1986-91 Oldsmobile Delta 88

Delta 88 Front

(Update: For those of you coming here from a search engine, I posted a 90 or 91 Eighty Eight also.  Check it out.) This will probably come as a surprise, but this is a car I would actually own. As a cheap beater of course, but nice ex-Grandma ones can be had for under $2,000. The one you see here is somewhere between 1986 and 1989. These are a great “cheap” car, most haven’t been abused, they are mechanically solid, and parts are cheap and plentiful.

Delta 88 Side

I have always liked the squared off styling of this platform. This generation of the GM “H” body was built from 1986-1991. It came in 2 Olds versions (“Delta 88” & “Ninety Eight”), 2 Buick versions (LeSabre & Park Avenue), and the Pontiac Bonneville. All of them look good to me. These were front wheel drive and came with the rock-solid 3800 V6 engine.

Delta 88 Rear

They are about the perfect size for hauling a family around. You can fit 6 inside as long as a few of them are children. The outside is not any bigger than a current Camry. Driven gently, these cars would get extremely good gas mileage for their size, 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

18 Responses to 1986-91 Oldsmobile Delta 88

  1. dave says:

    You really are a sicko…🙂

  2. HotRod says:

    I’ve decided that cars are like women. I’d prefer an older model than a brand new one. They might be a little rough around the edges but they can (and do) meet all your needs while being cheap to maintain. And if you choose carefully (no major damage) with no tattoos decent paint they will usually clean up nicely. Of course you can always trade for a newer model if they get too rough.

  3. duckie says:

    Problem is, the suspension has usually softened up, the tires are typically mismatched, there are cracks in the windshield and most importantly, the seat has someone else’s impression in it.

  4. HotRod says:

    Excellent points! All of that can be repaired though…

  5. Hi,
    This is really something exceptional . I like the way you are writing … Its really awesome ..I hope to see some new more and encouraging posts from you .
    Thanks .

  6. HotRod says:

    Well! I obviously agree with your assessment or else I wouldn’t be doing this. Don’t worry, like it or not I will continue posting every weekday, so keep coming back.

  7. Tony Montana says:

    This car is Bomb! My Friend has one that he paid 300 dollars for. He has raced people and wins a lots of the time cause it may look like a old car but it will beat most 4 cylinder cars and some 6 any day. Plus its american not that jap crap!

  8. HotRod says:

    For those of you coming here from a search, I posted a 90 or 91 Eighty Eight today. Check it out also…

  9. Lindsey says:

    I found this searching for a photo of the car I had in high school. My parents actually bought their daughter a ’91 Delta 88 (in ’97). I still can’t believe I had to drive such an old grandma/businessman’s car). It ran great until it was about 10-years-old, when the interior started to die. Actually, the engine was still in great shape — the rest of the car wasn’t.

  10. EL says:


    Just found your site through searching for a photo…. I’ve got a 1991 and I got it in 2002 — from an elderly couple who rarely drove the car. I haven’t had much problems with it — kept it in the garage so the paint and interior is still great. It now has 212K on it… still has great pick up —

  11. Joseph Johnson says:

    A pleasure to come to your site. Thnks very much!

  12. Mac says:

    I love my 88. Its an 1989, with 300K on the clock. Still runs brilliantly, engine and tranny wise, but like others have said, the interior bits have started to go, and the suspension is broken, but its still a great drive. And the sound of that 3800 at full rev is to die for! I’ve modded the exhaust and it sounds like an old BMW flat 6 at full bore.

    Great post!

    • KMan says:

      I bought my ’89 Eighty Eight from a friend last year, because I was broke and desperate. Not my first choice, but for $300 CDN, I will never call myself a “Dodge Man” again!

      I wish I could speak to the persons responsible for this vehicle, as I cannot believe the performance and luxury of this “beater”.

      I drive it proudly, with all it’s war wounds, daily.

      I may never give this vehicle up.

      I wondered why my friend called it the “floater”, but now I just call her “Princess”.

      Gonna go cry now.


      I hope no one ever finds out how great these cars really are… I want them all!

  13. Ag says:

    Does anyone have the problem with the paint on these cars? I have a 1989 eighty-eight Royale and is in great shape, but the paint is a mess. I don’t know whether to put the money into the paint because the car is old. I do love it and if anyone out there has a maroon one I would love to know. Please post on this site and I will check it. I live in PA.

  14. Scott says:

    Ag, if you like the car do a cheap paint job.

  15. Hudson says:

    Well I think I’ll paint mine. I think I bought it in 1992 from an old guy (now I’m the old guy) and it’s the winter beater. I was an Olds fan from the early 80s and was really resistant to these new fangled v6 Olds’ that looked nothing like I thought a car should but this car is the best car Ive owned. It gets moving (yes still) like a motorcycle and rides like the couch in my living room it gets 33 to 37 mpg on the highway and has most options ( driver info computer) that they promoted to me in my 2005. It has a digital dash Ive only seen in one other Oldsmobile (see pics (facebook group “Oldsmobile 88) I’m going to try to get 500,000 ks on just cause I think I can. I often prefer driving it than my new one……..any way thanks for the great blog

  16. Kevin says:

    Love this post!, I currently own a 88 delta 88 like in the picture, with 133k miles, it is my first car and i love her to death, runs like a champ! I replaced all the shocks and struts myself , and im starting to do my own body work as well, and she is going to be repainted this comming fall. This car is a great car, it can get you from point a to point b no matter how far, and she is one smooth ride too, the only problem with the car is the paint, GM used a horrible clear coat and i can literally rub it off with my hands. I have big plans for this car, as a young kid who wants to get into custom car and body work i have began to do some cool stuff to this car, i removed all the side trim on the car, the stripes running down the side, the hood ornament, backup lights on the quarters, and the trunk flip logo, i have alot of holes to weld shut and studs to grind off, paint and body work to do, but she will look soo sick when she is done! I honestly believe that this car would make a real cool street rod or custom car, and one day will become a classic! these are great cars for little money, you wont regret getting one. These cars are real jems, and i share my experience with this car with everyone on this forum proudly. I hope one day to bring my car into a car show, and i really look forward to working on my next project for this car too, witch is ordering and installing custom lowering springs if i can get them from Eaton Detroit Spring Co., she would look soo slick and run soo smooth with those springs since they are designed from the original factory blueprints. I can go on forever talking lol, its an awesome car.

  17. ashley b. says:

    I am going tomorrow to buy one of these cars I am paying 500 for it and the only thing wrong with it is the heater core I think. I don’t need to worry about fixin it until it gets cold so….I didn’t even know what kind of car I was going to buy until today. A friend told me about it cuz I am desperate for a car and I am going tomorrow to buy it. The only thing i know about it is that its black and is a buick delta older car. so we shall see tomorrow

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