I bought the car for $400, and since then I've probably downed another $1200. Mine is pretty much a pile of garbage, but if it had been treated right, I'm sure it would be a lot more reliable than it sounds.
Although it has stranded me several times, it still seems to be a pretty reliable car for what it is. I bought it off some dirtball hick and I got a pretty good indication of it's former usage upon pickup. It was stuck on high speed idle when I picked it up so the old owner stuck the throttle wide open for a few seconds to fix it. Yeah. That was pretty scary on my part.
Since I figured it had been abuse anyway, I took it out and beat the crap out of it. First, I smoked the tires off it, then I threw some mismatched snows on the rear and took it mudding.
The burnouts were about as weak as you're probably thinking a 2 ton 140HP car would be. I didn't think they were too bad, because they provided a LOT of smoke, and if you power-brake, a REAL REAL long one wheel peel! I managed to burn all the treads off a half decent tire in one session up north. I guess the mark is about 40 feet long! (I haven't seen it yet, but they guys I was with said it was pretty nuts.
As far as the mudding goes, it did VERY well. I took it with some guys from school out to the local trails and managed to hang with the 4X4s till I was ready to turn around. There is some video footage on youtube if you search for Oldsmobile Mudding. Some of the mud she went through must have been about 8-10 inches deep, but it managed to claw its way through anyways! I was really impressed.
All of the breakdowns I have encountered were NOT the fault of the car. The first problem I had was when the eccentric backed off. I was cruising towards Chicago, about 200 miles from home, when it happened. I was going to pass a semi, cruising a steady 85, when the car fell on it's face and died. I spent that night in the car, and the next day trying to figure out what happened. Eventually, one of my friends came down and picked me up. The second breakdown was when the alternator died. I didn't know there was a problem because none of the idiot lights were functioning, but when I went out to start the car at the gas station in town, the battery was dead. A new alternator, and charging the battery fixed it sufficiently.
Moving into drivability, the car is a blast. According to the paperwork, it weighs in at about 4000 lbs. Due to the tremendous weight and worn out shocks, she handles like quite the boat. Oh yeah, and one of the sway bar links is broke as well! Even though it really leans in the corners and handles like a bus it seems to really grip the road. You can blast through just about any corner and it seems to stick pretty solid. The bumpers just about touch ground before the rear end gets loose. Even if things do get a little squirrelly, the car comes right back to balance if you act smoothly. A pretty fun ride overall.
All my friends get a kick out of driving and riding in the 4dr land yacht that is the Delta. The extreme body roll, and bellering exhaust leaks make driving through town attract a LOT of attention! Sure, it's probably not the kind I want, but HEY. If people look, it's just about the same thing!
21mpg. nough said.