1979 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale 5.7 liter

Summary:

Good, comfortable, reliable car

Faults:

At 110k miles, replaced the timing gear and chain set with a new oil pump.

Replaced the starter, radiator, brakes, tires, and A/C compressor.

General Comments:

Very good handling car, rare Brougham cloth seats, which was the first year for them on the Royale.

Good A/C, good cruise control, nice power and starting to get minimal rust on the front fender and rear lower quarter. Original aged nicely. Good solid bumpers too, since these tend to rust.

It's a southern car, so it's probably better than average.

Easy to see out of these, and they have nimble steering.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th August, 2013

10th Aug 2013, 20:44

Out of curiosity, what went wrong with the oil pump? Is this an Olds 350 (VIN R) engine, or one of the other division's 350 V8's?

1979 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale 5.7 gasoline

Summary:

Great car. Still my main ride

Faults:

Routine brake replacements, carb rebuild, water pump, fuel pump, A/C compressor (several times), and radiator (plus cooling lines) replacements.

Now on its third set of tires. Although the alignment and front end integrity continue to be good.

Continue to combat incidental rust issues.

Recovered the seats and replaced the vinyl top a couple of times.

Small annoyances due to the age of the car, like a dash rattle, failure of a fan switch in the high position, and a short in the dash lights, causing them to come on and off.

General Comments:

The 350 engine, with regular, routine maintenance has been durable and reliable, and parts continue to be readily available.

Much prefer the rear wheel drive on this car, that avoids the torquing problems with front wheel drive, and the expensive repairs that generally come with front wheel drive autos.

The car is comfortable and reliable, and sufficiently powerful.

The car is aging nicely, although there are issues that develop over time that are related to the age of the car. So far, the original engine and transmission are still performing nicely.

It's nice not to have car payments. And, despite rising maintenance costs on an older car, it remains cost effective to drive.

I like it a lot. Style wise, and otherwise.

(I review this car every few years, as you may notice)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th June, 2013

13th Jun 2013, 05:52

The 1977-1984 Delta 88 and Olds 98 are my favorite of the big cars from the Better Days. They were a wonderful compromise between the truly grand cars - like say early 70s Cadillacs - and everyday practicality.

23rd Aug 2013, 07:21

You just reviewed this same car less than a year ago.

Other reviewers just add a comment to update their review, instead of posting the same review over and over.

1979 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale 5.7 liter 350 gasoline

Summary:

A great pity that GM abandoned the brand. Great cars

Faults:

Air conditioner compressor is the weak link in the mechanical system. I've replaced it several times. Otherwise, routine maintenance, which includes periodic replacement of fuel pump, water pump, master cylinder, etc.

Cosmetically the car has been reupholstered twice, painted several times, with replacement of the vinyl top, and waxed regularly.

General Comments:

The car is comfortable, on short errands, and long road trips.

It has plenty of power, from the extremely durable 350 Oldsmobile engine.

I enjoy driving the car, which handles the road very nicely.

I bought the car with the intention of keeping it for quite a while, but had no idea at the time that I would end up owning and driving it for more than thirty years. Just can't find a reason to get rid of it.

I update this review every few years on this site, and now that I'm an old man, I honestly believe this will be my last car. It has fewer than 150K miles on it, and at least that many left in it, so it will most certainly outlast me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 3rd October, 2012

3rd Oct 2012, 10:07

If you posted the review of this car on 9/4/03, it had 108K miles.

Now it has 107K miles (?)

3rd Oct 2012, 14:25

An approximation of mileage. Not exact. Probably mistaken in previous estimate. Should be more precise.

3rd Oct 2012, 14:41

Unfortunately GM, like many companies, discontinues great products. It is sad not everyone shares our taste! I had 2 Buick Park Avenues that I loved, and would have gladly shelled out over $40K for another brand new one. At least I can still buy Buicks, which isn't the case for Olds, however none of the new ones are as appealing to me as my Park Avenues.

4th Oct 2012, 20:33

Considering that was 9 years ago, I'd say the mileage was way off - unless you don't drive it.

11th Oct 2012, 01:09

My main driver is, and has been the Oldsmobile, which as I've said repeatedly, is an excellent car, but I should add that I was clearly mistaken about the previous mileage estimate, probably owing to either a senior moment, or the fact that I had two other cars at the time, and probably didn't remember the mileage on the Olds correctly. Certainly not any attempt to mislead anyone.

My other two cars were a '67 Chevrolet that belonged to my dad, which is currently undergoing restoration, and a BMW, which proved costly to maintain, and so I sold it. Had I been able to afford it at the time, I would probably have bought a BMW 3.0 CSI, which has since become a classic, but the price tag was out of my ballpark at the time. The Bavarias were also nice cars, but common sense finally prevailed and I reverted to the cars with which I had grown up, G.M. products.

The low mileage on the Olds is due to the fact of rotating it among three cars I was driving at the time, and as I've grown older, I find I only put two or three thousand miles a year on it. So it should take me to the end of the line.

Thanks for your interest, and for pointing out my error. My opinion of the Olds stands. Wish they still made them; I might buy another one just for kicks.