Oldsmobile Eighty Eight

Muscle car fans deem the 1949 Rocket 88 to be the first of the muscle car breed, Oldsmobile’s engineers fitted it with a high compression V8 engine originally destined for its bigger sedans. It won six out of nine NASCAR races in its first year of competition.

Year to Year Changes

1949 Futuramic 88:

The new "88" used the same new Futuramic B-body platform as the straight-6 engined 76 model but, paired with the new 303 cu in (5.0 L) Rocket V8 engine producing 135 hp. The 1949 model was equipped with an ignition key and a starter push-button to engage the starter. The car was equipped with an oil bath air cleaner. At the bottom edge of the front fender directly behind the front wheel was a badge that said "Futuramic" which identified an Oldsmobile approach to simplified driving, and the presence of an automatic transmission. V8 Oldsmobiles were automatic-only in 1949 as Oldsmobile lacked a manual gearbox that could handle the torque of the new engine.

1950 88:
In 1950, Oldsmobile offered a modified Cadillac manual gearbox for V8 models. The 88 now outsold the six-cylinder 76 lineup, which was dropped entirely after the 1950 model year. Styling changes for the 1950 model include the replacement of a two-piece windshield with a one-piece unit and the addition of the Holiday hardtop coupe to the line.

1951 88/Super 88:
For 1951, the 88 was now the entry-level Olds. An in-house manual transmission replaced the modified Cadillac gearbox, manual shift became increasingly rare in Oldsmobiles and normally could only be obtained by special order.
New was the more upscale Super 88 line which included restyled rear body panels, a more luxurious interior, and a slightly longer 120-inch wheelbase as opposed to the 119.5-inch wheelbase which had been standard since the 88's introduction. The station wagon was discontinued and would not reappear until 1957. I-beam frame was new. Hydraulic power windows and seats were optional.

1952 DeLuxe 88/Super 88:
In 1952, the base "DeLuxe 88" shared the Super 88s rear body panels and wheelbase, and came with a Rocket V8 and two-barrel carburetor while Super 88s came with a new four-barrel carburetor upping output to 160 hp. Otherwise, mechanical features were unchanged with styling changes of new grilles, taillights, and interior revisions. New was the optional automatic headlight control.
* - Some sites list 1953 as the only year for DeLuxe 88, however Olds brochures do show 1952 88's named as "DeLuxe 88".

1953 DeLuxe 88/Super 88:
For 1953, the base 88 was named "DeLuxe 88" for the 2nd and last time, while the Super 88 continued as a more upscale version. Engines and transmission offerings were the same as last year. Late in the 1953 model year, fire destroyed GM's Hydra-Matic plant in Livonia, Michigan, which was then the only source for Hydra-Matic transmissions. The temporary loss of Hydra-Matic production led Oldsmobile to build thousands of 1953 models with Buick 2-speed Dynaflow automatic transmissions until GM pressed its Willow Run Transmission plant into service to resume Hydra-Matic production. New options included Frigidaire air conditioning, power steering, and power brakes.

1954 88/Super 88:
The 1954 Oldsmobiles were completely restyled with longer and lower body shells and wrap-around windshields and rear windows. Wheelbases increased to 122 inches. Base models reverted to being simply called 88s after being designated as DeLuxe 88s. Super 88 was once again the top series (and above that, larger 98). The Rocket V8 was enlarged from 303 to 324 cubic inches with 88s powered by a two-barrel, 170 hp unit while Super 88s came with a 185 hp version with four-barrel carburetor. A safety padded dash became optional.

1955 88/Super 88:
1955 models were heavily facelifted with new grillework, taillights and body-side chrome. Horsepower for the Rocket V8 increased to 185 hp for 88s and 202 hp for Super 88s. Mid-year, Olds introduced a new pillarless 4-door hardtop body, dubbed the Holiday sedan, for both the 88 and Super 88 series. The 4-door Oldsmobile 88 Holiday, along with the 4-door 98 Holiday, Buick Century Riviera, and Special Riviera, were the first 4-door pillarless hardtops ever produced. Air conditioning became an option.

