Shed Find: 1972 Oldsmobile 88 Royale Convertible

Nearly 50 years ago, this car could have been your father’s Oldsmobile: the 1972 Delta 88 Royale convertible. It was big and beautiful and moderately equipped as to not take anything away from the luxurious 98 Series. This edition was acquired by the seller some 20 years old, driven to his home, put away in a shed, partially covered up, and untouched for two decades. With some scrubbing and mechanical tinkering, who knows what the possibilities may be once again. Taft, Tennessee is what the car shares space with a farm tractor and it’s available here on Facebook Marketplace for $15,500.

The Olds 88 (also marketed at the Eighty Eight) was a full-size car that was on GM’s payroll from 1949-99. Few nameplates have been able to achieve the kind of the tenure this car has. Usually considered a family sedan, the 88 was also a performance car of sorts in the 1950s, paving the way for the real muscle car movement that began in the 1960s. The seventh generation of the 88s were produced from 1971-76, which were completely restyled and even bigger than their predecessors, using a 124-inch wheelbase to help chew up the highway. The cars received fuselage-like styling similar to what Chrysler Corporation did a couple of years earlier.

With more than 100,000 reported miles on it, the seller acquired this ’72 88 convertible around the turn of the century and put it under wraps. It was running at the time, so I suspect he intended to restore the car then and never got around to it. Fast forward to 2021 and the body has no dents on it or rust that the seller is aware of (or we can see). At least the convertible portion of the car was covered, so hopefully the interior has survived intact. Under the mounds of dust and dirt lies the original paint that may be Sovereign Gold (aka brown). BTW, the wheels on this car look like they’re from a Buick of about the same time.

We don’t know what engine lies under the hood, but it’s likely either a 350 or 455 cubic inch Rocket V8. And probably paired with a Turbo-Hyrdramatic automatic transmission. After sitting so long, the entire fuel system is going to need attention before even trying to get the car started. And most everything made of rubber will need changing, including the tires. We’re told it came with power steering and brakes (standard fare even in those days) and the power top was in operating condition back in 2000.

Hopefully, this car is a project that largely involves clean-up and mechanical tinkering. But that could be just my optimism showing. Considering the shear bulk of these 1970s cars, resale value seems to be quite good. A 1972 Delta 88 Royale condition has a range between $21-66,000 depending on condition and how badly someone wants one of these cars. Looks like the seller was right when he says he knows the value of these old cars. The last photo is what the seller believes the car will look like cleaned up.

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  1. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    The seller seems really friendly.

    Like 6
  2. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    It’s going to be parked next to that tractor a long time.

    Like 36
  3. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    He knows what he has..

    Like 7
    • Superdessucke

      That’s good, because due to his spartan description and minimal pictures, we sure don’t.

      Like 9
  4. Cadmanls Member

    What he believes it will look like. Sitting that long and just drove it in there all those years ago, it will need more than a wash.

    Like 17
  5. Big_Fun Member

    Forget about the sellers w I’mords, just focus on the price listed and the snapshots for a moment…
    If pictures are worth a thousand words, how much money (and buyer interest) is lost towards the sale of this ride with the current set of pictures?

    Like 8
    • Fred W

      He believes in the old PT Barnum saying, “A sucker is born every minute”. Tennessee (where I live) can be a very humid state, and a car parked halfway outside under a tarp for 20 years is going to need a LOT.

      Like 19
      • Daniel Wright

        There is mold on the front facia and the car is parked on dirt. Need we say more.

        Like 12
  6. Steve Clinton

    I wonder what he is hiding under that tarp. Does he think someone will actually be interested in the car by the way he’s displaying it? If so, they’re as big a moron as he is.

    Like 16
    • Daniel Wright

      Rust, mold and the home of 20 years of mice is what is hiding under the tarp. Rust, mold and mouse crap….Lots of it.

      Like 7
  7. Steve Clinton

    If you were to line up every car in a shed or barn end to end, the line would circle the globe…twice!

    Like 12
  8. Joe Padavano

    Another seller with Barrett-Jackson disease.

    Cool car, but the price is off by an order of magnitude. $15K will buy a really nice one of these. Given the non-existence of resto parts, you’ll spend twice that to make this a $15K car, unfortunately.

