So Fresh & So Clean: Low-Mileage 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass

Late-model G-body survivors are intriguing to me because at this point, most of them have been beaten, customized, hot-rodded, or otherwise repurposed. To see one in original, unmolested condition that isn’t a 442 or otherwise fancy model is a rarity. Don’t get me wrong, I love G-bodies because of their versatility! They make great low-riders, drag cars, cruisers, and dailies and I like them for that. It is because of their popularity amongst various groups and cultures that a nice original one like this 1988 Cutlass are hard to get ahold of! This Olds has only clocked 56,885 original miles and can be found here on Craigslist in California with an asking price of $8,000. Thanks to Pat L. for sending this one in! 

The only “defect” I was able to see on this car is the addition of an aftermarket radio. While the original radio may have been broken or otherwise undesirable, with as nice as this car is I can’t help but feel that an original deck would suit it better. The interior is a reminder of the era, and the tail end of when cars came with big squishy seats! Though the squishy seats continued into the ’90s with many manufacturers, the larger vehicles didn’t. This Cutlass is also an example of the last year of G-body Cutlasses, as the Cutlass nameplate was switched to the front wheel drive W-body in 1988.

The seller does not state what engine is in this car, other than it being a V8, however in 1988 the Oldsmobile 307 was the only engine available in this car. The seller has had the carburetor and radiator rebuilt, and “everything has been changed out.” I take this to mean that routine servicing and freshening up has been done, as this car likely sat for a period of time. According to the seller, “Car runs good and handles like a dream,” and I don’t doubt it.

This picture makes it look like the header panel is a different color, and although it may just be the lighting, I can’t help but wonder if this car was involved in a minor collision at some point. The seller does have a Carfax report, so that may clear things up. While I genuinely love low-riders, especially G-bodies, I sincerely hope that this Cutlass finds its way into the hands of someone who appreciates it for what it is: a nice, low-mileage, original G-body Cutlass.

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Comments

  1. sir mike

    Perfect for a low rider..

  2. jaymes

    gorgeious

  3. Vin in NJ

    Great car. Having owned a few G bodies, it wasn’t uncommon to change out the stock Delco radio, since the rear shelf panel could only accommodate 4×10 inch speakers.

  4. Brian

    It’s an Olds 307. Note the oil fill cap right in front. GLWTS.

  5. Andre

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the header panel is discolored from time/being a mis-match as its different material than the surrounding panels. My Cutlass is like this and is original paint. I’ve noticed some colours the panels surrounding the taillights do the same.

  6. Dan D

    Interested in value on these cars. My wife’s aunt has an ’87 that has been sitting for 20 years. 76k miles and great condition cosmetically, other than bring dusty. Contact me if you have thoughts on obtaining a value for the car. dan.dibiase@gmail.com

    • Andre

      Good cosmetics are important, but what’s more important related to obtaining a value on one of these is how the frame looks behind the rear wheels. Difference between a $500 and a ~$5000 car IMO.

      • Dan D

        Ok, will check that out. Is there a particular spot these are prone to rust, or just the rails from the wheels back? I suspect it is fine, having sat in a dry garage for 20 years!

  7. AMXSTEVE

    Not an 88. Body style change that year

    • Miguel

      That is not true. These cars were made for the last 3 months of 1987 as 1988 model years.

    • Vin in NJ

      The 1988 model was known as the Cutlass Supreme Classic

  8. Ralph H...

    “Car not perfect” and rebuilt title?…love these but I don’t trust this one..there are better ones out there..

    • Miguel

      It has a brand new plate on it and as you said the rebuilt title.

      I wonder what the story is on this car. Why would such a clean car have a rebuilt title?

      • Steve

        Most likely stolen 2 or 3 times in its life. These were stolen all the time back in the day.

      • RichS

        The seller put the VIN in the ad and after running it through the California smog check database it shows no other records than 2 smog checks last year, a fail in May and a pass in July. That leads me to believe that either the car came from another state (which would explain the new plate) or had sat unregistered here since 1997 (or earlier) or it would have shown up in the smog test database.

        I’ve lived here since ’93 and I know unregistered vehicles here used to “fall out” of DMVs records if not registered for more than about 7 years but in the last 20 years that doesn’t happen anymore (I was just able to look up the smog history of a car I had back in ’97 and it still shows up even though it was junked in 2001).

        If the vehicle does actually have a rebuilt or salvage title (could have been fat-fingered in the CL ad as it’s just a checkbox), a couple possibilities would be either a theft recovery (these GMs with the tilt colums were EASY to steal by breaking the plastic collar and manually rotating the ignition linkage or the back CA registration was so excessive that it was reported as junked then retitled as rebuilt to avoid the fees.