1956 88/Super 88:
For 1956, styling included a new split grille in front, revised taillights and deck, along with revised side chroming. Horsepower for the Rocket V8 increased to 230 hp for 88s and 240hp for Super 88s. A new four-speed Jetaway Hydra-Matic was introduced to replace the Hydra-Matic transmission used since 1940. The Jetaway Hydra-Matic retained the four forward speeds and fluid coupling unit, but added a new "Park" position to the shift quadrant. Inside, an oval speedometer replaced the round unit and a new foot-operated parking brake replaced the previous T-handle unit.

1957 Golden Rocket 88/Super 88:
In 1957 only, the basic 88 was officially named Golden Rocket 88, taken from Oldsmobile's 1956 Motorama two-passenger show car. The only badging was an "88" underneath each taillight. Also for 1957 the "J2" option was offered, with three 2-barrel carburetors, similar to the Pontiac Tri-Power. The Super 88 continued as the upscale mid-line series. Rocket V8 increased in displacement to 371 cubic inches and 277 hp for all models across the board. Three speed manual transmissions were still available (rare). Styling highlights included three-piece rear window styling utilized on some models. Oldsmobile revived station wagons with the Super 88 Fiesta being a four-door hardtop design. In 1957, Oldsmobile added a safety deep-recessed steering wheel.

1958 Dynamic 88/Super 88:
1958 model is best known in Oldsmobile as the year of the "ChromeMobile", particularly on the higher-priced Super 88. Styling was advertised by Olds as the "Mobile Look." The Dynamic 88 debuted in 1958 positioned as the entry level model below the Super 88. A new option for 1958 was a "Trans-Portable" radio that could be removed from the instrument panel through the glove compartment and used as a portable radio for beaches, picnics, etc. thanks to portable batteries. A revised instrument panel was highlighted by a new deep-dish steering wheel with "horn bars" replacing the long-standing horn ring still common during that period.

1959 Dynamic 88/Super 88:
The 88 series was given longer, lower and wider styling on a GM B-body chassis. 88 shared its appearance with the top-model Olds 98. Styling highlights were promoted as the "Linear Look," included six-window styling on four-door pillared sedans, glassy semi-fastback rooflines on Holiday coupes and flat-blade rooflines with thin windshield and C-pillars on Holiday sedans which created a large open greenhouse effect. Two-door hardtops were called "Holiday Scenicoupes," whereas four-door hardtops were called "Holiday Sport Sedans." Many 1959 model cars featured bigger and sharper fins, Olds flattened theirs horizontally and reduced chrome for a cleaner look. Wheelbases on 88 models increased by one inch to 123 inches. A larger, 394 cubic-inch Rocket V8 with four-barrel carburation rated at 315 hp was standard on the Super 88. The lower-priced Dynamic 88 retained the two-barrel 265 hp 371 cubic-inch '57–58 Rocket V8, with a 300 hp four-barrel version optional.

1960 Dynamic 88/Super 88:
A simpler bold new grille and revised rear design with flatter, horizontal tailfins and new taillights highlighted the 1960 makeover. Power for Super 88 models remained the same, while Dynamic 88s had their 371 ci Rocket V8 detuned to 240 hp, where a lower compression ratio accommodated lower-priced regular gasoline. Other changes included a revised instrument panel and a slimmer transmission tunnel for improved interior space.

1961 Dynamic 88/Super 88:
An all-new body and chassis with perimeter "Guard Beam" frame and all-coil suspension replacing the previous leaf springs highlighted the 1961 full-sized Oldsmobiles. All full-sized Oldsmobiles were now powered by the 394-cubic-inch Rocket V8 with the Dynamic 88 getting a two-barrel, 250 hp version that used regular gas, while the Super 88 was powered by a four-barrel "Ultra High Compression" 394 Skyrocket V8 rated at 325 hp. The Skyrocket engine was available as an extra-cost option on the Dynamic 88. A new three-speed "Roto" Hydra-matic transmission that was smaller and lighter than the previous four-speed unit was introduced as an option.

Wheelbases remained the same, overall length and width were reduced slightly from last year. Body design focused on a trimmer, fuselage design. At the bottom of the rear quarters, a "skeg"—a downward fin—jutted outboard to counterbalance the rearward point of the quarter panel. Round tail lights, one on each side, were set into the rear cove. For 1961, GM retired compound curve windshields introduced in 1954. Instead of adopting the cleaner straight angled "A" pillar, Harley Earl, who was nearing the end of his tenure at GM, pushed for a small curved switch back, used in 1961–62, at the outboard base of the windshield.

