Original Family: 1978 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale

What a great photo! This is the original owner’s brother shown standing by his nicely-preserved 1978 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale. He has owned it since his sister’s unfortunate passing, she was the original owner. It’s now for sale here on eBay. It’s located in the New Albany, Ohio area and the current bid price is $3,050 and there is no reserve and four days left on the auction.

This is an eighth-generation Oldsmobile 88 and they were made for the model years 1977 through 1985. I can’t imagine what it was like to be a car designer in this era after decades of beautiful, flowing lines and designs for design’s sake. Now there were multiple regulations to deal with. As a licensed architect, I could say the same thing about building design today compared to even three short decades ago.

This car, as I mentioned, was bought new by the sister of the gentleman shown in the first photo. After she passed away he ended up with the car, and by looking at the title shown in the eBay photos, that happened in 1987. We do know that it has been in the same family since it was new. It now has around 60,000 miles on it and it’s all original. You can see some spiderweb cracking in the paint which is understandable over four decades and there may be a few other flaws, but overall it looks like it’s in great shape.

This is the type of interior that I remember from this era. That classic GM crushed-velvet-looking velour is great. Although it wasn’t just GM who had this look, almost everyone used that seating material in this era. The back seat is perfect and overall, everything inside and out looks solid other than some bumper filler issues.

This giant engine compartment is filled with an Oldsmobile Rocket 350 cubic-inch V8 with 170 horsepower and 275 ft-lb of torque. There are no rattles and this car runs, rides, and drives great. Have any of you owned an Olds 88 from this era?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    I’m with SG on this one. Photos with people, especially the owners, adds a personal touch, hey, a human being actually drove this. While these cars are about as exciting as a tennis game( my apologies for those who like tennis) they were just the best cars. A result of 75 years of car making, led to these. Comfy, dependable, RWD, like G-d intended, just the best. How we ever lost our way with the crap of today, I’ll never know. For $3 freakin’ grand, you simply can’t lose here.

    Like 38
    • Skorzeny

      Howard, agreement here, GM could do (nearly) no wrong with these. The parents of a best friend in high school had a Buick of slightly newer vintage than this, black Electra with road wheels, and that car was so nice. Never had any problems as far as I remember… These were not performers, but get in EVERY day and drive!
      Ivan Lendl was my favorite tennis player, haven’t watched in decades.
      There ARE new cars I like, but I would rather drive an old AMC, ya know?

      Like 13
  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    Chesrown Old, probably.

    Like 2
  3. William

    I think you mean, original owners brother in law. who has owned it since his sisters passing. If his brother was married to his sister, then that might be an interesting phenomenon, of course depends where you are from. Okay, maybe three siblings lived together and one brother left it to his sister and she left it to the remaining brother. No, I am going to go with his brother was married to a completely unrelated woman (second cousins at least). Call me old fashioned. I know, I am supposed to be more tolerant these days, but as close as I am to the grave, it is getting hard to change.

    Like 8
    • William

      Okay, my bad. Should have read the next paragraph. Still, my small mind had so much fun pondering the many possibilities of the socialization here. At my age, so little I can still do, got to let my mind get out and wander once in a while.

      Like 11
  4. BA

    William guys like you make this site interesting & while not a senior old enough to appreciate what your thinking. Now back to the car, great car for the money & should not be a 10,000 dollar car just because it doesn’t do anything in spectacular fashion but is still a great car.

    Like 6
  5. Paolo

    I owned an 83 Delta 88 Royale Brougham once upon a time. It was essentially the same car as this but with a slightly shorter wheelbase and an Oldsmobile 307 and a 4 speed overdrive automatic which was probably the biggest improvement. It was a fine, well constructed, very comfortable automobile, did everything I asked of it without complaint and delivered decent fuel economy and operating costs.
    I am tempted, right now, to purchase this one sight unseen, fly to Ohio tonight and drive it back to California on US 40 skirting south of any snow. Must have working heater. It has not been getting much if any use so it needs a good inspection before attempting anything ambitious.
    That would be a good break from the Covid lockdown. Hmmm….what are the realities of air travel and cross country driving at this time?
    Everything is goddamned complicated right now.

    Like 8
    • Miguel

      Considering the mismatched tires, I would check the car out completely because it looks like the car was not maintained very well.

      Like 1
      • Paolo

        I’m sure it hasn’t had much attention because it hasn’t been driven much annually for the last 20 years. Al kinds of things can get stale in that time.

      • Miguel

        that is true Paolo, but if they are going to advertise it as a one family owned and well cared for car, it should be that. They are using those aspects to get more money for it when it doesn’t appear to be the case.

        Like 1
    • Chunk Plepgeat

      The B-body Delta 88s had the same wheelbase from 1977 until they got the axe. I daily a ’79.

      Like 1
  6. BONE

    Ahhh, the classic flipper photo of a senior citizen standing by the car, and the next photos its either on his trailer or in his shop .I always feel bad for the old people, It seems to me that anyone that uses someone as a prop for a sale is kind of a low life and likely ripped off the seller …IMHO.

    Like 6
    • Paolo

      This has definitely become a thing and is something I flag with a “Caution: B.S. Zone Ahead”. There may be some truth to this “Back Story” but you won’t know unless you check it out carefully. The trick is not to become so jaded and cynical that you fail to recognize something true and honest.

      Like 2
      • Miguel

        Oh I know Paolo. I also know that a tire can blow out just sitting there. I have an old tire on my 1969 Kingswood because one of the new tires I bought blew out just parked. Of course I can’t find another whitewall to replace it so I just put on what I had laying around.

