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Swivel Bucket Seats! 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass S

1974 was a bad year for U.S. automakers, and especially ones like Oldsmobile that didn’t offer any real economy cars. The OPEC oil embargo of 1973 drove up gasoline prices and steered car buyers to smaller, more fuel-efficient automobiles. As such, Oldsmobile saw demand for its products drop by a third over the prior year. This ’74 Cutlass was the sporty mid-size entry offered by Olds, with a Rocket 350 V8 engine (just 180 hp). Located outside of Phoenix, Arizona, it needs new paint along with a master brake cylinder. The vehicle is available here on craigslist for $5,000 (firm). Thanks for another great tip, Larry D!

All General Motors’ intermediates went with “Colonnade” styling in 1973, which would have included the Cutlass. The ’74 models were minimally changed except for bigger bumpers required by new Federal safety regulations. The Cutlass S was a step up from the basic Cutlass, but below the Supreme in terms of creature comforts. Despite changing consumer tastes, Oldsmobile managed to build more than 50,000 of the Cutlass S in 1974, which could be had with swivel front bucket seats, as in the seller’s car. This helped Oldsmobile maintain third place in U.S. sales among American manufacturers.

The seller’s car was a daily driver until a year ago. That may have changed because the master brake cylinder went bad, which the seller offers to change out. But it seems as though the car will be sold at the same price regardless of whether that effort is taken. We’re told it otherwise starts, runs, and drives fine and would be a great road car once it can be made to stop properly. The radiator looks to be new, so the cooling system should be up to snuff.

At 68,000 miles, the original silver paint is toast, having been replaced by grey primer, which also looks worn. No immediate issues with the body are apparent and the seller has done some work in the passenger compartment, like replacing the carpeting and weather stripping. But since the bucket seats have baggy aftermarket covers on them, we have to assume the upholstery needs work, too. The tires are said to be new as are some of the suspension parts. It has factory A/C, but no mention is made of how cold the air blows.

In Good Condition, Hagerty pegs these ’74 Oldsmobile’s to be $10-11,000 cars. By the time you got done giving this car some TLC and new paint, that’s probably what you would end up having invested in it. It might make an interesting car to take to Cars & Coffee because it isn’t a 442 which is more likely to appear at those events.

Comments

  1. Stan

    The dual exhaust model 350 added 20hp and more torque. 3.08 gear best available.
    The one to have ordered was the 454. Came std w dual exhaust and an available 3.42 gear. Heavier front end a small price to pay for all the 454 torque and gear. That would be a real beauty 👍

    Like 4
    • Terrry

      you mean the 455, as Olds did not use the Chevy 454.

      Like 9
      • Stan

        Good eye Terry of course yes your right the olds rocket 455ci

        Like 2
      • Claudio

        I remember trying these
        It was called a sporty mid size but felt like a bloated bigger car
        That handled like a bigger car
        And felt like a boat
        I , obviously was not impressed and never have been
        Dont see any of these in the montreal, canada area and i dont miss them

        Like 3
      • Steve Makowski

        Right! Turn it into a 442!!

    • old beach guy

      455

  2. Terrry

    These were handsome cars, even with the bigger bumpers. And they were decent performers given the era. If this car doesn’t have terminal cancer, it’s a good buy.

    Like 10
  3. Stevieg Member

    Being in Phoenix, if it has been there as long as it looks (pretty baked), it should be solid.
    You see these advertised on a regular basis for between $10,000 & $20,000. This is a bargain!

    Like 7
  4. Moparman Member

    This one is crying out for a set of Olds Rally wheels as a part of its’ restoration! Looks to be a good solid start. GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 4
  5. erik in ri

    Prefer the ’73… has a much nicer integrated back bumper than the ’74.

    Like 5
  6. David Ulrey

    Sorry but I don’t see it at 5k. More like 3k, maybe 3500.00 Great cars. I had one and I have absolutely nothing bad to say about them. This a car you would paint, do whatever is needed for the interior and make sure everything is working and in sound mechanical condition. I suppose if it is a car you’ve always dreamed of owning and plan on keeping it the rest of your life the 5k would be fine. Different car but my 88 year old uncle has a 79 Cutlass Supreme 2dr he bought brand new and still has. It was painted 20 years ago and is still very presentable. Nice interior too. 41 years of maintenance and repair receipts as well. He has no intention of selling it but he’s had people stop at his house or wait for him in store parking lots. Every offer he’s ever gotten hovered between 4000 to 4500. He has no intention of selling it anyway.

  7. trav66

    This looks like a solid Arizona car with a fair asking price! Room to haggle and a good start to a decent looking weekend project. Too far away for me otherwise I’d consider making an offer.

  8. Mike Brown

    A friend of mine had a 74 S during and after high school in the mid-late 80s. It was a nice looking car, dark brown metalic with a tan vinyl top and interior. It had a 260 V8 when he got it (I don’t know if it was the original engine) and that was it’s only major problem. We could NOT get that engine to run right for more than a few days at a time. He eventually saved up enough money from his after school job to buy a 350 Olds and we dropped that in over a weekend. After that, it became a nice driving car too.

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