Oldsmobile Cutlass

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Keywords: Oldsmobile Cutlass
Description: The Cutlass name first appeared in 1962 on Oldsmobile's F-85 coupe sporting unique trim, front bucket seats, a center console, and a 185-hp four-barrel carbureted version of Buick's aluminum

The Cutlass name first appeared in 1962 on Oldsmobile's F-85 coupe sporting unique trim, front bucket seats, a center console, and a 185-hp four-barrel carbureted version of Buick's aluminum 215 V8. A convertible was added in 1962, as was the Jetfire, a Cutlass hardtop fitted with a 215-hp turbocharged version of the V8. GM redesigned the cars for 1964, switching from a unitized body to.

The Cutlass name first appeared in 1962 on Oldsmobile's F-85 coupe sporting unique trim, front bucket seats, a center console, and a 185-hp four-barrel carbureted version of Buick's aluminum 215 V8. A convertible was added in 1962, as was the Jetfire, a Cutlass hardtop fitted with a 215-hp turbocharged version of the V8. GM redesigned the cars for 1964, switching from a unitized body to body-on-frame construction, and growing the wheelbase three inches to 115. The 215 V8 was replaced by the cast iron 330 V8, but Buick's 225 V6 remained the standard engine. The Cutlass remained as a special trim level, but made its way across the F-85 lineup before the cars were given a front-end facelift in 1965, tunneled two-door rooflines and replacement of the Buick V6 with Chevy's inline six in 1966, and optional front disc brakes and a new three-speed automatic in 1967.

A major redesign in 1968 placed the two-door cars on a 112-in. wheelbase and four-door models on a 116-in. wheelbase. Base cars were called F-85s, midline cars the Cutlass S and top line cars the Cutlass Supreme. Engine choices went all the way from a 250 cubic-inch inline six to a 455 V8, and two-door models established the split-grill styling that became a Cutlass trademark. By 1970, the Cutlass was available in seven body styles: F-85 two-door, notchback and fastback two-door hardtops, a four-door sedan, a four-door hardtop, a two-door convertible, and a wagon.

Redesigned in 1973, it was available in Cutlass, Cutlass S, Cutlass Supreme, Cutlass Salon, Vista Cruiser wagon, and 442 trim levels. Both the S and 442 offered optional swiveling "Strato" bucket seats, while the Salon had a sportier suspension, reclining seats and radial tires, and was offered as either a two-door coupe or four-door sedan. The 180-hp 350 V8 was standard on all body styles, with the 250-hp 455 available as an option. Two engines were added to the lineup in 1976, Chevy's inline six (last seen in the 1966-1971 Cutlass) mated to a three-speed manual gearbox, and a 260 cubic-inch version of the Olds 350 V8. Most customers preferred the 350 V8 and three-speed automatic, however. The Cutlass line became America's best selling car in 1976, a title it would hold throughout much of the 1980s.

Cutlass moved to the front-drive A-body platform in 1978, with the Salon and Salon Brougham coupes and sedans receiving fastback rooflines, and the Supreme, Supreme Brougham, and Calais coupe using a notchback roofline. There were even Cutlass Cruiser and Cutlass Cruiser Brougham station wagons. Engines went from Buick's 231 V6 to a Chevy 305 V8. To put it succinctly, the notchbacks and wagons sold, while the fastbacks didn't.

Though there were myriad Cutlass models from 1982 to 1986 (Cutlass Ciera, Cutlass Calais, Cutlass Supreme) on multiple GM platforms (A-body, G-body, N-body, W-body), the simple Oldsmobile Cutlass wasn't revived until 1997 as a badge-engineered Chevrolet Malibu. It was built on the 107-in. wheelbase N-body platform, and was a stopgap to keep Oldsmobile in the game while it readied the Alero to replace both it and the Achieva. A split grille, unique taillights, and more standard equipment distinguished it from the Malibu, and it would be the last model to bear the Cutlass name when it went out of production in 1999.



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