CC Capsule: 1971 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale – A Real G-Ride


(first posted 7/27/2013)   Tom Klockau’s post about a ’74 Delta 88 Royale convertible last weekend reminded me of my own photos of a ’71 Delta 88 Royale taken a couple of years ago. It was somebody’s fair-weather driver, and it appeared regularly in the parking lot at work during that summer.


Eagle-eyed readers will remember a couple of photos of this Delta from my recent Cars on Film on Instagram post. Most of these photos were shot with various film cameras, and a couple are from my old Palm Pre–either way, this is one photogenic car!


I love these enormous tail lights, but generally I’m not a huge fan of GM’s 1971-76 full-sizers, which were floaty bloatmobiles. If I had to choose one of them, I’d take a ’71 hardtop coupe from any GM division, although I think the Olds wears the body best.


This Delta looks great in Nordic Blue and Super Stock wheels.  Whoever bought it optioned it well.

It came standard with G-Ride (featuring Super Shocks) and Flo-Thru Ventilation, natch. Those GM marketeers could sure slather on the meaningless names. Of course, “G ride” has a whole different meaning today (I must admit that I thought briefly of taking just that kind of G-ride in this car).


However, I’ve never been a big fan of the new-for-1971 wraparound dash. Really, did they have to place the radio behind the steering wheel for maximum inconvenience?


Fortunately, I’m content just to stare at the lovely details of this car. While it could be a pampered survivor, or perhaps was restored several years back, it’s not perfect. Up close, you can see little problems, like chipped paint above the headlight bezel and that some of the trim pieces don’t line up. Of course, here at CC we embrace such imperfections.


Just for good measure, here’s one more photo of the Delta’s delightful tail. I took this one with a Polaroid camera, the kind where you peel off the print from the backing paper. With this Delta, I just kept going back for more–and I’m glad I did, because it didn’t come back the next summer.