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22,800 Miles: 1970 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Coupe


As the ad for this car here on eBay says: “none cleaner!” This 1970 Oldsmobile Delta 88 coupe is said to have only 22,800 miles and after looking the car over in the pictures, I believe it. The big coupe is located in Honea Path, South Carolina, and is being auctioned without a reserve.


The clean lines of this car remind me of the sleek original 1966 Toronado design; uncluttered by a lot of needless trim. And this car certainly is as nice an example as you are going to find! There’s no mention of whether the paint is original or not (I hope it is!) but it certainly shines in the pictures.


The rear design is only cluttered by the clumsy execution of reverse lights and rear reflectors. Nonetheless, it still is much nicer than most of it’s contemporaries. Again, the paint looks great from here!


Both the front and rear seats look terrific! The seller tells us that the car surprisingly has a salvage title due to previous water damage to the carpet. It’s unclear whether the carpet was replaced or not, and the pictures aren’t detailed enough to really tell. That’s certainly a question I’d want the answer to before bidding. While not a factory air conditioning set up, the aftermarket air is welcome to this Southerner!


After seeing how stellar the rest of the car looks, the underhood is a little bit of a letdown. I think some detailing under here and re-installing the air conditioning belt that’s in the trunk would work wonders here (of course, there’s no guarantee that the compressor isn’t seized). I’m guessing the alternator is new based on how shiny it is. The seller tells us that they originally purchased this car to use as a donor to restore a W-30 455 car they have, but have decided this one is too nice to use for that purpose. I’m inclined to agree: what do you think?


  1. Avatar photo Scotty G

    Oh man, what a beauty! I love those brocade seats. My dad had a 1970 Olds 98 in light green with a dark green vinyl top and dark green brocade interior. That was still the fastest car that I’ve ever driven and I haven’t driven it in over thirty years now, since it’s long been in the junkyard. I prefer the 98 with covered rear wheels, I never cared for the flared rear fenders on the 88s, but that’s just a person preference.

    I don’t know if this car will go at $7,000 or not, especially without factory AC, but it sure is clean. I think that a starting bid of $5,000 with a reserve of $6,000 or $7,000 might get things moving on the auction, a starting bid of $7,000 is pretty steep for an 88, in my opinion. A southern (coastal?) car with water damage always scares me.

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  2. Avatar photo Jason Houston

    Got to be one of the handsomest Oldsmobiles ever. Are those red wheels factory? I don’t ever recall seeing that before…

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    • Avatar photo Jamie Staff

      I was wondering about that myself, Jason. Hopefully someone knows the answer.

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    • Avatar photo ydnar

      Who’s been overriding spell check? ;>)

      A friend of mine had one of these in convertible form, a truly huge car. Bigger than my ’69 T-bird 4dr.

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  3. Avatar photo piper62j

    The red wheels (from what I remember as a GM service manager then) were not factory.. If any of the steel was exposed around the wheel cover, the wheels were showing the color of the car body…

    I admired the size of these cars, but the ride was not so great compared to the GM ”
    “A” bodies. Sort of harsh…

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  4. Avatar photo Billy Bob

    This Eighty Eight is a very nice survivor but, a low option example. Would be significantly better with the 455 and factory air. The designer was Stan Wilen who was transferred from Cadillac. You can see the similarities to the Cadillacs. 1970 was the high water mark for GM. The “B” body Olds were great driving cars and extremely durable.

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    • Avatar photo Jason Houston

      With all due respect, GM had other “high water marks”, 1956 and 1940!

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      • Avatar photo krash

        …given the auction’s insurance claim info, this particular car may have dealt with its own ‘high water mark’.

        ..it would be interesting to see what may lie beneath the carpet…

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    • Avatar photo Joe

      Billy Bob, yes I see the similarity, especially with the Eldorado. Thanks for pointing that out.

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  5. Avatar photo Nessy

    I always liked the 69/70 full size Oldsmobiles with the 69 98 being my top pick for a luxury car of that era. I would take a 98 over a Cadillac, a Buick Electra or a Lincoln anyday.

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  6. Avatar photo David Wilk Member

    I love these old 88s and have owned a couple over the years. Red wheels not original. What worries me is that in the eBay description, the seller says it has a salvage title from water damage. Given the new wheels, could that mean this is a flood survivor? If so, stay away, low mileage or not.

