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mjrj New Reader
4/11/20 1:09 a.m.

I've had this for over 17 years.  Back in November 2002 my friend Georg found it on CL and sent the ad to me.  "You gotta buy this!" he says.  Was listed at $2000.  Looked at it, test drove and offered them $1500.  About a week later picked it up.  Was bone stock.  Had some fun driving it stock, then the pro-touring bug hit.

  A little backstory:  My 1st car was a 1978 Delta 88 that I bolted up Herb Adams swaybars and tokico shocks, with a set of oldsmobile rally wheels and 245/60R15 Radial TAs.  Took that car to the 1st car craft anti-tour.  Wrecked soon after that.  In August 2000 I bought a 1983 Delta 88.  It ended up with stock drivetrain, the herb adams swaybars, Global west front and Impala SS rear springs, 9C1 bilstein shocks, 5x5" bolt pattern conversion with Impala SS wheels and 255/50R17s all around.  I liked the 1994-1996 Impala SS/Caprice 9C1s a lot but could not afford one, so I made due with what I had.  I actually joined the local Impala SS club as well.  Eventually bought a 1994 Impala SS in 2004 that I still have.  That's another story..

Car has been through several iterations..  currently it has a warmed over Olds 403, a tremec TKO 500 transmission, 3.73 gears.  The basic engine I put together back in 2004-2006 with an abandoned short block sitting outside of a tire shop I got for free.  The car sat in my parents driveway on jackstands for long enough someone complained to the city and they were going to tow it.  I got it slammed together and driveable, with the suspension from the 83 Delta 88 now gone, and the original 2.41 gears.  It got parked while house shopping and put on the side yard for about 7 years.  In late 2015 my parents were selling their house, so a good friend of mine towed the car to my house where it sat for another year.  Since then, it got 12" brake spindles with 3rd gen 1LE front brakes and Impala SS rear brakes redrilled for 5x4.75" bolt circle.  I finally got the heavy ass 17" D-window wheels I had wanted for 10-15+ years, and put together the rest with as much amazon warehouse/ebay finds that I could get, like a 4 wheel disc brake master cylinder for $10, trans am combination valve for $40 and a Yukon duragrip posi for under $100 on ebay.  Its run a best of 15.60 @ 87 mph at zip tie drags in January.  Here it is with its backhoe attachment. 


One day it'll look nice.  It still needs a LOT of work.  It does everything I want it to do... poorly.  The edelbrock 750 carburetor is borrowed.  Its got a stock aluminum A4 307 intake.  Factory exhaust manifolds.  I put global west Del-a-lum bushings in and berkeleyed the install up so its got little caster.  All can be fixed in time.  I had a health scare late last August that resulted in surgery in mid October to remove a cancerous tumor from my left ear canal so all the parts I wanted to install for zip tie drags didn't get done.  I'm healed up and I've been waiting for good weather since then.  The last month it seems like we have good weather when I work and it rains when I'm off.  If we ever get out of lockdown I'd like to take it to one of the autocross events they hold out at Crows Landing just south of me.

John Welsh (Forum Supporter)
John Welsh (Forum Supporter) Mod Squad
4/11/20 3:34 a.m.

Diggin it! 

Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
4/11/20 6:05 a.m.

Love the '77 pace car.  Love Delta 88's.  First Indy 500 I went to and I chuckle at the car they chose that year.  

Every once in a while you see an old car on the road as a DD and most times it's a 1984 Delta 88.  

Keep us updated.  

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/11/20 6:10 a.m.

In reply to mjrj :

That car is so badass I can picture Samuel L. Jackson driving it whilst shouting profanities at every motherberkeleyer who gets in his way. 

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/11/20 7:06 a.m.

Fellow b body aficionado approves.  I had impala SS suspension and rear axle on my 78 sedan deville.  Then i got an impala 

OjaiM5 Reader
4/11/20 9:12 a.m.

It has a really great look. So cool it has a manual trans.

conesare2seconds Dork
4/11/20 10:42 a.m.

Love it. I have a huge soft spot for 70s paint and stripe specials. 

AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/11/20 10:47 a.m.

Haven't seen one of these in forever.  AngryCorvair approves!

V6Buicks New Reader
4/11/20 11:56 a.m.

I love everything about it!  That's awesome!

Daylan C (Forum Supporter)
Daylan C (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/11/20 1:41 p.m.

Manual trans B-body GRMer contingent is growing nicely. 

mjrj New Reader
4/11/20 10:41 p.m.

Thank you guys! I'm glad you guys like it.  I've got plans for this thing...  I'm gonna throw some parts at the mild 403 in it for now.

Gonna install a performer RPM intake manifold, some shorty headers, ford windstar electric fans, and an MSD efi kit on this engine.  In case the 94 amp alternator I installed can't keep up I got a CS144 from a Caprice I got years ago from the junkyard.  I got a MSD ignition box in the engine compartment, and I'm gonna take dusterbd13's idea and put it in the trunk along with the battery.  Long term plans involve a 350DX diesel block, roller cam, and edelbrock heads.

mjrj New Reader
4/12/20 10:54 p.m.

