AJ’s Car of the Day: 1966 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Holiday Hardtop Two-Door Coupe

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1966 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Holiday Hardtop Two-Door Coupe

Car: Oldsmobile Delta 88 Holiday Hardtop Two-Door Coupe

Year: 1966

What makes it special: The Oldsmobile 88 was sold and produced from 1949 until 1999. From 1950 to 1974 the 88 was the division’s top-selling line, particularly the entry-level models such as the 88 and Dynamic 88. The 88 series was also an image leader for Oldsmobile, particularly in the early years when it was one of the best performing automobiles thanks to its relatively small size, light weight and advanced overhead-valve high-compression V8 engine. This engine, originally designed for the larger C-bodied and more luxurious 98 series, also replaced the straight-8 on the smaller B-bodied 78.

What made it famous: The B-body cars featured more rounded styling than previous years with Coke-bottle profiles and semi-fastback rooflines on Holiday two-door hardtop coupes. Also introduced this year was a new 425 cubic-inch Super Rocket V8 with horsepower ratings ranging from 300 to 370 depending on carburation and compression ratio. The new 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic transmission with torque converter replaced the Roto Hydramatic used since 1961. Also new to the option list on all B-body cars was a 4-speed manual transmission with Hurst floor shifter, which was a seldom-ordered offering. Few styling changes other than revised grilles and tail sections marked the 1966 full-sized Oldsmobiles.

Why I would want one: It’s a big car, but the styling makes it feel more custom and muscle car than land yacht. Just a good-looking, big car.

Fun fact: With the large, high performance V8, the Oldsmobile 88 is widely considered to be the first muscle car, although this title is disputed.