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Human

Doubling Down on W-bodies

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I suppose this would fall into the category of a re-introduction. I joined a few years ago when I acquired my 2011 Impala LT but haven't been around in awhile. A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon a 1995 Cutlass Supreme convertible in surprisingly good condition for what I felt was a reasonable price, so I decided to pull the trigger. I've always wanted a convertible and I have fond memories of a 1991 Cutlass Supreme coupe I'd had about 20 years ago, so this felt like a natural fit.

The car arrived Monday evening and after registering it yesterday, I took it out for an inaugural drive. The 3.1L engine is definitely not the most exciting thing ever put under a hood (I really wish Olds had offered a 3800 in the W-body Cutlass) but it's more than adequate for cruising around on pretty days, which is about all I intend to use the car for. To be sure, the car is not without its blemishes and there are some minor issues that need attending to, but for its age and almost 120,000 miles on the odometer, it's a gracefully aging survivor. I'm looking forward to having fun driving it and fixing it up.

Cutlass4.jpg

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The '91 coupe was the same shade of red as the convertible but with a light gray cloth interior. It was an end-of-model year car that had a lot of the cosmetic goodies usually associated with the International Series--ground effects, fog lights, LED 'flash dash' instrument panel, luggage rack on the trunk lid, 15-inch alloy wheels with the cross-laced pattern. It had the same 3.1L V6 as the convertible. It had just a basic AM/FM/Cassette radio with no steering wheel controls and of course, no airbags back then. I bought the car in the summer of 1996 with 55,000 miles on it, kept it three years, and put another 40,000 miles or so on it in that time. It was a very fun and dependable car. The only repairs I had on it were, I think, an alternator and a serpentine belt. I have (old fashioned silver halide emulsion) photos of it somewhere. I'll scan and post a few whenever I come across them.

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Nice convertible!   I also have a red 95 convertible with the 3100.   Yes it's slow but you're right, that's not what this car is for.   I improved my driving experience by firming up the suspension.  Does yours have the original shocks/struts/bushings/sway bar?    If so, either refreshing them or upgrading will make a noticeable difference without spending a lot of money.  

Otherwise, I'd focus on maintenance and cleaning.   When mine is cleaned up, top down on a sunny day, I get compliments and nobody asks me how fast it is or if I have the LQ1.    

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51 minutes ago, oldmangrimes said:

Nice convertible!   I also have a red 95 convertible with the 3100.   Yes it's slow but you're right, that's not what this car is for.   I improved my driving experience by firming up the suspension.  Does yours have the original shocks/struts/bushings/sway bar?    If so, either refreshing them or upgrading will make a noticeable difference without spending a lot of money.  

Otherwise, I'd focus on maintenance and cleaning.   When mine is cleaned up, top down on a sunny day, I get compliments and nobody asks me how fast it is or if I have the LQ1.    

I'm actually glad it has the 3100 engine because it's a whole lot more dependable than the 3.4 DOHC engine. I'm not sure what, if any modifications may have been made to the suspension. Everything felt pretty good when I drove it yesterday. The only mechanical mod I've noticed so far is a chrome exhaust tip that brings the exhaust out an inch or so beyond the rear bumper. Not sure if it changes the exhaust note but it does sound a little on the throatier than I remember my earlier Cutlass sounding.

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4 hours ago, Human said:

The '91 coupe was the same shade of red as the convertible but with a light gray cloth interior. It was an end-of-model year car that had a lot of the cosmetic goodies usually associated with the International Series--ground effects, fog lights, LED 'flash dash' instrument panel, luggage rack on the trunk lid, 15-inch alloy wheels with the cross-laced pattern. It had the same 3.1L V6 as the convertible. It had just a basic AM/FM/Cassette radio with no steering wheel controls and of course, no airbags back then. I bought the car in the summer of 1996 with 55,000 miles on it, kept it three years, and put another 40,000 miles or so on it in that time. It was a very fun and dependable car. The only repairs I had on it were, I think, an alternator and a serpentine belt. I have (old fashioned silver halide emulsion) photos of it somewhere. I'll scan and post a few whenever I come across them.

I've never heard the clusters being called "flash dash", I like it!  Sounds like it was a nice looking car.  I have an International series 91 car that I bought in the winter of 15 so I have a special place for this specific model year of CS.  Thank you for sharing and again, welcome!

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I first heard the term 'flash dash' back in the '80s when they first came out. My dad, who was a district sales manager for Oldsmobile, used the term frequently so maybe it was an unofficial, internal euphemism. It's not the sort of thing he would have coined.

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49 minutes ago, Human said:

I first heard the term 'flash dash' back in the '80s when they first came out. My dad, who was a district sales manager for Oldsmobile, used the term frequently so maybe it was an unofficial, internal euphemism. It's not the sort of thing he would have coined.

I'm a child of the 80's and so I love any car no matter make or model that has the "flash dash" option.  I remember being a kid and seeing them and thinking they were so futuristic!

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11 minutes ago, GabsOlds said:

Nice car. The top looks like it's in good shape. If you can find some top pin cups (for the top of the wind shield), buy them. 

Thanks. The top was recently replaced. That's one of the things that attracted me to the car. I was noticing the top pin cups today when I was replacing the ratted out sun visors and will put them on my shopping list. I picked up a pair of visors at the junk yard yesterday. They came out of a 2001 Cadillac Seville STS. They're black instead of graphite, but the color difference is minimal. The only modification I had to make was to cut the back side of the anchors off flush. The lights on the vanity mirrors don't work because the plug is different. The Cadillac visors have a two-wire system while the convertible has a single hot wire and a grounding contact built into the anchor plate. At some point when I'm really bored, I'll come up with a way to adapt the two to work together but for now, I'm just content to have better looking visors. 

Edited by Human

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On 9/5/2018 at 2:14 PM, Human said:

I'm actually glad it has the 3100 engine because it's a whole lot more dependable than the 3.4 DOHC engine.


This really isn't true.  But welcome back! I love the red 'verts.

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