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Mark 1997 Cutlass Coupe

Where did they all go?

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I was curious, and started looking for W body cars, the Cutlass in particular, at the usual places-EBay, and Craigslist. Considering the large number of these cars made (almost 60,000 just in 1997 alone), they don't seem to be around. I love my 97 Coupe, and even though I live in South Florida, where old cars are common, I rarely see any W body cars. I know rust took a bunch of these out, but what about the western and southern states where rust isn't a problem? I don't even see them in junkyards anymore. Considering how many W bodies were made from 1988-1997, you'd think we would see them more often.

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Most of them hit the junkyards a long time ago. I used to see tons of mid 90's W's in the yards 15 years ago. With these cars not being particularly valuable, it's no surprise a lot of them hit the junkyards once they had a repair estimate exceed the value of the car. Some probably got scrapped for less than that. People that will hang on to a car for a long time are in the minority, especially those that have to pay someone else to repair them.

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yeah here in socal,TONS of w-bodys in the junk yard. not many left driving...there's a 99 lumina ltz 3800 v6 his older lady drives,id like to get. cars minty! same color as my 97'

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I see a ton of w-bodys here in suburban/rural Oregon.  We don't salt our roads in the winter, so even though there's a lot of moisture from the rain cars don't rust that bad.   I rarely see any Cutlass convertibles, they weren't that popular in Oregon, but I do see a lot of other 90's w-bodys.  Most are Grand Prixs (coupes and sedans) and Cutlass Supreme sedans, they are common enough still.  I'm on the road for a couple hours a day, and see many thousands of cars each week, and I probably see a w-body Cutlass Supreme coupe once a week at the most.   This last year I think I saw maybe four or five w-body Cutlass convertibles, but I wasn't driving mine at the time otherwise I honk and wave and usually get a wave back. 

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And then there's corrupt Government dirtbags that provided tax-funded giveaways to people who scrapped and destroyed older vehicles.  Once the waterglass went through the bearings and lifters, there was essentially nothing salvageable from the engine; and there's only so much market for interior or chassis parts when millions of vehicle get scrapped at once.

In other words, "crushed and sent to China".

Bastards.

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Up in my area they are past the junkyard stage and are all but gone. I used to see a red CS on my way to work but that was a few years ago. I saw a white CS like mine on I-84 a few months ago but it was really rough. I just nabbed a power seat track, the front leather seats and some other odd parts off a 1995 4 door that was about to be junked. That car had only 77,000 miles on it but was sold to a millennial who ran it into the ground and as the car blew a head gasket off to the yard it went. I felt bad parting it but it truly was too late to save it.

I will say mine is turning out to now get some attention, I have the classic plates on it and I do get some thumbs up when I drive it to and from work. Not bad for $1800 on e bay.

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The Cash for Clunkers program wiped a vast majority of older vehicles out, I remember seeing all sorts of nice cars turning up to be destroyed. I know one other person here that drives a 3.1 `92 coupe and he's not interested in giving his up either. I`d like to get another 1st gen for an L67 swap, probably buy one already done looking for a good home. As common as it was for that swap I havent seen those come around for sale that often either. 

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On 12/2/2019 at 5:44 PM, Schurkey said:

And then there's corrupt Government dirtbags that provided tax-funded giveaways to people who scrapped and destroyed older vehicles.  Once the waterglass went through the bearings and lifters, there was essentially nothing salvageable from the engine; and there's only so much market for interior or chassis parts when millions of vehicle get scrapped at once.

In other words, "crushed and sent to China".

Bastards.

The only W-bodies that were destroyed under such program were the LQ1-engined cars.  Everything else didn't qualify because GM built 'em to be so fuel efficient.   

Its always amazing, talking to people who own Hondas and Toyotas, from even the early 2000s, about tune-ups, and being in sheer horror that the 2002 Accord still uses a mechanical distributor.  I don't think a W-body was ever built with a mechanical distributor.  

The government here recently cancelled the classic plate program, so its full freight on the plates if I want to keep mine past 30 years ($750/year w/discount).  Still a great car, needs some paintless dent repair, and some new rockers welded on/primed/painted, but otherwise is immaculate.  I bought a 7th gen Accord to 'replace' it a year ago, but still much prefer the CS.    If the CS was in a wreck and I had to replace it with something identical (for insurance), I can't even find anything online for sale that's comparable.  Heck, I can't even find a W-body CS sedan for sale on the largest used auto website in Canada at all.

