Boomerang: 1975 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Convertible

Even though Cadillac made its last convertible in the 1976 model year, the other General Motors divisions decided to stop making them in 1975. I’m not sure why but it seems they would have ridden out that particular B body style which ended in 1976. Here is a 1975 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale convertible for sale here on eBay in De Pere, Wisconsin.

The car was originally ordered as a demonstrator vehicle for a dealer in Fort Pierce, Florida. Like a boomerang, this car has been returned to the car dealer in Wisconsin to sell a second time. Ten years ago it was discovered in a barn near Green Bay, Wisconsin (see top picture). A local car collector parked it in a heated garage since then and the dealer has recently received it back on a trade. This was a popular color for GM convertibles in 1975 because it seems about half that I see are this color. Oldsmobile called it Horizon Blue. The car runs and drives as if it were new. It has a new master cylinder, four new tires, and the air conditioning has been serviced. The convertible top appears to be original, but it seems to have some fit issues over both front side windows. The paint is original and in good condition, but the hood and outer front edges show some deterioration.

The white Doeskin vinyl 60/40 split front seats are in exceptional condition, as well as the back seats. Don’t let the seller fool you. They are listed as leather, but they are indeed vinyl seats. Accessories included on this car include power windows, power door locks, power convertible top, power antenna, cruise control, and AM/FM radio with 8 track tape player.

Many of the Oldsmobile Delta 88s and Buick LeSabres of this era had underpowered 350 V-8 engines, but this one has the optional 455 V-8 rated at 210 horsepower, which was a $298 option when new. This is a BIG car built two years before the B body style was downsized. The overall length is 226.9 inches with a wheelbase of 124 inches. There were 7,181 Delta 88 Royale convertibles built in 1975.

Although the odometer reads 30,914 the seller cannot verify that it is correct or show any documentation proving it. However, given the condition of the car, it appears to be correct. The seller says the gauges all work. The only gauges I see are fuel and fuel economy gauges. This was pretty much the idiot light era for American full-size cars.

There was a time I wanted a full-size GM convertible of this era in good condition. They were going for $6,000 to $8,000 which I couldn’t afford at the time; then it seems they jumped to over $10,000 to $15,000. Now here is an example that is at a Buy it Now price of $23,000. No thanks, I think I’ll pass. While this is a fine car, this is not the price territory I would be willing to pay for a convertible. How about you?

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Comments

  1. poseur Member

    agree, that’s way too rich for my bank account & interest.
    best friend has one basically identical in his garage that belonged to his parents (probably technically still does per title & registration).
    same blue color, same white interior, same 455.
    it’s a true boat to float down the road on summer days toward the lake or fireworks or ice cream stand or drive in. at least that’s what we grew up doing in it. the back seat could easily fit five ten-year olds & a pair of adults up front.
    great memories always associated with the last of the full size drop tops.

    6
  2. TimS Member

    Another relatively-common car for its day that looks like a Packard or Deusenberg compared to today’s offerings. I’d give it a once-over and then pile on a lot of miles on dry, warm days. For about half the buy-it-now, that is.

    2
  3. Jim in FL

    I have a ratty 75 Grandville convertible that I bought in 1989 and used as my daily driver for ten plus years. I paid $3200 for it and should have replaced it with a clean one when they were still trading under $10k. They were relative bargains at that price, felt like a modern car unlike a late 60s vehicle. I think the price is steep for this, but it’s clean. Couple of things to be aware of. The scissor top cars have a huge top that’s powered by a tiny motor and gears. The gearbox is about 500 bucks for a used one. Also, top fit and finish issues are common due to the sheer size of the top. Lastly, it’s a first year catalytic converter car. They don’t run well in the first place, but if the original converter is not clogged now, it will be soon.

    1
  4. Ike Onick

    Ready for Halloween.

  5. normadesmond

    I have a ’73 which I adore. The interior door pulls have yellowed and NOTHING cleans them.

    3
    • Tom

      Try carbon-tet, if you can find it

      1
  6. Will Fox

    I recall seeing alot of Caprice and Delta 88s this color back when they were new. I wanted one bad, but was only 16 at the time. Like a fool, I had a chance at a metallic blue Delta 88 cvt. in 1982, and passed on it–it had fewer miles than this one and fully loaded. Now they’re priced out of my reach. Oh, the woulda-shoulda-coulda’s in life………..

    2
  7. Phil

    As far as mileage goes I have always heard that the digits on a five digit odometer don’t line up once it has flipped and these look straight across OR is that an old wives tale?

  8. Nick

    This one is nicely optioned, and clean enough for the mileage to be believable. That said, even in this condition, it’s not worth more than maybe $15,000. I have a really clean 71 Delta 88 Conv that I’m currently trying to sell. Unfortunately, there’s not much demand for these cars, no matter how nice and how low the mileage is. I’ll try and attach a picture of mine.

