We have a new Cohort poster, Marcus Voyles, who hails from one of my former locales, Maryland. He posted several cars, but this one titled “1974 Cutlass 442” caught my most immediate attention, coming on the heels of Jim Klein’s “Is It a 428 Bobcat GTO” post the other day.
This one might be a wee bit easier to answer.
It’s obviously missing the bold center double stripes that the 1974 442 package included, along with revised suspension tuning. No standard bigger engine or such; just the 350 or the optional 455. So the answer is all-too obvious: it’s not a Cutlass with the 442 package.
What it has to be is the Cutlass S Coupe, as the base Cutlass had a different front end. Yup; odd as it may seem.
Here’s that base 1974 Cutlass coupe and sedan front end. So what about that “1974 442 Mystery”?
The only reference to the 442 package is this upper shot, which says that it is available on either the Cutlass or Cutlass S Coupe.
But do an image search for “1974 Cutlass 442” and every result shows them with the base Cutlass front end. It would seem that Olds only used that one, even if it was based on a Cutlass S in order to keep things simple. Or maybe the base front end looked sportier?
For that matter, it does seem a bit odd that the Cutlass S got the same “upscale” front end as the Supreme and Salon.
But there you have it! Another profound automotive mystery resolved, so now you and I can get some real work done.
Curbside Classic: 1977 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 – Strength in Numbers; Some of the Time
So much fanfair about a car that would barely get out of it’s own way.
Good sleuthing! As for the car, 1974 in general was a very depressing year automotive-wise.
Not if you knew where to look. The 455 Super Duty was still available. The Duster still could be ordered with a 360 and 4 speed. The Charger and Road Runner still offered a potent 440.
Well, today is the first day I can remember knowing about the two different front ends on the 74 Cutlass. I may have known this back then from reading brochures (my mother shopped for a 74 Cutlass and my stepmom owned one) but that factoid never stuck with me for some reason. The Supreme was the only one I recall seeing in any numbers.
Had I seen one or photographed one and tried to figure out the model year I can see myself finding pictures of the other grille and then spending hours running in circles trying to figure it out – not considering that there were two grilles so different on one basic car back then. Nowadays it’s common, especially on trucks, but not back then, especially the basic shape difference.
The same was true for the 73’s. Two different noses between the base, “S” and the Supreme. The Base and “S” nose on the ’74 is a carry over from ’73.
I just like all the different permutations and ways that one could have one of these Colonnade Cutlasses. It makes the “Can we build one for you?” tagline fit even more perfectly.
I do like the base Cutlass front end, as it’s unfussy and straightforward, even if I don’t think it’s gorgeous, or anything.
That basically sums up my feeling about these. It’s kind of like with fashion models – often they have unique features that make them visually interesting, even if they don’t fit traditional beauty standards some of the time.
I’m drawn to Colonnade Cutlasses in a similar way. None of them are breathtaking from a visual standpoint, but I prefer them to many of the other Colonnades from the other GM divisions just because they had so many interesting details.
Does anyone else think the base front end looks more attractive?
You’re not alone — I was thinking the same thing.
FWIW, the S-Supreme-Salon’s turn signals would’ve cost more for GM to make than the base-model ones. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