What a head-turner this pristine, 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible was as I was driving down Lincoln Trail in Fairview Heights just the other day! There it sat, parked in front of Perfect Finish – a full-service body shop and mechanical car repair business, owned by Steve Giger. The beautiful mid-size Olds belongs to one of his customers, Milton Wharton, of Belleville, Illinois. Of course, I had to make an immediate U-turn to go back and check it out.
The 1972 Cutlass was the final year of the third-generation Cutlasses which ran from 1968 through 1972. The first generation was a smaller, compact car under the name F-85, which was still in the Cutlass lineup for ‘72 as a sub-model available in only one body style, a plain Jane, four-door sedan called the F-85 Town Sedan.
Standard power for the Cutlass Supreme was the 350 cubic inch, Rocket 350 V-8 with a 4-barrel carburetor and 8.5:1 compression ratio. Shifting gears was accomplished by the Turbo Hydra-Matic 350. For those wanting to do the shifting themselves, a wide-ratio, 4-speed manual with floor-mounted shifter with linkage by Hurst was offered.
A host of appearance, convenience and safety options were offered as one might expect from the upscale Oldsmobiles, including bench or bucket seats. This example has the optional Super Stock Wheels, available on all Cutlass models, and period-correct whitewall tires.
Oldsmobile’s pallet for 1972 contained 21 colors in all, of which six were reserved for the full-sized models only. Of the 15 remaining for Cutlass models, our feature car shown here is decked out in Flame Orange, a not-so-common hue. The interior is done up in parchment white.
1972 was a landmark year for the Oldsmobile marque, celebrating its 75th anniversary of building automobiles. The beautiful 1972 Cutlass Supreme convertible shown here is a far cry from the “curved dash” Olds that rolled off the assembly line in 1901.
Oldsmobile fans have a great club in St. Louis – the Archway Olds Club of St. Louis. For information contact president@archwayoldsclub.
FIN MAN FACTOID: I bet you thought Henry Ford invented the automobile assembly line, right? Actually, that honor goes to Ransom E. Olds, when he began producing the Curved Dash Oldsmobile in 1901. The very first Oldsmobiles were built on an assembly line using interchangeable parts and each automobile was moved down the line to the next stage by manpower. Henry gets the credit for motorizing the process.
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