I did some reading on this car.. that is, of course, the Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight Royale. The results extend my own observations thus far. Most reviews of this car are fairly glowing. It's very reliable, quiet, powerful, big, comfortable, and gets good gas mileage for all that (near 30mpg highway). Most repairs listed were over 150k miles, and apparently it's easy to repair. Many mentions of 200k+... one reviewer's is at 310k miles. Several people who finally got rid of them to wish they hadn't.
I found recurring mentions of warped rotors, which I'd already suspected I have (obvious wheel-speed pulsing when braking). I'll be (pleasantly) surprised if it's something else. Brakes are a weak point in general; I suspect I'll be putting some money into them. Others are more minor... the power windows also tend to slow to a crawl with age, etc. It's funny how all such design flaws become common knowledge over time. Love that knowledge network.
I'll let the owners talk. Some fun quotes:
Great acceleration and honestly a bulletproof powertrain. I have seriously abused this car and it has withstood it all. The transmission is world class. I have towed 6'x12' U-haul trailers, multiple vehicles on car dollies, 1000 lbs of sod, etc... with no problems. Once I got stuck in a snow drift and proceeded to throw neutral slams (rev in neutral and then throw into drive) until it inched me out of the snow.
This car is a tank. I learned how to drive with it and have been with the car since 1996. It amazingly survived being hit by oncoming traffic twice, with barely a dent. Has been very reliable, just basic, expected repairs necessary. Very roomy car inside and quite comfortable for long trips.
The most reliable, comfortable, and awesome sedan ever built.
Styling for this car does not do justice to the power plant under the hood. Oldsmobile should stay in business, it is obvious they are one of top ranking American built cars. I suppose the name, Oldsmobile, is not appealing to some. I guess people can't look beyond the name of the manufacturer and see what good cars they make.
If you have a Delta 88, treasure it. My personal opinion – treat it like a king (or queen, if you personify your car as a woman) and settle for nothing less.
What things have gone wrong with the car? Absolutely nothing! General comments? This car ROCKS!
It seems this car may suit me better than I thought!
There is one mention of the dash being an "unfortunate throwback to an earlier age". :) There are a couple amusing requests for Ford Tempos to eat the Olds' 210 hp. Apparently it races well.
[Used] American cars are undervalued. Various asian companies, via warranties and/or immacualte track record, are maintaining what I consider near-retail prices in the used market. You can easily spend $10k+ on a used Honda and still get a fairly basic car. I think what it comes down to is a lot of customers looking for the sure thing in reliability. The least risk possible, 'cos let's face it: car repairs suck. I respect that, but within limits! Perhaps I'll change my mind over time, but as a bargain-hunter tried and true, I prefer to see the sure thing as a mythical beast and aim instead for good odds. The reason I qualify "used" on this discussion is because it accounts for all my experience, and because a few years have a tendency to weed out the lemony flavors which earned American cars their bad reputation. This phenomenon is not specific to cars - it's one of the reasons I love used goods. Simply put: If it were going to break, it would have by now.
Anyway, right now I'm rather glad few people want these American cars. ;)