My first car was handed down from my mom; it was her 9-year old 1974 Oldsmobile Delta 88 coupe that my dad had bought new. It was maroon with a white vinyl top & interior and looked pretty well worn but clean. I had this car until it had about 115,000 miles. At that point it was quite rusted on the lower quarter panels and the drivers seat was ripped, but that was pretty much how most mid-70s GM cars that were driven in a winter state like Michigan ended up. I drove this car in my senior year of high school and learned how to work with the distributor and carburetor to keep it well tuned. I got rid of this car when my mom decided that it needed too many repairs and she helped me buy my first “new” car in 1985.
1974 was the last year that these cars were made without high-energy electronic ignition, steel-belted tires, and catalytic converters in the exhaust. It was fairly easy to work on too. I also learned that the convertible version of this model is quite rare with only 3,300 built and is really quite a stylish car. Prices today for a mint-conditon 1974 Delta 88 convertible are approaching $10,000 because they’re rare and reached classic status (any car that is over 25 years old). I’d love to restore one of these someday.
Here is the only known surviving photo of my first car: