1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 350

     I purchased this 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 350 from an eBay auction. The car was purchased from a single owner family. They bought this car new, and continued to use it throughout the past 35 years. The owner's kids learned to drive in the car, went on dates in the car, and it still retains the various stickers from it's use. It has two high school parking stickers, and a Department of Defense parking sticker from when the parent worked at the nearby base. The car was well cared for througout most of it's life until it was in a pretty significant accident recently. The owner was driving home after getting the A/C serviced and was hit from behind by a punk kid speeding in the neighborhood with a Chevy S-10 Blazer. The rear-end was smashed in and the car was parked in the garage for a couple of years. This 80k original mile car popped up on eBay and I snatched it up.

The car came equipped as follows:
- Supreme Interior / Option Package
- Th-350 Automatic Transmission w/ Column Shifter
- Bench Seat, with fold-down arm rest
- Manual Windows / Manual Locks / 2-Speed Wipers
- Whitewall tires
                                         Oldsmobile 350 Rocket V8 [L34]
- 8.0:1 Compression
- 4-bbl Rochester QuadraJet
- 180hp @3800rpm and 275 ft-lbs @2800rpm

- The Cutlass is sold...

Well, the Cutlass is sold. I'm not happy about it, but it's for the best. I simply realize that I have too many cars, and with everything going on, I just won't have the time to dedicate to it like I want. I'm still keeping my Olds 455 big block in the garage, but I've sold the car. It was shipped up to a buyer in New Hampshire (UPDATE - The car was again sold to another guy who lives locally to me. Small World. I've spoken to the guy, and he works at the community center across the street from my neighborhood. I see my old car out there at least two times a week!) Here are two videos I took of the car for the eBay auction: (Videos open new window to YouTube)

- Cleaned up, running strong!

I cleaned up the Crown Victoria a little. It's running really strong and smooth. I decided to take a few pictures of it to show the progress that's been made since I first got it:

- Back from the body shop!

I just picked the car up from the body shop, and I'm pretty pleased. The frame has been completely straightened, and the fender (which was tucked under) has been pulled out to about 95% of it's original location. It's almost unnoticeable, but there is still a little slight angle, but that can only be repaired at this point by replacing the quarter panel. However, the difference is night and day, and the bumper now mates up perfectly to the body. I'm pretty pleased with the way it's turned out, and I think this car is well on it's way to becoming a good "survivor". The next step for me is to replace some of the interior pieces in the car (A-pillar covers, etc) and possibly paint the landau top. Below are some pictures I took by the power station. They left the gate open, so... I figured it seemed like a fairly picturesque place to get some new shots of the body:

- Body Shop / Frame Work

It's been a while since I've added any updates for this car. However, I recently dropped the 73 Cutlass off at Second Generation Auto Body in Davie, Florida. They are going to straight out the frame (certainly better than I can do) and re-aligning the fenders properly. I'm pretty excited about it because this car really needs this work to be a decent "survivor". There's not much else to mention other than the car runs exceptionally well. I drive it to work here and there. In the mean time, here is a picture I received from my friend who was at the body shop yesterday. This is my cutlass on the Car-O-Liner frame straightener.

- Status Update / Repairs.

It's November 2nd... two days from election, and Lewis Hamilton wins the Formula-1 Championship this morning... but I thought I'd make some time to do a quick update. About a month ago, I did some temporary repairs to the rear-end, you can see in the attached images that I've straightened the frame somewhat, but also installed a temporary bumper. This makes the car look a bit more "acceptable". I've been busy at work, but when I get a free Thursday afternoon, I plan to drive it over to the frame shop down the street. In addition to body work, I've also rebuilt BOTH carburetors. I rebuilt the carburetor I found in the trunk (the original). Unfortunately, there was so much rust and gunk in it that even after rebuilding it, the motor ran horribly. I believe the idle stop ports and the primary jets are clogged. The replacement carburetor (that came on the car) was in good shape, but having sat for 5 years, the accelerator pump cup gasket was worn, I replaced that and the mating gasket and the car runs much smoother now. Performance is very smooth, and hesitation has been completely eliminated. The only exception is that, from a dead-stop, there is slight bogging. I may need to adjust the secondaries.

One other thing to note, I gave the engine bay a good cleaning. The gold paint on the valve covers is actually in really good shape, as is most everything else in the engine bay. The intake manifold however, is fairly rusty and nasty. Since I plan on replacing the engine anyway, I won't bother painting the manifold until I've pulled the motor. I intend to keep this motor, but put it on an engine stand and clean it up. As it stands, the car runs really, REALLY well. The tank is still dented, but I don't plan on installing the new one until I've got the frame straightened.

- Car is home, and work starts.

The damage isn't that bad, but in some areas it's a bit worse than I thought. As it turns out, the frame is actually bent. Although not bad, it is preventing the body from being fixed. The rear-right most section of the frame was pushed in and up, this in turn is what tweaked the passenger side quarter. I'm hoping to have a frame shop look at it near the end of this month, or this weekend.

overall, the car is in really good shape. The chrome and trim are all intact, with only a few odds and ends missing. The interior is in good shape as well. Having sat for 5 months, the dust really collected, but it cleaned up very well. I still need to go back through it again, but the seats and panels are excellent. The engine is surprisingly powerful too. I keep thinking of everything in terms of a 455, so anything other than a 455 is small. But the 5.7 liter Oldsmobile motor really isn't that small! It has excellent power in passing maneuvers. This past weekend, I changed the spark plug wires, cleaned the plugs, replaced the air filter, added some carburetor cleaner to the engine, and flushed the radiator. Unfortunately, there is TONS of rust in the radiator. It looks like it was mostly water, rather than coolant. It came out like brown water. I've replaced it with a 50/50 mix. I've also installed some exhaust manifold gaskets since it appears the manifolds have warped slightly over the years (this is normal for a car that's 35 years old). The car runs MUCH better now. It runs smooth, and has plenty of power. I've also taken off the original bumper and replaced it with a spare one I got. In the mean time, this will have to do until I can get the frame straightened. I bought a few more things which I'll take care of this coming weekend. I plan to change the oil, transmission fluid and filter, the carburetor fuel filter, the belts, and the heater valve. I'll post some pictures as soon as I can get them up.

- Won the auction, it's mine now.

I've just won the auction. It has some damage, but it's otherwise a very solid car. Here are some pictures from the auction: