Restore or Preserve? 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 Convertible

About ten years ago, my dad was driving around in Perkasie, PA, when he spotted a 1960s convertible for sale. When he stopped to look at the car, he discovered it was a 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 convertible for sale for only $700. Powered by a 330 V8, the car needed a new transmission, but was otherwise in very good shape. Unfortunately, a few days later, the car was sold. I remember inspecting the car with him, and ever since then I’ve been on the look out for one. This 1967 Delmont 88 convertible is unrestored and features the optional big block engine. Find it here on Hemmings with an asking price of $4,680.

Introduced in 1967, the Delmont 88 was introduced to replace both the Jetstar 88 and Dynamic 88 model lines. Essentially the same as the Delta 88 and Delta 88 Custom (but without all the decorative trim and fancy interior), the Delmont 88 came in four body styles: four-door (pillared) Town Sedan; four-door Holiday Sedan (hardtop styling); two-door Holiday Coupe, and two-door convertible. The Delmont 88 returned for 1968, and then was dropped for 1969. Delivered on August 21, 1967, this 1967 model is a two-door convertible, and is one of only 3,525 built out of the 71,894 Delmont 88s built altogether for 1967. At first glance, the cosmetics are not perfect, with blemishes (most notably on the passenger side fender) throughout its paint job. The back bumper will need to be addressed, as there is some slight surface rust. If you look closely, however, there is not a speck of rust on the body. The Butternut Yellow is an attractive color, and the black top complements it nicely. I dig those wheel covers, and they really pop with the thin white line tires. If I bought this car, I would weigh the pros and cons of restoring the cosmetics or leaving it as-is.

This Delmont 88 features the optional big-block 425 V8, which was in its last year for 1967 (it would be replaced by the 455 V8 for 1968). Rated at 300 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, the 425 may not have the spirited performance of the 455, but should still have nice pick-up, especially with all of that torque. Backed by a three-speed automatic (most likely a TH-400), the Delmont 88’s engine and engine bay could use a nice detailing, but with the exception of making sure that the engine and the rest of the drive train are mechanically sound, I would leave it alone. I would swap the generic battery for a more era-correct looking one.

This Delmont 88 is spec’d pretty nicely with a split-bench seat and manual windows with vent windows. The front seat has a few tears in the vinyl, but I would try to repair them before re-covering the seat. I would also detail the interior, as it looks like it could use a cleaning. The rest of the interior appears to be in good shape, however, and I love that two-spoke steering wheel. Overall, this car is not perfect, but considering it is unrestored, I would have a hard time deciding whether or not it needs to be restored. I think the best route would be a cosmetic restoration, with a fresh paint job, re-chroming the back bumper, fixing the rips in the front seat, and detailing the rest of the car. The Delmont 88 is a rare sight today, and I’ve never seen another big-block convertible. Considering its price, this car is a bargain; I would address the necessary areas and take this car to cruise nights and Cars and Coffee events (I feel this car would be a nice conversation piece). What would you do, viewers: restore it, or leave it as-is?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. 68 custom

    good deal for a decent looking convertible with A/C.
    my friend had one back in the day (non vert ) and it provided reliable transportation plus a nice soft ride!
    I would carefully match the color and blend in that front fender and find a guy who is good at cleaning up old paint. then go cruising!

  2. ccrvtt

    If indeed it has no appreciable rust I would be tempted to leave it as is and maintain the drivability. Delmonts were not generally high-option cars though this one looks like it has a/c. But there is a certain integrity to leaving a fairly pedestrian car as is to reflect its honesty.

    It’s sort of like seeing a woman of a certain age who doesn’t try to look younger but embraces her stage of life. In many ways she is far more attractive than a 20-something.

  3. boxdin

    Fix drive and enjoy. Not worth restoring by any means, but a nice driver.

  4. Howard A Member

    In the 70’s, I had a friend that had a car like this, only hardtop. 425, 2 barrel ( it was the smallest 2 barrel I ever saw, in fact, I thought it was a 1 barrel) Even still, that car was quite the cruiser, rolled like thunder. Got terrible gas mileage, even with the 2 barrel, but at .34 cents a gallon, who cared. The ’67 Olds had “Rocket Action”, and it was worth it.

  5. David Frank David Frank Member

    I have to agree with “all of the above”, and add my vote to preserve. With some work, the paint could be made to look nice. There will likely be enough little gremlins needing attention to keep you busy. Drive and enjoy. Nice find!

  6. geebee

    I simply love this car.