      • Jared

        it was probably wrecked and Its most likely not 60,000 miles its 160,000 or 260 you could not know for sure without seeing everything.

  9. Alan

    A year ago I bought All original 1979 Olds/Hurst whichi is v limited production G body Cutlass Calais. Gold/White combo beige cloth interior. 7K original miles factory paint. 350 4B V8 power front seats, power windows , Rear Deffoger , Factory AC , Factory AM/FM Cassete
    A beautiful Olds/Hurst only approx 2500 these were made! Asking price was 23K I got for 21K .

    • Renee

      My husband won the fight to buy his 79 old/hurst a year ago.

      • Alan

        Greetings Renee. The legendary 1979 Hurst/Olds is a real gem approx 2500 were made only! I know I paid 21K but its only 7K miles and in almost new condition a real grarage queen!

  10. Rock On Member

    Just out of curiosity Alan, how many vehicles do you presently own?

    • Alan

      Greetings Rock On

      My Classic cars :

      1973 Ford Mustang Hardtop Coupe bronze ext with brown interior. 302 2B V8

      1976 Pontiac Ventura Landau Coupe. Blue ext Blue cloth interior. 260 2B V8

      1977 Pontiac Bonneville Landau Coupe. Brown ext with Beige cloth interior. 350 4B V8

      1978 Cadillac Coupe Deville. Bronze exterior with brown interior. 425 4B V8

      1979 Hurst / Olds White/Gold combo exterior with beige cloth interior 350 4B V8

      1979 Mercedes 450SEL 6.9 Black exterior with beige interior

      1980 Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue Cream exterior with cream leather interior. 360 2B V8

      My Non Classic Modern vehicles :

      2001 Mercedes ML55 AMG navy blue exterior with black interior

      2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS black exterior with black interior

      2011 GMC Yukon Denali AWD black exterior black interior

      2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT Premium black exterior with black interior

      2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 Grey metallic exterior with black interior

      • Miguel

        You really like smog equipment, don’t you Alan? Hahahaha

      • Jared

        What is a pontiac ventura landau coupe. kind of surprised someone still has a venture on here. I know where there is a pontiac ventura sprint that’s been parked in a building for 25 years untouched.

  11. angliagt

    Overpriced with a salvage title.

    “Not Your Rodder’s Oldsmobile”

  12. Royal

    Great Motor the GM 307 5.0 Liter. Had one in my 86 Caddy Fleetwood limo and it ran great. A little under powered with a load of seven passengers but it still provided awesome fuel economy for a 5500 pound car.

    • Hendo

      I thought livery service Cadillacs had the 368 through the mid 80s? I guess 1985 must have been the cutoff year then…

  13. moorevisual

    beautiful cutlass, 87-88 are more desirable because of the “euro” front end, however that front cap can be swapped onto older years for the same look. $5K is tops IMO on any pristine G-Body (and I’ve owned several) unless there’s a significant engine swap. Even nice coach convertible versions can be had for around that price.

    • Andre

      (Repectfully) disagree.. much prefer the earliest versions introduced in ’78, followed by the shovelnose with chrome, and finally the composite headlight models.. Found it was like a band-aid to fit into the current styling trends when it was really a last-of-the-pretty car. IMHO, of course

  14. TR

    Alan I love your car list. The variety is awesome. I’ve never understood the people that have 7 Corvettes, 16 Beetles etc. I prefer a mix. I’m trying to collect 1 car from each body style. So far I’ve got a 2 door Convertable, 4 Door Hardtop, Roadster, and Pick Up. Station Wagon next on the list

    • Miguel

      Not all of the same model were made the same. I have had many cars where I bought two or three more of the same model for the differences.

  15. Rock On Member

    Yes Alan, you have a nice collection going on there.

  16. Will
  17. jw454

    Pillow back seats… No thanks. Give me the cheap seats. Much more comfortable.

  18. Alan

    Thank you All for compliments! My classics are mostly garage queens I do start them about once week and maybe a longer drive every month or so.

    Regarding modern or newer vehicles I was always fan of Bigger SUVs or trucks never any sedan or coupe. Yes most of my newer SUVs are v thirsty! But I like them. My daily driver is both the 09 Cayenne & 01 ML .

  19. Alan

    Greetings Jared. yes there was a Pontiac Ventura coupe with factory optional vinyl landau half top.

  20. jrc

    original radio in trunk just ahead of spare

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