Swivel Seats: 1975 Oldsmobile Cutlass

It’s hard to argue with the success of the Oldsmobile Cutlass and it’s hard to believe that Oldsmobile has been gone for seventeen years already. The Colonnade models weren’t popular with everyone but this 1975 Oldsmobile Cutlass looks like an incredible example. It is listed here on eBay in Bremerton, Washington and the current bid price is $7,000 with just a day left on the auction.

The fourth-generation Cutlass was made from 1973 to 1977 and they were updated for the 1976 model year. This car looks like it’s in fantastic condition and it was a one-family-owned car since new. It was bought new by the vice president of a chemical company in Seattle and then passed onto his son in 1982. It remained the son’s car and spent the last three years on jack stands in the garage due to the son being past driving age.

Not having operable rear side windows must have made for some stuffy and, in this era, possibly smokey rides for back seat passengers. As always, let’s hear those stories! The seller says that this car is all original and it has just under 100,000 miles on it which is amazing given the visual condition. The Olds Delta 88 fell to second place in 1975 with the Cutlass taking over the top sales position at Oldsmobile.

Here’s the big thing with this car, or one of them after the outstanding original condition: the swiveling front bucket seats! This feature was known as Strato seats and as you can see, they swivel 90-degrees to ease entry and exit. I don’t know if they were really useful or were more of a visual zinger or a cool feature to show your friends. Have any of you had swiveling front seats? The interior, in general, looks outstanding both front and rear and the underside also looks great.

The engine is a response to the energy crisis of a year or two earlier. This is one of two smaller engines introduced in 1975 for Oldsmobile – the bigger of the two – a 260 cubic-inch V8 which had around 110 horsepower. This looks like quite a car and Hagerty doesn’t show a value deduction for the smaller 260 V8 compared to the 350 V8, which they value at $8,200 in #3 good condition. What will the selling price be for this Cutlass, $8,000? More?


  1. Rustytech Member

    Not my choice of color, but still a very nice car for under $10k if it stays that way.

    Like 4
  2. george mattar

    Hagerty overvalues every thing. They say my 73 Corvette is worth $20,000. I can’t sell it for $12,000.

    Anyway, nice car. I had a 76 Cutlass, no swivels, but I also had a 76 Monte Carlo with swivels. Super comfortable and when I herniated a disc in my lower back in 1988, those seats came in super handy. I simply sat into the car the correct way and turned the seat to drive. Put 200,000 plus miles on the Monte and then gave it to my brother. These cars are so reliable and better looking than anything GM builds today, even that awful looking new Corvette.

    Like 21
  3. Yank Tanks R Us

    Yeah those swivel seats were cool. Especially the way they copied Chrysler Corp. which offered them from 1959 through 1961.

    Like 3
    • JCA Member

      Yeah, but these swing twice as far so they are twice as cool

      Like 10
    • Jim

      Sorry but Buick had them in 1956. The X-Century was a prototype with swivels. Fiat 1200 1958.

      Like 1
      • Sam61

        True, but I’ll trump swivel seats with the lay-down Nash seats that were in my “hand me down” 1976 Matador Coupe.

        Like 3
    • Pete Kaczmarski

      I have the swivel seats on my ’59 Imperial Custom Southhampton Coupe.

      Like 1
  4. Moparman Moparman Member

    I’d ditch those wheel covers for a set of Olds Super Stock wheels and cruise!
    GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 9
  5. Robert Bisson

    Back in the early 80’s a good friend of mine had one a 442 with swivel seats. I remember him taking it to the nearby drag strip ran high 18’s in the 1/4 mile fun days

    Like 1
  6. Jcs

    Great looking Cutlass but the 260 was a serious dog and kills it value wise, not to mention offers zero performance. VIN verifies that it is a 260.

    The swivel seats were handy indeed and were supremely comfortable. The only downside with them was the fixed seatback, no recline function and makes ingress egress to the rear awkward.

    Like 9
    • JoeNYWF64

      I don’t recall any reclining bucket seats on american cars in the ’70s or earlier, except oddly on some AMC cars!
      I don’t see why a seat that swivels can’t also recline & bend forward!
      I want to know why Ford got rid of the swing away steering wheel!
      That seemed like a “better” idea – odd no other make had that.

