Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Twofer Tuesday returns with a single step in evolution!

This Twofer Tuesday I'm featuring a make and model that I've been around my whole life. When I was a kid we had Oldsmobiles as our family cars. Later on my very first car was a 1983 Cutlass. In my early 20s I had an Olds 442 which is basically a sporty Cutlass. Without further ado:
 Evil! This black beast is a 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass that obviously feeds on small children. Its Ebony Black paint job is nicely offset by the red accents added to the bars of the grill. The red was not there from the factory but is a very subtle and tasteful addition in my opinion. The grumpy underbite tells tales of parallel parking on the mean streets of NYC.
From this angle you can see one of the most iconic muscle car silhouettes in history. This overall body and frame were shared across the entire General Motors family. In addition to being the Cutlass (and sportier 442), this was the body for the Pontiac LeMans and GTO, the Chevy Chevelle, and the Buick Skylark and GSX.
I love these side marker lights that incorporate the Olds jet logo. This idea was carried across the other marques as well; the Pontiac had light-up Pontiac symbols as marker lights.
The design for this year is so clean and slippery with those inset taillights and reverse lights. The leading edge that runs from the bottom of the bumper up over the rear window is pretty neat.
*Here's a bit of history as an aside; see that mural of the revolutionary soldiers in the distance? That's the wall of the local American Legion hall/bar in Gowanus. Supposedly the bodies of between 200-256 Revolutionary War soldiers from Maryland are buried under the concrete lot in front of that wall. The First Maryland regiment remained in place during the Battle of Brooklyn, holding off the British Army long enough for Washington and his vastly outnumbered troops to retreat to "live to fight another day". If the Marylanders hadn't been in position the revolution could very well have been doomed on the spot. A small plaque commemorates them, but this article sums it all up nicely: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/nyregion/historian-points-to-gowanus-brooklyn-lot-as-grave-of-first-maryland-regiment.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
As with the grill this Cutlass emblem has been given the red treatment by someone.
Technically this ride could've been ordered with the Chevy 250 inline 6 cylinder mated to a 2 speed automatic transmission, but doubtful that it would exhale through dual exhaust. This ride most likely had the 350 V8 from the factory.
Those are the correct Super Stock II wheels for this year Cutlass and I think they look pretty darn good. They continued with this basic style of rim all the way up through the 1980s.
As noted already by the lack of extra trim on the outside this is a plain Cutlass and not a Cutlass Supreme. With this comes a big old bench seat as standard equipment, along with a column shifter, plain steering wheel, and crank windows. You could order bucket seats and a console for extra money but then you might as well get the Supreme.
We'll leave this bare knuckle boxer in peace with it's thousand yard stare and fat lip. I wouldn't want to tussle with such a leering brute!
On to a more posh example;
Parked in a fenced-in lot in the heart of Williamsburg was this sweet ride.
I poked my head through the open gate this far for a quick snap. Moments later the owner gave me permission to take a bunch of close-up shots!
We're going back a year for this beauty, which is a 1968 Cutlass Supreme in Scarlet.
This thing is a show-stopper, and possibly show winner!
Here is the easiest way to identify a '68. The turn signals were only located between the headlights like this for 2 years. The '67 that shared this configuration had a much different overall body style though; more straight lines than rounded. If you see a bulbous Cutlass with the central turn signals it's definitely a '68.
*Incidentally, the 442 had an even more race-ready option called the W-30. Amongst other things the W-30 featured air intakes above and below the turn signals that directed air into the carburetor. W-30s are SUPER rare and sought after. I've only seen them at car shows.
This long hood contains either the 350 or 400 V8. A mighty 455 was available but only for the 442.
The Cutlass Supreme was more well-appointed than the standard Cutlass in many details. The vinyl roof was an option, but the chrome trim running along the bottom of the body was included with the Supreme. I like how the body color runs up to the midpoint of the rear side window, under the vinyl.
Here are the Super Stock I wheels; predecessors to the rims on the '69. This shot also shows the worst of any damage I could locate on this ride; there are rust bubbles emerging from around the wheel well. Overall this car is in fantastic shape so the rust gives it a little honesty.
Most of the details are the same for this year as with the '69. The taillights are an exception, with these 1-year-only slits being separate from the reverse lights.
You can see from the 6x9s on the back deck that this car lived through the '80s. A couple of small rust bubbles can be found on the trunk lid. The gas cap is hidden behind the rear license plate on both years.
Vinyl tops look a little dowdy to me on most muscle cars but this one wears it well.
It was a warmer time of year when these were shot!
From the side the bumper looks identical to the '69.
The Cutlass Supreme emblem is the same shape as the Oldsmobile symbol, but without the jet. The red on the inside of the letters is original on this ride.
This car is loaded with options! The console with wooden shifter, sport steering wheel with the horn buttons on the spokes, power windows, and deluxe AM/FM radio are all extra cost items. That below dash touchscreen doesn't bother me because they left the dash alone.
We'll leave this sweet Cutty poised and ready for action. These rides are great classics to own as they were built in pretty large quantity. Even though the bodies changed over the years the mechanical components are the same as the entire GM line and parts are some of the easiest to locate. If this was your ride you could order an entire catalog dedicated to this model. Hopefully I'll see this beast rolling the streets once the warmer months return!

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