1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass / Photos, Specs, Model History

Here is a very good looking 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass. The Cutlass was a very successful model for Oldsmobile and was produced all the way to 1999. It’s said that in 1977 the Oldsmobile Cutlass was the most popular automobile in America. Some will say that the Cutlass offered the biggest bang for the dollars and this was what many car buyers wanted. The Cutlass was a muscle car for middle class buyers.

1973 olds cutlass
1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hardtop

The First Oldsmobile Cutlass

The Olds Cutlass first made it’s appearance on the scene as a1954 Concept Car.by General Motors produced this model as a two passenger Concept Car. The public first saw this Cutlass model on a turntable during General Motors popular Motorama Show in the grand ballroom of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. As was the jet theme used by many American automakers, the model name Cutlass was came from the F7U Cutlass jet fighter plane. In regards to the Olds Cutlass becoming a production car for GM, the car debuted as a 1961 1/2 model. At that time the Cutlass came out some two feet shorter than any other Olds model yet the interior seemed quite roomy.

The Oldsmobile Cutlass was styled as a sportier looking high end F-85. The F-85’s were all V-8 powered, featuring an all-aluminum block built by Buick. The F-85 offered excellent performance with a weight of only 2,700 lbs along with it’s V-8 engine.

The Cutlass would turn out to be one of the industry’s longest-running and most successful names. During the second decade of the model’s run, the Olds Cutlass would take the position as the best selling American car for much of the 1970s and early 1980s. Another big success for General Motors similar to the Chevy Impala’s during the 1960’s.

olds cutlass

1973 Olds Cutlass Styling

General Motors produced the 1973 Cutlass on the redesigned “Collonnade” A Body. The Cutlass came as a Base model, S model, and top trim level Supreme model. The S model was sportier than the Base model and carried added trim. The S model was produced as a sport coupe and hardtop. The Supreme came in a notchback style and only as a two door hardtop.

The biggest difference seen in the 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass was the standard engine power upgrade from 155 HP to 180 HP. In addition, the 73 model appeared sleeker with sharp lines and with a new bumper and grille and a few other cosmetic features.

The Olds Cutlass 442

The Oldsmobile Cutlass 4-2-2 was a high performance model option with a four barrel carburetor, four speed transmission and dual exhausts. The 4-4-2 package was now called the W-29 option and was only available on the Cutlass and Cutlass S coupes.

The Cutlass 442 was much more rare than other Cutlass models with 1973 production being very small. The exact number is hard to find but in general the 442’s represented about ten percent of total Cutlass production. The 4-4-2 package was now called the W-29 option and was only available on the Cutlass and Cutlass S coupes.

There was a Hurst Olds 442 and a Oldsmobile 442. The difference between the two was that the Hurst Olds collaborated with Hurst Performance. It’s good to note that over the years the Oldsmobile 442 had many variations to engine configuration and power.

1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass Specifications

The standard engine on the 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass was a Rocket 350 V-8 with a Rochester four barrel carburetor. Horsepower is 180.

Another higher powered engine available with the 73 Cutlass was the 455 cubic inch V-8 with 275 HP,

Transmissions available were three and four speed manuals and a three speed Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic.

Wheelbase is 112.0 inches, overall outside length 207.0 inches, 76.5 inch width. Average curb weight is 3,850 lbs. This represented about 300 more lbs than the 72 Cutlass model.

Total Oldsmobile 1973 production came in at 939,000 vehicles. From that number 405,500 Cutlass models were produced.

Relayed Auto Museum Online articles are on the links below….

The 1953 Oldsmobile Fiesta Convertible

The 1957 Oldsmobile Super 88

Reference material includes…Cutlass and 4-4-2: Muscle Portfolio 1964-1974 by R.M. Clarke..American Muscle Cars: A Full-Throttle History by Darwin Holmstrom and Tom Glatch.

The 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass Collector Car Popularity and Values

Oldsmobile Cutlass models are popular with collectors. The Cutlass was a sporty appearing automobile with good power even after the emission safety regulations which cut horsepower in general and added weight to most vehicles.

1973 oldsmobile

In addition, parts for these models are considered relatively easy to obtain. This is always a plus for collector car values.

Current 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass asking prices are found in the $30,000 to $40,000 range for an example in perfect showroom condition. With examples in good to very good condition, the sales history drops considerably to the $20,000 to $30,000 range. Much of course depends on condition, exact model, mileage and age and degree of any restoration performed. If you’re looking for a 73 Cutlass in fair to project car condition you’ll find them much below these prices.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)