Home Car Stories One Owner 1969 OLDSMOBILE Cutlass Supreme- Garry
1969 OLDSMOBILE Cutlass Supreme- Garry PDF Print E-mail
Written by Double Dragon
Sunday, 19 April 2015 10:28

1969 OLDSMOBILE Cutlass Supreme- Garry


Writing copyright D. S. Brown, photography, scans and research copyright Dean

69 cutlass supreme garry front

This 2 door hardtop 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme was ordered on April Fool's Day but it was no joke. Garry ordered this car back on April 1, 1969 to suit his taste and the car he got was so satisfying that he couldn't sell it even after it was no longer being driven.

Garry chose the Cutlass Supreme model which was a fast rising star in the intermediate sized car market. The Cutlass Supreme was introduced in 1966 as an upscale 4 door hardtop. The following year the Supreme model was expanded to include a variety of bodystyles. 1960s full size cars often too big for easy parking and maneuvering and because of this intermediate cars like the Cutlass Supreme became increasingly popular as the 1960s drew to a close.

Garry chose his Supreme in a 'Holiday Coupe' 2 door hardtop format. The Cutlass Supreme provided an upscale interior and extra trim. It also came with a potent high compression 350 4 barrel 'Rocket' Olds engine.

Garry ordered his Cutlass Supreme from Saskatoon Motor Products Ltd in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. See a story on SMP in the DEALERSHIPS section of this website. Garry chose Metallic brown with a tan interior. Garry ordered a nicely equipped car with bucket seats, floor mats, console, remote outside rearview mirror, clock, radio and an 8 track player. He also specified heavy duty battery, engine block heater, and rear defogger to deal with the extreme climate. Performance items abounded on the list: power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission with floor shift, 4 ply 7.75x14 inch whitewall tires and dual exhaust.

69 cutlass supreme garry sales contract

Garry's Cutlass was built on the Oshawa, Ontario, Canada final assembly line. Garry's Cutlass arrived in May, 1969. The VIN 3428791146345 decodes:

3= Oldsmobile

42= Cutlass Supreme

87= 2 Door Holiday Coupe

9= 1969 Model year

1= Oshawa, Ontario, Canada final assembly plant

146345= Sequential number

This was a very nice looking car but there was one glitch: the trim for a vinyl roof was in place, but the factory neglected to install the vinyl roof itself. Garry tried to get it straightened out and eventually ended up getting angry about it but nothing came of his attempts to get that sorted out.

Perhaps because it was ordered on April Fool's day the roof was left off? The real explanation of course is that 1960s domestic build quality was variable. Many dealerships from this era griped that the dealer prep work often seemed to involve rebuilding half the car. Owners were frustrated because it was really hard to get missing pieces dealt with once delivery was done. See the story on the 1972 Dodge Demon in the ONE OWNER section of this website for another tale of missing pieces that never made it onto the car. Without the intended vinyl roof Gary felt that his Cutlass was always missing something.

69 cutlass supreme garry warranty

The Protect-O-Plate usually tells us that the car was sold and placed in service May 7, 1969.

69 cutlass supreme garry Protect-O-Plate

Garry took a keen interest in his new Oldsmobile and ordered a Chassis Service Manual for his car from General Motors in October, 1969 which is just about 6 months after first taking delivery of his new car. The manual would arrive in time for the first oil change.

69 cutlass supreme garry service manual order

Garry relocated from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan south to Regina, Saskatchewan in the late 1970's and took his prized Cutlass Supreme with him. The Supreme was driven until August, 1983. At this point it had only racked up 113,000 miles which is slightly less than the 10,000 average annual miles cars from this era typically accrued.

For many years the Cutlass was moved about on the Garry's property. The Cutlass was not driven on public roads again for 30 years. In the photo below the interior looks pretty decent except for some rips in the front bucket seats. The original radio and 8 track are still with the car.

69 cutlass supreme garry interior

Like so many owners of classic cars Garry now found himself on the slippery slope that others have slid down in the past. He truly intended to restore his car 'someday' and made the classic error of leaving his car outside while 'someday' kept moving ever further over the horizon.

Garry was still fond of his Cutlass Supreme but unfortunately lacked proper storage. The car was covered with a tarp which may have helped provide some marginal protection. Any car outside is subject to rust from below if parked over open ground and of course the elements work their magic despite the slight protection offered by tarping.

The Cutlass Supreme was shuffled about the yard for double the amount of time it was actually on the road. The Cutlass finally received some relief when a space was created in the garage. The Cutlass enjoyed 3 years of indoor storage from 2010 to 2013. Sadly the damage had already been done from the prior decades when it had been parked under a tarp.

Garry finally had to acknowledge the truth that despite always harboring intent to restore the car it wasn't going to happen. The tale is as familiar to car guys as their own names. Time marches on and life gets in the way and suddenly the car has been sitting longer than the owner could have possibly imagined it would.

Exactly 30 years after it had been parked in Aug, 1983 the Garry finally admitted to himself that it was time to put his old Cutlass up for sale. The precipitating factor came in August, 2013 in the form a want ad from Dean who was on Kijiji looking for Cutlass parts. Garry informed Dean that his old Cutlass could run from a gas can, but had no brakes, poor exhaust, and really bad tires. The Cutlass was still frozen at the 113,000 original miles it had covered in the first 14 years of ownership.

Garry concurred that this was likely more of a parts car than a restoration candidate. Dean really wasn't looking to buy a whole car but he had to go have a look. He knew himself too well. He has never been successful at parting cars. He bonds very quickly with his cars and then ends up with a another car that needs rescue.

Knowing that this car was a one owner with factory ordered dual exhaust, 8 track, buckets, console and the full paperwork history proved to be too hard for Dean to resist. He may not have needed another car, but he had to take the 3 hour drive south to see the car.

The die was cast when Dean made the trip down to Regina with a trailer. Sure the trailer was a 'just in case' provision but it proved to be Dean's undoing. Even though he never heard the car run he figured Garry's Cutlass Supreme was a perfect addition to his 1969 Cutlass Supreme 'family'. Garry had saved every bit of paper work from the order sheet to the loan docs. When Garry sold his Cutlass he had owned it for 44 years and 3 months.

Once Garry's Cutlass made it home with Dean he jigged up a gas can and did some preliminary mechanical checks and decided to fire it up. It just started and ran like it was driven the day before.  No smoke, no bangs or puffs, just ran perfect, went into drive and reverse spot on. Dean took the car into his shop and spent the following winter going over it.

The original paint is worn out but Dean has thus far replaced the entire brake and cooling system and cleaned up the carburetor along with new plugs, points, oil. The rotten original dual exhaust was still on the car. Dean band-aided the exhaust. The Cutlass runs and drives wonderfully. There was a beach boys 8 track still in the glove box so he popped it in, and though there was more warble than music at first, it picked up right away and caught on quickly.

Despite having owned two other 1969 Cutlass Supremes, Dean had never even sat in one with buckets which creates a different driving experience.

Dean states,

"I'm definitely sold on this car, and I look forward to getting it restored.  There is some rust in the quarters, a small amount in the fenders, but for some reason the doors seem to have taken the brunt of mother nature.  So I'm looking for a good pair to replace these but they are hard to come across without all the same issues.  Maybe I'll get lucky just like finding the car itself."

69 cutlass supreme garry rear


Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 March 2021 13:55 )