Models had thicker pillars than the extremely thin ones found on previous generation. Holiday Coupe 2-door hardtop continued the "bubble top" look. The 1961 Holiday Sedan 4-door hardtop had thicker, parallelogram-shaped rear pillar than its predecessor. The extreme "floating roof" look of the 1959–1960 4-door hardtop, with wrap-around panoramic rear window and overhanging roof, had been passed on to the pillared Celebrity Sedan—which had switched to a four-window greenhouse (was six-window the previous year).

Mid-year, a sporty and luxurious convertible called the Oldsmobile Starfire was introduced. It was based on the Super 88 convertible and featured leather bucket seats, center console with floor shifter for the Hydra-matic transmission (the first U.S. full-sized production car to feature an automatic transmission with a console-mounted floor shifter) and many other standard items such as power steering, brakes, windows and driver's seat. Starfire was powered by an even higher-performance version of the "Ultra High Compression" 394-cubic-inch Starfire V8 rated at 335 hp.

1962 Dynamic 88/Super 88:
For 1962, the Oldsmobile 88 received a 2nd-year facelift that included a revised grille and front bumper. Length increased somewhat to give the '62 Olds a longer look. Changes to the rear included removal of the rear fender skegs, and change to oval taillights, one on each side for Dynamic and Super 88 models. 1962 Starfires received two oval lights per side. Changes to the greenhouse included new roof lines for the four-door Celebrity Sedan—which relinquished the panoramic rear window—and for the Holiday Coupe two-door hardtop, which received a new fashionable convertible-inspired roofline abandoning the "bubble-top" appearance. The two-door sedan was discontinued. Fiesta station wagon was only partially restyled, the 3-seat wagon was now only available as Dynamic 88.

Engines were uprated to 280 hp for the standard engine in the Dynamic 88 thanks to a higher compression ratio that demanded the use of premium fuel (a regular-fuel 260 hp version was offered as a no-cost option), 330 hp for the "Skyrocket" V8 standard on Super 88 and 345 hp for the top Starfire Rocket V8.

1962 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88s and Dynamic 88 Fiesta wagons each had their own upholstery patterns in single and dual-tone colors. Super 88s received tri-tone upholstery and trim. Heaters became standard equipment on all models, and the push-button controls were located to the right of the steering wheel column. Vehicles not equipped with air conditioning received push-button vacuum-operated fresh air vents, called "Summer Ventilation", which replaced the pull level type vents. This control panel was located on the left of the steering column. Cars equipped with factory air conditioning sported round dash vents for the delivery of A/C airflow. Dynamic 88s received aqua dashboard panel inserts with "OLDSMOBILE" lettering, while Super 88s received panels with that model's nomenclature on the insert.

1963 Dynamic 88/Super 88:
All full-sized Oldsmobiles underwent extensive body and trim revisions. Underlying basic body structure and rooflines were carried over from '62 with new exterior sheet metal. The Starfire gained an exclusive razor-edged roof treatment utilizing a concave backlight similar to that of the new Pontiac Grand Prix. Different rear quarter panels meant Oldsmobile 88s and the more expensive 98s were more differentiated than before. 1963 also brought about GM's across-the-board adoption of the straight angled windshield "A" pillar on all full-size production vehicles eliminating the unusual 1961 through 1962 reverse-curve treatment. Models and drivetrains in both the Dynamic 88 and Super 88 series were unchanged from 1962. Options that year included a "tilt-away" steering wheel that could be adjusted to six positions, six-way power seats, AM/FM radio and cruise control.

1964 Jetstar 88/Jetstar I/Dynamic 88/Super 88:
Sharp-edged theme continued for 1964, Oldsmobile's full-sized cars received a face-lift that included revised trim, grilles and taillights. New was the price leader for the full-sized Oldsmobile series, the Jetstar 88, it used the same full-size body as other 88 models but also shared key components with that year's redesigned F-85 intermediate. The Jetstar 88 used the smaller 330 V8 and Jetaway (Super Turbine 300) two-speed automatic transmission in place of the 394-cubic-inch V8 and Roto Hydramatic found in other Oldsmobiles, and 9.5-inch drum brakes which were less effective than the 11-inch drums found on other full-sized Olds models.

