Live Auctions

1971 Delta 88: Four Doors to Happiness

Guess what? It’s a four-door. That’s the semi-secret (the pictures are a bit un-revealing of this fact) of this otherwise exciting barn find out of Spokane, WA. It’s a 1971 Olds Delta 88, and it’s going for a reasonable $7000. You’ll find it here on craigslist awaiting a new home. Please note that the seller is adamant that the price is fixed, and that nobody showing up with $5 grand in cash is going to take it home.

How do you feel about something other than a coupe? For years—decades—nobody wanted a four-door. They weren’t cool. They weren’t attractive. They often got scavenged for whatever parts were usable for restoring their two-door brothers. Nobody cared. But that’s changed, and many people are seeing the utility of the extra two doors and appreciating the (so far) reduced asking prices compared to the coupes. Plus, by many accounts, they drive the same when you’re talking about full-sized models like this one, so if you’re not buying a sportscar, why not get what’s reasonable (and available)?

The Olds 88 lasted for ten generations spanning 50 years. This one represents the start of the seventh gen, sold from 1971-76. These were restyled and enlarged from the prior models. They would give way to significant downsizing and a squaring off in styling in the generation to follow, which ran from 1977-85. You could get a three-speed manual transmission these full-sized Oldsmobiles for the last year in 1971. This one has an automatic, as most did. Interior appointments included brocade cloth seating and faux woodgrain appointments as well as a wrap-around instrument cluster.

This one’s been sitting in a barn for a long time, awaiting attention with a large collection of cars. Now the owner has decided to let it go. It’s got a huge engine—455-CID—and air conditioning. It ran when parked, so the first thing you’d naturally do if inspecting, or after you buy, would be to attempt to turn it over. If that goes well, why not start it on some fluid? You’ll need a battery to do that, no doubt. The car shows 7000 miles, no doubt 107,000, but that shouldn’t concern you at all. The body, what’s not covered in dust, looks solid, and the engine is again dusty but appears unmarred. What that can mean, and hopefully does, is that the engine has been taken care of. It will need the typical soft parts and, it is specified, a transmission pan seal. Hard not to think that that simple maintenance item might have grounded it, but in any event, it’s time for the hibernation to be over and for someone new to enjoy cruising this Delta 88.


  1. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    Probably got parked when 8MPG at $2.50 per gallon seemed like robbery, and the market wouldn’t give enough money to hide the insult of an offer, so it got stashed for sunnier days in the distant future.

    Like 6
  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    I don’t know, 7K is a lot for a babyshi+ green 4-door ’71 Olds. It just isn’t sexy. And I think if the guy wants to be sassy, he ought to have cleaned the car and verified that it runs.

    Like 25
    • Chunk

      Yeah, he’s out of his mind.

      Like 7
  3. Rumpledoorskin

    I couldn’t even get to a tire to kick it. I’d get it running and driving, then show everyone what regular folks drove when they had a family.

    Like 9
  4. Poppy

    That’s 2bbl air cleaner on that 455. Gobs of low end torque, but I think the extra doors and green color scheme are going to limit interest at that asking price.

    Like 11
  5. 63Comet

    Yeah, 455 or not,, a four door in that condition won’t garner $7000.except for something truly unique/desirable and a 1971 Olds just isn’t that. Heck, I’ve had a 2 door fastback ’68 Galaxie in much better shape listed at $3700 for about three weeks now and no sale. The market has gone up, yes, but not every classic car is a Counts Customs homerun or a Bitchin’ Ride as she sits.

  6. Cam W.

    My high-school buddy’s parents had a gold one like this. They bought it new, and later gave it to my buddy in his senior year.
    His parents (both were doctors) years later told me they had a very specific strategy in mind when they gave him the Olds…..
    1) It was terrible on gas, so he would have no money left to buy a motorcycle(which he really wanted).
    2) It was an UNCOOL car, so he would never be tempted to show off and speed.
    3) It was big, heavy, and safe. So if he did crash, he would be better protected.

    Like 10
  7. Cooter914 Cooter914 Member

    I actually like crew cabs. They are great all around classics that you can drive the wheels off of with a clean conscience. Lol. However, his price would get more attention if he already had it pulled out and running. Not ready to cruise necessarily. But at least ready to begin finishing up. 😃

    Like 5
  8. sg

    I love these big early 70s sedans. 69-72 was a great era for land barges that also could lay a little rubber. But I miss the days when you could just open the classifieds and pick one up for 500 bucks and enjoy it. There’s almost no fun, cheap beater cars left on the market these days.

    Like 6
  9. Troy

    $7000 for that mouse house? I think it’s going to be in his barn a little longer

    Like 4
    • Mike Featham

      …and even when new, they ran terrible. First year for EGR. Bucked, backfired and about 9-10 mpg.

      Like 1
  10. James A Martin

    And he won’t take a 5000 cash offer? Really? Must be sitting hiss ass and smoking purple Washington weed.

    Like 5
    • Hank

      Nah, he’s just ignorant of what it takes to get someone interested in his price
      Cleaned up and detailed, he MIGHT get more than 5.
      As it sits, perhaps he really doesn’t want to sell it,

  11. George Birth

    Looking at the condition of this one sitting in the barn covered an smothered , add to that a non runner and he wants what? Maybe another 10-20 years in the barn and he might decide to sell it. NO SALE!!!!!

    Like 3
  12. Bakes

    Would definitely check to make sure it runs correctly. The Delrin timing gears on these are known to give up the ghost around 90,000 or so miles. Happened to my parents’ 71 custom cruiser which had the same engine.

    Like 1
  13. Christopher Gentry

    Personally. I love the color. Suites it. Very period. Dad had a 70 Ford LTD 2 door when I was a kid. Olive green on green

    Like 1
  14. Holstein66 Member

    My family had a ’72 Delta 88 growing up and I loved it. It was Saturn gold, white top and the awesome green interior. That car just floated down the road cruising. Good times

  15. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    If you have 7K to gamble on an assumed non running unattractive gas guzzler, go for it!

    The seller should be overjoyed if someone showed up with 5K of cold hard cash – LOL!

  16. Christopher Gentry

    Yeah I mean I REALLY like it. But 7 grand seems at least 2 grand too much. Also remember when you could buy a good runner all day for a grand.

  17. EricN

    As the Brits would say he’s a bit cheeky on the price. When a vehicle is in NADA or some other car appraisal company’s book value it is for a RUNNING vehicle. This thing isn’t running and he wants 7k? Sorry Charlie no sale. I might give him low book of $3700 but because it is green maybe not.

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