posted at the Cohort by Joseph Dennis
The only thing salvageable are the super stock wheels.
When you try to remove them they will turn to red dust before your eyes. The whole shebang is a throw away!
It’s the Neil Young Rust Never Sleeps super limited edition Cutlass.
The car doesn’t look right, oh the back bumper is still attached. I betcha she still starts on cold mornings & puts out good heat.
Probably a Wolmanized 4X4 hiding under that chrome rear face bar 😀 .
Indeed! Even with undercoating, it only improves a bit on certain models.
In Ferndale Michigan I saw a ’70s C/K and I think the owner especially hates rust. The whole truck was undercoated including the body panels. And I think that’s one of the main reason why it’s still in use all season
A friend of mine had a black 1980 Cutlass Supreme Brougham very similar to this one back in 1991-92 and it’s body was almost as rusted as this one. The frame was probably worse as the rear bumper wasn’t attached to it anymore (it was held to the trunk with large bolts as one the rear frame sections were completely gone!). The frame was rotted and split in two from the rear control arms to the back…
This really makes me appreciate living in little to no rust land.
Ditto. When I moved to Spokane from PA, I was shocked to see all the cars and trucks from the ’60s and ’70s still puttering around. They’re not restored; they look old and worn, but they’re rustless. Now 25 years later the same cars and trucks from the ’60s and ’70s are STILL puttering around, but I’m not shocked any more.
In rustfree places you learn which vehicles have the most durable drivetrains, because the body doesn’t force an early death. For instance, ’70s Dodge trucks were the least popular in original sales, but they’re the most common now.
Even in TN where roadsalt is only used moderately, Japanese mini trucks looked nearly this bad in the early 90s. Here in Oregon, theyre still common. You see some with a bit of the tinworm but not nearly this bad.
There are a handful of old Toyota trucks in my neighborhood in Richmond, and most of them have pretty severe rust in the bed and a couple in the rocker panels/doors. Other than them, heavily rusted vehicles are just not common around here as we don’t get enough snow/ice to see much salt use. It’s sad, as that 22R will pretty much run forever as the body disintegrates around it.
I still have two of these trucks from the early nineties. I had two with the 22R (I sold a 1990 last year) and currently have two 1993 with the V6. One of them is rusted pretty badly (and I bought it for parts mainly but I haven’t removed a single part from it!). The other one has more mileage 210,000 miles) but thanks to rustproofing (and some occasional body work!), it’s still holding together pretty well!
The bed is in good shape (small dents were repaired but I never had to weld anything to it but a very small patch on the floor) but I did replace a door, the tailgate and the two front fenders and the rear bumper. The other ones were still repairable but why do it when you can get spare body parts for cheap (well, not so cheap for the bumper!). The driver side was poorly repaired after an accident before I got it, the left door was replaced at that time and the rocker panel, rear side window and the extra cab panel were replaced with those from a blue truck in the about 10 years ago. I got this truck in at 124,000 miles 2009 and drove it over 85,000 miles since. Every accessory (even the a/c and the original power antenna!) still work at 210,000 miles! Here’s a picture I just took of it!
A big enough bribe and you could even get a Pennsylvania inspection sticker for it.
Hahahahahaha! As a former resident of PA, I totally agree!
I need a tetanus shot from just looking at it. Poor Cutlass.
LOL! You, Sir have the best comment so far! Made me LOL! Good one!
. . .Wow. Midwest, or Califonia coast. When I was small, our family’s first car was an equally rusty 1970 Olds Cutlass S coupe that had belonged first to my grandmother and then was passed down to my parents. In 1980 it still looked o.k. But by 1987, it was closely resembling the car in this picture. Too many foggy Pacific Grove mornings 🙁 Hauled ass on the freeway, though. Mom used to fly past all the minivans and other moms on their way to school, the grocery store and whatnot. Wish we could have saved it. . .
This is also why I am glad I left the Southern Tier of New York. You hardly ever, ever, see cars from the 1980s in service over there. I find the roof rack comical and I do not know why, but I like how the collapsed front suspension adds to the car’s character. The rims sure are going to need a good cleaning. What is dragging behind this Olds anyway?
It appears this old yacht has lost it’s tender. Tie down strap for the bicycle he likely rode home on.
That’s the stern line.
My poor 1987 Cutlass Supreme sedan had to have body panel rust repair in the early 1990s time frame. By the time someone stole it in 2001 the front sway bar mount had rusted free of the frame on the driver’s side. I loved that car but the guy did me a favor.
There’s patina, and then there’s patina.
That’s Patina with a capital “P” 😀 !
I occasionally saw cars like this in Texas when I was stationed at a very small Navy base. (Apparently) the local water was responsible as washing your car regularly made things worse.
There was (unbelievably) a small Coca-Cola bottling plant in that town but because of the “bad” water we always got Coke in cans because it came from somewhere else.
wow….that’s like…early ’70s Toyota in the seaside bad.