      Like 4
      • JeffChiTown

        I had a ’75 Cutlass Salon, which I bought new. It was similar to the Supreme, but had a touring suspension. 15 inch wheels with radials were standard. The Salon model also included reclining bucket seats with corduroy upholstery. My Cutlass had a 350 4bbl, AM-FM radio (AM 8-Track was available), power windows, landau vinyl roof, A/C, and super stock wheels. I wish I still had that car.

        Like 4
      • Chuck Dickinson

        In theory, the swing-away wheel seemed like a good idea, but in reality, it paled in comparison to a regular tilt wheel. A tilt wheel can be adjusted for height while driving, and the only advantage of the swing-away wheel (easier entrance/egress) is easily accomplished by simply moving the tilt wheel to its top position to give more room for getting in or out. Much more flexible than simply swinging aside. That’s why no one copied it. It wasn’t one of the “Ford has a better idea” better ideas.

        Like 3
      • Jcs

        JoeNYWF64, The 75 Salons had reclining seatbacks on it’s unusually wide-back buckets.

        Like 6
      • Paul Stewart

        Swing Away steering columns came out in 1961 and was an option on the newly restyled Thunderbird, it was such a popular option that it became standard equipment for 1962.

        It was discontinued after ’66 due to the new 1967 federal safety standards requiring energy absorbing or collapsible steering columns.

        Ford introduced a new Tilt-Away Wheel option for 1967 & “68 in Thunderbird, Mustang and Cougars. It tilted up, down and automatically tilted away when you exited the car.

        Like 0
    • David ulrey

      You are correct about the 260 V8 being a dog. My uncle still has his Cutlass Supreme that he bought new in 1979. In his case the engine was pretty tired at a little over a 100k miles. When it came time he had it replaced with a 307 Olds V8. While not a performance engine, the 307 would run circles around that 260. My uncle has always been very anal about maintenance and isn’t a lead foot either. His car has over 400k on it and 300k on that 307 Olds engine and it still runs great and is his daily driver. One transmission change along the way to a Turbo 350. He’s 87 going on 88 and still loves that Cutlass.

      Like 1
  7. Superdessucke

    The 260 makes this a Gutless. My buddy had one in a ’78 Gutlass Supreme and it was laughably slow. I can’t imagine what it would do in this beast!

    Like 1
    • Bob C.

      Speaking of Gutless, my sister had one this year with a Chevy six, now THAT was gutless. Took a while to get it going, but once up to speed on the highway, it cruised along nicely.

      Like 1
      • Superdessucke

        Yup, these were also available with the 250 Chevy six. According to Automobile Catalog, one so equipped would take almost 18 seconds to hit 60. That might be the most gutless of all of them but I don’t know. There were also the diesels in the late 70s- early 80s.

        Like 0
  8. DaveG

    I learned to drive on my father’s ’75 Cutlass Supreme, dark blue with a white vinyl Landau top. It had the 350 V8. Great car, we put over 200,000 miles on it.
    Very few problems as I recall but I did hate squeezing into the back seat. It was totally loaded with the bucket swivels and a 6-speaker stereo system from the factory. Wish I could have kept it somehow.

    Like 0
  9. T-bone

    I had a 73 Laguna with swivel buckets, they were really comfortable. I bought it in 1985 for $350.00 drove for 6 months and traded it for a 1979 Dodge, I didn’t win on the deal. The Dodge was a dog that I ended up junking 6 months later. The Laguna was totaled in a powder puff race at Thompson Speedway shortly after the deal.

    Like 1
    • bone

      I raced a 74 Cutlass in the Enduros about an hour from Thompson at Waterford . Lots of mid size cars met their fate at small town racetracks . It was the perfect size .

      Like 0
  10. EBZ06

    Back about ’87, I bought a ’75 with a 260. I though it would be a good second car for the wife. . . there were so many around. In 2 years it turned into a slug. 4 wheels coupled to an unreliable drivetrain. The end came when the passenger side door started flying open by itself and the seat belts became a REAL necessity.

    Like 1
  11. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this Cutlass sold for $7,200.

    Like 1
    • Jcs

      Thanks Scotty, sounds about right for a clean 75 Cutlass S with the 260.

      Like 5

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