Amazing 45 Mile 1975 Olds Delta 88 Convertible!

SOLD!

Yes, you read that right. This Olds 88 has only covered 45 miles! It hit the Oldsmobile dealer showroom floor 44 years ago and never left. Well, that is until recently when the dealership sold off some of their collection. So if you missed the chance to buy one of these when they were brand new, here’s your second chance! The car is located in Ramsey, Minnesota and the seller would like to get $25k. Click the red “Make Offer” button if you’re interested in this time machine.

As mentioned, this car was part of an Oldsmobile dealer’s collection. It has never been sold to an individual so you will have the thrill of being the first real owner. The car was obviously well cared for by the dealership. It literally does look like a brand new car! I’ve only seen a few true “time capsule” survivors like this in person and it’s an amazing thing to witness. Most cars deteriorate and corrode, but somehow a few escape the ravages of time.

The jack, lug wrench and spare are still in the trunk. The marking on the tire is most likely factory and it matches those found on the undercarriage. You can click through all the images in the photo gallery below to see what I mean. There’s surface rust on some of the suspension components, but it looks like the floors were undercoated.

The window sticker is still in place too. There’s some sun damage, from sitting in the showroom, but you can still make out all the options. This thing was tricked out! Tilt, air conditioning, whitewall tires, AM FM stereo… the list goes on and on. MSRP plus destination fees came to $5,417, but this bad boy had $1,172 worth of addons! Options made up 18% of the total price here.

The best option on that list could be the engine though. That’s a 455 cubic inch V8 with a 4-barrel carburetor on top in there! There’s a video below of the engine starting and running below. Even though it didn’t cover many miles, we hope the dealer changed all the fluids once in a while to keep things fresh. Gaskets can still get old and brittle from sitting so the next caretaker will want to keep an out for oil leaks if they do decide to drive this car much.

And how could they not drive it a little? With that big V8 out front and the wind in your hair, this thing has gotta be a hoot to drive. A couple of miles more could hurt, right? The tires are said to be the only parts that have been replaced – which is a smart move because old dry rotted tires are not safe. With a low mileage car like this, it’s always a good idea to ask for documentation to prove those miles.

This looks like a real diamond in the rough and hopefully, it goes to a good home where it will continue to be enjoyed and preserved. If you think you have what it takes, feel free to submit an offer. Also, be sure to check out all the photos in the gallery below and leave any questions you may have in the comments section.

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Comments

  1. local_sheriff

    I’m always shocked when I see brand new never used vehicles like this. It of course prevents the vehicle against being used up, on the other hand one cannot really put it into use now 44years later without severely affecting value.

    Not the biggest fan of the mid70s Oldses, I’m kinda regretting this dealer didn’t do the same with a 10years older fullsize Olds… I of course can’t deny this ’75 is a unique find though

    3
  2. James

    Incredible!

    3
  3. Will Fox

    IMHO, worth every dime. It may not be a `76 Bicentennial Eldorado, but it IS as new as the day it rolled off the line! I had the chance to buy a LOADED metallic blue `75 with 7800 miles on it when an office buddy of my Dad’s passed away in 1980, and like a fool I passed on it. The hole in my drywall from me banging my head against it remains to this day………..

    9
    • ken tilly UK

      It certainly didn’t roll off the line with that much rust on the undercarriage though. Apart from that, it’s beautiful, considering it’s a mid seventies car when to my mind the US carmakers lost the plot from 1970 onwards.

      6
      • Daniel Druk Member

        The factory didn’t put a bit of paint on the areas where you see rust under the vehicle.
        It had been kept inside the dealership and ended up inside a climate controlled garage after that. Bare metal will rust after almost 45 years. That is the way the factory made it and that is the way all untouched Oldsmobiles will look from this era.

        6
  4. 71Boss351

    I always wanted a sky blue boat. Neat car but I would need to see the documentation proving the miles. There just seems to be too much surface rust on the underside for only 45 miles.

    6
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Not necessarily. It all comes down to how much humidity was in the area where it was stored and how much rusty proofing was done at the factory.

      7
      • PMD1965 Member

        Jesse, thanks for the support. I get a lot of people who have seen it in person and they all are convinced after seeing it in person that the miles are correct. Nobody who has seen it in person has any doubts. But the most important thing is that all items that would wear or get worse from driving are as new still.

  5. Ike Onick

    The last gasp of the Glory Days of GM and the UAW. The meteors were heading straight for them. BOOM!

    3
    • Dave

      You’re actually a few years early. In 1975, Volkswagen Rabbits were popular due to the Arab oil embargo but it would take the Japanese several more years to figure out how to prevent its cars from developing rust during the ocean voyage.
      Honda’s first generation Accord raised the bar, and everyone had to play catch up after that.

