The Olds Cutlass was once America’s #1 selling car. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe edition hails from well past those glory days, but maybe this droptop’s price will prove just as glorious.
When considered by the pound or square inch, yesterday’s 1975 Oldsmobile Delta 88 convertible proved to appear almost economical. That factor, along with what I think is a current fascination with all things over the top, drove that Olds to a solid 58-percent Nice Price win.
You know, Olds is right and truly dead, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t keep digging them up and checking them out, seeing as there are a number of the defunct brand’s models out there that are still all kinds of funky.
In that light, we’re sticking with Olds today, with this 1993 Cutlass Supreme basket handle droptop in fact. This model was introduced in 1990, becoming the first production convertible Cutlass Oldsmobile offered in over 18 years. The top chopping and engineering of the power-operated replacement was handled by Cars & Concepts of Brighton, Michigan and like the VW Golf convertible it featured an iconic B-pillar “basket handle.” This helped with structural rigidity in the uni-body car, but also maintained the Cutlass’ sassy beer tap exterior door handles. Another interesting feature of the convertible was the two-piece side glass in back that allowed it to fully drop into the confined spaces over each rear wheel arch.
This one, in arrest-me red over dark grey and with a white top, seems to be in pretty decent shape, as long as you’re not looking to closely. There are some boogers here and there, as you might expect, and the top needs to be repaired in a corner. The driver’s seat also shows some wear, but at least it’s intact. The other three seats (yes, it’s a four-seater with buckets for everybody) seem appreciably up to snuff.
Mechanically, this car represents just how far we’ve come automotively. The engine is a 3.4-litre V6 with double over-head cams and four-valves per cylinder good fro 200-bhp. That was a big deal back then when such technology was exotic and rare. Today, it’s all par for the course, and that course usually means about 100 more ponies. The engine is matched with a four-speed automatic transaxle, the previously offered Getrag five-speed having been discontinued for this model year.
The ad says it all runs and works as it should. The top goes up and down and the wheels (factory alloys) go round and round. Mileage is a meager 77K and there’s even the original soft tonneau to tidy things up when going topless.
This generation represents the last convertible that Olds ever built. To add ignominy to that, it’s also the last one to carry the Cutlass nameplate that wasn’t a mildly tarted up version of the milquetoastian Chevy Malibu four-door.
That car was a humiliating end to what was once America’s favorite whip. That’s sad, but you know what always picks me up when I’m down? That’s right, dropping the top and hitting the open road.
If you need the automotive equivalent of a restorative too, then this Olds may be just the ticket. It’s cool (admit it, it is) and at only $3,795, it won’t break the bank.
What do you think, does this Cutlass convertible seem like it might be worth that asking? Or, could you think of about a million other cars that would better places to spend that kind of cash?
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