  7. Jim Marston

    Leve it as is , fix fender repair front seat re chrome rear bumper clean interior and ENJOY 🚗💨💨💨

  8. Mark Hoffman

    1967 Oldsmobile. Official submarine of Teddy Kennedy

    • Grey O'Brien

      It was also a Delmont, but a 4 door sedan

    • Mountainwoodie

      You might be right.but I think it was a 4 door. As a kid I spent a summer on Chappaquidick . I knew that bridge well. Kinda hard to do what he did. Just saying.

  9. Marty Wilke Member

    No contest on the price. The prevailing sentiment here so far is to carefully repair the existing paint job, make roadworthy, drive and enjoy. I agree, and at risk of aggravating some purists, for me this is one of those “anything but” colors, so if I were going to re-paint the whole car, I’d certainly make a change.

  10. VR LIVES

    My neighbor had a hard top coupe same color as this one. We lived in the great white north of the great state of Michigan. I will always remember this car for being extremely cold blooded. It had a green “cold” light that had to turn off to drive the vehicle or it would stall. Froze our arse off waiting for it to warm up, great car, passed everything except for a gas station.

    • Bill Owens BillO Staff

      I thought I remembered those “Cold” lights. My mom had a 1966 Chevrolet with the “Cold” light, but I was thinking hers was blue, but I could be wrong. She went ahead and drove it with the “Cold” light on.

  11. Chebby

    With that ad copy, I am surprised there’s not a 1 in front of the price. This is a great deal! Just straighten the bumper and compound the paint. A good cleaning will make a huge difference.

  12. KevinR

    Gentle restoration. Fix the rear bumper problem; fix the RF fender; try to bring back the rest of the paint. I’m surprised no one mentioned the top. That’s definitely in need of replacement. While I was at it, I would go ahead and reupholster the front seat; that’s not going to get any better, especially if the new owner actually drives the car.

    Other than that, make sure the car is mechanically up to spec and just cruise…

  13. Moparman1123

    Oh what memories. After I sold my 71 Challenger R/T, my uncle gave me his 68 Delmont 88 four door that I used until I finished college and had the money for a new car, the 79 Trans-am WS6.

    After a tune up and a set of Sears Steadyrider shocks to firm up the mush, this boat provided the roomy ride to get me by. I ended up giving it to my younger sister.

    I agree with the other comments, if I was to buy it, I would fix it up the as best as possible without investing a lot of money and have some fun cruising with the top down.

  14. TRO

    One of my best friends had one of these in a dark green with a white top and 425 engine in the mid 70’s.Was out cruising with him one night after a rain storm,he punched the throttle on a bridge that still had it’s old brick surface.The damn traction broke loose and we spun the car.Luckily no damage,but we considered ourselves lucky because had we gone over the guardrail it would have been around a 100+ foot drop into the genesee river gorge.

  15. Dave Brennan

    Rolling down rt 299 in New Paltz,N.Y. in 1975 , with my girlfriend in her moms Delmont. Looked at the speedo . Pegged at 140, and never felt a thing.rode like a giant marshmallow. Was way more careful after that!

  16. Silas

    My first car in high school was a two door hard top ’67 Delmont 88. It was a dependable car. I did not put much into it mechanically, which is good, because that thing got incredibly poor gas mileage. Maybe 9 mpg. Maybe.

  17. 64 bonneville

    I have a 67 Delmont 88 425 2 door hardtop. The 425 was a separate model line as the base Delmont had the 330 cubic inch engine. The 425 is backed by the turbo 400 3 speed automatic transmission. And yes they get terrible mileage. 7 gallons will dampen the carb. The 2 barrel carb is listed at 300 horsepower @ 3200 R.P.M. and 430 feet pounds of torque @2800 R.P.M. The 4 barrel is rated at 310 horsepower at 3200 R.P.M. and 450 feet pounds of torque @2800 R.P.M.

    The 330 cubic inch engine has the Jet-Away automatic transmission. A 3speed manual was the base transmission, with the 4 speed and automatics available at extra cost.

    One thing to be aware of on the Delmonts is the gas gage not working, typically a bad ground up above the fuel tank, where the ground attaches up under the trunk floor, also the resistor on the back of the fuel gauge is prone to giving up the ghost.

    The first car my wife and I bought when we got out of the Army was a 1966 Dynamic 88 2 door hardtop with the 425 2 barrel and automatic. The fuel mileage was much better on our 66 than on our 67, I don’t know why.

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