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Thread: Oldsmobile Cutlass (3rd gen) 1968-1972

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    The Oldsmobile Cutlass was a range of automobiles produced by General Motors' Oldsmobile division between 1961 and 1999. At its introduction, the Cutlass was Oldsmobile's smallest model; it began as a unibody compact car, but saw its greatest success as a body-on-frame intermediate. Introduced as the top trim level in Oldsmobile's compact F-85 line, the Cutlass evolved into a distinct series of its own, spawning numerous variants, including the formidable 4-4-2 muscle car in 1964, premium Cutlass Supreme in 1966, and outright performance Hurst/Olds in 1968, as well as the Vista Cruiser station wagon. By the 1980s, Oldsmobile was using the Cutlass as a sub-marque, with numerous vehicle lines bearing the name simultaneously. These included the Cutlass Calais compact, the midsize Cutlass Ciera, the Cutlass Cruiser station wagon, and top of the line midsize Cutlass Supreme.

    Third generation - intermediate (1968–1972)
    1968
    The F-85/Cutlass underwent a major body restyle in 1968, as did all other GM A-body cars. Oldsmobile's was penned by the styling studio headed by Stan Wilen. Two-door and four-door models now rode different wheelbases: 112 inches (2,800 mm) for two-doors and 116 inches (2,900 mm) for four-doors. Ostensibly, this change was to allow more individual styling, although several engineers were quoted off the record as saying the 115-inch (2,900 mm) wheelbase had created problems with uncomfortable "freeway hop" owing to its resonance frequency. Overall length shrunk about 2.6 inches (66 mm), but curb weight rose approximately 75 pounds (34 kg) to 3,465 lb (1,572 kg) for the hardtop coupe. Two-door F-85 and Cutlass models adopted a semi-fastback roofline.
    Base model remained the F-85, with mid-level Cutlass S, and upscale Cutlass Supreme, as well as the 4-4-2, which became a distinct model instead of an option package. A limited-production model was the Hurst/Olds, a special 4-4-2 marketed by Oldsmobile and Hurst Performance. The H/O combined the 4-4-2 suspension package with a 455 cu in (7.5 L) Rocket V8, not ordinarily offered in Cutlasses because of a GM policy limiting intermediates to engines of 400 cu in (6.6 L) or less. Cutlass and Vista Cruiser station wagons were likewise redesigned; the F-85 wagon was discontinued.
    Engine options were similar to the previous year, although the Cutlass's V8 option was expanded to 350 cu in (5.7 L), still with both two- and four-barrel carburetion. The variable-pitch stator feature of both optional two-speed Jetaway and three-speed Turbo Hydra-matic automatic transmissions was discontinued.

    1969
    The 1969 F-85/Cutlass models received only minor trim changes from their '68 counterparts such as a now-Olds trademark split grille with vertical bars and vertical taillights. Per federal safety regulations, headrests were now standard equipment and the ignition switch moved from the instrument panel to the steering column to lock the steering wheel when not in use, in common with all other 1969-model GM cars, one year before the locking steering columns were federally mandated. Engine offerings were unchanged from 1968, but a new three-speed Turbo Hydra-matic 350 transmission was added to the option list and available with all versions of the 350 cu in (5.7 L) Rocket V8, including the standard two-barrel 350 cu in (5.7 L) version, four-barrel "Ultra High Compression" 310 hp (230 kW) option and the W-31 option, conservatively rated at 325 hp (242 kW). The two-speed Jetaway automatic was still available with the Chevy-built 250 cu in (4.1 l) "Action-Line" six or the two-barrel 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8. The Turnpike Cruiser two-barrel 400 cu in (6.6 L) Rocket V8 was dropped and the four-barrel 400 engine from the 4-4-2 was available only in the Vista Cruiser wagons.

    1970
    The 1970 F-85 and Cutlass was available in seven body styles, three of which were coupes: a pillared fastback Sports Coupe (in F-85, Cutlass S or 4-4-2 trims), an hardtop fastback Holiday Coupe (Cutlass S and 4-4-2 only), and finally a more formal notchback Holiday Coupe, only offered in Cutlass Supreme trim. This practice was similar to that followed at the time by Ford and Mercury for theirintermediates, which were offered in both notchback and fastback coupes starting in 1968. Also available were a four-door hardtop Holiday Sedan, a four-door Town Sedan, a convertible, a flat-top station wagon called the Custom Cruiser, as well as the fancier Vista-Cruiser station wagon. Counting all trim level and body style permutations, Oldsmobile's 1970 lineup included 15 different intermediate models.

