AJ’s Car of the Day: 1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible

Car: Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible

Year: 1964

What makes it special: Cutlass was produced by General Motors’ Oldsmobile division between 1961 and 1999. At its introduction, Cutlass was Oldsmobile’s smallest model beginning as a unibody compact car, but saw its greatest success as a body-on-frame intermediate. Introduced as the top trim level in Oldsmobile’s compact F-85 line, the Cutlass evolved into a series of its own, spawning numerous variants, including the 4-4-2 muscle car in 1964, premium Cutlass Supreme in 1966, and outright performance Hurst/Olds in 1968.

What made it famous: Disappointing sales of the compact F-85 prompted GM to enlarge the senior compacts for the 1964 model year. The new second-generation intermediate F-85 now rode a conventional body-on-frame chassis with a perimeter frame. Both the aluminum V8 and the Roto Hydramatic were discontinued in favor of a new cast-iron small-block 330 cu in V8 and an optional 2-speed Jetaway automatic transmission with variable-pitch stator. Buick’s 225 cu in V6 was the standard engine. The body styles of the previous model returned, and a new 4-4-2 model, derived from the BO-9 police package, was also introduced in March 1964 costing $285.14 as an answer to the new intermediate muscle car market created by the Pontiac GTO that same year.

Why I would want one: I like the small changes that were exclusive to the 1964 model like the grill and taillights.

Fun fact: The new Vista Cruiser, a stretched-wheelbase version of the standard station wagon featuring a raised rear roof with tinted skylights and a fold-down, forward-facing third seat, debuted on February 4, 1964.