Before its demise in 2004, the modern Oldsmobile brand had slowly morphed into a company well-known for producing posh, sedate vehicles that were usually lacking in the behind-the-wheel fun department. It hadn’t always been that way. While the luxury component remained constant, there was a time when Olds injected some snarling Detroit-bred muscle into their offerings.
“I had a ’71 Cutlass when I was younger and was looking for some high performance muscle. I definitely found it with this one,’ said Bob.
The motoring enthusiast is the fourth owner of the crimson two-door and in it’s five-decade existence, it has only accumulated 63,000 miles on its odometer. To confirm its authenticity, Bob wrote a letter to Olds’s office in Lansing, MI – the same factory at which his car was built, which reported his car was indeed a true ‘W’ car.
“In 1970 it was shipped to Mitchell Motors in Atlanta, which was the largest Olds dealer in the state and sold quite a few of the ‘W’ cars,’ said Bob.
Here’s how the dealership looked during the early 1970’s – about the time Bob’s muscle machine was delivered.
Black plastic fenderwells, a special harmonic engine balancer and 3:91 Positraction were also thrown in. Sound deadening material was kept to a minimum to save weight and because of the race-ready engine tuning, manual brakes were the norm.
“Power brakes weren’t even an option since the cam is so radical there is hardly any vacuum at idle. Because of that, it does take a little effort to bring it to a halt,’ said Bob. Discs are up front with drums in the back.
When he took ownership of this Cutlass, it had been painted and the vinyl top was installed but ‘everything else had to be updated and refurbished.’ Bob completed all the work himself and but attests ‘the car is really never done’.
Underhood is the factory high performance 350ci V8, armed with an aluminum intake and carb and flat top pistons.
This particular model year, 1970, brought with it a lot of firsts for the Cutlass. It was the first year the fiberglass ram air hood was available as well as the dual bullet mirrors. Inside the cabin you’ll find bucket seats, AM/FM stereo radio and tilt steering wheel. Super Stock II wheels are at the four corners and around back is a deck-mounted spoiler.
Bob reports that despite the Cutlass’s age, it’s still one comfy cruiser: “Driving this is just pure luxury. Even with all its raw power and the flat-out performance nature, it’s still comfortable. And no matter where you go, you always get tons of thumbs up!”
Historical photos credit: Georgia State University Library
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