One-Owner Barn Find: 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass

General Motors got a lot of mileage out of the Cutlass nameplate using it for the backbone of its Oldsmobile division for 38 years. The ’68-’72 Cutlass is one of the most iconic Oldsmobile designs in my opinion; these cars were stylish, reliable daily transportation for thousands and were a common sight on roads until sometime around the late ’80s to the early ’90s. This 1971 example was recently exhumed from storage where it had been since 1994. With original examples getting harder to find, this car could be the one to get if you find yourself in the market for a Cutlass. Check it out here on eBay in Brandywine, MD with bidding at $3,600 reserve not met or a BIN of $7,000.

The picture of the car on the trailer was taken when the car was removed from storage, in this view, the car had a wash showing paint that looks presentable and should look even better with some polishing. The car is described as rust free except for the lower front fenders which have rust coming through. It is not mentioned why the car was stored but the current owner purchased it from the 82-year-old son of the original owner. Mileage is listed as 76K and believed to be accurate.

This car really cleaned up well, even the vinyl top is in decent shape although something is going on with it above the rear window, let’s hope it’s not rust. I have always liked the look of the 2 door hardtop body style with the bumper mounted taillights. The car is described as completely original except for a repaint sometime in its life, the chrome even looks good.

Under the hood is the Oldsmobile “Rocket”  350 CI V8 with a 2 barrel. The 250 CI six was still available for ’71 so this is a step above a base model car, options like A/C, power steering and power brakes are all nice to have. The car does not run, hopefully, an overhaul of the fuel and ignition systems is the only thing needed to bring it back to life unless a mechanical problem is the reason it was parked in the first place.

The interior shot appears to be taken before cleaning. Everything looks to be in very good shape and should clean up nicely. The black interior with wood trim is a good contrast to the questionable exterior mustard/gold color choice. This would be a great car for someone looking for a project car that does not need a full restoration. Hopefully, the next owner will get things mechanically sound and return this cutlass to the road while preserving the originality.

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  1. rick

    How is this a one owner car?”1 Owner Car, Belonged To A Lady We Bought It From Her 82 Year Old Son,” Looks to be at least a 2 or possible 3 owner car. Why do people always fall for this “One Owner B.S.?

    Like 5
    • Terry D.

      Let’s see and do the math: the son who was 82 in ~2018 was only 47 when his parents bought the car new. When the car was parked in 1994 he was around 70. Was it ever transferred into the son’s name when the parents passed? At a minimum, it was at one family-owned car until this seller (the second owner) bought it. The next owner would be the third owner. I bought a 75k-mile ’72 Supreme from Washington state in 2015. The original female owner died and left it to her granddaughter (second owner, same family) who kept it for less than a year and now I’m the third owner.

      Like 6
      • Scott

        I think the son had to be 35 when his parents bought the car new. If he was 82 in 2018 he was born in 1936.

        Like 0
  2. Ricl

    Most Iconic? I owned a 70 Vista Cruiser for my family hauler. And, despite the fact, that that vehicle was fantastic looking, I thought the Cutlass coupes and sedans were the dumpiest looking vehicles I’d ever seen. And, to get some of the muscle car performance, you had to buy old pudge. The 1973 Olds Cutlass Supreme, however, was the one I’d call iconic. But, as with all GM products of the day, the first design was gorgeous, and as they diddled with it in subsequent years, it only became uglier and uglier. But, the ’71 was a classic grannywagon.

    Like 2
    • Scott

      Loved the Vista Cruiser. Kind of the automotive equivalent of Big Band music for boomers (lots of us loved listening to our parents 1930’s/40’s orchestra records in private but couldn’t admit it to our friends). I’d lie to my buddies about liking the Road Runner Superbird with the hideous wing but secretly lust after the V-Cruiser.

      Like 0
  3. Neal Stampley

    The Oldsmobile Cutlass was a great car, my first car was a 1973 Cutlass Supreme 1 owner!!

    Like 3
    • Michael Leonard

      The difference is that the 1973 Cutlass is not a desirable vehicle.

      Like 6
    • Fogline

      Mine too, Neal. Great cruiser and reasonably fast with a 4 bbl. Plus the bench seat in front was a lot roomier for teenage shenanigans :-) Mine got clipped by another teenage driver on the rear quarter while parked. About totaled her car ( she claimed she was avoiding a black dog in the street) while my olds had the tail light broken out and a small dent that resulted in an insurance payment in excess of what my dad paid for the car to begin with. When I finally got T-boned in it about 6 months later and totaled it, my dad sold it to a guy that used the transmission and engine for his race car. Net gain about $800. Not bad in the 80’s.

      Like 2
  4. Vance

    Bought a 1969 Cutlass from my brother-in-law who was a Chrysler/Plymouth/Dodge dealer, and had taken this in on trade. This was the fall of 1979, and I paid 500.00 for it. It had 65 k on it and was a 1 owner car. It had the owners manual, original spare, and floor mats still in it. It had the usual “cancer” on it, behind the tires but it wasn’t terminal. The engine was a 350 two barrel, but it ran great. Me and a friend of mine put a pretty dam good paint job and a little body work and it was pretty sharp. Sold it 2 years later for 400.00, one of the best cars I ever had.

    Like 2
  5. Michael

    ’73 up – butt ugly….

    Like 4
  6. Guardstang

    Except for the A/C and colour, my high school car. Better shape than the one I had in 1983

    Like 1
  7. Lance Platt

    Styling is subjective but I love the 1968-1972 GM intermediates. I like the fake wood grain on the Olds dash. Todays cars have all black plastic padded dashes. This particular example scares me because of the rust factor and that Rocket engine does not even run. Just like a new girlfriend..looks nice but could get very expensive!

    Like 2
  8. Joe Defelice

    Had a 72 Cutlass… Same color combo, based on the before picture That funky gold with a green hint. Funny the clean pix look more green, but that could be fluorescent lighting playing tricks.. Lucky if I got 6 MPG with mine.

    Like 1
    • Scott

      Had a 72 also, same setup but more of a forest green. True, mileage sucked but pretty sure I got better than 6. But they were enjoyable miles – that was an excellent car. I remember being surprised by the handling – tight steering for the period, almost like R&P. Relatively little body roll, good go and stop. I owned a 68 convertible later and it was fun but didn’t quite have those characteristics. I’ve always thought ’72 was the apex for the Cutlass, and got sadder every year after that as the new ones rolled out. Fugly, most of them. When the 3.8 v6 took over in the late 70s or early 80s I finally wrote them off completely.

      Like 1
  9. stillrunners


    Like 0

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