Rare Color & 28K Miles: Olds Cutlass Convertible

When this generation of the Oldsmobile Cutlass was a new car, I was convinced this was the hottest thing on the road (explains my taste in vehicles, doesn’t it?) I chalked it up to the aggressive styling and little else; just thought they looked great rolling down the road on those five-point alloys. This 1995 example here on craigslist is said to be part of the final production run of convertibles, and one of only 69 built in this color combo. 

And what a combo it is. I can’t recall ever seeing one of these Cutlasses in hard- or soft-top form with the striking white roof and interior. It seems highly unusual for a conservative brand like Oldsmobile to offer such an eye-popping color scheme. This Cutlass has clearly been preserved as a Sunday driver or collector car, as the mileage is quite low at just 28,000. I’d say the condition backs it up, and as an Arizona car, it hasn’t seen road salt.

Check out that interior! The door panels and surprisingly bolstered bucket seats are clad in snow-white leather. I imagine this had to be a special-order from the factory. The seller claims just under 4,500 convertibles were made that year, and while that isn’t super rare, it is fairly low for a car that was mass-produced like the Cutlass. And given how few I see on the road today in drop-top form, I’m guessing the attrition rate has not been kind to this generation of the Cutlass.

The corporate 3.4L V6 is nothing exotic, but it will get the job done. And with such low mileage, it’s barely broken in. The seller doesn’t break out what, if any, maintenance has been done in the last few years, but I’d want to get some details on basic fluid changes and belt replacement. The engine bay isn’t super clean, so it’s a question worth asking – especially for a $7,950 cash-only list price. What do you think – will this Cutlass ever be a collector’s car?

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Comments

  1. Den

    Nice car, can’t see this being a collector car, but you never know. Like the seats !

  2. DG

    Actually, that 3.4 is exotic (for GM at the time.) Its a “twin dual cam” DOHC 24V V6 rated at ~215hp. GM’s first 4 cam, multivalve V6, I believe. Very finicky engines to maintain from what I’ve heard.

    • 77vette

      Had this engine in a 1994 Chevy. It was fast for that time. Got rid of it at 50k. A/c went out three times and a very expensive alternator. Quality of the car was poor.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Not so sure that the 24 valve “Doe Hock” (Dual Overhead Cam) was all that exotic….From what I recall at GM….it was an engine that was designed to compete with Ford’s SVT SHO offering at the time . Much like the “Soe Hock” (Ford’s Single Overhead Cam 427) During the ’60’s that wreaked havoc in all realm of automotive racing….

    • Dan

      Was hoping someone was gonna correct the author — darn tootin this was an exotic engine! Low on torque but high revving and way powerful from the iron block pusbrod company that churned out either a 3.4 or 3.8 in everything… as a senior in HS I did a dealer trade for my families Oldsmobile dealership, bringing one of these back from LA… I learned on the trip the 120 or MPH governor only activated if the tranny was in 4th/OD, so by dropping the trans down to 3rd I could wind this brand new engine to new heights.m, and I had fun doing that on a few stretches of road…. I found out that the transmission dropped out on the new owner not long later. 😬😬🙄🙄

  3. Scot Douglas

    I hate when “cash-only” price is stated. I usually offer the monetary equivalent in refried beans. Never get any takers.

  4. Anthony

    For me, the problem with these is that i don’t like the way they look with the top down

    • DrinkinGasoline

      The reason that you don’t like this with the top down…..It doesn’t look sleek…..like a ’57 Thunderbird Convertible….Long and low with the top down with class…

      • DrinkinGasoline

        It’s stubby and chubby and the ‘vert was a stretch.

    • Frank Pleto Jr.

      I have the same color but with white interior and HUD. It has ‘every’ possible Olds option, I love it! Rides like a dream, my Sunday Beach driver!

      Like 1
  5. ronebee

    I like these cars

  6. Craig

    I guess to each his own, but to me this was not the high time of American automotive excellence. My father had one of these as his retirement car and it was frankly a piece of junk. After he passed, I donated it to charity and was happy never to see it again.

  7. Kent Pearson

    I agree that “roll bar” doesn’t fit at all. A roll activated system behind the seats would have been better. But with that mileage this should make a great daily driver. Can’t believe you’re getting white leather sport seats at this price. A regular maintenance schedule on the fluids, belts etc. should keep it out of trouble. A create coyote or LS might be nice but not worth replacing a new engine. i’d go for it if I hadn’t already just got into a Bimmer.

  8. Hubblehouse

    I agree with Jeff, I have always liked this body style. As a collectable, absolutely. Who’d ever think we would be paying the kind of prices that we do now for AMC’s and Studebakers, cars nobody wanted on used car lots… except perhaps me.

