Saturday, July 11, 2015

Let's kick off the weekend with the Tasmanian Devil!

I was on a long hot & humid stroll to Sunset Park the other day when I walked up to this yawn-inducing lump. I was about to pass it by when I realized who I was messing with:
The Taz!
I had to take a closer look after that name drew me in and I noticed the horrific condition of the roof. Yikes! I think if you crumpled aluminum foil into a ball and tried to flatten it again you'd get a texture like this.
Alright now that it has my attention, this is a 1980 Oldsmobile Delta 88 in straight-up BLACK. This car was born into one of the most woeful environments for domestic automobile production in history. The body was still huge, the horsepower was at an all time low, and technology was so lacking that it has more in common with a car built in 1940 than 1990.
Believe it or not this year heralded a newer, more aerodynamic body style than the years previous. It really amounts to softening the edges of a brick though.
Each time I crept a little closer more details emerged; plastic faux wheels, missing trim, buckled hood due to a front end knock, and of course a bat symbol in the rear (also faux) vent window.
It's been a long time since I encountered a good tape repair! I always applaud the efforts of those brave few who go this route. Add a twist tie to hold the bumper trim in place and it's as good as new!
Oh man this angle just shows the sad eyes of an old car forced to continue living in a modern world. Some do it with glamour and poise. Others wear there leisure suit persona with an embarrassed air.
The split grill was an Olds trademark from 1968 right up through its Great Recession termination as a nameplate. The dimensions of this beast are a holdover from the '70s, and they would remain as such with only minor changes through 1986 when the 88 line would shrink dramatically and go to a front wheel drive system. This was still body on frame rear wheel drive old tech. The first computer for helping assist with efficiency wouldn't arrive until 1981.
It was a really hot NYC day when these pics were shot so I can only imagine the temp inside an all black car with the windows firmly rolled up.
Evidence of the suns power is apparent in the destroyed dashboard of this rig. Big shout-out to the subtle aluminum antennae repair! Even more subtle is the black substance at the base which could be anything from melted electricians tape to black caulk. That damage to the hood is probably a result of whatever accident made the other side buckle.
Ah yes the foil tape shows up again, this time on the mirror! So diligent of the owners to run around this elder statesman fixing everything they can find wrong with it.
Just a 3/4 view of this colossus.
elta 88 is all that remains of the once proud Delta 88 moniker. The 88 series was introduced by Oldsmobile all the way back in 1949 and continued up through the 1999 model year. For most of its run it was a full-size car with only the Ninety-Eight above it in the hierarchy. The standard engine choice for this ride was a terribly underpowered 6 cylinder, followed by a succession of V8s. This one most likely has either the 307 or a 350, neither of which was fast or efficient.
This roof! What exactly has happened to this poor roof in its history? The vinyl is kaput for sure, but the trim looks like cake icing. ANYTHING would look better than to keep this but whatever.
In 1980 that Royale designation basically meant plusher seating.
A friend of mine in high school had an '83 Delta 88 and it went through 3 water pumps inside of a year. While this may be due to the terrible gas station mechanic they used I always blamed the car. About the best thing I can say about it is that we once tied an abandoned boat to it and dragged it down dirt roads until it broke free and crashed into the woods. This is NOT recommended as a classic car choice at all (and this is coming from an Oldsmobile lover whose first car was an '83 Cutlass). I did enjoy seeing this one though, if only for the myriad hooptie repairs.

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