Bill Chambles '73 Cutlass Supreme


This is my 1973 Cutlass Supreme Coupe. I ordered it in the fall of 1972 in the original dark brown with a beige vinyl top. Because the 350 cubic inch low-compression engine didn't seem to have enough pep, I opted for the 455 c.i. engine, T400 transmission, and limited-slip differential. After much consternation, I decided to order the car with the red interior rather than the factory-recommended saddle tan, and I have never regretted it for a moment. I also ordered the 6-way power seat, power disc brakes, power steering, tilt column, cruise control, air conditioning, supension package, sport mirrors, and rear window defogger. Over the years, I have added power windows, power locks, power trunk, and custom-made rear deck electric antennae. I have also installed a trip odometer, delay wipers, and factory guages. I designed and installed one-piece, spring-loaded lap and shoulder belts (as in G.M. cars in the '80s). In 1977, I replaced the factory vinyl seats with 1976 Cutlass Brougham burgundy velour pillow seats, and in 1978, I upgraded to a 10.25 high compression 455 c.i. engine. I had the car repainted 1976 G.M. mahoganny and removed the vinyl top. I kept the two-tone paint scheme, as I think it gives the car better proportions. As you can see, I have 15-inch Buick sport wheels on the car, basically because Olds did not offer a comparable style wheel for the Cutlass during the mid '70s, and I have always liked the look of these style wheels on Chrysler, Ford, and GM products.

Anyone who owns a mid-'70s GM A-body is familar with the rust problem around the rear window. After much repair and frustration, I installed drain tubes in the corners of the window channel which are attached to drain hoses which exit through the inner fenders. This procedure basically empties any water from the channel and allows it to remain dry. Rust accumulation is drastically retarded in this dry environment. I just wanted to pass this tip along to any A-body owner with a rust problem.

In 1995, I took the car back down to bare metal, welded in new metal to remove all rust, and repainted the car with the colors dark rosewood (Chrysler), and mocha (Ford) which you see in the photos. My faithful Cutlass has never looked so good.

Even though there are a lot of miles on this Olds, it has never needed deep engine or transmission repair, and it has never let me down. It is a wonderful example of Oldsmibile craftsmanship and engineering. After the compression upgrade, the car feels very light on it's feet, and it continues to be a pleasure to drive. I really feel it is a one-of-a-kind beauty, and even after all these years, I still love to admire its beautiful lines as it sits in a parking lot or car show.


Bill's Email: keystone@freewwweb.com