By on June 7, 2019
  1. After our most recent Rare Rides post, your author perused The Big List of BDB Ideas and discovered a suggestion commenter Sgeffe made many moons ago. He suggested the most basic coupe A-bodies on offer in 1979. Feeling cheap? Let’s get weird.

(Find Out…)

By on June 6, 2019

Hearing the Cutlass name inspires visions of 442, of color-key rally wheels, or perhaps thoughts of tacky aftermarket ruination and glittery paint.

This grey fastback sedan doesn’t often come to mind, but perhaps it should. Presenting the 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon. Likely, Olds called it Salon because you can fit big hair into it.

(Find Out…)

By on October 15, 2018

1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme in Colorado wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - Paardensex

Oldsmobile has been gone since 2004, which makes it hard to believe that the Olds Cutlass spent most of the period from the middle 1970s through the early 1980s as either the #1 or #2 best-selling car in the United States. For 1979, the Cutlass came in second place (behind the Chevy Caprice), and thus once crowded North American streets.

Now, most are gone, but this primered nearly made it to age 40, ending its days in a Denver self-service wrecking yard. (Find Out…)

By on July 9, 2018

1986 Oldsmobile Calais in Colorado junkyard, LH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - Paardensex

Every once in a while, I’ll that I can tell was loved by some longtime owner. Maybe it shows some absurdly high odometer reading, or evidence of the single-minded pursuit of some lunatic mechanical obsession, or the work of .

Today’s Junkyard Find combines the first and third types. (Find Out…)

By on April 9, 2018

1982 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera in California wrecking yard, LH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - PaardensexEvery so often, I’ll be poking around in one of the self-service wrecking yards I frequent and I’ll come across a very nice older car, clearly babied by its original owner for just about its entire life. It will be a car whose resale value depreciated to insignificance decades ago, dooming it to a the moment its owner trades it in.

Today’s Junkyard Find is such a car. (Find Out…)

By on February 29, 2016

1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera front RH view in California junkyard - © 2016 Murilee Martin/Paardensex

The Cutlass name was applied to so many different Oldsmobiles that you could put together an all-day Cutlass Badging Trivia Challenge and have no shortage of material. By the middle-to-late 1980s, Cutlass had become something of a sub-marque for Oldsmobile, with the Cutlass Ciera, Cutlass Calais, and Cutlass Supreme on different platforms and causing madness in subsequent generations of parts-counter guys. The Ciera (generally spelled “Sierra” by most owners, because what the hell is a Ciera?) achieved its greatest fame as the car driven by various bad guys in the excruciatingly Minnesotan film “.”

Here’s a Cutlass Ciera — a Brougham, no less — that I spotted in Denver last week. (Find Out…)

By on October 22, 2015

28 - 1982 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser in Colorado junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

died more than 20 years ago, but -themed stickers will be showing up on junkyard vehicles as long as junkyards exist.

In this series so far, we’ve seen several -ized junkyard inmates, including this ’68 GMC pickup, that no doubt had Kansas Highway Patrol sniff-dogs straining against the Colorado border in their eagerness to make an easy bust, and this stereotype-reinforcing ’83 VW Vanagon.

Now we’ve got this Malaise Era Olds wagon from the first year of the . (Find Out…)

By on September 17, 2015

00 - 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon in California junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

The early was a huge seller in the United States; not as big as the Cutlass’ peak in 1976 (when it was the best-selling car in the country), but one of the most popular cars on the street during that period. However, very few Oldsmobile shoppers opted for the odd-looking Cutlass Salon fastback sedan (or its ), making today’s Junkyard Find nearly as rare as, say, a .

As more proof that rare does not always equal valuable, I present a rust-free, totally restorable Cutlass Salon Fastback Brougham Sedan, spotted in a San Francisco Bay Area wrecking yard last week. (Find Out…)

By on November 13, 2013

02 - 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser Down On The Junkyard -  Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinPlenty of front-wheel-drive Cutlasses go to The Crusher without being photographed for this series, but here’s one with an interesting customization job that attracted my attention. Why didn’t GM ever make a wagon with a red-glass option? (Find Out…)

By on October 4, 2013

10 - 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Murilee MartinThe was one of the few bright spots for The General as the Malaise Era grew darker for Detroit. You could get T-tops, factory 8-track players, velour interiors in a wide range of bright colors, and who cared if engines were making less than one horse per two cubic inches? The Salon was the top-of-the-line Cutlass for ’74, with reclining bucket seats, radial tires, and other futuristic goodies. Here’s one that I spotted in a Denver self-service yard not long ago; nearly 40 years of personal luxury for this Olds. (Find Out…)

By on January 24, 2012

Now that we’ve looked at the corpse of a GM product that flopped in the American marketplace, let’s exhume an example of a GM product that sold like crazy: the Middle Malaise Era Olds Cutlass. (Find Out…)

By on November 29, 2011

In 1990, you could give your BMW salesman $24,650 and drive off the lot in a 325i coupe weighing 2,811 pounds and equipped with a 168-horsepower engine and 5-speed transmission… or you could hand $14,895 to your Oldsmobile salesman and drive off the lot in a Cutlass Calais International Series coupe weighing 2,823 pounds and equiped with a 160-horsepower engine and 5-speed transmission. Ten grand more for rear-wheel-drive, eight more horses, 12 fewer pounds, and a blue-and-white hood emblem? I had forgotten all about the -powered International Series until I ran across this forlorn example in a California self-service wrecking yard last week. (Find Out…)

By on October 10, 2011

To those of us in LeMons HQ, GM cars have that extra-special something that gives them the edge on the Index of Effluency. Sure, we thought that the Bangers & Smash ’00 Dodge Intrepid had the edge starting the race, but Chrysler products tend to be a little too effluent to keep running all weekend (in fact, the Bangers & Smash car ran exactly two laps before nuking its 24-valve V6). In the end, the Murph and the MagicTones-themed Racing 4 Nickels ’89 Olds Cutlass Ciera drove straight to another General Motors triumph. (Find Out…)

By on September 21, 2011

While in California to check out Billetproof Nor-Cal last weekend, I had the chance to visit . It didn’t take long to find this ’67 Barracuda convertible and today’s find. (Find Out…)

By on August 5, 2011


Yes, GM kept making Cutlasses with badging long after the end of the muscle car era. Between 1970 and 1978, the 442 lost about 400 pounds of curb weight and (at least) 205 horsepower; the top 442 engine in ’78 was a 160-horse Chevy 305 V8.

(Find Out…)

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