Oldsmobile Cutlass Hardtop muscle car draws a crowd – review

Oldsmobile Cutlass Hardtop

Powered by the W25 350 and fitted with T-tops and the traditional Hurst dual-gate shifter, Oldsmobile Cutlass Hardtop is inexpensive muscle car fun that always draws a crowd.

 The full-sized Oldsmobile styling for 1975 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hardtop was remarkably trim and sporting, with a semi-fastback profile that only got more attractive with the Hurst upgrades.

Oldsmobile Cutlass Hardtop

The popular look of Oldsmobile Cutlass Hardtop

The look was popular, with 1975 being the Hurst/Olds’ best sales year to date, with 2535 being built, even with a price premium that was about $900 more than a comparable 442. This particular Hurst/Olds is a beautiful survivor still wearing its original Cameo White paint, a beautifully-maintained car that has obviously had two caring owners that understood it was something special. The paint shines the way only original GM enamel can and even the Hurst gold decals are in first-rate condition considering they just passed their 41st birthday. A padded roof is an unusual touch on a sporty car, but this one is almost like new with no signs of trouble underneath. The chrome is shiny and clear, the plastic and rubber trim is still excellent, and, well, we’ve rarely seen a better-preserved car than this.

The outrageous red and white interior is pure disco-era funky, but there’s a sporting look that ties it all together quite nicely. The tall bucket seats with cloth inserts are as comfortable as they look and yes, that’s 100% original upholstery. A console in an Oldsmobile may seem odd to us today, but performance cars with the Hurst dual-gate shifter were nothing new to buyers in 1975.

Oldsmobile Cutlass Hardtop

Comfortable inside the 1975 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hardtop

This car is also loaded with options, including factory A/C, a tilt steering column, cruise control, and an AM/FM/8-track stereo radio that was kind of a big deal in 1975. The T-tops, also known as the Hurst/Hatch, were used for the first time on the 1975 models and they still seal up well and don’t rattle, more proof that this is a clean, low-mileage car. Two big, round pods ahead of the driver hold the gauges, a big speedometer on the left and auxiliary gauges on the right, including temperature and oil pressure. A full-sized car like this also offers a spacious back seat that’s good for real-sized adults, and if you want to head out on a road trip, there’s a big trunk with a matching gold wheel and what may very well be the original spare tire.

The W25 on the front fenders means there’s an Oldsmobile 350 cubic inch V8 under the hood. Completely original and untouched save for routine maintenance items, it’s a wonderful driver with great authenticity that will make it an appealing candidate for survivor-class judging. Sure, the decal on the air cleaner is a little ragged and there are a few scuffs here and there, but for a 41-year-old machine, it’s shockingly nice. Turn the key and it runs like only an untouched car can, with a silky smoothness that more than lives up to the reputation of ’70s Oldsmobiles. The TH350 3-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and there are 2.73 gears out back, making this an easy cruiser on the highway. Looking around underneath, you’ll also note the original exhaust system, including catalytic converter, is 100% intact and the floors are in excellent shape. In fact, just about the only parts that aren’t factory-installed are the 15-inch white-letter radials, which may be only the second set of tires this car has ever worn.