        If I were to sell the car, I would get a matching tire so that did not draw attention to anything else I missed on the car.

        People buy too much in to the story and not seeing the car for what it is. These have been $500.00 cars for decades and I bet the story is to get people to pay more for a one family owned car, which means virtually nothing.

        Like 2
  7. S

    I’ve always liked these. I like the 77 – 79 body style a little better than the 1980 and later restyle. The later cars got better fuel economy but with a 350 this should have decent power. You could have still gotten a 403 in one of these in 1978. I like the red crushed velour! Looks like a nice car.

    Like 4
    • OLDS88FAN

      I have posted previously, my dad got a new olds with each generation
      70,73, 76, 77 and finally a 79 in this exact combo m with added option of. Diesel. (C.N.G.U.H)
      COULD NOT GO UPHILL
      It froze solid on XMAS 80 while driving.
      My favorite was the 77 88 Royale. Yellow w black crushed velour. If anyone knows of one on those colors lmk.

      • normadesmond

        My ’79 88 Diesel froze on a Xmas too. Put 160,000 on it and it got stolen! Bought it back from ins. co., got it running & gave it to my mechanic.

        Like 1
  8. Steve Clinton

    “Sell my Olds? Over my dead body!”

    Like 1
  9. Jeff Surratt

    I owned a 1977- 88, blue with the same interior fabric, only blue. Purchased used in 1980, for $6,500, only issue was a vacuum leak that caused the car to shut off in traffic, then it was hard to restart. The dealer where we purchased the car, repair shop, ripped my wife off with a $200 repair bill, that did not fix the issue, while I was out of town. I took it to my mechanic and he replaced the vacuum line, for $20. The car was a great highway cruiser and I would go take a look at this one, if it was closer. 752 miles, from southern GA thru the mountains of NC, VA & WV, is just not worth it.

    Like 1
  10. Jcs

    Simply one of the all time greatest cars ever built.

    Someone’s in for a treat on this one. Snag it while you can if you are close and have the room. Regretfully neither applies to me.

    Like 1
  11. David Miraglia

    Upscale classy Delta. Always liked these and the Lesabre.

  12. 1-MAC

    HAd a 77 Buick Lesabre sport. It had the Olds 350. Plenty of power not too bad on gasoline and dropdead dependable. Never touched the engine. Fuel pump, water pump, easy to fix. Used no oil went about 200K and rusted out. Motor went into an s-10 pickup. Thesede were great cars and will last a long time with care.

  13. Johnn Dee

    I owned a 1977 Delta 88 and it was one of the smoothest riding cars I ever owned. Nice and roomy and it had some pep too.

    Like 1
  14. Kenton Briscoe

    My mother had a 79. I totaled it in the rain on my birthday in 1985 on my way to an Atlanta Braves game. The car was white but had the exact same interior as this one.

  15. JEFF

    I owned several Olds and they were very nice cars, engines and trans were good,,my first was a 60 bubble top after 2 fords , after that owned many. I worked at a Gm garage in the body shop in the early 70’s and when they came out with this body style people didn’t seem to like them to much cause they were smaller than previous cars, ( believe it or not they were down sized from what we were used to ) ,BUT when they threw in chevy engines to replace the good olds engines people became a little up set,,( they bought the Olds cause the engines were pretty much bullet proof)

    Like 2
    • Miguel

      These came out in 1977, not the early ’70s.

      Like 2
  16. George Mattar

    I worked on these great cars when they were new. I agree with the comment about how our country has dropped to a new low in car design and quality. Today, I work at another dealer. Back in the 70s, we never had any engine failures except for the ill fated Olds diesels. Yes, the 70s cars had issues, alternators or an occasional water pump failure. Otherwise, if our customers regularly changed the oil, lived the chassis, replaced the coolant, transmission oil and fuel filter, these cars were flawless. At our dealership now are $50,000 plus POS SUVs with destroyed valve trains, intake coolant leaks, $150 trashed tire pressure monitors, the list goes on. I daily drive my 120,000 mile 1997 Plymouth with zero rust and no car payment. GM is run by a bunch of idiots and has been for 40 years.

    Like 2
    • JEFF S.

      I agree with you George, many of the car makers are making cars with cheap components.

      It is not just cars that are not made as well as they used to be, but appliances, TVs and electronics that cost thousands of dollars, break right after the warranty, sometimes before and good luck getting a quality repair. I just repaired my 2 year old refrigerator that had a intermittent
      Evaporator Fan Motor. Part cost me $22 off EBay. A local appliance repair shop quoted me a price of $250. I spent less than 30 minutes completing the repair, once I had the part.

      But, many car owners do not get their cars serviced like they should. I know a guy that leases a new car every 3 years, and never changes the oil. He just tops it off and says it is the next owners problem. Even with the high quality synthetic oils, I would never go 15 to 20 thousand miles between oil changes, but many do, and then they wonder why they need a new engine at 125,000 miles or less.

      • JEFF S.

        Never seen this before on EBay –

        This listing was ended by the seller because the item was lost or broken.

        Listing now shows 1.00 starting bid and reserve not met ????

        What happened? The flipper, did not get what he wanted for the car?

        Like 1
  17. Michael J. Lockhart

    My Papap had a 78′ Oldsmobile Delta in medium green metallic with matching interior! He had since had already had a long time once came along. But used to enjoy the occasional runs a times even my Grandma along. Sometimes even to the bar. That car even in that size to a little child still was like living room on wheels. But I loved the smoothed ride quilety it had, the color comenations. I wish they more cars like that again. also the picture of the guy at the top reminds of him I miss very much especially this time of year. Would love to have another Oldsmobile like his someday when I can afford one.

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