      2
      • Andy

        It may be true that Japanese cars hadn’t made that big a dent in the market yet by ’75, but US makers had already started softening things up for them by making their cars slower and less reliable (and uglier!) than they’d been since the rise of OHV V8s.

        1
      • Dave

        Andy, by 1975 the Feds were pretty much dictating automotive design to the manufacturers. You need only to look at Washington to see why cars were ugly and underpowered.
        The automakers were making cars as they had pretty much since Henry invented the assembly line and, until the appearance of quality Japanese cars in the late 1970s, didn’t see any reasons to change.
        Remember the 85 mph speedometers on every motor vehicle? Washington mandated them on the rationale that if the speedo only went to 85 people wouldn’t try to go 120 as they apparently had been. These morons tried to mandate seat belts on motorcycles!

        2
      • ICEMAN from Winnipeg

        I had a 1978 VW Rabbit that I purchased brand new. What a POS. Brakes, fuel injection, exhaust system, you name it, everything went wrong with this Demon Possessed car. After 2 1/2 years traded it in on the used 1979 Thunderbird, which I had for ten years and wish I had kept. Ironic, going from an import to a domestic for quality issues.

        3
  6. Ralph

    Factory oil filter too…..sweet 1975 oil still in there.

    2
    • Dave

      If the tires still had their original 1975 air then scientists should analyze it to determine the carbon dioxide content.

      10
    • Daniel Druk Member

      I can’t confirm that the oil is original. 45 miles from the moment the motor was built is hard to tell. Probably wasn’t changed. Would be neat to open up this engine and see what it is like inside. I can say that the car was started on a monthly basis and moved forward and back to keep everything nice. Glad they did. It starts perfectly.

      3
  7. art

    The underside suggests long term storage but not in a showroom.
    I’d surely want to know where this car was sitting all these years before plunking down $25K.
    That is a lot of rust, especially on the engine pan. Lots of questions here. Poor or improper storage over 44 years can be expensive to correct.
    Love the color and the car but some warning lights are flashing here…

    6
    • Daniel Druk Member

      No need to be alarmed about the rust. Oldsmobile painted only the top of the motor. There is no paint on the bottom and no oil leaks. That bare metal had no protection. Even the top of the motor only has a thin layer of paint. I have collected hundreds of low mile GM cars over the past 35 years and this is common on this era. GM and other manufacturers did not care about the underside of their cars. Probably had rust on the oil pan one week after being built. Sitting outside the assembly plant in Lansing. This is just the facts about what it was like in 1975.

      3
  8. Jim in FL

    Wow, I’ve been thinking about replacing my scissor top 75 Grand Ville. At $25k, it may sound high, but it’s literally a new car. This or a modern v6 mustang convertible? I would live without the backup cams and airbags and turn it into a daily driver. It’s unlikely the next person would do it, but if I was ready to make the switch I think this would be worthwhile. The options are interesting. Cruise control and AC but no power windows or door locks. May be that it was an oddly optioned car that went on a few test drives but never sold. After a while the dealer may have given up and made it a parade vehicle. It’s definitely been on the road a few times with the flash rust.

    At a Buick dealer where I worked in the 80s, they had a 59 Cadillac limo that was a showroom interest grabber. When the showroom was full we would pull it out and keep it in the detail bay at nights and outside during the day. We had to back it one way so mileage didn’t accrue.

    Anyone remember when the Chevy dealer sold all the rare and not so rare stuff at auction a few years ago? A guy bought a 1978, 25th anniversary vette with 8 or so miles. he stripped the plastic off the seats and steering wheel, then drove away. People didn’t know whether to be angry or jealous.

    4
  9. Bob C.

    I believe this was the last year for American convertibles until about 1983. It may not be from the most desirable decade, but it’s a true WOW!

    3
    • Michael Leyshon

      Bob, if you aren’t correct, you have to be close ! I thought the last year was 1973 for factory/production convertibles by US manufacturers. Jim in FL above mentioned his Grand Ville, I believe the Pontiac “sister” of the Olds 88 line. I think the ’76 El Dorado was available as a ragtop as well. I specifically remember 1983 as an early teen when Mustang claimed to be the first vert in 10 years. Would appreciate some insight by you GM guys !

      • Jim in FL

        I’m not 100 percent sure, but I believe 1975 was considered the last production year for American convertibles. The story I heard was that Cadillac held 200 Eldorados that were built in 1975 and gave them 1976 vin numbers for the bicentennial edition. I was a little kid at the time, but dad said that it was safety rollover regulations that forced the end of production. In 1982, Chrysler sent k cars to an aftermarket company and began the LeBaron convertibles.

