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Wally's 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon | Home

 

Owner

About The Owner

Hello, I'm Wally. Welcome to CutlassSalonDotCom. Here's my story:

1982, Sophomore year, La Porte High school:
I was introduced to the car of my dreams by another high school student. It was a "#66 Cinnamon" metallic brown 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon with "Saddle Tan" interior. (Picture of a similar car here) It had Rallye Pack guages, tilt wheel, cruise control, Olds wire hubcaps, a tan vinyl landau roof, sport mirrors, AM/8-track radio, and a broken A/C, but not very many other options. I fell in love with the car the first time I drove it, and within a few weeks, bought a similar one as my first car.

Mine was metallic "#64 Silver Taupe" (with lots of rust), but the interior was a beautiful imacculate "Cranberry" color. About the only option ordered on that car was sport mirrors. It had no tilt, no cruise, an AM radio, and the A/C was broken. But I loved that car! The night hurricane Alicia hit Houston, parked in my father's garage, I peeled the rotting maroon landau vinyl roof off.

I had lots of good times cruising around, wasting gas, and made lots of trips to Sonic, Morgan's Point, and Sylvan Beach during my lunch hour at school. That car made many trips to Huffman, Galveston, San Antonio, and Austin too.

The car lasted me about two years, but at age 18 with a job that didn't pay well, I couldn't afford to keep repairing her. She had bad body cancer and with 130,000+ miles on an abused Rocket 350, it cratered to my lead foot.

I replaced her in early 1985 with a beautiful cream-colored 77 Salon, and I loved that car too, but it was never the same. I kept that 77 Salon until late 1986, when it was essentially taken from me and replaced with an 85 4-door Chevette {gag}.


I'm an OCA Member

History

Car History

  • 1974-2002: Owned by old folks in California that kept her garaged.
  • 2002: Bought from the old folks by a sherriff's deputy in NM. He loved that car. When he was a "youngster" he would wash the car for the old folks that owned it, just to see it. He realized after a couple of years and 4,000 miles that he didn't have the time, space, or extra money to put into her. Having no room for her in the garage, she spent two years outside in the NM sun. He realized that he'd better sell her while she still looked good.
  • 4/2004: Rescued by me via eBay, a 20 year wait finally over, she came home to La Porte, TX.

OEM Specs

Original Equipment Specifications

  • Tilt steering column
  • Cruise control
  • Air conditioning
  • Power steering
  • Power brakes
  • Power windows
  • Power driver's seat
  • Power trunk release
  • Optional clock
  • Optional wood grain passenger side dash trim
  • Rocket 350 engine with 4 barrel carburetor
  • Turbo HydraMatic 350 automatic transmission
  • Vinyl Landau Top
  • AM/FM stereo
  • Olds rally Wheels
  • Olds Rallye Pack Guage option
  • Salon option steering wheel
  • Reclining bucket seats (standard on Salon)
  • Rear sway bar (standard on Salon)
In 1973, Salon was a new option. It was only availble in 4 door models.

For 1974, the Salon option was now offered in 2 door as well as 4 door models.

In both 73 and 74, the cars were registered as "Cutlass Supreme", even though (with the Salon option) name plates both inside and outside the car read "Cutlass Salon".

Beginning in 1975, Salon sales for Oldsmobile had increased to the point that the Cutlass Salon became an official model of it's own, registration and all.

Body styles between Supreme and Salon were the same until 1978, when GM produced what I call the "Uglymobile", and called it a Salon.

Changes

Changes Made and Current Specifications

  • 1974 Texas license plates
  • new front license plate bracket (never had one in NM, needed one for TX)
  • new wires, plugs, cap, rotor
  • new chrome 100 amp alternator (Competition Sales in Pasadena)
  • new Optima battery (Pep Boys)
  • new radiator (Don's Radiator Shop)
  • new water pump (Don's Radiator Shop)
  • new fuel pump (Don's Radiator Shop)
  • new timing chain & gear set (Don's Radiator Shop)
  • new oil pan gasket (Don's Radiator Shop)
  • new thermostat (Don's Radiator Shop)
  • new accelerator pump and top gasket in carburetor (courtesy of Smitty)
  • new heavy duty fan clutch
  • new rocket decals for Rallye wheel center caps (Fusick Automotive)
  • new dual quiet exhaust, chrome-tipped, with resonators (Meineke, Spencer Hwy)
  • new stereo system
  • (old system left in dash for looks, custom under-dash radio mount box built by Ed O'Moore-Klopf)
  • had front rotors turned
  • new custom-built trailer hitch (removable receiver type, Discount Hitch-Pasadena)
  • vinyl top completely removed now, awaiting repaint & reupholstery job (a new vinyl roof will be installed)
  • new carpet (6/6/04)
  • new Pirelli tires (6/7/04)
  • new organic brake pads (defective semi-metallic pads replaced) (6/13/04)
  • mounted used OEM sport mirrors (11/26/04)
  • installed new door latch posts, doors are tight again (11/26/04)
  • installed Monroe air shocks in the rear (7/2005)

Future Plans

Future Plans

    I have stock on, but haven't yet installed:
  • used Hurst Hatch T-Tops out of a 76 Salon
  • new door seals
  • new Rocket 350 decal for air cleaner
  • all new under-the-hood stickers/decals
  • all new under-the-trunklid decals
  • new under-hood insulation bonnet (just a spare) with fastener clips
  • new (old stock) opera window trim
  • More to do:

  • new paint
  • rechrome the bumpers
  • Buy GM code 452 seat cloth (tan corduroy velour) to recover the seats
  • Send the Rocket 350 off to Mondello for a rebuild.
  • Redo the lens for the "Fasten Seat Belt" bump on top of the dash, so that it reads "Go Baby Go!", then rewire it to a switch on the carburetor so that it lights up when the 4BBL kicks in
  • Replace all OEM coil springs and add air bags to the rear coil springs for towing the Oldsmoboat
  • Install an extra heavy duty transmission cooler

