1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

Horsepower and performance reached its highpoint in 1969 and 1970, coming to a close due to safety and emission regulations. The final nail in the coffin was struck in the early 1970s with the oil crisis. Insurance companies increased premiums on cars with certain VIN codes that signaled the high-performance options had been selected, alerting them of higher risk potential. To help save their performance-minded customer's insurance money, automakers developed cars with performance appearances but utilized smaller engine sizes. They also offered the larger big-block V-8s in an intermediate body style that would not send red flags and fly under the radar.

For 1970, Oldsmobile installed the Rocket 455 CID V8 into a Cutlass Supreme SX. By not having a specific engine designated with the second and third numbers of the VIN, new car buyers in 1970 and 1971 avoided paying increasingly high insurance premiums. In the case of the 1971 Oldsmobile SX, the VIN sequence of 42 described the model as a Cutlass Supreme V-8, which allowed many interpretations of displacement and seamlessly blend into their files without causing undue attention.

In 1970 and 1971 this Oldsmobile was available with a special option called the Y79 Performance Package and the car was officially called the Cutlass Supreme SX. It came with the 455 CID engine options and for 1971 the choices included two- and four-barrel configurations, and a mandatory 400 Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission if the center console was deleted. A Column-shift manual was not available. Other features included a special rear bumper with dual exhaust cutouts as seen on the 4-4-2, special SX badges on the fenders, Cutlass Supreme SX badging on the dashboard plus other more luxurious standards.

For 1971, Oldsmobile's top intermediate car was the Cutlass Supreme. Power was supplied from an overhead valve V8 engine displacing 350 cubic-inches and offering 260 horsepower. Body styles included a 2- and 4-door Holiday Hardtop, and a convertible. Standard equipment included armrests, woodgrain dash, interior light package, carpeting, cigarette lighter, and seat belts with shoulder harnesses. Other items included chrome hubcaps, moldings, and a Deluxe steering wheel. The upholstery was either vinyl or cloth. Pricing began at $3,300 for the 2-door Holiday Hardtop and rose to $3,500 for the convertible. The 2-door Holiday Hardtop was by far the most popular body style in the Cutlass Supreme lineup with 60,599 examples built. Both the 4-door and convertible had similar production figures - both having slightly more than 10,000 built.


by Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2017

Related Reading : Oldsmobile Cutlass History

Introduced in 1961 as a unibody compact vehicle, the Oldsmobile Cutlass was made by the Oldsmobile division of General Motors. The major competition facing the cutlass was the Dodge Lancer and the Mercury Comet. Eventually becoming one of the most popular nameplates in the industry during the 1970s, the Cutlass name was used by Oldsmobile as almost a sub-marque. A number of different vehicles....
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1971 Vehicle Profiles

1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme vehicle information

Convertible

This 1971 Cutlass Supreme Convertible is painted in Matador-Red with pearl interior. Factory options include the 350 Rocket V8 4-barrel engine, an automatic transmission, factory air conditioning, cruise control, power windows and power locks, tilt-w....[continue reading]

Convertible
 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1971 Cutlass Supreme
$3,500-$35,600
1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Price Range: $3,336 - $3,500

$3,550 - $3,740

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Oldsmobile
1976Chevrolet (2,103,862)Toyota (1,884,260)Ford (1,861,537)874,618
1975Chevrolet (1,755,773)Toyota (1,714,836)Ford (1,569,608)628,720
1974Chevrolet (2,333,839)Ford (2,179,791)Renault (1,355,799)581,195
1973Chevrolet (2,579,509)Ford (2,349,815)Fiat (1,390,251)922,771
1972Chevrolet (2,420,564)Ford (2,246,563)Fiat (1,368,216)762,199
1971Ford (2,054,351)Chevrolet (1,830,319)Volkswagen (1,128,784)558,889
1970Ford (2,096,184)Chevrolet (1,451,305)Volkswagen (1,193,853)633,981
1969Chevrolet (2,092,947)Ford (1,826,777)Volkswagen (1,241,580)655,241
1968Chevrolet (2,139,290)Ford (1,753,334)Volkswagen (1,191,854)562,459
1967Chevrolet (2,206,639)Ford (1,730,224)Toyota (1,068,321)548,390
1966Ford (2,212,415)Chevrolet (2,206,639)Volkswagen (1,168,146)586,381

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