Oldsmobile also introduced the Jetstar I for 1964. Not part of the Jetstar 88 line, the Jetstar I instead was a competitor to the Pontiac Grand Prix in the same price range. Jetstar I's shared the notchback body style with the Starfire along with its more powerful 345 hp 394-cubic-inch Rocket V8 engine, but with less standard equipment and a lower price.

With the introduction of the Jetstar 88, the Dynamic 88 models were elevated a rung up the ladder for 1964. Only the Dynamic 88s could be in five body styles: four-door pillared Celebrity Sedan and hardtop Holiday Sedan, two-door hardtop Holiday Coupe, convertible and 2- or 3-seat Fiesta station wagon. Jetstar 88 didn't offer a station wagon.

1964 was the last for the Super 88 series, which was limited to the two four-door body styles—the Celebrity Sedan and Holiday Sedan.

1964 was the last year for Olds full-sized station wagons. Olds introduced a new Vista Cruiser wagon in mid-1964 that featured a raised roofline and skylights over the rear seat and cargo area which used a six-inch stretched wheelbase version of the intermediate F-85/Cutlass.

1965 Jetstar 88/Jetstar I/Dynamic 88/Delta 88:
The Delta name in 1965 was an upper trim line of the Dynamic 88, the "Dynamic 88" Delta, which replaced the previous top-series B-body Olds, the Super 88. Early '65s were referred to as "Dynamic 88" Deltas, but within a few weeks after the start of the model year, Olds began marketing as a separate series known as "Delta 88". Other full-sized Olds model lines included the low-priced Jetstar 88, the volume-selling Dynamic 88, sporty Jetstar I and the sporty and luxurious Starfire, all riding on the same 123-inch wheelbase.

1966 Jetstar 88/Dynamic 88/Delta 88:
Few styling changes other than revised grilles and tail sections marked the 1966 full-sized Oldsmobiles. The sporty Jetstar I series was dropped with a lower-priced Starfire only offered as a hardtop coupe taking its place. All other series' 88 models were carried over from 1965 with a new convertible added to the Delta 88 line and the same bodystyle dropped from the Jetstar 88 line.

A new option for all senior Oldsmobiles was GM's automatic Comfortron Air Conditioning system. Comfortron permitted the driver to automatically set a year-round temperature at a constant level. Another new option for 1966 was a Tilt-and-Telescopic steering wheel that could be vertically adjusted to six different positions as well as telescoped outward from the instrument panel to improve driver comfort.

1967 Delmont 88/Delta 88:
For 1967, all GM full-size cars received a mid cycle freshening that featured fuller body panels. More rounded styling cues marked all 1967 Olds 88 models which received longer hoods and shorter decks and more sweeping fastback rooflines on 88 Holiday coupes to emulate the styling of Olds' front-wheel-drive flagship, the Toronado. Olds 88's received a three part front grille made op of a center prow flanked on either side by headlight pods. Dual headlights were split apart by parking lights. Taillights for 88's featured a waterfall design. Interiors made extensive use of wood-tone panels, and bright metal finishes were kept to a minimum.

The Delmont 88 was introduced for 1967 and produced for just two years, replacing both the Jetstar 88 and Dynamic 88 model lines. The Delta 88 gained a new sub series called the Delta 88 Custom which had a plusher interior than the standard Delta 88 featuring a Strato bench seat in the Holiday Sedan or, in the Holiday Coupe, a choice of either Strato bucket seats with console or Strato bench seat with armrest. The Delta Custom Holiday Coupe was essentially a successor to the former 88-based Starfire series offered in previous years but with a standard 88 semi-fastback roofline rather than the Starfire's squared off roof with concave rear window. Another styling cue for the Delta Custom was the addition of a second set of tail light reflectors set into the lower portion of the bumper.

New options for 1967 included front disc brakes, stereo 8-track tape player and a Climate Combustion Control system for Rocket V8s designed to regulate carburetor air temperature, boost fuel economy, speed choke warm up and eliminate winter icing to permit easier starting and more efficient operation in cold weather. The same assortment of 330 and 425 cubic-inch V8 engines were carried over from 1966, as were most transmission offerings except the optional four-speed manual with Hurst shifter, which was discontinued due to low buyer interest.

