One-Owner 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme T-Top

As America’s best-selling car in 1976, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect to find a market flooded with clean, original 1976 Cutlasses. It has been my experience that is most often not the case, however this 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham lives up to that expectation. It was sent in by Barn Finds reader Gransedan who found it here on Craigslist in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. The seller is asking $8,499.

The third-generation of the Cutlass was drawing to a close in 1976 and had just one model year left before a major redesign. This would be the year, however, it became America’s best-selling car. It’s probably safe to assume the addition of the Brougham trim had nothing to do with its best-selling status, but that was new for 1976 and offered a more luxurious interior.

An unexpectedly modern paint color scheme isn’t always welcome on a classic car, but the silver and black combination on this Cutlass is nice to see. I’m not saying these colors are uncharacteristic of the era, but rather also befitting of a modern vehicle. The body appears to be in good shape and the seller says the paint is “7/10” due to a few paint chips. The driver side rear bumper filler panel is missing, but overall the exterior looks pretty nice. I’d like some thoughts on the mud flaps — I can’t decide if I’d leave them or remove them.

The black interior looks to be in very good shape with the seller describing it as “10/10.” The Brougham trim level added that pillow-top seating. The front bench seat is in good condition and the back seat follows suit. The carpet looks clean and unworn, the dash isn’t showing any cracks, and you have that open top feel with the T-tops removed. This Cutlass is equipped with A/C, power windows, and cruise control.

Under the hood is a 350 cubic-inch V8. Power is sent to the rear wheels by a column-shifted automatic transmission. This is a 1-owner car that has covered just 90k miles since new. The seller says it “runs great.”

I don’t personally like to pick nits, especially on a 44-year old car, but I can’t find much to not like here. This is a one-owner car that’s loaded with options and in very good shape. If you’re looking to take it to the next level I’d expect that to be easily accomplished. Would you keep it all-original or make the investment to make it look showroom new?

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Comments

  1. John B

    If only it had the buckets with the console shift, but I don’t think that was possible with the Brougham package, at least I don’t ever recall seeing a Brougham so-equipped.

    Like 4
    • Steve

      I had a 1976 Cutlas Salon silver with blue interior bucket seats and console
      Bought it new from Hipodrome Oldsmobile in Nashville Tennessee.
      I loved that car !!!!

      Like 4
      • Kevin

        Also had a 76 Salon with the swivel buckets

    • ACZ

      A Brougham was a 60/40 bench seat only. 6 way power was available on the driver side .

      Like 3
    • YourSoundMan

      John B:

      It does appear to have the ‘split-bench’ option, with separate driver bucket.

      Hoist up that John B. sail! :D

      Like 1
    • Chuck

      My 1st new car was a special order 1976 Cutlss Supreme with the factory Hurst installed t tops. Was dark blue with a unique full white vynal top. Unique because of the t tops. White bucket interior.

      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Now for the big question: Did the T-Tops leak like everyone says?

        I had T-Tops on my ’99 Z/28 and not a single leak. Things were different by that time, I’m sure. Great fun.

      • ACZ

        There’s a big difference between Hurst Hatches and what you had. The Hurst hatches that were installed in Buick, Oldsmobiles, and Pontiacs in the mid 70s were terrible. So much so that GM recalled all those, that were factory options. Gm redesigned and refitted all the leakers under that recall along with replacing all water damaged items in the car. The second designed hatches were the ones without a surround molding attached to the glass. They are not interchangeable with the first design.
        The T-tops in your car were designed by Fisher Body. Those were good as long as they were properly maintained. That included cleaning and properly lubricating the seals.

        Like 1
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        ACZ, thanks for that info.

      • ACZ

        You’re welcome.

      • Chuck

        I must have gotten a good set from Hurst as they never leaked in my 76 Cutlass Supreme……

      • ACZ

        Were you the original owner of the car?

  2. George Mattar

    This is a Brougham. I can tell by the seat patterns. Yes Hurst Hatches, guranteed to leak, were available for the first time on regular Cutlass models. I had a silver 76 Cutlass Salon with t tops and the gorgeous burgundy high back buckets. The car listed for more than $8,000 in 86. A new Corvette that year was only about $1,000 more. I know. I was the assistant service manager at a very busy Chevy Olds dealer. We sold these cars like Toyota dies Camrys today. The great designer Len Casillo hit a grand slam with that front end. Like a dunce, I sold that car to a local hillbilly who destroyed it. I kept it perfect but needed money for college so I sold it after 59,000 carefree miles. A pig on gas, but cruising with those roofs out in total quiet and comfort. I would trade my silver 73 Corvette this in a second. You never see these anymore. Looks like it has a stupid Cherry Bomb muffler. No thanks and Olds never built a 350/350 engine unless the seller is referring to the engine and Turbo 350 transmission.

    Like 4
    • SweetSue

      Cutlass Salon had bucket seats and console shift. The Brougham had a much more plush and beautiful interior. (I had both.)

  3. AndyinMA

    Love it! these were hugely popular back in the day. Step one – lose the mudflaps.

    Like 4
    • SweetSue

      The chrome mudflaps were necessary add as they kept road rash from damaging the paint behind front and rear wheel wells. I kept mine pristine.

  4. normadesmond

    Had one, blue, white interior. Hated taking the tops on & off, but it was a nice car.

    Like 1
  5. Jerry Long

    Had a 1977 Broughm in dark metalic green. Beautiful car but it was a piece of junk.

  6. Jcs

    Yes, I would imagine that the seller is referring to a 350/Turbo 350 combo, proven to be a robust and reliable drivetrain.

    Great looking Cutlass. Comfortable, great driving cars.

    Contrary to the editor the Brougham trim level was indeed very popular at the time and most certainly instrumental in the models best seller status. I’d say it was a mistake to not source a factory air cleaner assembly with the Rocket decal for the sale, other than that this appears to be a really nice example. A little rough on the surface rust underside, but this is also easily addressed.

    Like 1
  7. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    This car with the great-looking interior at 90K miles just proves that most sellers claiming original low mileage on their cars are liars.

  8. Brian WEYENETH

    If the 350 in this car is the same 350 Corvette landed in their t-top coupes, the hp won’t be much over 180. The tops were a $550 option in the day but prone to leaking. All in all, I’d consider it, strip the mud flags off and drive it as is. Now if it had the swivel seat option, my trailer would be there.

  9. David G.

    My ‘76 was a Cutlass Supreme, silver with the crimson landau roof and crimson (Roll Tide) velour interior with the buckets and console shifter. It was a dream car! Like so many of us say over so many of our cars of the past, “if only.”

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