Curbside Classic Capsule: The Last G-Body Cutlass Supreme Coupe in Eugene? Say It Can’t Be So

Where have all the these Cutlass Supreme coupes gone to? They were the best selling car in America during some of its years, and it seems like just yesterday that these were everywhere. In its peak years, 1978 and 1979, about a half million new ones poured out into our streets each year. They were the Camry CRV of its time. Who would have thought in 1978 that a Japanese-brand SUV would one day be the best selling vehicle in all the land?

But it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen one, and it’s not the only car of its kind that’s getting scarce. Any RWD GM car is starting to be a genuine sighting, instead of just another eyesore.

I’m not going to guess at the exact year, except that it’s from the first generation of these downsized Cutlass Supremes, meaning 1978-1980.

Its vinyl roof is showing the effects of being exposed to the elements all these years. It’s kind of an interesting effect actually.


A closer look shows that it has stage IV vinylnoma. Meaning it’s terminal. No chemotherapy is going to save this one.



The interior has been better preserved than the top, although it’s showing some signs of aging too. The sagging door stash-pocket is an interesting touch. And of course those hard and nasty plastic lower door panels are showing the usual blotchy skin issue. Is that black steering wheel original? It can’t be.


We can only speculate what’s under the hood, but we know it won’t likely be a stormer. It could be the meek 105-110-115 hp (depending on year) 231 V6. Or the almost equally mild-mannered 105 hp 260 V8. Wait a minute; that bigger V8 made fewer hp than the smaller V6? ‘fraid so. But it ran a bit smoother. Certainly smoother than the 90 hp 260 diesel V8, but we can be quite certain that’s not what’s under here. Last possibility is the venerable 305 Chevy V8, which came in 145 and 165 hp version in 1978, 160 hp for 1979, and 155 hp in 1980. That would be the one to have. But realistically, given the times, not a lot of 1979s and 1980s likely had the relatively punchy 305.

America’s former sweetheart, a vinyl-roofed, fake wire wheeled coupe, has been replaced, in more ways than one.