  9. fogline

    Not sure if I buy the numbers here, but we did look at buying one of these back when they were new and there were a few ’94 Saabs still on the lots that had a back seat too. I remember the price seeming quite high for a car that felt like a lot of plastic on both the interior and exterior. Seems like it was quite noisy with the top up or down with lots of rattles on a brand new car. Not something that I could imagine then would be a car that would hold up well. I can’t even imagine having one today. Good idea poorly executed in my opinion.

  10. olddavid

    I liked them, too. But, there was one locally with 60k miles and I thought it was high at $5000. At least it has the right engine, although people who know better than I say the 3100 is the one to have. I just checked to see where and its right near Howard! Any potential buyer could have a proper inspection.

  11. Rustytech Member

    Jeff. Did you forget that it was Oldsmobile that made the 442’s? This is a nice car. I think any car that reaches this age in this condition should qualify as collectible.

  12. AMCFAN

    I am not a fan of anything GM and that statement most likely isn’t a secret. But seeing these back in the day I had an appreciation and took note when I saw a rag top. When new these said Oldsmobile was still in the car business.

    It’s unique style doesn’t scream clone of something else GM was building at the time. I hadn’t realized the low production.

    As for as the roll bar isn’t there to make friends. It is there to save your life in the event of a rollover. I applaud GM for installing them on their own and not being told to do so by Highway Safety after someone got killed!

    This would be a nice car to have and enjoy now. What a great find.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      In reply, the “roll bar” was NOT a prophylactic safety measure on GM’s behalf, but, was designed based on the safety belt shoulder belt towers given Federal requirements. General Motors Oldsmobile Motor Division had no choice in the matter and had to relent.

  13. Kevin

    I had a red 1994 and loved it. It also had the 4 white leather buckets AND every option including a HUD (heads up display). No problem with the engine but the alternator did go out and was $$$$ as someone else pointed out. The top was not very easy to close and the material bunched up quite a bit when open. Wind noise sucked on the highway with the top down due to the shoulder harness/roll bar. But around town, it was fun. And I like the styling. I sold it because my job moved and I had to commute- just no fun on the highway.

  14. RJ

    I had a Monte Carlo Z34 with this engine while a nice little powerhouse with great sounds from the exhaust the engine was a pain to maintain. Pricey belt replacement. Alternator buried. Rear plugs a pain to get to. Alternatively I had a 1994 Cutlass Supreme coupe 3100V6 in Maui Blue that outside of a waterpump, brakes and a electrical gremlin caused by who ever installed the aftermarket stereo gave me very little issues. Bought that car for $1,000, drove it for two years and sold it for $2,200.

  15. Chad M

    I bought one new out of college in 1995. It was expensive but I loved the looks and luxury features these were full of. I also liked that you didn’t see them everywhere like mustangs & camaros. The 3.4 was powerful for the day and very reliable except the alternator. It was on its’ 3rd one when I sold the car with 160,000 miles….it’s located low on the back of the engine and I think the heat shortened the life. Despite what someone else said, they weren’t junk….mine wasn’t.

    I really missed it & just bought another low mileage one last summer.

  16. KevinR

    I always liked these cars; can’t remember the last time I actually saw one. A car dealer friend had a triple black one that I really wanted. I remember them being nice around town cruisers when new, but they were out of my budget at the time.

    The roll bar doesn’t bother me, but then again my wife and I have owned a VW Cabriolet since 1987 so we’re used to the roll bar look.

    • Djkenny

      I’d much rather have a Cabriolet. Better built. Quality is apparent.

      Any convertible that’s not built Ground up as one, I would want nothing to do with.

      Cowl shake, body flex, creeks and rattles.. GM Verts being no exception… I

  17. Gary N

    I like these cars and had a ’94 with the HUD and bigger 3.4 DOHC. The ’95 was the very last convertible ever made by Oldsmobile, so maybe it will be collectible someday, but not right now. When the top is down, it rides high on the body which takes away from the sleek profile that some convertibles had, but Olds did that to get a regular size back seat that can really fit 3. Some other brands had a “loveseat” that was crowded for 2. I especially liked that my ’94 was a 4-seater, with front and back buckets. Nice touch.

  18. Cabe

    I absolutely love my 95′. I have owned the car since 08′, and is my first car! I ended up purchasing the car when I was 15. Yes, mine has had some serious work done to it, and should have been a parts car! But, with memories of my moms 94 coupe and 97 coupe while growing up, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way! Will this car become a classic? Time will tell I guess, but doesn’t matter anyway, I don’t see me getting rid of it anytime soon!

  19. tasker

    my mother in law still has hers that she bought new in 92. Never seen a New England winter drives it once it gets warm out and gets put away before it gets cold out. The smiles when driving it is priceless to me.

  20. TB

    Here is a pic of my daily driver 1995 Cutlass Convertible. I’ve owned it since 2010 and I absolutely love this car! I can afford to comfortably drive a mid-range luxury import, but I wouldn’t want to drive anything but my Cutlass. It currently has 73k miles on it.

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