General Motors began its initial downsizing program in the mid-Seventies, but you wouldn’t know it by the looks of this elegant and regal 1978 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale. GM designers managed to keep that big car feel with additional head room and leg room for rear passengers, while still keeping big trunks and improving fuel mileage while vastly reducing the weight of their full-size B-body models. With just 41,480 miles on the odometer, this V-8-powered 1978 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale coupe features a rust-free body with a clean exterior and an interior that also appears to be in excellent condition. It was recently acquired by the selling dealer from the original owner who bought it new 42 years ago. For 1978, fuel economy was the key, and to provide the absolute most of it, Oldsmobile offered the 260-cu.in. V-8 that powers this Delta 88 Royale. A small-bore version of the venerable Olds 350, the 260 provided the fuel economy of the V-6 in a smoother-running, more durable package. The engine here is completely original, according to the selling dealer, and starts easily after a few pumps of the accelerator, with no smoke on startup. The GM Turbo Hydra-Matic three-speed automatic transmission is reported by the seller to also be original to this low-mileage car and “shifts perfectly and smoothly” in all gears with no issues. They may not be fast, but at highway speed, these downsized B-body vehicles are silent, composed and comfortable, thanks to the heavy isolation between the body and the frame. With 800 pounds less to carry than the B-body cars that ceased in 1976, these cars feel light and composed in comparison. The suspension here is completely original, according to the seller, with all the bushings and components that came from the factory. It’s the same situation with the brakes, with all original components that have covered just 41,480 miles since new. The selling dealer reports that the recirculating-ball Saginaw power steering system works effortlessly to turn this 88 Royale. The tires, Goodyear Integrity whitewalls, sized P205/75R15 all around, appear to be in good condition, with approximately 85 percent of the tread depth left. Like all cars from the 1970s, the Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale was prone to rust, but this example appears to have no rust on the body and only minimal exposure on the frame and chassis below. The paint appears to be in very nice condition, with just two minor cracks showing on the hood. Like most of these vehicles, the plastic bumper fillers had deteriorated, so they’ve been replaced and repainted. The landau vinyl roof also appears to be in excellent condition, as does the brightwork that surrounds it. The glass, too, looks to be in very good condition.
In 1978, the Delta 88 Royale was a luxury automobile, but you could still buy a base version of that luxury car, without all of the power accessories that come as standard equipment today. In this example, the windows and locks are manual, the air conditioning isn’t thermostatically controlled, and the headlights turn on when the driver pulls the switch. That said, this is a gorgeous red interior, seemingly without a single flaw anywhere you look. The seats, the carpet and the thin rubber GM floormats all appear to be in nearly new condition. Even the headliner is reported to be free of any sagging, rips or tears. All of the gauges, all of the lights and every function on the instrument panel works as it should, according to the seller. The radio, reported to “work perfectly,” is a Delco AM/FM stereo, with two speakers up front and two on the narrow rear package shelf.
If you’ve been in the market for the unmistakable style of a car like this 1978 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale coupe, here’s your opportunity to own one that had been very carefully and mindfully cared for by the original owner.