’s 75th Anniversary in 1972, a very special limited edition luxury sedan was created. Built at a restricted pace of 2,650 vehicles, the Ninety-Eight Regency was the top of the line. With its posh limousine-style interior, the Regency was the most luxurious Oldsmobile ever built.
The Tiffany Gold beauty was powered by Oldsmobile’s Rocket 7.5 litre 455 CID 16-valve pushrod V8 engine. Style code RPO Y79 Regency trim package became a full production model for the 1973 model year due to its popularity. The Ninety-Eight Regency remained popular until the 1980s. The 1972 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency hardtop sedan was the epitome of elegance and luxury.
The interior of the Ninety-Eight Regency rivaled that of a limo. Its hand button-tufted pillow-style contoured seating was available in either Black or Covert Gold. An embroidered design was stitched into the standard front and rear center folding armrests. The front seat configuration was the 60/40 divided lounge seats with standard 2-way power driver’s seat. Zippered pouches were affixed to the backs of the front seats for rear passenger storage. The warm look of French Walnut graced the dash, steering wheel, door trim panels, and seat back moldings. Power windows, deluxe cut pile carpeting, and Flo-Thru ventilation system were just a few of the many standard features and accessories.
The Ninety-Eight Regency was registered with Tiffany & Co. The Regency owner received a special set of keys cast in sterling silver. If ever they were lost, they could be deposited into any mailbox, Tiffany & Co would return them to the owner at no charge. The Ninety-Eight Regency interior featured an exclusive electric timepiece with its face styled by Tiffany & Co alerting the vehicle occupants to the fact that this was an exclusive luxury edition automobile.
The 1972 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency was finished in a custom “Tiffany Gold” exclusive to the Regency. Vinyl roofs were standard and available in Gold, Black, or White. “Regency” nomenclature adorned the rear sail panels to further enhance the car’s luxurious identity. The 1972 Ninety-Eight Regency was available in the following color/trim schemes with Tiffany Gold as the body color: Black vinyl roof with Black interior, Black vinyl roof with Covert Gold interior, Covert Gold vinyl roof with Black interior, Covert Gold vinyl roof and Covert Gold interior, White vinyl roof with Covert Gold interior, and White vinyl roof with Black interior.
The 1972 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight shared its “C-body” with Buick and Cadillac. The Ninety-Eight rode upon a long 127” wheelbase and had the luxury length of 232.2” and a wide 80” stance. It was a large front engine rear drive luxury car. It was built as body on frame construction using GM’s perimeter frame technology.
The Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight came standard with power steering and power brakes. It used a dual master cylinder to facilitate independent front and rear braking system operation. The brakes were equipped with discs fitted to the front axle and drums fitted to the rear. New for the 1972 model year was a stronger front bumper system that yielded upon minor impact to protect the sheet metal.
1972 Ninety-Eight hardtop sedan
This is the base Ninety-Eight hardtop sedan interior
1972 Ninety-Eight LS
This is the Ninety-Eight LS interior
The famous Oldsmobile 7.5 litre “Rocket V8” engine
The Oldsmobile Division of General Motors celebrated their 75th Anniversary in 1972. A special limited edition called the Ninety-Eight Regency hardtop sedan was built at a restricted pace of only 2,650 vehicles.
The 1972 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency hardtop sedan was the most luxuriously exclusive automobile in the history of the brand. The plush hand button-tufted contoured pillow-style seating for the interior rivaled that of a limousine. The beautiful all-nylon velour augmented the cabin gracefully setting it apart from the other Ninety-Eight models.
The 1972 Ninety-Eight Regency came standard with an electric timepiece in the instrument panel with a face styled by Tiffany & Co. The Ninety-Eight had always been a luxuriously appointed automobile. The Regency trim option package escalated the Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight into further exclusivity.
The 1972 Ninety-Eights were powered by the 7.5 litre “Rocket V8” engine. The Ninety-Eight was a spacious six passenger luxury sedan designed to cosset its occupants in high style and performance unexpected from a car of such regal stature.
An Olds Ninety-Eight could “wear the kidskin gloves” when necessary for formality…but tap the accelerator to bring that 455 CID 16-valve pushrod V8 to life instantly, and you had the unexpected performance sedan. A Ninety-Eight Regency was satisfying enough to preclude the restless quest for something better to replace it with…
Special thanks to MJC Classic Cars for these rare photos