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1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Coupe 5.0 V8 Auto MOT Jan 21 For Sale

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  • £5,950 As stated
  • 1984
  • Lymington
Message the seller
Price £5,950 As stated
Ad Type For Sale
Category American Cars
Make Oldsmobile
Model DELTA 88
Year 1984
Mileage 44,048 miles
Country UK
Region Hampshire
Town Lymington
Telephone 01294 420409
Seller's phone number is protected behind a forwarding service
Status Trade
Date 02-Aug-2020
Ref C1241831
A very understated, rare & cool American 1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Coupe - equally at home on the school run, or a drive-by in south central...

At a glance:
- 1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Coupe
- 5.0 307ci Rocket V8
- Automatic transmission
- 20" Solid steel wheels
- Holley carb
- Sounds amazing
- Full size 70's yank
- Pictures don't really capture the size, it's massive.

The Model:
The Oldsmobile 88 was produced by Oldsmobile from 1949 until 1999. From 1950 to 1974 the 88 was the division's top-selling line. The 88 series was also an image leader for Oldsmobile, particularly in the early years (1949–51) when it was one of the best performing automobiles thanks to its relatively small size, light weight and advanced overhead-valve high-compression V8 engine. With the large, high performance V8, the Oldsmobile 88 is considered by some to be the first muscle car. The 8th generation was the last big 1970s designed rear wheel drive V8 coupe before major downsizing and the woeful conversion to front wheel drive. The 1985 88s would be the last full-sized Oldsmobile sedans and coupes to feature rear-wheel-drive, Rocket V8 power, and body-on-frame construction, and although the station wagon continued until 1990 eventually becoming the only Oldsmobile model powered by an Oldsmobile Rocket V8 engine, for which production ended in 1990 after 42 years.

The specification:
This Delta 88 was first sold in Florida in 1984 and then first registered in the UK in 1989, so presumably imported to the UK when only 5 years old. It looks to have been garaged for much if of its life, as it doesn't appear to have endured too many rubbish British winters. The 8th generation Delta 88s was produced from 1977 to 1985 when the Delta 88 and Royale models were now only offered in two pillared body styles; a two-door coupe and a four-door Town Sedan. All 88s featured an all-new instrument panel with a horizontal sweep speedometer and heater/air conditioning controls moved to the centre of the dash. The new dash was highlighted with woodgrain trim. The 1979 model year saw the addition of a new Delta 88 Royale Brougham series added to the line, which included plush "pillowed" seat trim similar to the Ninety-Eight. All models again received revised grilles and other minor changes. For 1980, all 88s got new and more aerodynamic sheetmetal for improved fuel economy highlighted by rounded square taillights similar to mid-70s 88s, but overall dimensions stayed the same and coupes received a revised roofline. New to the engine lineup was the 307 cu in (5.0 L) Rocket V8 with four-barrel carb. For 1984, all Delta 88s were now Royale or Royale Brougham models. Styling highlights included new grille inserts and red and amber taillights replacing the red lenses. This model of the 88 was now the largest and most luxurious rear-wheel drive car offered by Oldsmobile. Custom Cruiser wagons continued with the same styling changes found on other 88 models. This car comes with all of the 80s charm you would expect, white bodywork, black vinyl roof with grey interior and vinyl diamond stitched door panels and roof lining. Very retro period features indeed. It has the 5.0 litre 307ci engine, Holley carb, 20" Steel solid wheels (Weller ones would cost £2300 for a set of four!) but otherwise pretty much standard. This car is not a shrinking violet - it's loud and proud all the way. As regards technology and modern gizmos, there aren't really any. It has just enough equipment to perform, using old fashioned American mechanical brute-force.

On the Road:
I love driving this Delta 88, it’s excellent fun with immense charm and character, and it gives you a wonderful sense of 1970s Americana every time you climb inside. The Olsmobile starts with a muted V8 burble, it surges eagerly under acceleration, starts, stops and does what you would expect. It pulls well, with bags of grunt and torque and is capable of shifting its considerable size, if and whenever required. I have driven a number of American cars, vans and trucks, and this one is one of my favourites. It's an addictive cruising experience and puts a huge smile on my face every time I get behind the wheel.

Engine:
The Oldsmobile V8, also referred to as the Rocket, is series of engines that was produced by Oldsmobile beginning in 1949. The Rocket, along with the 1949 Cadillac V8, were the first post-war OHV V8 engines produced by General Motors. Like all other GM divisions, Olds continued building its own V8 engine family for decades, adopting the corporate Chevrolet 350 small-block and Cadillac Northstar engine only in the 1990s. All Oldsmobile V8s were manufactured at plants in Lansing, Michigan.
A 307 cu in (5.0 L) version was introduced in 1980. It was used in most Oldsmobile models, as well as those from Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and Pontiac. Every 307 used a four-barrel carb, which was a variant of the Rochester Quadrajet. The combination of good low-RPM torque, the Quadrajet, and the THM-200-4R three speed plus overdrive automatic transmission having a lockup torque converter allowed for fairly good performance, and fuel economy considered reasonable for the era, even in the larger and heavier model cars. The engine is also known for its reliability, smoothness and quietness. Oldsmobile used the popular LV2 version, commonly known by the VIN code "Y", from 1980-1990. This engine has received some tweaks over the years, but there’s no paper trail for the modifications, so what you see is what you get. It does have a Holley carb fitted, offering a lot more performance and grunt than the basic Rochester.

