Oldsmobile Convertible

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Keywords: Oldsmobile Convertible
Description: This site is designed to display, register and share information about Oldsmobile's "Last" Convertible. Contained on this site are pictures of my 1975 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale

This site is designed to display, register and share information about Oldsmobile's "Last" Convertible. Contained on this site are pictures of my 1975 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale Convertible, seldom seen documents, in-period Press Releases, GM Archival Pictures, Technical Data, Production Numbers, Owners Registry and an Original GM Marketing Film. I am always looking for any other info that one of you may have in your possession and would like to share with this site.

Original Images and Films are Courtesy of General Motors through a licensing agreement granted to this site. A very special thanks to John Kyros, who has been invaluable to me in my research with this and other web sites.

To fully enjoy and navigate this site, please use the clickable links at the top of each page for more pictures and information.

To quote the original Delta 88 Royale Convertible brochure; "Today, a beautiful Olds Convertible; Tomorrow, a Collector's Item" Well tomorrow is here! It has been 34 years since these magnificent big Oldsmobile's were built. Since that time the Brand itself has succumbed to history, ending in late April of 2004.

Needless to say, not many of the last Fisher Body built Royale Convertibles still exist today. Of the 7181 produced most have succumbed to history themselves. Rust, rot and time has taken their toll. Finding one of these automobiles in a

The 1975 Convertibles were produced at two different GM Oldsmobile Plants; Lansing, Michigan and Fairfax, Kansas. If registry information is any indicator, most were produced at the Building 90 Assembly Plant in Lansing, Michigan. The last car produced here was on July 11, 1975 while the last one produced at the Fairfax, Kansas plant was on July 8, 1975.

There were 3 different engine options for the Royale Convertible; 350, 400 and 455 cubic inch, all of which are V8's. By most GM accounts 90% were produced with the 350 V8 or about 6463 units. The 400 V8, with 2BBL carburetor only, is a known number of 245 units, none of which I have come across yet. This low unit count may be due to the fact that this engine option was not added until late in 1974 so not readily available until early January of 1975. This leaves 473 units to have the 455 V8 power plant. 1975 was also the first year for Catalytic Converters, Front and Rear 5 mile an hour Bumpers and Radial Tires as standard or mandatory equipment.

While this site is dedicated to the Convertible only, I have included the full line of Royale production numbers below. There is a bit of contradiction out there about just how many Convertibles were actually produced. For example; The Encyclopedia of American Cars shows the production number at 21,038. This is strictly a typo as the author got the number transposed with the Town Sedan. As the next picture will clearly show there were only 7181 produced.

The last one, VIN# 3N67K5M368746, rolled off the Lansing, Michigan assembly line on July 11, 1975. It was this Crimson Red Convertible with a white top and interior powered by a 350 V8.

Though it was touted as the "Last" convertible it was not as Oldsmobile brought out the Cutlass Convertible in 1990.

This is a picture of the Oldsmobile complex located along the Grand River on Townsend Avenue in Lansing, Michigan. First started in 1902 prior to becoming a part of General Motors in 1908 this sprawling complex covered hundreds of acres.

Closed in 2005, demolition was begun in the spring of 2006 ending in 2007 with nothing left but the concrete slabs.

Plant Number 1: Oldsmobile's Main Manufacturing Plant, housed the division's Engine and Sheet Metal manufacturing operations, molded plastics operations, car assembly operations and engineering / administrative headquarters.

In this Plant the famous "Rocket" engines were produced, from unfinished blocks to completely assembled engines. The Oldsmobile engine blocks were moved automatically through a series of machining stations to transform them into precision parts. Once at the end of the line an inspector carefully checked the quality of work performed. Afterwards a precision gauge checked the cylinder bore dimensions and a qualifying mark was stamped next to each bore for selective fitting of each piston. As the engines move on from this station the timing gear and chain are installed. Other components already installed include the crankshaft, camshaft and bearing caps. Next up the intake and exhaust values are installed into the cylinder heads and then the heads onto the engine block. Once assembled these newly born "Rockets" undergo a computerized check for cooling system leaks, oil pressure and ignition timing. Compressed air is used as fuel to determine any problems. There were no fewer than 68 stations in this highly complex assembly machine, developed jointly by GM and Oldsmobile engineers.

The Pressed Metal section of this plant is where the new Oldsmobile bodies take shape. Hugh stamping presses use tremendous power to create numerous sheet metal parts such as the fenders, hoods and quarter panels. Also stamped and created in this area are the gasoline tanks and the dies for the presses themselves. Once the parts have been formed they pass through a series of sheet metal finishing departments. In these departments processes such as welding, buffing, sanding and polishing to smooth out rough edges and turn it into a usable part ready for painting. Many of the parts used at other GM assembly plants across the United States were produced here at the Lansing, Michigan plant.

The Final Assembly section of the plant is where it all came together. As parts and pieces from all over this sprawling complex were completed they gathered here for final assembly. The end result was over 18,000 individual parts to create each new Oldsmobile. As the frame moves down the assembly line the front suspension, rear end, engine, transmission and drive shaft start to make this an Oldsmobile. After this step is complete the assembly is sprayed with a rust resistant paint to give it a durable protective finish. The body is lowered onto the frame and secured. Then the front end and so on. Once assembled it is into a long infra red tunnel to bake the primer and paint coats to a smooth and lustrous finish. As each new Oldsmobile completed its journey down the final assembly line there were brief pauses for performance proving tests. Engine, power train, lights, windshield wipers and window regulators were all tested. Once testing is complete it is off the line and onto an Oldsmobile dealer and then a new owner somewhere across the nation.

Plant Number 2: Devoted to the manufacturing of rear axles, differentials and the forging operations.

Plant Number 2 covered more than 285,000 square feet. It was capable of producing rear axle, differential assemblies, including the limited slip, steering knuckles and a host of misc. cast and forged parts for use in new Oldsmobile's. There were 240 different machines in this area to produce some of the most advanced parts available.

Plant Number 3: Housed the bumper plating facilities, crankshaft and front suspension machining operations.

Plant Number 3 is where the forming and chroming of bumpers took place. Bumpers started out as blanks and were then formed, polished and coated. Successive finishes of copper, triple nickel and chrome assured uniform brightness and beauty. Also produced here were crankshafts and suspension parts. These were machined and balanced as needed to become completed parts to be sent to the Main Assembly Plant where they were installed on new Oldsmobile's.

There was also an enormous GM Parts Division warehouse that held millions of replacement parts. As dealers requested them they were shipped out all across the nation. These were stored in towering bins and racks. Once a part was requested it would be transported via an electrically powered train to a shipping area and then on to the dealer.

The new administration building was located here as well. It housed over 900 employees and consolidated five major departments under one roof. The building was completed in 1966 and was quite advanced for its time. Advanced innovations included; scientific ventilation, glareproof fluorescent lighting, step saving escalators and a fully staffed / equipped medical clinic.

Below are pictures of Original Oldsmobile Dealer ordering information, Fisher Body Broadcast Sheet and Temporary Drive Out Tag from my 1975 Royale Convertible.

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