        I was originally looking for an Eldorado in 1989 when I bought my Grand Ville. I was happy I found it instead, it was a little sportier.

        4
      • Dave

        I have a 76 Eldorado ragtop, which was the last production year for convertibles. There was a total of 13,000 built, 200 of which were Bicentennials. Love this 75 Olds, just wish it had all the power options, windows, seats, locks as well.

        1
      • Ralph

        No the 1976 Eldorado convertibles were actual 1976 model year cars, the last one being made in April 21 1976, the last car is held in the GM collection.

        All the other GM divisions stopped offering a convertible in 1975 except for Cadillac.

        2
  10. Dan

    I have my doubts about this car. Judging by the quality of the paint in the close ups and the primer on the Royale insignia I think it has been repainted. Also the rust on the underside just doesn’t jive with a car that has been sitting. All of the rust is in areas that would have had road grit blasted at it from driving. Storage rust would be even everywhere because the paint would cover most of the components. I would inspect this one very carefully because I don’t think is what it seems. Just call me skeptical

    5
    • Daniel Druk Member

      Dan. I have to respond to this. There is absolutely no primer. The car isn’t a 2019. If you go to your nearest new car dealership and look at all the unpainted parts under the car, you will see rust. Even though the car is only months old, you will see rust. Protecting those parts meant and still means nothing to the manufacturers. GM set sales records during the mid 70s. People don’t believe that, but it is true. By 1979, it was completely different. GM was 5 years into this body. It was going to be the end of the full size convertible for all US car companies. The Eldorado convertible was held over for one more year. This dealership owner decided to pull this one off the show floor and save it as an investment. Many dealers did this on the final convertibles and I also remember that they did that in 1978 on the Corvette with the pace car package. If this was not a convertible, the dealer wouldn’t feel any urge to save it. I invite you to come out here in person. I will go over all the parts on this car and show you that no wrench was turned on any screws or bolts. Truly a time capsule that you can be certain of it’s originality. Thanks for the questions.

      2
  11. Dan

    Just noticed that there is some paint bubbeling at the bottom of the doors and it looks kinda rough in the door opening by the trim plate. Very skeptical

    3
    • Daniel Druk Member

      I know that the paint is great for an original car. No storage problems except for a blemish on the front of the right fender. Besides that, it is exactly as it left the factory. You can restore a car and make the paint perfect, but you can’t match the way the factory painted it. This car did’t drive anywhere, it didn’t sit outside or stay in a barn. New car smell, new car documentation, new car look. Not perfect. You have to remember that original cars were painted with flaws. This car is typical of untouched low mile cars of this era. Expecting perfection on the Oldsmobile line in 1975 wasn’t going to happen. Hope people out there with these extremely low mile cars can help out here. I have owned hundreds of very low mile cars. I know this is typical. With this many pictures, I have nothing to hide.

      1
  12. Evan

    I’m confused how the Oldsmobile dealer kept this on the Oldsmobile dealership floor until recently, as Oldsmobile dealers ceased to exist 15 years ago.

    3
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Good point. Then again, it was probably a GM dealer that continued selling Chevys.

      2
      • newfieldscarnut

        Fishy …
        As in salt water fish .

        2
    • Daniel Druk Member

      Harry Reed had Cadillac and Oldsmobile in his dealerships. He had a few, I believe. Wouldn’t matter if the dealership quit Oldsmobile in 1975, because the dealer already owned the car. They wouldn’t have to take the car back. All new car dealers can take cars home and choose not to sell them. Just like any other item that is new. Candy bars, books, baseball cards. You can choose not to sell them and hold them for decades to see if they go up in value. This dealer chose to hold on to this one. Pretty cool idea. Glad that he did this.

      2
  13. Ian C

    So, it has never been titled right? So, with myself being born in ’75 as well, I could buy it and it would be a one owner car belonging to someone of the same age. Would make for a cool story I guess. HAHA

    4
    • Daniel Druk Member

      Will be a great story. I guess you just may be the only person to buy a car brand new built when you were born.

      1
  14. R Soul

    Does it still come with a new car warranty? ;-)

    2
    • Ian C

      Sure, just take it to your friendly local Olds dealer!

      10
    • Daniel Druk Member

      You can write GM. ;-)

      2
  15. Terry R Melvin

    All that rust on the undercarriage and the car was supposed to have spent all its life indoors?? There’s also some inside the engine compartment..Uhh I don’t think so.

    2
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      You must live in a dry climate? There are many places in the country where cars rust sitting in the garage.

