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BangShift Blog Battle: Lohnes’ Sauce Is Weak-Here Is McTaggart’s Response

BangShift Blog Battle: Lohnes’ Sauce Is Weak-Here Is McTaggart’s Response

Leave it to Lohnes to pick a well-known low shot like the Oldsmobile Delta 88 diesel for this battle. Look, the engine is far from a peach, we all know, and yeah, the Delta 88 is a very overrated Chevy Caprice, but look at the bright side: A regular gasoline 350 fits where the diesel sits and when converted to run on gasoline, you now have a 350 that can take all of the abuse a gas motor can throw at it. It may not have worked out properly but it isn’t as deserving of the title of the Worst. At least you had a rear-wheel drive sedan or big coupe to play with.

If you want an absolute low point, how about a car that honestly did not need to exist AND didn’t bring a damn thing to the table worth mentioning? One that has absolutely no driving joy whatsoever, no performance history, a frightening mechanical record, and has all the sex appeal of Bea Arthur in a Fredrick’s of Hollywood catalog. Oh, yes, I’ve got just the car: the 1983 Oldsmobile Omega.


Oldsmobile was actually doing well in the early 1980s, diesel mistake be damned. They were riding high with the successes of the Cutlass and the Delta 88 was moving pretty well. The Omega, on the other hand, really never should have existed in any form. It’s always was a rebadged Chevrolet of some sort with just the barest of touches that made it an Oldsmobile, which is like saying some dude in a dress is now a chick. At least the RWD Omega was based on the Nova and is easy to modify. But by the early 1980s the Omega, along with every other GM knockoff had migrated to the FWD X-car platform. Squint hard and the Chevrolet Citation roots start to appear. Engine choices included the Iron Puke Duke, borrowed from Pontiac, and the 2.8 V6, which in it’s ultimate form for the Omega, produced an absolutely underwhelming 135hp. Woooo.

In the ultimate form of cynicism, there was the Omega Sport Coupe and the SX models, but by 1983 both of those trims had been cut, so you couldn’t even use tape stripes to fake your way out of the misery of being stuck with a FWD GM econo-turd that was recalled numerous times, couldn’t get out of it’s own way without a push, and was prone to failure. Sorry, Lohnes, but in this battle, a Caprice needing an engine gets trumped by the most redundant little shitbox General Motors ever tried to force upon the American public.


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11 thoughts on “BangShift Blog Battle: Lohnes’ Sauce Is Weak-Here Is McTaggart’s Response

  1. 38P

    Any FWD GM X-car from that era is a pile . . .

    But really, is the Omega worse than the V6 diesel version of the “stretched X” A-platform FWDs (Century, Celebrity, Cutlass Ciera, Pontiac 6000)? Bigger, heavier, slower, poorer handling, and even more worthless as a source of JY hot rod parts . . .

    And how is it that the J-body Cadillac Cimarron — in its sophomore season in ’83 — doesn’t even get a dishonorable mention here?

  2. Scott Liggett

    Don’t forget those early 2.8’s were also known for connecting rod ejection through the engine block. That’s if they didn’t seize up from lack of oil due to the rear main seals leaking like the Exxon Valdez before leaving the dealer lots.

    1. Gregg68

      My ’80 Citation (bought new by my parents in 1980 and sold by them to me) had a persistent rust problem @ base of rear window. That was in Miami, FL and it was well underway in 1984. In 1986, the 2.8 V-6 became a V-5 when it developed a burned valve. The only saving grace for the car is that the Toyota dealer accepted it in trade for a used ’82 SR5 Corolla (my first stick shift car).

  3. skinanbones

    in the 90’s while I was in high school, the shop where my parents took their cars to be fixed had a v6 fwd Omega. Which I had to drive to school, it was a complete turd. The only thing we could get it to do successfully was neutral drop it and smoke both front tires. Either the rear brakes where seized or there is enough weight in the back that go didn’t need to use very much pedal pressure to keep it in one spot as you lit them up.

  4. Mooseface

    Oldsmobiles are great starter cars for the children of protective parents.
    Junior is out late? Just follow the snail-trail of ATF all over town and find him. Done and done.

  5. TheSilverBuick

    I think Bruab wins on account he was correct that the Olds Diesel has literally sigma’d the American car diesel market for at least 30 years. The Omega is just a piece of gum stuck on the bottom of a shoe in comparison.

    (Oh, and why all the Olds hate? =P )

  6. anthony

    Someone correct me if im wrong but wasnt there a diesel of this car as well? I think I remember seeing one someplace. The Caddy v8 6 4 isnt bad if you disable the stupid displacement on demand nonsense. The 4100 on the other hand is a real piece of crap.

  7. sbg

    You haven’t convinced me – the Delta 88 diesel was a slow pig; but it wasn’t a Caprice, it was a loaded down Caprice with a softer suspension.
    Also, in a drag race, you’d eat Lohnes lunch (and have time to eat his lunch)… what amazes me is both of you avoided the k-car…

    1. Bryan McTaggart Post author

      I did that on purpose. The K-car wasn’t sexy, was slow, but it was a versatile platform and did managed to pull Chrysler from the brink of death. If the X-car had done that for GM I’d have left it alone, too.

  8. John E. Smith

    My parents had a diesel Olds Delta 88 in the early-mid 80’s. 30+ mpg and a 30 gallon fuel tank. They left Webster, SD and didn’t refuel until they got to Missoula, MT some 930 or so miles later. That car was underpowered but it sipped fuel and never broke down while they owned it.

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