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Rough Start: Find The Cleanest Car For Your Project…Like this 1979 Olds Cutlass!

Rough Start: Find The Cleanest Car For Your Project…Like this 1979 Olds Cutlass!

I’m a beater addict. It’s true…I’ve got a perfectly normal, relatively late-model daily driver that has plenty of grunt and yet, I love the idea of daily-driving dirt-cheap buckets of rot that most people would consign to the scrapyard. It’s a curse, I guess. It’s also the way I started out with cars…from the paper-thin Camaro I started with to the Dirty Cougar, I’m pretty sure I’ve pissed away more money fixing piles of crap than should ever be mentioned. The truth is, if you are low-buck and want something to mess with on the side, do yourself a favor: locate the nicest example of the dream car you can find, spend money where it’s needed most, and do the nice things when you can afford to do them.

Five thousand dollars is the Rough Start budget because finding a decent running, driving, and respectable project car should be easy to do. We aren’t talking show winners or stompers from the glory days, but we are talking nice cars that can be improved upon easily enough. So, on to today’s find, a 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. It’s pretty hard to screw up picking a Cutlass of just about any era prior to 1989…V8, rear-drive, body-on-frame, well appointed and for the most part, handsome for the era. When the A-G body downsized for 1978, the Cutlass shrunk but managed to keep everything that had made the prior Colonnade cars one of the most popular vehicles in the country. I’m one of those people…I’ve owned three of the 1978-1980 cars. And this baby-blue one is as nice as you’ll find anywhere you look. Small-block Chevy for power, overdrive trans, and everything including a power sunroof optioned…this beauty was high-end new and still looks fantastic today. You’ll burn the entire budget buying it, sure…but do yourself a favor: do it. Outside of some clearcoat problems on the roof that aren’t too bad, there is nothing that should deter you from laying down your money. We’d buy this beauty in a heartbeat and start saving up again for suspension parts.

Facebook Marketplace link: 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

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2 thoughts on “Rough Start: Find The Cleanest Car For Your Project…Like this 1979 Olds Cutlass!

  1. AnOldsguy

    Very nice car. But it’s a ’78. Also, if the tranny is original, no overdrive. Not really a problem with the highway gearing, but you could use a sundial to measure the acceleration.

  2. Blu67RS

    Gotta lose the pimp soft interior & top – then I’d drop a 455 in (yes it’s a drop in on those frame mounts) and cruise it! Every bracket, A.C., etc should bolt right up!! Maybe an overdrive auto like Oldsguy mentioned, installed down the road

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