Curbside Outtake: 1985 Olds Cutlass Supreme Coupe – Once There Were Millions Of These Everywhere

And now it’s an occasion to see one on the street. It was America’s sweetheart for such a long run, including several stints as the best selling car in the land; the Ford F150 of its time. And here’s one survivor, the first I’ve seen in a while, so it must be honored, even if we’ve given it full honors before.

And I just noticed that there’s a similar-vintage Chevy van behind it. These two have some stories to tell.

I’m not really the best person to tell the Cutlass’ story, as my head was very much elsewhere at the time, automotively speaking. But there were millions of Americans to whom the Cutlass still defined the best all-round car to have; some traditional style mixed with a thin veneer of status; this was an Olds after all, and not just a Chevy.

This looks to be a base Supreme, despite that sounding like an oxymoron. But that’s no loose-pillow tufted velour interior; one had to pony up for the Brougham edition for that.

I’ve stated on a number of occasions that the dominance of mid-sized coupes in the ’70s and ’80s was due to the fact that all the millions of once-younger buyers of Mustangs and Camaros had outgrown them, but were not about to get into a four door sedan. These were essentially the next step up; a pony car for those too old to put up with their shortcomings, although the rear seats in these weren’t exactly generous either.

Like so many, this one’s roof is showing some advanced vinyloma. That’ll teach you not to use sunscreen.

Looks like it started its long life in Texas. Not surprising, as in the West Coast these were increasingly seen as Grandma and Grandpa’s car. Got to rock a Benz, or at least a Taurus if you don’t want to be seen as totally outdated. And by 1985, these were rather, although they would soldier on through 1988, as there was still enough demand for them in the new FWD GM era to keep them rolling off the lines, in ever more modest numbers.

And now the remaining ones are in the hands of those who will cherish them. Just how it should be.