Got a little bit of work done today.  Removed the 94 amp 12SI alternator I installed years ago and test fit a 140 amp CS144 that I removed from a mid 90s GM B-body.  I'm planning on installing some Ford Winstar fans combined with the EFI and 80/100 watt headlamp bulbs I'm planning on running I didn't want to worry about lack of power.  Had to space the bracket out where it bolts to the head, and will have to drill a new hole in the power steering pump bracket to support the bottom.  Pulley alignment is good and I don't have to buy a new belt.  I've had this Dodge A100 battery box laying around for a while and decided to test fit it as well so I can move the battery to the rear. I still need to weld all the holes shut in where someone attached carpet to it.  I think I have enough 2/0 cable to run to the front of the car though I may have to splice it.  Also have a battery switch somewhere too.


Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/13/20 12:00 a.m.

Love this thing, especially with the manual transmission!

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/13/20 12:12 a.m.

Very cool

John Welsh (Forum Supporter)
John Welsh (Forum Supporter) Mod Squad
4/13/20 6:17 a.m.

Is this a bench seat car with the stick coming out of the floor or is the car bucket seats and then there is a center console? 

Either way, too cool. 


Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/13/20 6:48 a.m.

This this oozes cool.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
4/13/20 7:53 a.m.

Ok, now THIS is awesome.

I haven't seen one of these in years. They are fairly rare cars, and super cool. Also, big cars that are set up to handle are the best!

mjrj New Reader
4/13/20 10:13 a.m.

In reply to John Welsh (Forum Supporter) :

Bench seat car.  I fabricated a temporary cover for the transmission to cover the hole I had to cut so the transmission would fit.  The actual pace cars had buckets and console from a '76-'77 Cutlass.  From 1978-1981?  there was an option on the B-body called the "Holiday 88" that had buckets/console from the A/G body cutlass.  IMO looks much better than the pace car setup.  The shifter stick is from the hurst kit I bought years ago.  The 8 ball I got from my parents house when we were cleaning it out.  Story is my dad "found" it at a pool hall in the late 60s or early 70s.




And this is one of our dogs Pokie.  Supposed to be a yorkiepoo.  24 lbs of mischief.  If anyone here knows Tagalog and you're laughing right now, my wife named her. 

Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
4/13/20 10:29 a.m.

That looks wicked along with the CB radio.  

Really cool.

glueguy (Forum Supporter)
glueguy (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/13/20 10:30 a.m.

Oh, heck yeah!  We bought a new 77 Delta 88, 4 door in gold.  10 year old me clearly remembers the Pace Car replica at the dealership and falling in love with black/silver/red at that very moment.  Ours was a special order with the 403, and by the time it became my high school ride it already had a Joe Mondello cam, Holley, Walker turbo mufflers, Herb Adams bars, etc.  I miss that car and the 70's velour GM smell.  Gonna follow this thread closely!


Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
4/13/20 10:53 a.m.

Wait... a 403 with a manual transmission? How? Did you have the crank machined for the pilot bushing, or did you use the adapter? Either way, that's really cool that it has a manual!

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/13/20 11:25 a.m.

What do you use for pedals? This is a great project. Good on you for hanging on to it all these years!

John Welsh (Forum Supporter)
John Welsh (Forum Supporter) Mod Squad
4/13/20 3:19 p.m.

My grandfather had a '79 Delta 88 sedan with that same whore-house red velour with matching red inteior.  

Identical to this one:

mjrj New Reader
4/13/20 8:40 p.m.
Tony Sestito said:

Wait... a 403 with a manual transmission? How? Did you have the crank machined for the pilot bushing, or did you use the adapter? Either way, that's really cool that it has a manual!

All 403s that I've seen are drilled for a pilot bearing the hole is slightly smaller in OD.  We used a pilot bushing my dad turned the OD down to fit.  The 1st version of the car used a saginaw 4 speed with an adapter bearing. 


Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) said:

What do you use for pedals? This is a great project. Good on you for hanging on to it all these years!

The brake pedal is original, has been heated, bent and the pedal pad cut down.  The clutch pedal is from a mid 70's El Camino.  I plan on keeping this as long as possible.

mjrj New Reader
4/13/20 8:51 p.m.

Got the CS144 cleaned and installed.  Filed down the original bolt head so it rests flat against the power steering bracket and bolted it all up.  Installed the pigtail.  Also got the wideband O2 working again it had a loose connection.

Repaired the threads I blew out on the intake I plan on using and test fit the heater nipple from a non-ac 350 diesel equipped custom cruiser wagon that I got from Pick n pull in February.  Plan is to use an in-line heater valve.  Worked on the mic mount for the CB radio from some leftover parts that were going to be thrown away at work.  Dropped it into an open 12 pack of beer below the toolbox mortally wounding two silver bullets.  I'll spare the gore pics from cheap beer death from you guys, it was too much to watch in person.

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