Hump Day Holeshot: Car and Track’s ’71 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Road Test

The Delta 88 was one variant of the Eighty Eight line which was sold by the Oldsmobile Division of General Motors from 1949 until 1999. Through the period from 1950 to 1974, the 88 was also Oldsmobile’s top-selling line.

In 1971, for the debut of the eighth generation of the 88, the car was restyled and again grew larger. Seeing one of these cars today might remind you of the scene from a Star Wars movie where an Imperial battle cruiser is passing by and just never seems to stop.

Riding on a 124-inch wheelbase (127 for the station wagon), the standard engine was a 350cui V8, with the Rocket 455cui motor being optional.

No doubt, these cars would have a commanding presence on the road today, but in 1971 they were just larger than average. If you can imagine, the 88 was a ‘little brother’ to the range-topping Oldsmobile 98, itself a 19-foot long behemoth with an average 5,000 pound curb weight.

The more curious among you will find the Car and Track video review below to be entertaining, if not astonishing at some points. It’s all quite questionable by today’s expectations, but back in the day – when the automotive world was preparing for the introduction of unleaded gasoline – GM’s full sized cars set a standard that many hoped to achieve.

About the author

Don Roy

Don's background includes 14 years in the OEM and Tier2 domestic auto industry, as well as three years as Technical Editor of a muscle car enthusiast print magazine. He is a mechanical engineer by trade and completed his first project car when he was 16 years old - after rebuilding the engine in his bedroom. His hobbies include photography, film making and building the odd robot from time to time.
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