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Rough Start: This 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Is A Weekend’s Worth Of Work Away From Driver-Quality!

Rough Start: This 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Is A Weekend’s Worth Of Work Away From Driver-Quality!

If you’re heart is set on a classic ride and you’re on a budget, then you have to accept the fact that the older of a car you choose, the more likely it is that you will have to bust out the wrenches and actually use them in order to get a drivable car. Even with the five thousand dollars that the Rough Start budget pushes, you’ll have things that require attention, from simple upkeep that was neglected for whatever reason to…well, you’ve seen what people sell. If you just have to pretty up the paintwork and do a mild tune-up, count your blessings. But a lot of people get scared off when they see a car that has weeds growing up around it and don’t look at the bigger picture.

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For this installment, our target is this 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. It’s no 442, but there is still tons to like: factory louvered hood, formal roofline, a surprisingly clean interior, Rocket 350 and automatic, and a nice blue/white color combination all add up to what could be a really cool ride. Is it perfect? Nope, but it’s there and there is so much good that you could easily ignore the problems, right? Well…yes and no.


The biggest thing going against this Cutlass is that the seller claims that the car hasn’t been started in a couple of years. This is the biggest hangup, but it’s not a lost cause just yet. As long as the motor is free, you can work with this. The biggest issue will be old fuel and the fuel lines…gasoline that has sat for a couple of years doesn’t bode well. You can clean out the fuel tank, you can even replace it if need be…a fuel tank isn’t that difficult of a project. And looking over the fuel lines wouldn’t be a bad thing anyways. Honestly, we’d be willing to bet that with a couple of hours of work and some fresh fluids, that the car will fire with minimal issue.


There is one issue with the interior that must be addressed. The passenger footwell is devoid of carpet. That’s because the seals around the window are long gone and water got into the car. This is again a relatively simple fix…involved, but simple: clean off the surface rust, lay down something like POR-15, and replace both the carpeting and the weatherstripping. The weatherstripping is just good maintenance, and doing the carpeting offers up the chance to lay down Dynamat or other sound deadener. After that…we wouldn’t mess with it.

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For $3,500, the car itself is in decent enough condition. Add in a couple hundred for carpeting and weatherstripping, another couple hundred for tune-up stuff (plugs, cap, rotor, fluids) and a few hundred more for other items like brakes and possibly tires, and if you know what you’re doing, you can end up with a sweet Oldsmobile that is classic, timeless, and handsome. What’s there to be scared of…an afternoon of wrenching? If driving this Cutlass down the road that evening is the result, I’ll wrench all weekend long.

Craigslist Link: 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

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