1971-1976 OLDSMOBILE full size


The ultimate GM full size in Oldsmobile guise was outsold by its Buick equivalent since 1967, though B-body Delta 88 would soon outsell its Buick equivalents.  These GM models were the last with the regular body styles of sedan, hardtop, convertible and wagon.  The Delta 88 would no longer reach the 250,000-mark attained for 1969. 

The Delta 88 Royale Hardtop Coupe had its formal roof with small back window only in 1971, after which it adopted the regular roof of the Delta 88 Custom Hardtop Coupe, due to slow sales.  By 1974, the roof of the Delta 88 Coupe received a large opera window, and the Ninety-Eight was given a hood ornament.  The following year, the Ninety-Eight 2-door would lose its traditional hardtop roof, and the Delta 88 and Ninety-Eight 4-door hardtops received an opera window in the C-pillar.  Oldsmobile announced that it was the last year for the full size (Delta 88) convertible, resulting in nearly doubling its sales.  The Delta 88 sedan was given a revised roof and larger rear side windows.  Radial tires became standard equipment.  The Ninety-Eight received rectangular headlights, followed by the Delta 88 and Custom Cruiser in 1976, with the Royale getting a hood ornament.

Under the skin:

Oldsmobiles now rode on regular fuel.  The 3-speed manual transmission was only available until Spring 1971.  Power front disc brakes and variable-ratio power steering were standard from the start.  In December 1973, an airbag became optional on selected models, but not for too long.  From 1974, only 4-barrel engines were available to compensate the lost power because of the upcoming catalytic converter by 1975, but the Canadians could opt for a 455 cid 2-barrel.  A 400 cid Pontiac engine was a credit option for the Custom Cruiser and Ninety-Eight in 1975.





American Cars 1962-1977