    With GM tossing out the 400 cubic-inch limit for intermediates and the 4-4-2 now coming standard with the larger 455 cubic-inch Rocket V8 from the big Oldsmobiles and previously used in the 1968-69 Hurst/Olds, Olds discontinued the 400 engine entirely and also offered the 455 as an option in the Cutlass S models and the Vista Cruiser wagons. There was an SX option that became available in 1970 and was available only on the Cutlass Supreme hardtop and convertible. The SX cars all had the 455 engine and TH-400 automatic transmission.

    The same assortment of three- and four-speed manual transmissions were carried over from previous years with Hurst shifters used on floor-mounted three-speeds and all four-speeds. The two-speed Jetaway automatic transmission was discontinued entirely with the three-speed Turbo Hydra-matic now the sole offering for shiftless driving. Cutlass S coupes with the optional Strato bucket seats and Turbo Hydra-matic could be equipped with the Hurst Dual-Gate shifter (also known as the "His and Her-Shifter") in conjunction with the extra-cost center console. The Hurst Dual-Gate made it possible to either put the transmission in Drive, and let the transmission decide when to shift. Or it could be placed in a manual mode, much like today's computer-controlled automatics.

    A 1970-only offering was the Oldsmobile Rallye 350, a value-priced high-performance model using the 350 engine. It was intended for younger buyers that wanted the performance and looks of a supercar, but might have trouble with the rising insurance premiums associated with 455-engined cars like the 4-4-2.[8] In essence the Rallye 350 was an appearance package (coded W45) tied to mandatory options, and could be ordered on the Cutlass S Holiday or Sports Coupe as well as on the F-85 Sports Coupe. All Rallye 350s were painted in Sebring Yellow with matching urethane-coated bumpers front and rear. The package also included special black and orange decals, blacked out grille and yellow-painted 7" wide Super Stock II rally wheels without trim rings, wearing G7014" bias-belted Wide Oval blackwall tires. The engine was the L74 air-inducted high-compression 350 cu.in. Rocket V8 engine, fitted with a Quadrajet carburetor and producing 310 hp (230 kW). Required options were the associated "Force-Air" fiberglass vented hood, dual exhaust with 4-4-2-style megaphone outlets, 3.23:1 axle ratio, heavy-duty "Rallye-Sport Suspension" with front and rear stabilizers, sports mirrors and sports steering wheel.

    1971
    The 1971 model shared much of the same exterior sheetmetal as the 1970, but with a new hood, grille, and headlight assemblies, as well as new bumpers and taillights. Four new exterior body colors were offered, Viking Blue, Lime Green, Bittersweet, and Saturn Gold. The famous "Rocket" V8 continued in several different sizes and power options, with both the large 455 and 'small-block' 350 available with either 2- or 4-barrel carburetors. This was the last year for the 250 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine, as it had not been a popular offering in Olds intermediates. All engines were now fitted with hardened valve seats, preparing for the upcoming mandate for unleaded gasoline that took effect with the introduction of catalytic converters on 1975 models. The 1971 Olds engines also featured lowered compression ratios and designed to run on regular leaded, low-lead or unleaded gasoline with a research octane rating of 91 or higher (equivalent to 87 octane by today's octane measurements).

    1972
    For 1972, there were minor style changes to the Cutlass, and the 4-4-2 reverted to being a trim line (W-29 option) on the Cutlass instead of an individual model, as it was in 1971. The primary changes to the 1972 Cutlass were the front grilles and the tail lights. The straight six engine was dropped, but would return to the lineup in 1975. The Hurst/Olds used the Cutlass Supreme notchback hardtop and convertible bodies. A 1972 Hurst/Olds paced the Indianapolis 500, and Olds built about 630 replicas, some 25% of them convertibles. The entry-level F-85 series was reduced to a single four-door sedan, and then discontinued mid-year due to low sales. This ended the use of the F-85 nameplate, although it would later resurface on an entry-level version of the compact Omega.

    Source: Wikipedia
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 11-14-2019 at 02:54 PM.

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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 11-14-2019 at 03:01 PM.

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    Oldsmobile Cutlass (3rd gen) #5
    Last edited by Man of Steel; 12-26-2019 at 11:43 PM.

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