Finding a classic car out in the open is always an exciting experience. However, as often the case, a classic car may look as out of place as a walker-supported grandma turning it up on the dance floor of a nightclub. Finding a ’66 T-Bird in the parking lot of an upscale shopping center that was clearly built within the last ten years is an example of this. Yet this quality wasn’t so much the case of this 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme coupe, that I came upon last fall.
Sure, all the other vehicles around it are from after the year 2000. But take them away, and this scene on Federal Street in Boston looks about the same as it would’ve if someone had parked this Cutlass here in 1975. The building in the top right corner of the first image is Boston’s historic South Station. Across the street in this photo are three businesses, a bank, a dentist, and a photography shop, all of which could’ve existed four decades ago. That art deco-styled building across the street is the United Shoe Machinery Building.
In fact, here it is in 1975. No Cutlass Supreme, but I do spot an AMC Gremlin.
Now as for the car itself, it is indeed a love-it-or-hate-it ’74 “Colonnade” Cutlass Supreme coupe. The Cutlass had never been a weak seller, but it was this generation that catapulted the nameplate to record sales stats. It was the right car at the right time, a time which in some ways hasn’t left us.