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Four Doors Can Be Cool: Low-Mile 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass

It’s hard to tell which generation of the Oldsmobile Cutlass was the best looking, the third (1968-72) or the fifth (1978-88). Since I once owned an ’83 Cutlass Supreme coupe, I’m partial to the latter. But it’s also hard to beat those early ‘70s. While 2-door Cutlass models are always popular with collectors, the third generation 4-door sedans are hard to overlook, like the seller’s car. The sometimes-abused term time-capsule applies to this car. It looks practically flawless from its abode in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and is available here on craigslist for $8,500. Thanks, Ikey Heyman, for your usual good job at finding these treasures for us.

The Cutlass adorned Oldsmobile’s sales literature between 1961 and 1999. It started out as part of the F-85 compact series and was promoted to mid-size in 1964. It eventually became a series into its own and spawned the likes of the 4-4-2 muscle car, the Cutlass Supreme personal luxury machine, and the unique Vista Cruiser station wagon. It’s my understanding that the Cutlass was named after a type of sword, common during the Age of Sail.

I always enjoy a car with a story and this 1972 Cutlass sedan has one. We’re told the original owner bought the car in Florida and it stayed there for years until he passed away and his son brought it to Wisconsin. It sat in a garage for the next five years until the seller bought it four years ago, and thus he considers himself the second owner of the vehicle. The paint looks gorgeous and I’m thinking the color is Lime Green, but the 1972 paint charts don’t quite look right. If there is any rust or body damage, my eyes don’t see it. The vinyl top (black?) looks good and is a nice compliment, as is the perfect-looking white and black interior. But I’m thinking the center armrest with cup holders is aftermarket. How does a car stay this nice across 48 years? 57,000 miles might have something to do with it.

When the seller acquired the Cutlass, he went through it and gave several things a refresh. Besides the usual fluids, belts, hoses and tires, he also did a partial rebuild of the likely 350 V-8 engine in terms of all new gaskets. The factory air conditioning was brought up to snuff, and the seller added tilt steering, cruise control and a more robust sound system. The car has turned up at several car shows and we’re guessing it has always turned a few heads. Take that, 2-door coupes!

So why sell a beautiful car like this? We’re told the seller has found an Oldsmobile 98 that rocks his boat more than the Cutlass. If this was a 2-door model, Hagerty pegs the top end at close to $20,000. Maybe the extra doors will result in a deduction, but the seller’s asking price doesn’t sound unreasonable. If I had the room (and the money), I’d be on my way now to Oshkosh! Four doors can be cool.


  1. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Four-doors ABSOLUTELY can be cool! I cruised around in a 1965 Dodge Custom 880 four-door sedan when I went to college at Lock Haven University. That car could hold AT LEAST six full-size guys at once, and the cavernous trunk could hold all of their groceries.
    In regards to this Cutty, the understated color and the wheels really make it stand out. The V8 probably has some decent pep in its step. Leave it as-is and cruise

    Like 11
    • jwzg

      The question is, could it hold full size girls?

      Like 6
      • Mitchell Gildea Member

        jwzg Like a champ!

        Like 1
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I agree. You don’t see many of these listed on Barn Finds. Most of them are either 2 doors, 442s, or convertible. It’s nice to see a 4 door sedan now and then, or a Vista Cruiser.

      Like 10
  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    I can’t remember the last time I saw a four door Cutlass but it was probably a long time ago. These were usually driven into the ground and then junked; almost nobody saved or restored one. This is a very nice example that looks to be in excellent shape and ready to go. The price seems reasonable to me for what it is and sure to draw a crowd at any car show.

    Like 6
  3. Jim

    That car looks pristine. Only question would be what’s under the steering wheel cover. I’d definitely give that price for it. Wish I were closer to Wisconsin!!

    Like 4
  4. local_sheriff

    I have nothing against 4doors and I really love that green hue too. What I find to be sad though is that the manufacturers back then did very little to make the rooflines of the 4doors attractive in their own right (’59-’60 GM 4dht an exception to that rule). I do understand the profile have to be different to ease rear seat entry/exit but IMO the manufacturers could have done better.

    Either way this is a great, beautiful find for the enthusiast who can live with the spare doors – I would not be embarrassed to park it in my garage 👍

    Like 3
  5. Marvin A Granger

    They are only four doors from the outside.

    Like 2
  6. JoeNYWF64

    Too bad it’s not a 4 door hardtop with no window frames for that sleeker look – & even better yet, if Old removed the front vent windows – all to complement the hidden wipers.
    On a 4 door cutlass could you get bucket seats, 4 speed, 442 suspension & motor if “you knew someone”?

  7. Mark

    Very clean but it’s a 4 door… I hate them, even the hellcat charger….i will never own a 4 door!

  8. Jcs

    Looks to be a very nice example. The ask is not unreasonable at all. Fun, comfortable and easy to repair, not to mention good looking.

    Not Lime Green, Olds called this color Pinehurst Gold.

    Like 1

    quelle est la reference couleur de cette voiture

  10. Bob McK Member

    Nice find… someone is going to love taking this sweet ride home.

  11. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. I remember seeing cars like this when I was a boy in the 1970s. Two doors are nice, and convertibles are nice for summer driving. But I’ve always preferred 4 doors and station wagons. My favourites are the 1970-72 Olds. Cutlass 4 door and the Vista Cruiser wagon.

    Like 2

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