It's not silly at all. You are talking about impacting the environment, your wallet, and a big investment of time. But largely what we have done here is guesswork. If you want a real answer, then it's got to be based on your specific circumstances. Arguing about oil change intervals is like arguing over how hot you like your shower. What works for some, may not work for all.
Here's a good breakdown of current theory's on oil change interval. Many based on good, actual science not the seat of the pants dyno and the reading of chicken bones:
Check out the rest of that site too - there's lots of interesting info including a full on oil analysis of mobile 1 and amsoil at 1,000 mile intervals. The Mobile 1 hung on for 18,000 miles and didn't need a new filter till 12,000 (Wix). This was in a 2002 Z28 Camaro....
Here's a tasty quote for ya:
"Based on the results we've got here, we'd recommend 8,000 miles between oil changes on an engine that uses no oil at all, perhaps 10,000 miles on an engine that uses some oil, and 15,000 miles or beyond with a filter change every 5,000 miles. This, of course, isn't any kind of guarantee, and you must evaluate for yourself what your engine requires. One thing we're pretty sure about though: 3,000-mile intervals is a huge waste of resources."
(no oil company advertising there )
Except a 2002 camaro is not a 1980's vintage engine. There are huge differnces between the two, so your compairing apples and oranges.
There are at least 3 generations of emission standards, and that will have a huge effect on how clean the oil is.
Also oil analysis is greta, but it has to be done for the specific engine. you cant just use an analysis of an engine that is at least 12 years newer then the ones on this board. in fact you cant even use an analysis from one 1988 engine to be applied to all 1988 engines.