1968 Delmont 88/Delta 88:
For 1968, the overall design was a carry over. New front end with split grille design that would become an Olds trademark in coming years highlighted all 1968 full-sized Oldsmobiles with horizontal lines on 88's and egg-crate patterns on Ninety-Eights, along with concealed windshield wipers. The Delmont 88 got a larger 350 V8 as standard equipment and the optional V8 that was standard on Delta 88/Custom and Ninety-Eight was up to 455 cubic inches with a 390 hp W-33 option primarily designed as part of the division's police package available as an RPO on all 88's. Optional on all 88s was a four-barrel 455 rated at 365 hp from the larger C-body Ninety-Eight. Both the 350 and 455 two-barrel Rocket V8 engines were designed to use regular gasoline while the optional 350 and 455 four-barrel carburated "Ultra High Compression" Super Rocket V8s required premium fuel.

1969 Delta 88:
All full-sized Oldsmobiles were completely restyled for 1969 with more squared off bodylines and rooflines for the Holiday coupes and sedans, and ventless front windows on all models. Wheelbases were increased by one-inch to 124 inches. 1969 models were extensively restyled, but the basic 1965 chassis design and inner-body structure was retained along with the roofline on the pillared four-door Town sedans.

The 1969 88 series dropped the Delmont name, leaving Delta 88 as the base model of the series. The Delta 88 Royale trim, only available on a Holiday Coupe, was added as line-topper above the Delta 88 Custom. It came standard with a more luxurious interior featuring a notchback vinyl upholstered bench seat with armrest or Strato bucket seats with optional center console. For safety, a ceiling mounted shoulder belt was offered in the front seats for both the driver and right passenger. This arrangement provided five belt buckles in the front bench seat.
The standard engine in the base Delta 88 was a 350 cu in, low compression ratio (9.0:1) Rocket V8 with a Rochester two-barrel carburetor that was rated at 250 hp and ran on leaded regular 94 RON gasoline. Standard on the Delta 88 Custom and Royale models and optional on the base series was a low compression two-barrel version of the 455 cubic-inch Rocket V8 rated at 310 hp designed to use regular fuel. Optional on all Delta 88s was the four-barrel Ultra High Compression 455 cubic-inch Super Rocket V8 rated at 365 hp. Top option was the 390 hp version of the four-barrel 455 V8 designed to run on 98 RON octane fuel available in all Delta 88 models as the W-33 option.

The two-speed Jetaway automatic previously offered as an option on small engine 88 models was dropped in favor of the GM three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 transmission previously only offered with the larger engines. A new GM-designed Variable-Ratio Power Steering system was an option.

Inside, headrests were now standard equipment and a new instrument panel included square instruments replacing the round instruments of previous years along with a push-button operated ashtray and rotary glove compartment knob, as well as heating/air conditioning controls relocated from the center of the dash to the left of the steering wheel near the lights and wiper switches. High-beam light indicator was a red rocket located on the dash. A steering column-mounted ignition switch also locked the steering wheel when not in use – a feature found on all 1969-model General Motors passenger cars, a year before locking steering columns were required by federal mandate.

1970 Delta 88:
Only detail changes were made for the 1970 full-sized Oldsmobiles including a new split grille that no longer extended to surround the headlights and a slightly revised rear section. Powertrain selections were carried over with both 350 and 455 cubic-inch Rocket V8s now featuring "Positive Valve Rotators" for longer engine life and more efficient operation. A new antenna impregnated into the windshield was introduced this year that replaced the previous fender-mounted unit and was included as standard equipment on all cars equipped with a factory radio. New option this year was a wiper/washer switch mounted in the shift lever knob. Optional radio was a stereo AM-FM radio and a lower dash mounted eight track tape player.

1971 Delta 88:
All GM B-body full-size cars were completely restyled and enlarged for 1971, but continued to ride on a 124-inch wheelbase. The 88 was available as a pillared four-door Town Sedan, two-door and four-door Holiday hardtops and a convertible. Series models for 1971 included the base Delta 88, Delta 88 Custom and Delta 88 Royale. There was new rooflines with a more squared off greenhouse for Town sedans, and more rounded lines for Holiday sedans and coupes.

