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72 Cutlass coupe

Guest sloopjohnb

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Guest sloopjohnb

Hello everyone! I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm 16 and looking at buying my first car. I have a nice 72 Cutlass that I really want to buy but unfortunately don't know lots about Olds. I was wondering if anyone could help me out. Is there anything that I should look out for? Any deal-breakers? Any information would be appreciated.

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Over at the www.wildaboutcars.com website, there's a huge amount of Oldsmobile "stuff" there. It's a free registration to get into the website, but it's a great information resource. Things like road tests, tech information, manuals, advertisements, etc.

To me, the '72 Cutlasses were some of the better GM intermediate-size cars every built. Their original popularity obviously results in them having higher values than almost any other similar GM car. They were just a great combination of style, luxury, performance, and durability -- period.

One thing which seemed to plague Cutlasses of that vintage (and a few years prior), was the proximity of the rear tail pipe to the tail lights. Heat from the pipes would melt the plastic tail lights if the pipes were too close to the rear bumper. A few inches would make a huge difference to tail light longevity. There might also be some issues with rust around the lower areas of the back window, but this issue is not unique to Cutlasss, although it's one thing which should be investigated. Not a hard thing to fix, if it's just some minor perforations underneath the chrome trim, but if it's gotten very bad, then some additional paint and body work would be needed.

Otherwise, normal wear areas (like brakes, engine, u-joints, suspension, transmission) would need to be looked at carefully to see which ones are still in decent condition and which ones would need "in the very near future" attention. You can get pricing information at www.nadaguides.com, clicking on "Antique" or "Older Vehicle" icon. The format is very similar to what Old Cars Price Guide uses, but not identical, yet the resultant values are similar.

In the end, though, that generation of Cutlass was a nice car to have, then or now. If you "buy it right", you'll have room to spend money on it and those expenditures (especially for cosmetic items) will most probably be justifiable due to the resultant increase in value of the vehicle. The Olds 350 V-8 was powerful, reliable, and economical on the highway (typically a 350 4bbl with THM350 automatic transmission). With the right tuning, most would clear 20mpg on the highway, back then.

While these can be great cars, there's NO reason to purchase the first one you might find OR to purchase a "fixer-upper" at a cheap price. If possible, you can find one that you can reliably drive for a while before you need to do much more to it than some normal maintenance (a tune-up, oil change, brake frictions, or shocks) after you purchase it.

There's also a very strong and vibrant national group called "Oldsmobile Club of America". As with most single-marque car clubs, there is a vast amount of information available to the membership from other members. You can check out their website for information on membership and if there might be a local chapter near where you are. In order to join the local chapter, you'll probably first need to be a national club member. www.oldsclub.org

Just some thoughts . . .


Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)
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