1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Reviews

1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham 7.5L Buick 455 from North America

Model year1978
Year of manufacture1977
First year of ownership1994
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 7.5L Buick 455 Automatic
Distance when acquired75000 miles
Most recent distance90000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Type III

Summary:

Classic

Faults:

Some rust on truck lid, sunroof leaks a little, and rear seat panels became flaky.

Dash has cracks in it.

General Comments:

Love the body style, 2 door with sunroof, fits 6 people.

A new engine swap did this car plenty of good. Used to have a Chevy 350, but went with a Buick 455 7.5L out of a 72 Skylark with a 400 trans. Hood closes fine, can't tell by looking at it that it has a 455 in it. However the rear end needs a posi kit to help with all the torque; 500+ lbs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th March, 2013

7th Mar 2013, 09:28

See if you can get a Torsen anti spin differential. If not, a really heavy duty anti spin from Moroso should be good.

1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 4.3 260 V8 from North America

Model year1978
Year of manufacture1977
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 4.3 260 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired36000 miles
Most recent distance142000 miles
Previous carFord Contour

Summary:

Drive it because it can

Faults:

Well, before all this I had a 1979 Olds Cutlass with a V6. Except for the transmission being messed up on third gear the car was pretty good. It was my dad's best friend's car, and the poor bucket sat in a yard for 15 years. Even for being as heavy as it was that little V6 could scoot. That and it got pretty decent gas mileage. But like I said, the transmission was messed up. It was fine going down hill, but if it ever had to climb you'd better hope you had a running head start. Later I got rid of it and bought a new Ford Contour. I tried to race the poor little rice-rocket wanna-be. But I dumped so much money in it just to keep it going (It was a Ford. I should've known better). So then I found my baby. My '78 Cutlass. It sucks on gas because of the V8 but it does things that always surprises me. Had one suspension problem, but that was because I lived on a dirt road with potholes. But it still runs, still coasts. The only thing I don't like about it is the tranny. Too slow and too leaky. But this old girl has taken out a chain-link fence and all I had to do was touch up the paint a little. Not a dent. I'm never going to buy a new car ever again.

General Comments:

I hate Fords now. $2000 for a Catalytic Converter?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st May, 2007

1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 260 V8 from North America

Model year1978
Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership1979
Most recent year of ownership1982
Engine and transmission 260 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10
Distance when acquired20000 miles
Most recent distance75000 miles

Summary:

A 260 V-8 that could take anything you dished out

Faults:

The 1978 Cutlass Supreme was purchased used in April of 1979. It needed a carburetor rebuild shortly thereafter at 20,000 miles.

General Comments:

Oldsmobile billed the 260 V-8 as an economy engine, but never achieved more than 15 mpg.

The 260 was bullet proof under all conditions. It pulled a four wheel U-Haul trailer so loaded down with furniture that the car only managed a maximum speed of 45 mph with the accelerator all the way to the floor.

Even running out of antifreeze due to a heater hose leak posed no problem. I filled the radiator back up with water and continued home.

If the accelerator was mashed all the way down to the floorboard from a dead stop, the rear wheel barely burned rubber.

The only thing that killed the engine was the old thermostat. The new owner continued to drive the car and well, you guessed it, the engine overheated and finally gave up the ghost.

Even through gross neglect, (I was a teenager at the time) that old 260 kept on chugging away.

I'm not sure what kind of automatic tranny it had, but the shift from 2nd to a tall 3rd gear would lurch the car forward like it was being bumped from behind.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 18th November, 2005

27th Sep 2008, 18:40

Anyone know how to open the hood of a 78 cutlass when the cable is broke someplace under the hood?

Thank you.

15th Oct 2008, 12:11

With regard to the broken hood release cable, if you have a slim arm, you can snake up to the release latch and pull the lever toward the right front headlight with a pair of pliers. While I never had my cable break, a friend opened my hood as a joke one day. He was only able to do it because he had long skinny arms.

As an aside, my Olds '78 Cutlass Salon 260 was a great car. I too, was in my late teens when I got it new as a present from my folks. Because I live in Florida, the freeze plugs rusted and were replaced with copper. I used to work at a place where the parking lot was on an angle. My 260 had a floor shifter, which was basically a column shift with a cable to the floor console. After a while, the cable stretched from not using the park brake and I had to put it into 2nd for drive and reverse for park.

The only other problem I ever had was that the ceiling dropped. I used screw pins to hold it up at first, then she just completely gave up the ghost. I was fortunate that there was a business in town who just began offering a new service of re-foam attaching new fabric to the ceiling shell. Sometimes I really miss that old car. It still runs around town by the owner after me. I guess he keeps it in a garage, because it still shines like new. That baby blue color is unmistakable, and of course, I went crazy with pin stripping back in those days, and they are still on the car.

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 5 reviews