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1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme with 9k Genuine Miles!

Every classic car has a backstory, and some are more fascinating than others. The seller provides little information regarding the history of this 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, so we are in the dark about how a car with forty-five years under its belt could have only accumulated 9,247 miles. Some may question the reading, but its overall condition makes it plausible. Its next journey could be to a new home, with the seller listing the Olds here on Craigslist in Mundelein, Illinois. They set their sale price at $19,900, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder T.J. for spotting this remarkable survivor.

Oldsmobile released its Fifth Generation Cutlass range in 1978, following the industry trend by downsizing the new model considerably. The smaller physical dimensions also reduced vehicle weight, allowing the company to improve fuel consumption figures and drag back performance lost to tighter emission regulations. The new model didn’t let the Cutlass recapture the performance potential available at the decade’s start, but it was a step in the right direction. This Supreme rolled off the line during the first production year, with its first owner ordering it in stunning Russett Metallic. The seller indicates it has been garage-kept since Day One, a strategy designed to maximize preservation. It was worth the effort because there is little to criticize about the car’s condition. The paint reflects its surroundings beautifully, and any imperfections in it or the panels are too insignificant to show in the supplied photos. The seller provides an underside shot confirming this Olds is rust-free. There isn’t even a sign of surface corrosion, let alone steel penetration, that might cause sleepless nights. The glass and trim are immaculate, while the Rally wheels are as spotless as the rest of the exterior.

The interior can reveal much about a classic’s life because abuse, neglect, and high mileage often reveal themselves in tired and worn trim, physical damage, or marked and stained carpet. Those aren’t issues with this Cutlass because it would not stretch credibility to describe this interior as in showroom condition. The Tan vinyl upholstered surfaces are spotless. The carpet is equally impressive, with no marks, stains, or other issues. The dash and pad haven’t succumbed to UV exposure, and there is no wheel wear. It isn’t highly optioned, but the buyer receives air conditioning and an AM/FM radio. The seller also includes a collection of original documentation that is extensive enough to cover most of the trunk floor. It appears that items like the Owner’s Manual and Window Sticker are present, and we can hope there is paperwork explaining how this Cutlass has remained so lightly used.

Buyers faced several engine choices when ordering their ’78 Cutlass, with this car’s original owner opting for the range-topping 305ci V8. They teamed this with a three-speed automatic transmission, while power assistance for the steering and brakes removes the physical effort from the driving experience. That V8 produces 160hp and 260 ft/lbs of torque, and while that doesn’t make this a muscle car, it should cruise effortlessly at freeway speed for hours on end. However, this is also where the mystery deepens with this classic. The seller makes their mileage claim without indicating whether they hold supporting evidence. We are also in the dark about how and why it has seen such limited use. I consider verifying evidence essential in cases like these, although the presentation of every aspect of the car makes the claim seem plausible. The seller states this Cutlass runs and drives as perfectly as it did the day it rolled off the lot. It is a turnkey proposition where the new owner could fly in and drive it home.

This 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme is a stunning survivor, and if its history and odometer reading are verifiable, it is an extraordinary find. That second factor is crucial because it determines whether the seller’s price is justified. It is well beyond the market average, but someone will inevitably be contemplating splashing their cash on this classic. That also begs the question regarding its future because a large percentage of its inherent value rests in the odometer reading. Every additional mile will potentially impact the value, which is a factor worth considering. If the odometer reading is confirmed, do you believe this 1978 Cutlass will see limited active service? Or do you think it will spend its life in a museum? That isn’t what its creators envisaged, but I can’t help but feel that will be its fate. Do you agree?


  1. Driveinstile Member

    Wow. I just looked at the ad to see all the pictures. This has to be the original mileage. Even the hood insulation is completely intact. Its incredible to find a Cutlass like this so well preserved. I hope it stays preserved and yet driven and enjoyed too.

    Like 7
    • KC

      The hood insulation is after market but the install was well done.

      Like 3
  2. CCFisher

    This is more convincing as a very low-mileage car than the Regal Sport Coupe featured yesterday.

    Like 5
  3. Greenhorn

    This gorgeous Olds will never be worth a ton of money, so sort it out, and take out on the nice weekends. What a sweet ride!!

    Like 5
  4. AndyinMA

    What a handsome car! And 160 horses is about 20 more than I expected.

    Like 2
  5. Cam W.

    My buddy’s elderly father had one like this in light blue metallic. He bought it new, and babied it for 20 years+. It was immaculate. A film company convinced him to rent it to them for a period show. It was supposed to be used only for close-ups, and not driven. There was another (crappy) duplicate car that was to be used for the “action” shots. The 2nd car was the wrong colour, and was quickly sprayed blue to match. The action scene was at night, things got rushed, and a picture car wrangler assumed the shinier(freshly painted crappy) car was the good one, and my buddy’s dads car got used for the stunts. It was trashed. He was heart-broken. BTW, this happens more than you think, so don’t be so quick to rent your ride for film/TV (unless you are paid to drive it as an extra).

    Like 3
  6. Robert Proulx

    Absolutely fantastic looking. Even the underhood pad is incredible. I’m surprised to see a Harrison type compressor instead of the Fridgidaire unit. The 305 and Hydramatic 350 combo will last forever given proper maintenance. Its a keeper. 19 g’s a bit high but at 15 it should find a nice home

    Like 0
  7. A.G.

    The driver’s side striker bolt shows it has been painted. Make a PPI of this “survivor” and bring a coating thickness meter.

    Like 0
    • Poppy

      I think the striker bolts were painted at the factory. Nothing to see there.

      Like 0

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