Golden era Olds. Summer camping trip yields rusty relics and backwoods Olds gold. I found this 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in north Alabama. The sporty, sloped-nosed ’77 Cutlass was wearing a dazzling, black and gold paint combo. The sweeping roof line is also one of my favorites. But a closer look at the boogered sheet metal surrounding the rear window, quarter panels and trunk dampened my enthusiasm.
The Oldsmobile Cutlass was everywhere in the mid-to-late 1970s. Everybody owned a Cutlass back then. Your grandma, brother, aunt, uncle, and best friends, all cruised in one of GM’s top-selling, mid-sized Olds. 1973-1977 was the golden era for Oldsmobile. In 1977, Oldsmobile built 673,397 Cutlass in various configurations of the Colonnade platform. Only 11,649 were 442 models. That's less than 2% of the total Cutlass production. In comparison, 9,576 Olds 442 were built during the similar, 1976 model year.
Good, bad, ugly
The tail of this 442, and thousands, if not millions, of GM's 1970s mid-sized vehicles have suffered the same fate after decades exposed to the elements. Restored or original, rust-free examples of GM's Colonnade cars should command top dollar – eventually. I hope I can find my own black and gold 4-4-2 beauty before they do.
Know of a car or a junkyard I need to visit or want to send me photos and info about a barn find, car or junkyard?
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