Luxury Cars

Junkyard Gem: 1971 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Custom Hardtop Sedan

The Oldsmobile 88 identify goes approach again, to 1949 and the primary overhead-valve Olds V8 engines, and 88 (afterward known as “Eighty-Eight”) manufacturing continued by 1999. How deeply embedded is the Olds 88 in American historical past? The very first rock-n-roll tune ever recorded, by Ike Turner in 1951, had the 88 and its “Rocket” V8 engine as its subject material. The 88 attained its most imposing bulk in its seventh era, constructed for the 1971 by 1976 mannequin years, and in the present day’s Junkyard Gem— present in a self-service yard simply outdoors the Denver metropolis limits— is a type of magnificently huge automobiles.

In earlier years, the assorted trim ranges for the 88 got designations similar to Jetstar, Tremendous, Dynamic, Delmont, and Delta. After the final 1968 Delmont 88s had been offered, all 88s turned Delta 88s. This continued till 1989, when the Delta identify received the axe and the 88 turned the Eighty-Eight.

This automotive is a Delta Customized, which was the mid-grade 88 for 1971. It was positioned between the entry-level Delta 88 and the top-of-the-pyramid Delta Royale.

From the early Nineteen Sixties till the swap to front-wheel-drive in 1986, the Olds 88 was sibling to the Chevrolet Impala, Pontiac Bonneville, Buick LeSabre, and all the opposite rear-wheel-drive GM B-Physique automobiles of the interval.

For 1971, the 88’s wheelbase remained the identical whereas the physique received considerably greater. This automotive scaled in at 4,334 kilos, about 350 kilos heavier than its Impala counterpart that yr and about the identical as a 2022 Chevy Traverse.

Beneath the hood, we discover Dr. Oldsmobile’s legendary 455-cubic-inch (7.5-liter) pushrod V8, a clean runner that was the largest-displacement Oldsmobile engine of the fashionable period (automotive buyers in 1912 might purchase a brand new Olds with a straight-six displacing 706 cubic inches).

Energy was down in comparison with 1970, partly as a result of compression ratios being lowered to adjust to new emission requirements and partly as a result of transition from considerably stretchy gross engine-power numbers (typically fudged upward to make automobiles appear sooner, typically fudged downward to make insurance coverage charges cheaper) to strict SAE net-power requirements. Nonetheless, this 455 was rated at 280 horsepower and an ocean-liner-like 360 pound-feet of torque. It is telling that the 1971 Oldsmobile brochure does not point out horsepower in any respect, simply torque. Consider it or not, you would get this automotive with a three-on-the-tree guide transmission from the manufacturing unit, although this one has an computerized; beginning in 1972, all Delta 88s got here with computerized transmissions as base tools.

Oldsmobile made some suspension changes for 1971, allegedly to counter the G-forces of cornering whereas nonetheless sustaining a clean Oldsmobilesque trip. This was known as “G-Experience” and we will assume that it impressed rappers a quarter-century later. Oldsmobile songs have been with us for the reason that days of the 1901 Curved-Sprint, they usually proceed to be created 18 years after the ultimate Oldsmobiles left Lansing Automobile Meeting.

This automotive was in fine condition when I discovered it, no rust to talk of and an inside a lot nicer than you’d anticipate after 51 years. It was filled with papers that advised the final time it was registered was the late Nineties.

It included the 1965 yearbook for the DI MU DA Dance Membership.

The unique proprietor’s manuals and Shield-O-Plate had been nonetheless within the automotive. I stored the Shield-O-Plate, which now lives on my storage wall.

Though it is a hardtop in simply restorable situation, a giant four-door like this is not significantly helpful these days. A Delta 88 Royale convertible can be one other story, in fact.

The G-Experience System was confirmed on the check monitor.

The Delta 88 received loads of torture testing, in response to this advert.

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