For $6,000, Could This 1975 Olds Delta 88 Convertible Be A Royale Without Cheese?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Dinosaurs like today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Olds 88 once ruled the earth, or at least the North American continent. Today, they’re all extinct, but relics like this drop-top still turn up from time to time. Let’s see if you’d be digging this one’s price.

My mother, wonderful woman that she was, once adopted a stray kitten off the street. Imaginative and yet unwaveringly forthright she named him TC, short for “The Cat.” Chrysler named yesterday’s 1990 TC by Maserati because… well, they also called a car the “PT Cruiser” (Poon Tang Cruiser?) so maybe they were just running out of ideas back then.


Few of you liked the idea of paying the asking price for that American-Italian, even if it was equipped with the most desirable engine and transmission available, and had an RCH-thin connection to gone, daddy, gone hijacker, D.B. Cooper. So few liked it in fact that the car came away with an overwhelming 80-percent Crack Pipe loss.

Do you believe in the phrase “go big or go home?” Nay, do you live by it?

If so, then we have much to discuss, my stereotypical American friend. We are the nation of copious consumption. Our meals are super-sized, our bread basket is so large that it allows purple waves of grain ebb and flow there, and we do like us some big butts cars.

This 1975 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale is one of the biggest production models we’ve ever built. You could stretch even bigger if you wanted a wagon, but for convertible duty, they didn’t get much bigger than these B-bodies.


This was the final year for the Delta 88 convertible, in fact it only made it half-way through the year before GM abruptly pulled the plug. It was also the first year that the “Rocket” 350 V8 gained a catalytic converter, so order unleaded when you belly up to the bar.

That V8 comes with a 4bbl and about 170-bhp on tap, so don’t expect Tesla-style performance out of the 4,600-pound car. A set it and forget it three-speed with column shift helps keep everything in check too.


Of course, this sort of car isn’t about speed, it’s all about being seen and making a statement, and that statement is “I take up two parking spaces.” The car is big. It’s also unabashedly yellow, like a lemon in your face yellow, topped with a white convertible top. It’s sort of like a lemon meringue pie that gets 12 mpg.


That top is two-years new, and there’s a new cooling system on the car as well. On the downside, the A/C isn’t cooling anyone anymore, the radio’s not radiating, and like Winnie the Pooh’s butt, the driver’s seat needs some stitching. Some surface rust is evident on the rear rocker, and that of course likely means more hiding in nefarious places under the daffodillic paint.

Other factoids include the mileage which checks in at 160,000 and change, and a somewhat locally notable ownership history as the car is said to have been the property of “the long time New Hampshire Executive Counselor, Raymond S Burton,” whoever the hell that is. At least it’s better than an FBI agent investigating some case.


It was apparently used in a number of parades, as these things typically are, and even comes with little flag holders on the front bumper, not that you’d see them from the driver’s seat seeing as it’s in another ZIP Code.


How high might you go for so long a car as this? The asking is $6,000 and while this is an imperfect car, there’s nothing here that your typical shade tree mechanic couldn’t tackle. It’s also a long lost survivor of another age, a dinosaur in an era of twitchy little mammals and annoying birds.

What do you say, does this old Olds feel worth its $6,000 asking? Or, is the delta on this Delta that it’s going to need to drop a few dollars?


You decide!


Maine Craigslist (although the car appears to be in Concord NH), or go here if the ad disappears.

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Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.