An easy car to photograph, notice how no one is parked next to it, I wouldn’t either……on the bright side, its so much lighter now, so the mpg is improved.
Actually iron oxide is heavier than iron. Only when you loose a few chunks of that you drop weight,
About 10 years ago there was a trusty Chevrolet Celebrity in our neighborhood. The door skins were 30% to 40 % gone. The window regulators were in plain sight. It was a daily driver. This car looks pristine compared to my neighbor’s Celebrity back then.
I was meant that the added lightness came from what had fallen off.
Add rust and simplify…..
Maybe the picture was taken 2 days early. It seems nothing has fallen off yet. The black thing on the ground may be the trunk lid seal.
At least that Cutlass’ frame still appears to be in one piece. These cars used to be well known for the rear frame rails to rot off right behind the wheel well. The telltale symptom was a drooping rear bumper as the frame started to sag. I remember a friend having an ’87 CS Coupe who had the frame actually break while driving.
When there were still 1970’s daily driver’s on the roads around here, we’d see cars and trucks like that every now and then. That is until they got pulled off the road by the authorities. Now that most 90’s and early 2000’s have reached beater status, they don’t seem to have the severe rust problems of years past. At least not as visible as this, often times the unibody structures and subframes will rot out while the top side of the body still looks solid.
That’ll buff right out
Aw dang, you beat me to it!
I say leave it alone just like it is. They are only original once and if you try to repair it you destroy much of its….
Sorry laughing so hard I can’t continue. Rust belt rickshaw.
It’s barn fresh!
Greetings from the rust belt! One would be amazed how fast stuff goes around here. My father had a mid ’70’s Ford F250 for a while in the early 2000’s. Truck came out of Montana, so it was clean(ish) upon arrival, but with in a few years rust got it. When we sold it 12 years later, the floors, fenders and tailgate were rusted to oblivion, and the bed floor was literally missing in action. Even my ’03 Silverado, a 10 year old truck, has lost the rocker panels to rust, and recently the dreaded oxidation ate right through a rear spring shackel.. I really hate salt!
Nothing wrong with the suspension. They may have exceeded the 75lb. weight limit on the roof rack at some time, though.
Pretty bad alright but it looks like it moves under its own steam where this Morris is too far gone for even that, coastal rust on British steel
Wow. My part of the country (central VA, and previously central NC) are by no means rust-free, but seeing things like this is still surprising. A/G body cars were not enthusiastic rusters around here, whereas this one looks like it’s probably held together by the paint at this point!
That rusted W202 C-class is shocking too. Benzes just don’t rust in these parts. My neighborhood is full of W123’s, most of which still look close to mint.
I’d be curious to see the other side as it seems that there were some dents pulled out on this side… Still I don’t think it’s what caused the mirror to fall off!
I think that qualifies as a true rust-bucket! Just sayin’.
OK, that’s why you wash and wax the car. And, get the aftermarket rustproofing. And, take the car to a car wash a few times per winter to wash off all the road salt. Still for some cars, no matter what you do, rust happens.
rustproofing only guarantee the car doesnt flex into brown dust, if in Michigan…
Broken, but not beat…yet!
Unless I have no other choice, I’ll NEVER drive a car that looks like that.
Send it to the crusher NOW!
It looks like much of this started out as paint failure that led to surface rust that was allowed to get out of hand. These were not bad rusters for their day.
That’s what I was thinking. In my area (NE), I’ve seen about every sort of car rust-but its usually something where paint fails, a minor accident exposed metal, morons let gas spill down the side of their car. Road salt certainly does not help, but I think a lot of it is people failing to maintain their cars or the car not really worth putting the money into and its just let go to pasture.
Sad but I bet it still has it’s original 260 churning away under hood as those were pretty hard to kill. It may have also had the THM 350 transmission which was equally a good unit. This is what cars used to look like in my neck of the woods. It’s getting near impossible to find a Honda or Toyota or Nissan anything left from even the 90’s anymore.
I can see the Craigslist ad already.
“1980 Oldsmobil Cutlas Rat Rod $3000
Power Steering, Air, Cruise, Tilt.
260 V8, Headres and Chery Bom exhaist.
I know what its worth so no lowballers..”
Actually, that has an average amount of misspellings for a Craigslist ad. I think Sean was shooting for authenticity.
I should have added “Power Breaks”.
elderbuck inntake also..
needs new tire rods!
I think it will buff out.
During my 1970s kidhood, severely rusted cars were common sights here in Indiana. I don’t miss that.
Looks like that crappy Russian steel with all the impurities that FIAT got in exchange for the LADA plant, was being bought by a lot more OEM’s than just FIAT…
Was that a Mary Kay Cutlass?
Granted this is an old car that has been through a lot, but years of experience in the rust belt lead me to say this could have been maintained a lot better. I touch up paint breaks annually, wash the evil stuff off when it gets on the car, and wax them at least annually. I also tend to go back over door welds and seems inside the doors with a second coat of wax each year. I currently have a 12 year old car, and I’ve had some pass the 20 year mark – and they always look pretty good!