MOT:
Current MOT until Jan 2021. The only previous advisory was for indicator flash speed, since rectified.

Condition:
As you can probably see from the pictures, this Delta 88 is in decent condition for its 36 year age, but it is not perfect. If you are looking for showroom-fresh, unmolested, everything in place and fully functional, you may need to look elsewhere, whilst upping your budget. But if you are looking for a super cool 1970s designed US car, guaranteed to snap necks every time you venture out, your search ends here. Cars from the 1980s (especially American cars) are best compared to kit cars - so there are always a few areas to fix, improve or fettle. I'd rather not compile an exhaustive list of all flaws or defects, as it may be a different list tomorrow, and the next day. As with any 37 year old car there is always a 'to-do' list, some things work every now and then, and there's always room for improvement, but also that's part of the old-school charm. So really the only way to get an idea if this is the right car for you would be to come to view, see what works, see what doesn't and see if you'd like to be the next custodian of this awesome 80s muscle car. I’m confident that anybody with realistic expectations will be delighted to own and enjoy this awesome beast. The best way to work out if it is the right option for you would be to come and have a look, as this is not like buying a 3 year old Honda Civic. You need to see it, touch it, feel it and most of all; hear it. I'm also pretty confident this is by far and away the best (and only!) example you will find, leaving plenty of headroom to customise or add value, and make it your own.

Pricing:
The general value range for a proper V8, 8th generation Oldsmobile Delta 88 in decent, road-going and presentable condition with long MOT is normally £6,000 - £10,000 with immaculate examples occasionally priced considerably higher. This 88 is offered to sell swiftly at a very tempting £5950. American cars seem to hold their value very well, whilst some makes and models have risen dramatically in both popularity and price in recent years, and this is an ideal opportunity to buy a sensibly priced, full-blooded proper American V8 coupe.

American car ownership:
If this is your first US vehicle, or you are unfamiliar with American car ownership, here are a few common questions answered...

Insurance?
Easy to find, although it is not always competitive from the obvious 'mainstream' insurers. If you search via Quotezone or Google for American car insurance, you will find a number of specialist insurers who can normally offer cover which is no more expensive than British vehicle equivalents.

Big engines = big car tax?
Not necessarily. Any vehicle pre 2001 will have the same car tax (currently £265 per year) whether it is 2.7 litres or 7.2 litres.

MPG - are all US cars awful?
Don't be put off by MPG figures, as most quoted figures for US vehicles are listed in US gallons - which are smaller than 'our' gallons. So if it says it does 30mpg in US gallons that's actually 36.03 mpg in UK/EU gallons. That's quite a big difference! Also, fuel economy is not the only cost to bear in mind. If you have a car which does 30 to the gallon and costs you £700 extra in fuel each year, but doesn't depreciate (as many older US vehicles hold their value well, or appreciate) it would be financially better than a newer European car which does 50+ to the gallon, which could save you that £700 per year in fuel back, but still depreciate by £2000 per year... However, if fuel economy is the most important thing on your wish list, a 5.0 litre V8 Yank probably isn't the car for you...

Will extinction rebellion target me and my big-engined car?
Unlikely, and if they did, you can explain the virtues of running a classic car, as opposed to the far larger global impact of buying a brand new hybrid or EV, shipping batteries halfway around the globe and the huge energy used in new vehicle production. 'Recycle' an old yank and waft about with a clear conscience.

What about parts?
There's actually a lot of specialists in the UK who supply parts for American vehicles, so many parts are available from UK suppliers, and also there are companies like Rock Auto in the USA which can get parts here incredibly quickly, sometimes as fast as UK suppliers. American car parts also tend to be a lot cheaper than premium European cars. Rock Auto is well known as the 'go to' place for many UK based US car owners. You may pay import duty, but its still a tiny fraction of going to your local BMW or Mercedes dealer for parts..!

Is left hand drive an issue?
Not really, once you get used to it. Road positioning is easy, once you are up to speed. Only time you may need a handy stick is to push the button to enter a barrier controlled car park!

Other benefits:
- There is a large and vibrant American car club scene in the UK, with various shows and event throughout the year.
- You are driving something a bit different, and interesting, compared to the normal humdrum cars.
- You'll always be able to find it in a car park.
- There is a huge amount of information, help and resources online for American cars
- They tend to be relatively simple mechanically, and parts tend to be far cheaper than the European (especially German) counterparts.
- They have more character and charm, in my opinion, than so many other normal/modern/boring vehicles.

Conclusion:
This is a hugely entertaining and rare vehicle, with impressive performance, quite possibly one of the most attention-grabbing cars I've ever dealt with, and it;s the only one I can find for sale outside the USA. It’s sure to put a smile on your face with every mile. I can't quite put my finger on exactly why, but I'm a huge fan of this huge cruiser. It brings out the 10 year old boy in me every time I get in it, turn the key and and awaken the burbling giant of a V8. Are you likely to see another one? No. because it's the only Oldsmobile Delta from the 1980s registered in the UK. So you will be the winner of the 'Best Delta 88' category every time..! This car is a great conversation starter and people literally turn around in the street and watch as you waft past with the burbling V8. If I wanted to play gangsters for the weekend, this would be my ride. If you are looking for something different & interesting to liven up your garage, I'm quite sure you'll love it - I know I do. It's hard to sum it up in words, but the sound of the V8 is all the convincing I ever need...
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