Also new for 1971 was the Custom Cruiser station wagon, the first full-sized Olds wagon since 1964. Custom Cruiser came standard with the larger 455 Rocket V8 and utilized the disappearing clamshell tailgate of other full-size GM wagons.

Engine offerings again included 350 and 455-cubic-inch Rocket V8s Vented power front disc brakes and variable-ratio power steering were now standard equipment on all 88 models. During the 1971 model year, the Turbo Hydra-matic 400 transmission was added to the standard equipment list.

Other highlights for 1971 included a wrap-around instrument panel shared with Ninety-Eight and Toronado models (Toronados had a slightly smoother upper leading edge design) that was highlighted by a large square speedometer and all controls within easy reach of the driver, and a one-year only Flo-Through ventilation system that utilized vents in the trunklid.

This was the last model year in which a 3-speed manual transmission was offered on full-sized Oldsmobiles.

1972 Delta 88:
Delta Custom series was dropped and the Royale series was expanded to include four-door Town and Holiday sedans. Only minor trim changes were made this year that included revised "waterfall" grilles in front and four-segment taillights in the rear. Inside, a revised "Flo-Through" ventilation system utilizing vents in the doorjambs replaced the 1971 version which utilized vents in the trunklid.

1973 Delta 88:
Wider and lower split waterfall grilles flanked a new federally mandated 5 mph front bumper on all Delta 88 models and larger one-piece rounded rectangular taillights replaced the four-segmented lights of 1972. Engine offerings included a standard 350 Rocket V8 with two-barrel carburetor or optional 455 Rocket V8 with four-barrel carburetion and 215 hp with single exhaust or 250 hp with dual exhausts. Model offerings were the same as 1972 with the Delta 88 Royale series now including the sole Olds convertible offering following the demise of the intermediate Cutlass Supreme convertible after 1972.

1974 Delta 88:
A 5 mph rear bumper was added and taillights reverted to a four-segment design similar to 1972 and the front grilles were narrowed and raised to hood level similar to 1971–72 models. New rooflines were featured on Holiday hardtop coupes with large fixed triangular side windows in the widened "C" pillar. Olds retained a small roll-down rear window. As Oldsmobile completely discontinued two-barrel carbureted engines this year, a new 350 four-barrel Rocket V8 (175 hp) became standard equipment with the 455 available as an option. Other highlights this year included an all-new flat instrument panel shared with Ninety-Eight and Toronado models with horizontal sweep speedometer and "Message Center" system of warning lights replacing the wrap-around dash of previous years. A new and seldom-ordered option available on all full-sized Olds models and Toronados was a driver's-side airbag – among the first to be offered in a production automobile. The Delta 88 Royale ragtop was again the only convertible offered by Olds.

1975 Delta 88:
Detail changes for 1975 included revised grilles and taillights along with new rear quarter windows for pillared and Holiday sedans. The same assortment of 350 and 455-cubic-inch Rocket V8s were still offered along with a one-year-only (and seldom-ordered) option of a Pontiac-built 400-cubic-inch V8 with two-barrel carburetor and 170 hp. All engines were hooked up to a catalytic converter that not only mandated the use of unleaded gasoline but also spelled the end of dual exhaust systems. 1975 was the final year for the Delta 88 Royale convertible.

1976 Delta 88:
For the final year of this generation, all Olds 88s received revised grille work, rectangular headlamps and parking lamps directly below instead of in the bumper, with Delta 88 Royale models also getting spring-loaded stand-up hood ornaments. It was also the final year for the Holiday hardtop coupes and sedans, along with the 455 Rocket V8 and the optional airbag system that would generally become universal on production cars and trucks 15 years later. A one-year only option on Delta 88 Royale Holiday coupes was the Royale Crown Landau package that included a stainless steel roof bar, padded rear quarter vinyl roof, special hood ornament and color-keyed wheelcovers.

1977 Delta 88:
Delta 88s and other GM B-body cars were considerably downsized from their predecessors in length and wheelbase and nearly 900 lb lighter in weight. 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. 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.

1978 Delta 88:
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.

1979 Delta 88:
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.

1980 Delta 88:
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 hp. All other engines except the now-discontinued 403 were carried over from 1979.

1981 Delta 88:
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. 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.