      5
    • PMD1965 Member

      It is fine to be skeptical about the car. Please look at every inch of it.
      I have owned many original cars. Never had one with perfect undercarriage. Just sold an MG that had 5000 miles and spent it’s whole life in an Anaheim California garage. The exhaust and undercarriage was showing as much rust as this one has. Bare metal will rust over 44 years. I have films from GM assembly lines in the mid 70s. They were showing the parts coming down the assembly line. The axles and other parts were shipped in on rails and did sit outside in the elements. These parts were showing rust when they were assembled. They went on the car with a haze of rust. Bare metal won’t last a week outside in Lansing without showing some rust. That is just that way it is. Why would Oldsmobile spend money and time painting and protecting undercarriage parts? It didn’t effect the warranty. It didn’t increase the value. They didn’t have to care and they didn’t. I wish it was perfect underneath. The parts underneath are just as perfect as any other parts put on a car in 1975. If it was restored, all the new parts would have been painted and look perfect. Not original ones. You are more than welcome to come look for yourself. You will see that there is absolutely no way this car seen more miles than are showing on this car. Never registered, never sold. Dealer was a multi millionaire. He wasn’t wasting his time turning back an odometer or repainting a car that was destroyed by driving.
      Thank you for your comment and I am in no way trying to diminish the concerns that you have. Just trying to explain what I know about this car.

      3
  16. Terry R Melvin

    Something else..an odometer with 45 miles should have numbers that line up perfectly..this one doesn’t..there’s something going on here. No doubt the car is a very low-miler but that odo has been turned back.

    2
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      I wouldn’t accuse someone of turning back an odometer based off that. Serious buyers would want to contact the Olds dealer or at least see documented proof of the story.

      2
      • Daniel Druk Member

        If you find the children of Harry Reed, who owned the dealership, they could verify the story. I know the son owns a dealership in Florida. He is the one who inherited this car. I bought it at the estate auction, so I never seen the children in person as they were in different states. Only the auctioneer and he relayed the story to me. I also talked to the caretaker of the cars and he confirmed the stories that I head about the car.

    • PMD1965 Member

      Terry. The odometer not lining up perfectly is very normal. GM put a tamper resistant device in these odometers. If the odometer is rolled back, a white bar would drop down and show between the miles and tenth of mile digits. That is how you can tell if it was tampered with. Believe me, nothing has been touched here. Please feel free to look at every odometer you can find online or in your collection and judge for yourself.
      If you feel that the car is in error of the miles, please consider the whole car. One place that I look is the radiator. If it was driven, the radiator is the place to look. It will pick up bugs, dirt and other debris. This radiator looks like nos. So, if it was driven, it would have something going on there. It is as new. Along with all the other things that make it impossible to be high miles. I appreciate your concerns.
      Keep the comments coming.

    • w9bag Member

      I sincerely believe that the car is completely original. Those who feel differently, even with complete documentation, are unsure of their shoe size. Love this car. Best color combination. VERY classy ! You got it going, Daniel !

      4
    • Miguel Member

      What number doesn’t line up on the odometer?

      1
      • Danny Member

        They all line up as good as they always did. There is nothing wrong. They only lined up perfectly when they were new befroe they were assembled in the car. Once the car drives forward and reverse, the movements can cause any of the digits not to line up perfectly. They all roll to higher numbers at some point.

  17. Max

    Some well-articulated comments here about rust and prominence. So, what would it actually take to put a car that has been sitting idle for 44 years back on the road again?

    1
    • Daniel Druk Member

      Starts right up. Drives like a new car. If you were going to drive it, I would take it to a mechanic and have it checked over for anything that could possibly go wrong. Should be the same as driving it off the dealership lot, just without the warranty.
      There are no signs of anything wrong or not working on this car. So, if it received a clean bill of heath, just drive and enjoy being probably the last owner to purchase a new 1975 Oldsmobile.

      1
  18. Louis Chen

    If I live closer, I’d use this “Tuna Boat” as a parade car in our school various parades and other car shows. Hope the new owner would keep it in good shape or take good care of it as a REAL TIME CAPSULE!

    2
  19. Duaney Member

    An undercarriage of a 150,000 mile car here in Colorado, would look Barret Jackson show quality, compared to this Minnesota car’s under side. Just goes to show the terrible conditions of storing a car in the dripping wet Minnesota climate. Must have been in a damp warehouse, instead of the heated show room environment.

    1
    • Bob McK Member

      When I lived in Colorado my tools and cars stayed rust free. I moved to Florida and my tools immediately started to rust. I had to put a dehumidifier in my garage. My new garage has AC which is never turned off. Minnesota is wet with humidity. Their cars rust just sitting in a garage.