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    • Avatar photo Stang1968

      My sentiments exactly. Flood damaged vehicle. Probably many unknown gremlins.

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  7. Avatar photo Jim

    Something fishy here.
    Aside from the “water damage”, the leak in the trunk from the vinyl top trim and the red wheels, the engine is the wrong color for a 455. 350’s were gold (I had one) and the 455’s were blue (I wished I had one!)

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    • Avatar photo Jamie Staff

      The seller states it’s a 350 in the ad, so I think we’re ok there. They were just going to use the car as a donor for a 455 they also have.

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  8. Avatar photo Nessy

    The color looks to be “Galleon Gold” and those red wheels are not original. The seller says he has another 70 Delta 88 W30 Ram Air 455? Funny, I never heard of this engine in an 88 and from what the original dealer book I am reading right now says, this was not an option at all. I do remember hearing about a police pursuit 390hp 500lbft of torque 455 offered on the 88 which would have had more hp then the W30 370hp anyway. The Toronado 455 had 400hp and 500 lbft of torque while the 98 455 showed 365hp but 510lbft of torque. Geez, alot of head scratching with all these numbers. Nevertheless, a salvage title due to water with a 7000 starting price? It will not happen. Maybe if it was a loaded up Royale coupe model with the rare bucket seats, floor shifter and the hot 455.

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    • Avatar photo David Wilk Member

      In 1970 only, Oldsmobile offered a high performance 455 for the 88 line, order code was W-33. The W-30 option was only offered in 442s (1966-72 for the real deal) and included OAI (outside air induction or “ram air”). W-33 was not the same thing but is still a very rare and desirable 455 engine to have.
      Good info on Olds high performance engines here: http://www.442.com/oldsfaq/ofwmc.htm

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  9. Avatar photo Gary I

    It’s a lot of car and you could not come close to building one for $7,000 from a lesser starting point. If you like them then this is fair for a nice driver. You could build up a 455 for it easy enough and have a nice car.

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  10. Avatar photo Alan (Michigan)

    I’d insist on the (missing?) jack/tire tools and the spare.

    Agreed, red wheels are odd here.

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  11. Avatar photo Alexander Member

    The original owner could have certainly had the “”fashion sense”” to paint the wheels red to match the pinstriping. Which is also not original, probably a dealer installed bit of bling.

    PS: Missing dome light lens. Goofy rookie mistake for a car that could be ready to show in the original class.

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  12. Avatar photo DW

    Ah, the cool 70s where you could put your shoulder belt up on the clip above the door (picture #7) and get that darn pesky thing outta the way. Lap belts only for low speed cruising lol.

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  13. Avatar photo DENIS

    I bought new a ’69 Delta coupe with the 390 hp 455…it would fly…bright red/white interior…ran mid 14s at the dragstrip with the 2:73 gears. By the way, original color on the steel wheels was silver..not red. Sold it and got a new 70 442 W30(still have)

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  14. Avatar photo Utes

    @ Denis….
    If you had a “new” 390/455, that was the W33, but it came w/a mandatory 2.94:1 rear axle.

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  15. Avatar photo Wilco Hageman

    Ik heb hem nou 3jaar in Nederland een geweldige goed lopende harde auto nog vol met koppel en pk’s voor wat ik weet een Standaard motor. Ben er nogsteeds zeer blij mee. Onderhand wel al wat vervangen hier en daar maar niks heel speciaals. Gewoon een goede 350 rocket met th 400 bak verbruikt geen olie nog een paar slechte plekjes, die komen volgende maand aan de beurt.

    Courtesy of Google Translate:
    I have him 3 years in the Netherlands a great good running hard car still full of torque and horsepower for what I know a Standard engine. I am still very happy with it. By now we have already replaced some here and there but nothing very special. Just a good 350 rocket with th 400 bin no oil consumes a few bad spots, which will come next month.

    Mvgr. Wilco Hageman

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  16. Avatar photo Wilco Hageman

    Dit is hem nu in Holland ben er nog eg blij mee. Probeer foto’s toe te voegen, weet niet of het lukt.

    (courtesy of Google Translate: This is what he is like now in Holland. Try adding photos, do not know if it works.)

    Mvgr. Wilco Hageman

    Like 1
  17. Avatar photo DayDreamBeliever

    What a great looking car, THANK YOU for the update!

    Like 1

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