Owner: Craig Harrison, Tyler, TX Builder: Curtis Wise, Lufkin, TX Body & Frame: All Steel…
Colonnade coupe? Nope, this Cutlass is a sleek sedan
One of blogdom’s most favorite targets, at least in some quarters, is the mid-sized 1973-1977 GM midsize cars, nicknamed “Colonnades” due to their roof styling. But I’ve always had a soft spot for them, especially the Oldsmobile versions. Yes, the Cutlasses, Cutlass Supremes and Supreme Broughams were all sharp cars, and back then an Olds really was a cut above the ubiquitous Chevy and Ford midsizers.
Sure, everyone loves the 1968-72 A-Body Cutlasses. And why not? You had the 442 (real, fire breathing 442s!), the Vista Cruiser (my favorite!), plus the iconic hardtop coupe and sedan body styles. With the all-new ‘73s, on the other hand, there were no more pillarless body styles, the convertibles disappeared for good, and the famous Vista Cruiser—beloved by dads all over the USA-including Red Forman and Clark Griswold—went from those most excellent Vista skylights in the roof to a modest pop-out sun roof. Hmm. But the 1973-1977 cars have their own charms too. The car-show crowd is starting to agree. Each year, I see more Colonnades, and that’s encouraging.
Two of these Colonnade Cutlasses, albeit in coupe form, were prominent in my childhood memories. My Aunt Candy had a triple burgundy 1976 Supreme Brougham, and my cousin had a silver-blue metallic 1977 Supreme coupe. I remember riding in both, and though the rust monster was having its way with them both by the late ‘80s, they were faithful and reliable cars. And they looked good.
The Colonnade coupe was king, by far, of all the Cutlasses. Everyone loved coupes back then, you betcha! Before Apollo space capsule-sized kiddie booster seats, coupes provided an added measure of security-the kiddies couldn’t inadvertently open a back door and fall out of the moving car. Plus, folks at the time valued style over utility, an attitude that has changed 180 degrees in the current year. But I digress.
The 1977 Cutlass Supreme Colonnade Hardtop Sedan, like today’s featured car owned by FB friend Jeff Reynolds, had a base price of $4734. Production totaled 37,929. And as was the case throughout the Cutlass line, the two door coupe handily outsold the sedan, with 242,874 Supreme coupes sold alone. Yes, coupes vastly, VASTLY outsold four door models. The sedans rode a 116-inch wheelbase; coupes, 112.
Standard engine on Cutlass Supremes were the 231-cubic-inch V-6 with 105 horsepower. If that wasn’t enough motorvation for you, a 110-hp 260-cube V-8, 170-hp 350 V-8 or 403 V-8 with 185 ponies could be had as options.
I first spied this mellow yellow Cutlass Supreme before Jeff bought it. He had posted some pictures on a group we both were in, favoring little-seen classic cars. Then he told me:
“Went to look at these this morning. My buddy bought the wagon. I thought the four-door was a Cutlass Salon, but it’s a V-6 Supreme. These are original owner cars. $2500 is the ask for the sedan. 119k (on the sedan). Rebuilt motor. All records with it.
“The original owners were Mr. and Mrs. Boelf. Both cars were driven between their summer home in NC and their winter home in Largo, Florida. The wagon is a ’76, bought in North Carolina. The sedan is a ’77, bought from Lokey Oldsmobile in Clearwater, Florida.”
Well, as you readers have no doubt figured out, Jeff decided to get it. He’s been enjoying it too. Why not? These cars no longer grow on trees, especially the sedans and station wagons. His friend bought the ’76 wagon too—so both of these Oldsmobiles are in good hands today!