    1
    • Jubjub

      Like the wheels! Rarely seen but always made these pop. Most big cars of the era had some unfortunately conservative wheel embellishments

      • Nick

        Those wheels are 71-72 only, known officially as Super Stock IVs, or SSIVs, and they are poly cast molded onto steel wheels. Mine have the correct trim rings and center caps, along with a matching spare. For more pictures, if anyone is interested, https://longisland.craigslist.org/cto/d/1971-delta-88-convertible-455/6691760793.html

      • Paul

        They are Super Sport IV (4) wheels which were options in 71 and 72 full size. I have them on my 71 Delta 88 Conv. I was able to get them off a 71 that was being scrapped about 10 years ago.

  9. Nick

    And of course it shows up sideways. Damn.

    3
    • Chebby Member

      Wow that’s a really nice one! I had a rust bucket ’73, would like another someday.

  10. Paulbz3

    That’s not vinyl, it’s gen-uine imitation doeskin leather!

    1
  11. Miguel

    I don’t understand the comments about the car being in good condition so it must be under 100,000 miles.

    Have you never seen a car with more than 100,000 miles in good original condition?

    I certainly have.

    I do have to ask though.

    What is this fetish about taking about mileage on a 44 year old car?

    3
  12. James Martin

    No way will he sell for that price. You can find them in a lot better condition for same or less. Why do they think it will pull that price? Maybe 30 years from now but not today

  13. Maestro 1

    Everyone should read Jim in Florida and Miguel. Please remember that when the top goes down, the price goes up. There are some great values out there in hardtops and 4 door sedans that are stand up cars in Oldsmobiles. Jim is also correct about the top mechanism, which is really a lousy design; my replacement cost about the same. With regard to mileage; my experience as a collector has been that I’d rather have a car with some miles on it than a very low mileage older car if for no other reason than the higher mileage piece is easier to rescue. Catalysts: On this year model the first thing you do is throw the catalyst away and replace it. Cost here about $75.00.

    1
  14. John

    Back in the days when the high beam switch was on the floor. Oh for the days…

  15. John R Myers

    Too pricey, although the 455 is a nice addition. I agree with most of the other posts that $15k is more realistic. BTW, the 71-73 versions (like Nick’s) were much nicer. The 74 and 75 have cheaper/uglier dashes.

    2
  16. PRA4SNW Member

    The front end reminds me of a friend who had a 75 Delta 88 coupe back in the early 80s. He had only one working eye, and his parents thought it would be a good idea for him to get a large car so that he would be protected in case of an accident.
    Well, with no depth perception, he drove that thing into everything. We emptied all of the local junkyards of their ’75 noses and fenders. At one point, we threw a ’73 nose on it and the hood was a different profile, leaving a gap. Who cared?
    After that, he got a Cavalier and never hit anything again.

    2
  17. Eskild

    When i see this car i wonder…..is it the biggest made? I read somewhere that GM from -72 were the biggest cars in size? Someone who REALY know?

    1
  18. SpartanPride

    If this is back at the dealer that originally sold it, then it will have a halo effect for the dealership just by sitting in the showroom, so there is no incentive to sell it. The buy-it-now price is pie in the sky that the dealer would take to move it, but unless the dealership needs the cash, what’s the hurry, right?

  19. Vance

    Had a guy I knew whose parents had two of these, same year, same color, same interior, with matching white vinyl tops. The exact same car, who does that and why? I sold cars for ten plus years and had one couple do that, and then realized how stupid it was and chose a different car. Can anybody give me a plausible reason for this? I think about that family every time I see a 1975 Olds Delta 88.

  20. Pete Kaczmarski

    How much for the car???? have many more Wisconsin beers to get someone interested at that price.

  21. Tom

    I remember spending the better part of an afternoon drinking beer with the owner/seller of a 72 gs before he would agree to sell me the car…sometimes you gotta do whatever it takes.

  22. Tom

    My first car was a 73 Olds 98. I have a 64 Olds 98 currently that my dad bought in 1965, the year before I showed up on the planet.

    My 73 455 had torque but no HP. 76 was somehow way worse than that!

    Horizon Blue….just me but I am going to go with “Horrible Blue”. Sorry, I am a primary color guy, just can’t stomach the pastels…..personally never got them and still don’t with so many of the Ford vehicle built in the past 3 decades. As Bugs Bunny would say “Yeeeessccchhh!”

    So, $23,000 – color combo = good luck. I know, I know, I know…. that is why they make Chocolate AND Vanilla. I am sure Horizon Blue is someone’s drop dead favorite color!

    2
  23. ACZ

    Sweetheart of a car! Only way overpriced. Every Olds was a terrific car until they discontinued the Rocket V8. After that, forget it.

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