Edited by pitzel

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1 hour ago, pitzel said:

The only W-bodies that were destroyed under such program were the LQ1-engined cars.  Everything else didn't qualify because GM built 'em to be so fuel efficient.   

Its always amazing, talking to people who own Hondas and Toyotas, from even the early 2000s, about tune-ups, and being in sheer horror that the 2002 Accord still uses a mechanical distributor.  I don't think a W-body was ever built with a mechanical distributor.  

The government here recently cancelled the classic plate program, so its full freight on the plates if I want to keep mine past 30 years ($750/year w/discount).  Still a great car, needs some paintless dent repair, and some new rockers welded on/primed/painted, but otherwise is immaculate.  I bought a 7th gen Accord to 'replace' it a year ago, but still much prefer the CS.    If the CS was in a wreck and I had to replace it with something identical (for insurance), I can't even find anything online for sale that's comparable.  Heck, I can't even find a W-body CS sedan for sale on the largest used auto website in Canada at all.

TGP's/TSTE's made the cut for CFC as well. I remember there being a TSTE on the list of cars that were destroyed and I think it was a pretty clean, low mile car.

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My state is not to fussy with the Classic Plates and there are no driving restrictions, 25 years and older gets you a set if wanted. Glad my 96 CS is still around. In fact, I just bought (what I thought was) the last MOOG front end kit from Rock Auto with the aim of replacing my rusty lower control arms. This is all in an effort to preserve this car while putting on as many miles as I can while I have it. In fact, the plans are now to leave the older ones home and drive the 1996 to the Olds Nationals in Murfreesboro, TN next year. That trip will be good for another 2000 miles all told.

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On 12/8/2019 at 6:40 AM, bluecalais79 said:

My state is not to fussy with the Classic Plates and there are no driving restrictions, 25 years and older gets you a set if wanted. Glad my 96 CS is still around. In fact, I just bought (what I thought was) the last MOOG front end kit from Rock Auto with the aim of replacing my rusty lower control arms. This is all in an effort to preserve this car while putting on as many miles as I can while I have it. In fact, the plans are now to leave the older ones home and drive the 1996 to the Olds Nationals in Murfreesboro, TN next year. That trip will be good for another 2000 miles all told.

I'll see you in Murfreesboro next year as I'm going to the Olds Nationals too! I'm taking the vert and, if I can get my wife to drive one, I'll bring the coupe.

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On 12/8/2019 at 6:40 AM, bluecalais79 said:

My state is not to fussy with the Classic Plates and there are no driving restrictions, 25 years and older gets you a set if wanted. Glad my 96 CS is still around. In fact, I just bought (what I thought was) the last MOOG front end kit from Rock Auto with the aim of replacing my rusty lower control arms. This is all in an effort to preserve this car while putting on as many miles as I can while I have it. In fact, the plans are now to leave the older ones home and drive the 1996 to the Olds Nationals in Murfreesboro, TN next year. That trip will be good for another 2000 miles all told.

I had no idea that was going on there, thats 20mins away from me! I`ll be there for sure.

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Good Deal. See everyone there! My scenario keeps changing all the time. My 79 Hurst Olds is now (probably permanently) residing at our house in South Carolina. Come April the plans are to replace the Timing Chain and I'll throw in a rebuilt water pump (not done in China but rather a used one done RIGHT). If this works out well my wife & I may fly to SC and then drive the 79 H/O to the Nationals, it's only 6 hours away. If I'm not good with how the job turns out I go back to taking the 1996 CS from Connecticut and back, as I'm not afraid to drive this car any distance, its 3.1 has proven itself to be worthy of any long trip I can put in front of it. I've already gotten a first place with this car so I may just go show only with it. I would get marked down for the driver improvements I've made to it but they are must haves since I use this car for to work travel 9 months of the year.

By the way, it was pointed out to me that the leather seats I got off that 4 door junker do not have the fold forward feature. To my utter horror that is correct. Is there any way to rig these seats so they will fold forward? If not  I may only install the drivers seat, it's a safety issue, If anyone is in the back and need to get out of the car in a hurry I cant have both seats not being able to fold forward for a quick exit.

 

Edited by bluecalais79

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