Pictures

Car Pictures

At the time of purchase:
Pics taken April 2004 by previous owner

Front View (My beautiful girl!)Hood View (No, it's not rust, it's dried egg)Vinyl Top View (before removal was completed) Inside Trunk Lid View
Front Interior ViewA dusty motor!Left Rear ViewActual Milage in April 2004
Olds Rallye WheelsLeft Rear Quarter Panel Dent A Clean Trunk Rear Interior View



In Progress:
Pics taken July 15, 2004 by Wally

Engine Compartment Vinyl Roof Peeled New Tires and Rockets Antique Plates, Custom Hitch, Dual Exhaust
New Carpet New Stereo Nice *ss!

Chrono-Log

Event Log

  • Sat 12/03/2005 00:34
  • Transmission's gone out
    Let's end the year with a tranny rebuild expense, shall we?
    The TH350 has a broken sprag.
    Deja vu.

  • Sat 12/04/2005 09:00
  • The good news
    Good ole' Adam Mouton can rebuild the tranny (including new converter & shift kit) for $450.
    At least some things are reasonably priced.
    That's only $100 more than he charged 20 years ago.
    Everybody else is $1000 +.
    Gentlemen: We can rebuild her. Better, stronger, faster!
    The bad news
    That's the "bench" price. I have to do the R&R myself to get that price.
    I don't get paid until Thursday night.
    That's a lot of greasy-azz work.
    The good news
    He'll rebuild it in the meantime and I can pick it up Thursday night.
    I'm on vacation Tue-Fri, so I've got time to do it.
    At least I know how to turn a wrench and get greasy.
    I won't be bored on vacation. Hhhhhhhhhh.

  • Sun 12/05/2005 12:00 - 17:30
  • Plucked the tranny
    Okay, so I work slow, but with a helping hand from Gary and expert advise from Ron, it's out of the car.
    Broke the kickdown cable in the process (britle old plastic case, as it seals into the tranny).
    Delivered to Adam. He says he can get a cable also, no problem.

  • Sun 12/12/2005 15:00 - 21:30
  • Tranny's back, time to stab it
    Adam couldn't get the kickdown cable. It's now a hard-to-find item. Ordered one through Car Quest, nobody else's book went back that far. Won't be in until Wednesday.
    Bought a temporary aftermarket cable from O'Reilly for a '77 Monte Carlo. It has no o-ring on the shaft, just a flat rubber washer at the base.
    Added extra tranny cooler in front of the a/c condenser, as well as a nice aluminum B&M pan.
    Aftermarket kickdown cable leaks pretty bad at the seal (of course!). I need the real Mc Coy (NOS).
    Tranny shifts nice and firm, thanks to the shift kit.

  • Wed 12/14/2005 12:00 - 17:30
  • Picked up cable
    It's an aftermarket sytle, no o-ring on the shaft, just like the temporary one that's in there.
    Guess I'll try to modify it: cut a groove in the shaft and add an o-ring.

  • Sun 12/18/2005 14:30 - 15:30
  • Fixing the leak
    Put the car up on a ramp, crawl under, ready to install the correct kickdown cable.
    Surprise! It's dry around the kickdown cable. The leak is somewhere else.
    Removed the inspection cover. Leak is coming from the front pump o-ring.
    Tranny has to come back out! Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
    Later, not today.

  • Fri 03/17/2005 18:00
  • Tranny's out again
    2'nd gear sprag broken again. Time to make another plan.
    Made decision to park her back in the garage until (1) the tranny's fixed, (2) seats are restored (3) body's been painted.

  • Mon 03/20/2005 10:00 - 17:00
  • Make Grand Prix legal
    Spent the day making the old 76 Grand Prix legal to drive as a daily driver replacement.
    While it's certainally not pretty, it does run decent and will hopefully last until I can buy something used, small, and decent for use as a daily driver.

  • Mon 05/29/2005 11:00
  • The Metro
    Remember the Geo Metro? How embarassing. I bought one. It's my daily driver now. 27 mpg and cold a/c, $800 cash.
    I know one 16 year old who's going to be very happy to have that Grand Prix.
--- OEF, more to come! ---

OldsmoBoat

Wally's Jet Boat

About

Wally's Project OldsmoBoat

If you've been here before and saw pictures of a black boat with yellow and orange stripes, here's your update:
It was stolen and this is it's replacement. May the thieves drown in it. (Oops! Did I say that?!)

Specs

Specs
  • 1977 Haskell jet boat
  • 17 Feet
  • Oldsmobile Rocket 455
  • Panther Jet Pump
  • Currently has no interior

Pictures

Pictures from eBay taken April 2005 by previous owner

Plans

Future Plans:
  • I bought a pair of 1975 Cutlass Salon seats that are to be recovered in white marine vinyl with orange side panels and orange Olds rocket logos stiched into the seat backs
  • I bought a 1975 Cutlass Salon center console with shifter (to control the reverse nozzle)
  • I bought a 1975 GM tilt steering column with Cutlass Salon wheel
  • I am building a fiberglass replica of a 1973-1976 Cutlass dash board, to be grafted into the boat.
  • The boat will be repainted bright La Porte orange with white accent stripes.
  • "Oldsmoboat" chrome vinyl lettering (in 70's Oldsmobile script style) will adorn the sides & stern of the boat.
  • 14 inch Oldsmobile rally wheels will be mounted on the trailer.
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This site is in no way associated with General Motors
or Oldsmobile (which, incidentally, no longer exists).