Successfully Slimmed: 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham Coupe
If you’ve kept up with my myriad Brougham Era related posts, you know that I’m a big fan of the now-extinct American personal luxury coupe. So it will come as no surprise that I perked up when I saw this one advertised on Seattle Craigslist several months ago. My friend Chuck Houston shared it to his Facebook group, Finding Future Classic Cars, the same day.
Triple green … and a Brougham! Poofy seats! Did I mention green? Excellent. And I love the color-keyed Super Stock wheels, an Olds option for many years. As the long-gone ad related: “Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham, one owner, 38K original miles, always garaged. Runs and drives like new. Mint green with dark green interior. 4.3L V-8, auto. A/C needs attention, otherwise everything works great. Title in hand. $5000 OBO.”
For a seemingly very nice car in top-of-the-line trim and an oh-so-1970s color combination, the ask seemed more than reasonable, and it was good that it was far, far away from me. I wasn’t the only one who liked it. That very same night, it was marked “sale pending,” so someone got a bargain.
Those mid-to-late-’70s Cutlass Supremes were the belle of the ball back then. Incredibly popular, the Supreme was the right car at the right time, and plenty of folks signed on the dotted line for one. The Cutlass Supreme and all its variants (including the new “Aeroback” Cutlass Salon two- and four-door models, plus the Cutlass Cruiser station wagons) were newly downsized for 1978, replacing the 1973–77 “Colonnade” midsizers.
But the 1978–80 versions would sell even better. In 1977, the last year of the Colonnade Supreme coupes, 242,874 Supreme coupes and 124,712 Supreme Brougham coupes were sold. In 1978, the first year of the all-new model, 240,917 Supreme coupes and 117,880 Brougham coupes sold. But for some reason, in ’79, despite only minor trim revisions, sales got a healthy bump to a spectacular 277,944 Supreme coupes. This Pastel Green example is one of 137,323 of those ’79 Broughams. Impressive sales numbers.
This design lasted to 1980, when a facelift added quad, rectangular headlamps and a new grille. For 1981, all Cutlass coupes would get attractive new sheetmetal from stem to stern, along with the other GM midsize coupes.
These Supremes rode a 108.1-inch wheelbase and had a total length of 200.1 inches. The Brougham package added these splendid floating-pillow style seats, Brougham emblems, fancier door panels, and other extras. Depending on your preference, a 3.8-liter V-6, 4.3-liter and 5.0-liter V-8s, and a 4.3-liter Diesel V-8 could be found under the hood.
Leather seats or a Mojave designer interior were optionally available; velour upholstery was standard. Other options included two-tone paint, a digital clock, and a sunroof.
I remember these cars; as I’ve mentioned previously, the residents of my Midwestern city were big fans of Oldsmobile, right to the very end. I still saw these semi regularly in traffic through the the mid ’90s—some were quite rusty, some still in pretty solid shape. Now I rarely see them, save for a few at car shows. As with most of us, seeing things we remember from the past triggers our old nostalgia button and takes us back, if not to a better time, then at least to a much-loved time. And that’s how I felt when I saw this car. I hope the new owner knows what a gem he got.