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1988 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale

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There once was a time, a time when full sized family sedans were in nearly every driveway in America. During this time GM's Oldsmobile divison built a reputation for quality and performance on the name Eighty-Eight.

Introduced in 1949, the Eighty-Eight was the least expensive of Oldsmobile's full size offerings for 50 years until the end of production in 1999. The following C&G Drive is on a 1988 model with the optional 3800 V6

As Dick Van Patten says so well in this 1986 commercial"Its the family car, that didn't forget the family" . My 1988 Delta 88 Royale has done just that, after nearly two decades of faithful service I can say this is one family car that didn't forget the family.

First Impressions: Its a little hard to tell at first glance, to look past the worn paint, the tired chrome, that this car was once a looker. There is still a little shine left in the big chrome bumpers, a little class still in the miles of chrome that seem to wrap around the car, and the aura of pride, pride that is seen clearly in the bright read "Royale" emblem on the hood. The engine starts up right away dispite the every growing number on the odometer, a number that currently reads 334,594 miles. The doors close with a thunk that is missing from todays cars, the controls have a simple layout that unlike so many of todays cars do not require the owner to read the owners manual just to get to work in the morning.

Interior: Plush. Everything and anything that can be covered in soft fabrics and velour is. The interior is accented with chrome and faux brushed aluminum that gives the car a classic yet still modern look. Standard power drivers seat is a huge plus allowing almost anyone to find a very comfortable position. The family car idea is very clear here with loads of room, a back seat that is big enough to house a small town, and a trunk that has vast space. Road noise is well controled and the controls are well placed. The dash is very much traditonal Olds with a very neat looking "Eighty Eight" emblem next to the idiot lights.

Performance: Though power may not be something you associate with 88 Royale one may be in for quite the shock. The 3.8L "3800" V6 puts out 160hp. Though you won't set any land speed records ( Oldsmobile used the Aero Tech to do that) passing power on the highway as well as power from the stop light is effortless, all while returning fuel economy in the mid to upper 20's. This means that when junor is late for practice, not only will the family car that didn't forget the family get him there on time, it also means that ma and pa don't have to stop for gas on the way.

Quality: What can you say for a car with over 300,000 mile? Oldsmobile put this thing together right the first time and it shows. Even after 300,000 miles the body gaps are consistant, the car still idles smooth, and the fuel economy has not fallen off. Delta 88 will give any Toyota, Honda, or Nissan and spanking int he engineering department. Even after 300,000 miles the Delta 88 Royale is yet to fail an emissons test. With all the money you saved on repair bills and fuel, looks like someone is getting a few extra gifts under the tree. Yet one more way the family car didn't forget the family.

Over all: If you enjoy big car ride and comfort with power and quality all around the 88 is a must have.

Test Car Specs:

Year: 1988

Make: Oldsmobile

Model: Delta 88 Royale 4 dr sedan

Miles: 334,594

Optional Equiptment:

LN3 3800 V6

White wall tires*

*Car currently sports blackwalls.

Major Repairs:

Transmisson Rebuild 160,000 miles (1999)

New Exhuast system 323,000 miles (2006)

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Interesting read. I remember vividly owning a 1985 Park Ave sedan which of course is a cousing to your 88. I never could believe the amount of vast interior space in that car, how well it drove and handled(mine had the Grand Touring suspension) and the near 30 MPG on the open road. Many of todays cars are such a dissapointment in comparison. They are very dull, bloated and plain looking. Exterior trim is as scarce as cassette players. Interior colors you ask. You can have anything you want as long as it's tan, black or gray. I also find it mind boggling how a 2008 Malibu which is nearly as long as your 88 has a considerably smaller trunk and opening, way less interior space and gets worse V6 gas mileage. Such progress. I am a believer of the tried and true methods. Modern day fads are meaningless and cars such as the new Malibu can't even carry paper grocery bags upright without squeezing. My Intrigue is another case in point. It's interior is considerably more cramped and lacking in leg room comapred to the 88/98 Park Ave etc and it's trunk opening is far smaller. The funny thing is that many people today bitch about how terrible our cars were in the 80's. I disagree. Some of my best vehicles came from that time period. And your 88 with well over 300K and my old Park Ave with 200K are testimony that not everything back then was garbage.

Edited by ponchoman49

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I just got my grandparents Bronze 1986 Delta 88 Royale Brougham Coupe with 135,000 miles.

The car runs smooth, feels posh, and despite its age feels pretty modern. The 3800 V-6 (Which I baby) can still push you into the leather seats when getting on the highway. Its just a great car. I can't wait to get some money together to restore an already garage kept car.

Who needs my loaded Regal LS with this car?

Edited by carman21

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We call the 88 the Super Rocket because it never lets us down. I come from a long line of GM owners, everything from brand new 1946 Pontiacs to my uncles 2006 CTS, but no car has been as good to us as the 88.

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Guest -Al

Im getting my dad's 1988 Olds 88 4door which he purchased in 1993. It currently has 160K on the clock and I've always driving it for the comfort,  smoth ride and  gread MPG.  Who cares if

its' called a "Grandpa Car".  From what I've read, It will compete with the Jap cars of today in terms of longevity, now that is a Biggy for me!

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