1982 Delta 88:
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.

1983 Delta 88:
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.

1984 Delta 88:
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.

1985 Delta 88:
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

1986 Delta 88:
The Delta 88 switched platforms from the GM B platform to the smaller front-wheel drive H platform, with a wheelbase of only 110.8 inches.

1987 Delta 88:
The headlights changed from square sealed beam quads to integrated regular/high beam composite lamps. Due to the federal mandate to add passive restraints, door mounted seat belts were added for 1987.

1988 Delta 88:
Rear shoulder belts were added.

1989 Eighty Eight:
The "Delta" name was dropped, as was the hood ornament, leaving the model to simply become the "Eighty Eight," now spelled out instead of using the "88" in numerical form, and deleted the amber colour from the taillights. A driver airbag became an available option.

1990 Eighty Eight:
The Eighty Eight was given a mild facelift in 1990, eliminating the former chromed grille for a body-colored fascia with four slots and the Oldsmobile Rocket logo. In the rear, new taillights and backup lights extended across the body; once again, chrome trim was deleted. Minor revisions were also made to the interior. Part of the door panel was revised and 1990 also offered new cloth for the seats. The Pillow Cushion seats on the Brougham were deleted. A revised armrest console was also added, this one provided more room. As an option was a revised electronic climate control system. A new choice of alloy wheels was an option.

1991 Eighty Eight:
This was the last year for the coupe. The model range during this time was the standard Eighty Eight, the Eighty Eight Royale, and the Eighty Eight Royale Brougham, in ascending order.

1992 Eighty Eight:
Olds Eighty Eight along with GM’s front-drive full-size sedans–Buick LeSabre, Pontiac Bonneville all dropped their boxy look for new aerodynamic styling in 1992. While the wheelbase was unchanged (at 110.8 inches), the new car was 4.1 inches longer. With the extra room, Oldsmobile was able to increase the interior dimensions and add 1.2 cubic feet of trunk space. Under the hood sits the same overhead-valve 3.8-liter V6 paired with an electronic 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission. However, GM upped horsepower to 170. A driver-side airbag was standard and antilock brakes optional.

1993 Eighty Eight:
Antilock brakes become standard on all versions of the 1993 Eighty Eight. The 3.8-liter V6 remains the only engine, but torque rises slightly to 225 pound-feet at 3200 rpm. Traction control, introduced last year on the sporty LSS, becomes an available option for the LS model as well.

1994 Eighty Eight:
A redesigned dashboard, complete with a passenger-side airbag, is the primary highlight for 1994. The new dash has a more compact control layout and far fewer buttons than the previous unit. Exterior changes include a new body-color grille, plus new headlamps and cornering lamps.

1995 Eighty Eight:
To spur interest in its new Eighty Eight, a revised standard engine is added, along with a supercharged V6 as an option. The new engine is a reengineered version of the previous 3.8-liter V6, now called the Series II 3800 V6. It delivers 205 horsepower–35 more than before–and 230 pound-feet torque, up 5 from last year’s version. Also, a new 225-horsepower supercharged version is an available option for the sporty LSS model. Guidestar, the first on-board GPS system to be offered on a US production car was available as a $1,995 option.

1996 Eighty Eight:
Changes to the 1996 Eighty Eight include a mild facelift and a more-powerful optional engine. Now available for the LSS is a more-powerful supercharged engine, now providing 240 hp, 15 more than before. This year’s revised look features a twin-nostril grille, new front fenders, taillight, and headlights.

1997 Eighty Eight/Regency:
Oldsmobile added a new deluxe Regency model to the Eight Eight model line for 1997 to help compensate for the loss of the Ninety Eight model, which was dropped. The Regency comes fully loaded and wears the same front fenders, chrome grille, and whitewall tires as the departed Ninety Eight.

1998 Eighty Eight/Regency:
No changes are made to the Eighty Eight for ’98.

1999 Eighty Eight/50th Anniversary Eighty Eight:
Eighty Eight celebrated its 50th and last birthday in 1999. Changes were limited to an Anniversary edition and the addition of GM’s OnStar satellite/cell phone communication system. The 50th Anniversary edition took the place of the Regency as the 'fully loaded' Eighty Eight model, this year with 16-inch aluminum wheels, and exterior gold trim.