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Tough driving construction workers are no match for the 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88

Oldsmobile thought their 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 was tough but they didn't want you to take their word for it. Instead they got a tough talking spokesman dressed up as a construction worker to explain it to you.


From the use of the most pointless jack-hammer we've ever seen, to the high-speed driving on a graded dirt road it was clear the Oldsmobile was at least kind of tough—and if it wasn't their abrasive spokesman was going to half yell at you until it was.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this commercial was the demonstration of the swing away grille, which would move with the bumper when you hit a flat surface, dead straight, at a very low speed. Surely this feature proved frequently useful because those are usually the circumstances under which car accidents occur.


We like the idea of car makers destroying their vehicles to prove a point, but we think Oldsmobile should have significantly increased the amount of automotive abuse content in this vintage commercial if they had really wanted to prove the Delta 88 was "not just another pretty car".

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Aliens Ate My Buick

Up until 1988 or so my neighbor (at that time well into his 70's) had a totally mint 1976 Delta 88 (very similar to the picture, including the color). It spent all of it's winters in Florida, so, even with it's Western New York heritage rust was not a concern.

When I was 16 I had to borrow it to get to work one time. My prior driving experience had been mainly with downsized late 70's GM A bodies, so you can imagine the impression that rolling aircraft carrier had on an inexperienced teen driver.

It's emissions-choked 350 Rocket still seemed to have enough oomph to get to highway speed in a reasonable amount of time. I had it over 60, which, judging by my neighbor's leisurely driving style (which for some reason included manually shifting the automatic gearbox), was probably the fastest that car ever went. Hope I blew some of the carbon out.

Sadly it was replaced with a standard senior-issue white FWD Cutlass Ciera.

BTW...the seats on the Delta 88 were in immaculate condition.