    • PMD1965 Member

      Not at all. I have owned a lot of Colorado cars. Pretty nice.
      The items that you are dragging through the mud are unpainted parts. They consist of the oil pan, the rear axle and just a few suspension items. Look at the rest of the undercarriage. It is great.

  20. George Mattar

    Daniel Druk is correct about the surface rust you see on suspension parts. I rustproofed new cars at an Olds dealer in 75. These cars came off the haulers with even more rust than you see here. Take into consideration this was bare metal. No one said oh we have to protect this car cause it will be a classic. I had to steel wool the major stuff off before spraying the cars. Believe me, I love big Olds and American cars in general. But believe me, I was around working on this stuff when new. Build quality not job one and rust prevention a joke. Thsts why we rustproofed probably 90 percemtvof the cars.

  21. glenn

    I love this car. I’d love to have it. But I just bought an SS Nova…if you account for inflation, they are losing some real cash. Over time, it was not a good investment.

  22. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    LOL! I had a buddy whose parents thought that the safest car for him to drive would be a ’75 Delta 88 Coupe. What a tank and thank goodness it was built like one. He could only see out of one eye, so he had no depth perception. He would drive that thing into all sorts of other things – fire hydrants, guardrails, etc.

    We emptied all of the local junkyards of 73 – 75 noses, replacing them on a regular basis.

    I used to borrow it from him to take dates to the drive-in movies – what a back seat!

    4
    • Michael Leyshon

      Oh for the memories (why we enjoy the site !). Had to kiss up a little to help my high school girl friends dad. 75-77 version of Delta 88 and I volunteered to help hammer and wrench pitmann arms,idlers, etc…turned into ball joints…ugh ! Learned a lot and was better for the hard work and knowledge. Didn’t realize it until a few years later.

  23. PMD1965 Member

    We just sold this car. I local person seen the vehicle on this website.
    He looked it over for 3 hours. We put it up on in the air and looked over the bottom of the car. He Loved it. It was exactly as described. Thanks to Barn Finds, a very happy buyer is getting a once in a lifetime opportunity.

    6
    • ken tilly UK

      I’m very happy for you PMD1965. After reading some of the negative, skeptical, comments here on BF I wondered if anybody would ever want to buy this beautiful convert. With so much information that you gave I personally couldn’t think of a question that I would like to know the answer to, as by your original story and a host of lovely, clear pictures, the answers were already to hand. I am no lover of Post 1970 US cars but I must say that I would love to have been able to buy this one sight unseen.

      2
  24. Danny Member

    When you have something that many people just wouldn’t believe, you are going to get critics. That is fine. If GM would have felt it important in 1975 to protect the metal on the rear axle, suspension and the bottom of the motor, this car would have not been questioned. But, it was an era where GM was so rich and had no reason to do the right thing and protect those parts. That bothered many here. People expect cars that are still new to look like it after 44 years. That just isn’t the case with GM cars from 1975. If I was to hide the flaws by not showing images of them, people wouldn’t have doubted the truth about the car. But we believe in honesty and integrity.
    Sorry that we only had one of these. Would have been nice if the dealer would have had 50 or 100 of an inventory stuffed away. I can’t wait for the new buyer to get this car out to car shows and let others see it.
    Thank you all who left comments. Even the negative ones.

    3
  25. Dan

    Glad you have sold the car. Trying to assess the condition of a car by looking at photos on the internet only gives a limited snapshot of a car. The extreme close ups can make normal things look like a flaw. Even new cars now have paint flaws and rusty components when new. You always look for what may be a problem or a stretching of the truth. We all know how much “stretching of the truth” goes on in online car sales. All of the explanations given on this posting seem to point to this truthfully being a 45 mile car. If I were in a market for this type of car I would have travelled the 1500 miles to look at it. The comments and discussion on this site, even the negative are what makes this site so good and educational. Again congrats to both the seller and the buyer

    3
    • PMD1965 Member

      I agree. I spend my life chasing and purchasing every low mile survivor that interest me. I am sure many of us have been fooled into flying or driving way out to look at a car that was an “original” car. Just to be disappointed. I am very skeptical after looking at hundreds of cars over the past 35 years. People who think that they know everything. They tell you that the car is perfect. And when you look at it, you can see the bodywork from 20 feet away.
      After spending all those years trying to find special cars, I guess I was due a real wonderful find. This Oldsmobile was it. Don’t think I can ever top a 44 year old car with 45 miles.
      Thanks to Barn Finds, a great car has found a new home.

      2

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