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Thread: Oldsmobile 88 (8th gen) 1977-1985

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    Oldsmobile 88 (8th gen) 1977-1985

    The Oldsmobile 88 (a.k.a. Eighty-Eight) was a full-size car sold by the Oldsmobile division of General Motors and produced from 1949 until 1999. From 1950 to 1974 the 88 was the division's top-selling line, particularly the entry-level models such as the 88 and Dynamic 88. The 88 series was also an image leader for Oldsmobile, particularly in the early years (1949–51) when it was one of the best performing automobiles thanks to its relatively small size, light weight and advanced overhead-valve high-compression V8 engine originally designed for the larger and more luxurious 98 series but dropped into the smaller six-cylinder Oldsmobile 76 body, creating what was considered the predecessor of musclecars of the 1960s.

    A large number of variations in nomenclature were seen over this long model run—Delmont, Delta, Dynamic, Jetstar, Starfire, Super, Holiday, L/S, LSS, Celebrity, and Royale were used at various times with the 88 badge, and Fiesta appeared on some station wagons in the 1950s and 1960s. The name was more commonly shown as numbers in the earlier years ("Delta 88", for example) and was changed to spell-out "Eighty Eight" starting in 1989.

    The Oldsmobile Eighty Eight was produced in Wentzville, Missouri; Flint, Michigan; and Lake Orion, Michigan.

    Eight generation 1977-1985
    The 1977 Delta 88s and other GM B-body cars were considerably downsized from their predecessors in length and wheelbase (116 in (2,900 mm) – the same as the four-door 1973–77 A-body Cutlass Sedan) and nearly 900 lb (410 kg) lighter in weight, with curb weights dropping to between 3,500 and 3,600 lb (1,590 and 1,630 kg) depending on model. Other than a reduction in shoulder room, however, interior room was not adversely affected; in fact, headroom and rear seat legroom increased. Both base Delta 88 and Royale models were now only offered in two pillared body styles; a two-door coupe and a four-door Town Sedan. The 1977–1979 Custom Cruiser was now based on the Delta 88's B-body rather than the Ninety-Eight's C-body (thus also sharing the coil spring suspension, rather than the multi-leaf spring) and came with a two-way tailgate rather than the clamshell of 1971–76 models. A fuel economy gauge was optional.

    The standard engine was now a 231 cu in (3.8 L) Buick V6 with a Turbo-Hydramatic 200 automatic transmission. An Oldsmobile 260 was the base V8, followed by either a Chevrolet 350 (option code LM1) or Oldsmobile 350 (option code L34). Initially, the Oldsmobile engine came in California and high-altitude cars, the Chevrolet engine came in cars with Federal emissions equipment.[17] The Olds engine returned later in the model year. Oldsmobile's new 403 was the top engine option and came with a THM350 transmission. The use of a Chevrolet engine caused a situation known as the "Chevy-mobile" affair. GM settled with some Oldsmobile owners by offering them warranty extensions for the Chevrolet-engined Oldsmobiles, or the option of returning those cars in exchange for an Oldsmobile with a genuine Rocket V8. The "return car" option wasn't commonly chosen, because the owner had to pay GM for mileage driven, which could become expensive. This began the era of "corporate" engines, and for many years GM advertisements would include a disclaimer stating '"Oldsmobiles (or other divisions) are equipped with engines manufactured by various GM divisions, subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide."'

    As in previous years, base Delta 88 and Royale models differed mainly in exterior and interior trim. Base Deltas had a full bench seat available in cloth-and-vinyl or all-vinyl upholstery, while Royales had a notchback bench seat with armrest or optional 60/40 notchback bench, also available in cloth-and-vinyl or all-vinyl trim. All 88s featured an all-new instrument panel with a horizontal sweep speedometer and heater/air conditioning controls moved to the center of the dash above the radio from the left side of the dash, and continued with the "Message Center" bank of warning lights. The new dash was highlighted with woodgrain trim. The dimmer switch moved from the floor to the turn-signal lever.

    For 1978, a Holiday 88 coupe was added to the lineup, featuring Strato bucket seats along with console and floor shifter, Super Stock wheels and two-tone paint schemes. All 88 models received new grilles and revised taillights with drivetrains the same as 1977 except for the addition of the 350 Diesel V8 to the option list.

    The 1979 model year saw the addition of a new Delta 88 Royale Brougham series added to the line, which included plush "pillowed" seat trim similar to the Ninety-Eight. All models again received revised grilles and other minor changes. It was the last year for the 403 V8 as federal fuel-economy mandates spelled the end of larger engines in order to meet those requirements.

    For 1980, all 88s got new and more aerodynamic sheetmetal for improved fuel economy highlighted by rounded square taillights similar to mid-70s 88s, but overall dimensions stayed the same and coupes received a revised roofline. New to the engine lineup was the 307 cu in (5.0 L) Rocket V8 with four-barrel carburetor and 150 horsepower (110 kW). All other engines except the now-discontinued 403 were carried over from 1979.

    Only minor grille and taillight lens revisions highlighted the 1981 Delta 88s. The gasoline 350 Rocket V8 was dropped from the option list, leaving only the diesel version available. All other engines including the Buick 231 V6 and Oldsmobile 260 and 307 Rocket V8s were continued. All gasoline engines received GM's new Computer Command Control engine management system. This system was the forerunner of today's OBD-II which is standard on all cars sold in the United States. The system read various parameters such as vehicle speed, throttle position, engine speed, coolant temperature, and the oxygen content of the exhaust to provide the correct air/fuel mixture for any given driving condition. Also new for 1981 was GM's Turbo-Hydramatic 200-4R transmission, which added an overdrive gear and torque converter clutch (TCC) to contribute to fuel economy and engine longevity. The sporty Holiday 88 coupe was offered for the last time this year.

    The 1982 model year saw only minor trim changes for Delta 88, Royale and Royale Brougham models. The same assortment of engines/transmissions were carried over from previous years though the small 260 V8 was offered for the last time. For 1983, all Oldsmobile 88s received new grilles, hood ornaments and minor trim revisions including new steering wheels. This would be the last year for the base Delta 88 line, leaving only the Royale and Royale Brougham after this year. Engine offerings were down to three, a standard Buick 231 cubic-inch V6, or optional Oldsmobile V8s including the 307 Rocket and 350 Diesel.

    For 1984, all Delta 88s were now Royale or Royale Brougham models. Styling highlights included new grille inserts and red and amber taillights replacing the red lenses. At mid-year, a new Royale Brougham LS was added to the 88 line almost simultaneous to the introduction of a new and downsized 1985 front-wheel drive Ninety-Eight. With the Ninety-Eight being downsized and converted to front-drive, the Royale Brougham LS model of the 88 was now the largest and most luxurious rear-wheel drive car offered by Oldsmobile. Custom Cruiser wagons continued with the same styling changes found on other 88 models.

    Only minor changes marked the 1985 model, which was in its last year before a major downsizing and conversion to front-wheel-drive. The same assortment of models in the Royale, Brougham and Brougham LS continued as before. The '85 88s would be the last full-sized Oldsmobile sedans and coupes to feature rear-wheel-drive, Rocket V8 power, and body-on-frame construction. Though the 88 sedans and coupes were downsized and switched to front-drive for 1986, the Custom Cruiser station wagons would continue virtually unchanged through the 1990 model year and eventually become the only Oldsmobile model powered by an Oldsmobile Rocket V8 engine, for which production ended in 1990 after 42 years.

    Source: Wikipedia
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 11-06-2019 at 11:19 PM.
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