Saturday, April 19, 2014

1954 Cutlass
A Radically Different Oldsmobile
     The 1954 Oldsmobile Cutlass made its public debut at the opening venue of the GM Motorama, the Waldorf-Astoria, in January 1954. While being designed at GM Styling under Art Ross, the car was known simply as the "long wheelbase F-88" and it shared some common features of the other Olds dream car, the F-88. Both were two-passenger cars with a similar instrument panel and powered by a modified 324 "Rocket" V-8 producing 250 horsepower. Wheels and some suspension components were also alike. However, as the name "long wheelbase F-88" implied, the Cutlass was a longer car. It was also a closed car with an unusual roof design ending in a tapering fastback with a louvered rear window. Up front was a divided oval-shaped bumper/grille combination with a set of driving lamps. The fiberglass body of the Cutlass was painted iridescent copper metallic, a special color developed for this dream car.
     Inside the Cutlass was a set of bucket-styled seats covered in pigskin; the seats swiveled to help ease entry and egress for the driver and passenger. There was no trunk lid, but access to the trunk was through a pass-through in the bulkhead behind the seats.
     Unlike some of GM's dream cars of this era, the Cutlass was made operable, and in fact, had a Michigan license plate attached.


     What became of the Cutlass after its days as a show car came to an end is not known, though there was a claim made many years ago it was actually sold to someone in the northeast. If true, where is the unique car today?

For more on the LeSabre purchase a copy of the author's book, "Motorama: GM's Legendary Show & Concept Cars," available at Amazon.com. Click the book cover pictured at right to go directly there.

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