Colonnade Survivor: 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass S

The 1977 Cutlass models were the last using GM’s Colonnade styling, which was first adopted in 1973. All the divisions’ intermediates employed that design, which eliminated the true hardtop look, perhaps for safety reasons. The cars continued to sell well, both the standard Cutlass and Supreme editions. This 1977 Cutlass S 2-door coupe looks to be a decent survivor that once won an award at a car show but doesn’t quite sparkle as much now. Available here on eBay, the car is located is Old Lyme, Connecticut and the no reserve auction has reached $3,850.

With the Colonnade design, came sheet metal that gave the 1973-77 Cutlass models a more “Euro” look. Up front, larger diameter dual headlamps set off a split grille that was mounted such that it would swing away in a collision. The bumpers got bigger and bigger, containing energy-absorbing units, “five-mph” in front and half that in back. The Cutlass S model was sandwiched in between the basic Cutlass and the top-line Supreme. In 1977, Oldsmobile sold more than 630,000 Cutlass models, of which 70,000 or 11 percent were the Cutlass S Coupe like the seller’s car.

Considering that this Cutlass has lived in snowy places like Connecticut, it appears to have survived nicely, having been garage-kept while in possession of the seller. Just under 44,000 documented miles have accumulated and – given that it was runner-up in a 2013 car show – it was likely used lightly for many years. But a few of the leaves have since fallen off the tree as the paint (original?) has faded somewhat over time. Also, the plastic pieces behind the rear bumper have begun to crack and fall away, a common problem with GM cars of this era. And the trim around one rear window looks a little warped. But none of this is anything to fret over unless you’re seeking perfection.

The interior has held up although the upholstery (once red) has faded quite a bit as well. It takes on something on a pink-ish hue now. You could certainly drive it as-is or see if the seats could be dyed back to their original color. The most interesting thing in the passenger cabin is the presence of aftermarket air conditioning, something less common by the late 1970s as many cars were leaving the factory with A/C. So that gives the passengers a full assortment of air vents that they can fiddle with.

Pop open the hood and you’ll get a little surprise. The engine compartment has been nicely detailed, given the 350 cubic inch Rocket V-8 a clean home to live in. Like other V8 power of the era, these engines were detuned to the point that – given the car’s weight – it probably felt like a six-cylinder was doing all the work. But we’re told it drives great and that’s what counts. The trunk is almost as nice although the floormat has torn and started to disappear.

If you were looking for a 40 to 50 year old automobile to get into the Cars & Coffee scene, this Cutlass could be a nice way to get started. Try some rubbing compound on the paint and take it out on the weekends to show everyone what an intermediate-sized car looked like in the 1970s before downsizing became the rage.


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  1. Big_Fun Member

    Odd color combo, for sure. I swear that’s dryer venting used in front of that air cleaner…

    Like 12
    • Autoworker

      LOL it is. I might have rattle canned that hose black before install.

      Like 3
  2. Tommy

    A former work associate had this same year Cutlass S coupe in the early ’80s, inherited after his elderly widowed mother-in-law gave up driving. Theirs was red cloth inside and red on the the outside. As I recall it was equipped with A/C, tinted glass, rear defog, radio, remote mirror, whitewalls and the 260 V8/Turbo-Hydramatic powertrain. While not flashy in appearance, it was a competent, uncomplicated car that gave the owners no trouble. Unfortunately it was totaled two or three years later following an unfortunate accident.

    Like 2

    REVERSE DROPS? in spades! swapped a few trannies (no silliest not girly-men) into a black on black one of these in high skool 😂

  4. Duaney Member

    Dixon would be surprised if he drove this car, with a properly tuned engine, it really does accelerate well when the secondaries open up. Even with the smog crap.

    Like 2
  5. Gerard Frederick

    This is about as exciting as a head cold.

    Like 6
  6. Skippy

    This is a really odd one. I did not know there was a non A/C “S” model, although I might be confusing this version with the Supreme or Supreme Brougham, which both had the notch rear roofline. I owned several of the these from ’69 through about ’80, well into the next version. Great cars overall, but if you want one, look for bucket seats.