    Like 16
    • Drake

      Two years ago, i found a 1975 Buick LeSabre convertible for around $14,000, in great shape, running with functioning top. This Olds would be a hard pass.

      Like 2
  9. Jeff

    Parked on dirt for 20 years with moisture seeping onto chassis/frame. Mice probably infested the interior and possibly underhood wiring. Bad color wrong wheels. Needs tires brakes exhaust engine and transmission rebuild. New interior and paint most likely required plus a new soft top that the mice chewed holes in. Yeah this car is a steal.

    Like 11
  10. James Martin

    First off, Hagerty really exaggerates prices of cars. 66000 for a nice example seems far fetched. Average 20 to 25000 for a really nice version. This guy has watched to many TV shows. 15000 I believe has one to many zeros. I sold a 71 complete Royale motor locked up for under 2000 just a bout a year ago or so.

    Like 8
  11. Phil Maniatty

    The color looks to be Baroque Gold. My first car was a ’72 Delta 88 Holiday Sedan (4-door hardtop) in that color.

    Like 4
  12. Rick Rothermel

    ‘Olds Deltas, ’71 and ’72 were the handsomest of the B-bodies during that stretch, I had a ’72 that was a great car.

    This one is DOA, especially if the owner doesn’t put $5 effort in positively portraying his friggin’ $15k car!

    Like 6
  13. MDW66

    I’ve got a nice driver quality 75 LeSabre convertible that is nearly loaded and has a 455. I’d sell it all day long for $15,500!

    Like 10
    • normadesmond

      Yes! My very nice ’73 88 convertible which gets lots of compliments would never fetch $15,500.
      At least I don’t think it would.

      Like 2
  14. Bill

    The Facebook marketplace post states that all harsh comments would be removed. I can’t imagine anything but harsh post for something that looks this, condition and price. I hope this is not too harsh.

    Like 5
  15. Spud

    The guy’s a lunatic. Aren’t we all glad that FB provides a conduit for him to communicate with the outside world?

    Like 4
  16. Spud

    The seller is a lunatic. Thank goodness FB provides him a conduit for communicating with the outside world.

    Like 2
  17. Rustytech Member

    I don’t know where Hagerty gets there values from. I searched several platforms for mid 70’s Olds 88 conv, most clean low mileage, on the road, low mileage ( under 70k ) cars were advertised at around $25k. Anyone who would cough up ( pun intended ) $15k for this dud is truly SICK!

    Like 2
    • Joe Padavano

      And asking price is not selling price. Even $25K is the very high end for one of these cars. Heck, $25K buys a nice 442.

      Like 7
      • Quicko

        I have a ,72 it’s a nice big boat …..however in that condition I brought mine sum yrs back and I only pd$800… So if there’s a sucker born every minute then they can buy mine for double,lol

        Like 1
    • Geoff

      Hagerty which I agree tends to run high (their real business is selling insurance) only gives a value of of 6k-21k for this model based on a Fair to Excellent condition rating that at minimum way exceeds what’s here. I guess if your gonna dream dream big. 1500-2k subject to an in person inspection and a lot more info.

  18. NHDave

    Not sure where the $21-66,000 values noted are coming from. (In fairness to Russ Dixon, he doesn’t say the values he lists in the write-up are from Hagerty.) Looking at the latest Hagerty Price Guide as I type this: A ‘72 Olds Delta 88 two-door Royale Convertible is listed with a range of $6200 (#4) to $33,300 (#1). I agree the seller’s asking price of $15,500, which puts it between Hagerty’s #2 and #3 values, is too high.

    Like 1
  19. Phlathead Phil

    Nope, followed by a thousand nopes.

    Rust never sleeps and mold doesn’t grow old.

    Why would anyone drop this kinda cash for something like this?

    The 80’s are gone, C’mon man…

    Like 1
  20. SJMike

    Hagerty pricing guides are there to drive high values for auction houses and insurance values for the classic car insurance industry. It’s all a circle-jerk scam.

  21. Mr Clem-Dechico Ohio

    Wow, an OldsManiac Sunny wit a U here…..This makes me hark back to road #440 when it was fashionable to lay organic brownies on my 71 Oldmobile dashbord….Only Comparison is layin same organic cable in QE2 Engine room as a young-in or payin my respects to the HamNCheese Gods O carlyle

    Like 1

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