There was a 1983-ish Delta 88 getting gas at the next pump from me the other night. It looked a lot like this Cutlass, but worse. I watched the guy open his trunk- he just reached in through the gaping hole and pulled the rod.
Meh, I’ve seen worse. Much, MUCH worse. Spent all my (almost) 52 years here in n.e. Ohio, the rock salt capital of the United States.
Michigan… Where car breaks into half.
Well, this car is 35 years old! But still, cars don’t rust away as badly as the “good old days” here. We don’t see 5 year old cars with rust spots, unless it was in a wreck.
My parents regularly ran their cars through automatic car washes, and kept rust at bay. We had a ’78 Cutlass and was still clean in 1992, with tiny spots.
And, I’d rather not live in Oregon, they still have 65 limit on Interstates, 😉
My neighbor has a 2003 Grand Am, with just the pass door rusty. But I think it was a cheap fix, using low quality metal, since the rest of the car is spotless. He got is used from Hertz, 11 years ago.
I know that car! and that place, the Old Dominic’s grocery store on Broadway, in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago.
Here’s a shot of it bringing down property values in Evanston Illinois, where it was a regular sight for many years, I made the image a few years ago.
I haven’t seen it for a while and as far as I know it has gone on to a better place.
I really enjoy your site!
It looks like you posted another one in similar shape recently!
Thanks for the kind words Phil, it means a lot.
Nice to see the slow evolution of the cancer! On your two pics, it still had it’s rear view mirror attached to the door!
Hi Phil, Here are a few more images made in March 2006.
I may have more pics of this sad Cutlass but my image library is not well organized, if I find any more recent I’ll post them here.
I like your site, and the shots you posted at the Cohort. If you’d like to post some of your stuff here directly at CC, let me know.
Crazycar is a great site!
That general area is my old stomping grounds. Iowa is boring in comparison.
Thanks I’m glad you enjoy the site, Boring Iowa sounds nice to me, I love your state.
I’ve seen worse.
Sometimes teens don’t care so much what a car looks like so long as it runs and gets them where they need to go. That’s as opposed to the ones who say they’d be too embarrasses to be seen in a certain car which might look fine to you and me – and nothing anyways as bad as this one.
You know, depending where you have to park for work, you might prefer something like this as opposed to a new or late-model car where you always worry something might happen to it.
How sad. While the summertime temperatures can reach over 120 degrees here, there are some advantages to living in Phoenix, AZ. There are thousands of rust free classic cars here. Several salvage yards specialize in restorable vintage cars and parts. I bought a ’72 Pinto wagon and a ’64 Fairlane sedan completely rust free. Some mechanical repairs and they make excellent daily drivers.
There used to be lots of cars in this condition on Maine roads, but they tightened up enforcement of the inspection laws. Now cars like this get scrapped.
Yeah, this looks about right for a Cutlass… The 2 reasons you didn’t want one of these in Wisconsin where I grew up (as nice as they were) was they rusted like mad (see all the above comments about losing your back bumper) and they were fantastically easy to steal. Granted, pretty much every car looked like this before it was 10 years old where I live… I don’t remember ever seeing air-cooled VW’s, or pretty much any Japanese car older than 8 years old while growing up because they all dissolved. My first car was a 73 Pontiac Ventura II, it was all of 14 years old when I got it, but the entire floor was gone (all there was were a couple stolen road signs screwed to what remained, plus a couple of 2X4’s holding the front seat up.) THe trunk floor was also pretty much gone. Both the driver’s side door skins were completely detatched from the frames, you could grab the bottom of them and lift the skins parallel to the ground (if you wanted to risk tetanus)
The rust monster ate basically anything you didn’t hide away from October to May every year, and a good amount of the ones that did get stored got rusty, too.
But there’s a whitewall on the front. Real car love, that!
Ahhhhh! The good old rust belt. Helping to keep the value of old cars up since 1900.
I’m sure glad I don’t live there.
I learned about the rust belt early. When I went to college in Des Moines, Iowa in September 1957 I met a kid from Detroit with a ’57 Ford Custom 300 4-door sedan. It was already showing surface rust on the rear gravel pan. It had rust in the rockers by the next year.
In front of a wrecking yard near Fort Lewis and McChord AFB I saw – in the mid-1970’s – a 1956 Buick whose rear wheel cutout on the driver’s side was totally rusted away – about four inches gone all the way round. Of course its rocker panels were gone too as well as many other perforations.
In the mid-1980’s I saw a 1970 Barracuda for sale cheap – it had Vermont plates. In spite of the many visible rust perforations including some I could see from the driver’s seat I took it for a test drive to see if the mechanical bits were okay; every time it hit a little bump the whole front clip would shake. I didn’t make an offer as the motor sounded like it had a burnt valve and the Torqueflite shifted sloppily. Even the rally wheels were really rusty.
I’m sure glad I live in the Pacific northwest….
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