    Like 2
    • Dusty Rider

      I had a ’72 Supreme with bench seat with a fold down armrest, I put buckets and a console in it from an S model. It was never as comfortable after that and although it looked very nice, I always regretted the swap. The armrest kept you in the seat much better than the buckets did.

    • Duaney Member

      Cutlass S didn’t come with buckets, all Salon’s did, and had the console.

      • Dusty Rider

        My seats came from a ’71 S model, the same body style as the 442.

  7. Fran

    Colon-nade style? As a young guy back then I thought they were ugly.

    Like 1
    • Jerry Member

      As a Old guy NOW I think they’re ugly!!

      Like 1
      • Milt

        I turn 65 in March and I STILL think those colonnade GM cars are super Mega FUGLY. Although I had my Driver Training in those they were 73 4 doors.

  8. JoeNYWF64

    Would not the dash be cracked too when the seats were faded to that degree? Or did GM build some good dashes in the ’70s?

    Jerry, what do you think of the rarely seen 4 door?
    Oddly it seemed everyone bought the 2 door back then!
    Today, i bet NO ONE would!

    • Jerry Member

      I don’t like too many 4 doors of anything.

      • duaney Member

        For some reason many don’t like 4 doors, and yet the 4 door is more practical. The 4 door “door” is shorter and lighter, making the car vastly easier to enter and exit, the 4 door design makes it easier to use the rear seat area, where the 2 door design makes the rear seat area almost unusable and inaccessible. Go Figure.

    • duaney Member

      I had the same thought, it’s odd. The dash’s of these ’77 GM cars cracks like crazy in the sun, so the fading of the red seats is weird. They made many more Supreme 2 doors than any other body style, but there are 4 doors still surviving.

      • Jerry Member

        Back in the day, Janis Joplin was more “practical” VS Raquel Welch, which one would u prefer?

  9. Gerard Frederick

    I knew Janis Joplin before she became famous, way back in 1964 when ¨Big Brother and the Holding Co. was founded by a labor organizer who went by the name of Harvey Noticeable in the San Fran phone book. She was vile and disgusting, lacking any redeeming qualities. Her foul mouth equalled that of the worst of the worst. and her sexual proclivities rendered her a disease spreading slut of the first dimensions.

    Like 1
    • Jerry Member

      Wow…..can u just be honest and tell us how u really felt about her??

      Like 5
    • Milt

      Hey Gerard! I read your comments about the woman in question and laughed my A@@ off the way you described her! :)

  10. JoeNYWF64

    Duaney, the old timers here, mostly, don’t like 4 doors because back when we were young they were for old people & my friends laughed at me drivin my mom’s 4 door falcon. lol. There was no internet & few survelliance cameras. & everyone hung out O U T S I D E & cruised, like in the movie “American Graffitti” & wanted a stylish 2 door car because what you drove back then was everything, no matter how hard it was to get in the back seat & the car did not have to have power windows or even a/c. As long as there was a radio in it. Back then most of us could not WAIT to get a driver’s license & their own 2 door car – at 16!! Today’s teens & 20 somethings couldn’t care LESS because the smart phone is EVERTHING to THEM. No one hangs out downtown(in good areas) on fri & sat nites ANYMORE, thanks to Steve you know who.

  11. Jerry Member

    Im a “old timer” I guess, got my licence at 16 in 77, just turned 60 on Dec 22nd.
    I dont like 4 doors just because 2 doors look sportier.
    The Best looking modern 4 door might be the Charger…..I could live with one of those although I like the 2 door Challenger much better.
    I also like the 4 door 300 though which is the same car underneath as the Challenger and Charger and they’re made in the same factory in Brampton Ontario Canada.

  12. Gerard Frederick

    I agree. 2 door cars look a lot better, however – the new 4-door Porsche Panamera is absolutely gorgeous, as sleek as it gets.

  13. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $4,851.

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