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Dameon's Mahana

1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass

S 350/5.7L V8

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Build Points

78

  • Color: Green-ish
  • Horsepower: 300
  • Drivetrain: RWD
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  • Vehicle Overview

    The term first love comes to mind when I think of my 1971 Cutlass S. Like most car guys, I started out by finding a "dream car". I fell in love with First Gen Camaros. To me there wasn't a more beautiful beast. But, being a broke 15 year old boy, I had a better chance of a long dead Colonel Sanders choosing a hamburger over fried chicken. This first love was much like a high school relationship, full of high hopes but low chance of success. The reality of this hormonal driven first love, required me to look into other GM muscle cars, and even consider a girl's Mustang (1964-1966), but none seemed to really set my heart on fire like a Camaro did. Endless searching of Craigslist, local classifieds and farmers fields for anything seemed to all be in vein! I was still stuck on those Chevy F bodies. One day while searching a local classifieds sight I found it. My one true car love! (Please note the car part, my wife would kill me if I failed to point that out.) It was a 1971 Cutlass 455 for $1700, it had no pictures of it but being only 2 hours away I could afford to go check it out. I showed my grandpa, who actually owned a hopped up '65 Cutlass back in the day, and he agreed to drive me over to see my new found flame. I spent my evenings google imaging: "Cutlass" and "442". My imagination ran wild those few days of waiting. The time came for us to drive over and see it. I felt like I was going on a first date! My palms were sweaty, I had every question I wanted to ask the guy about the car planned out. It seemed like such a long drive but at last we were at this junkyard out in the middle of nowhere. This yard was massive! He seemed to have cars from every year dating back to 1934! But none of that mattered, I was here to see that Cutlass. The man walked us to the back of the yard. I could feel my heart pounding, I swear it felt like a cartoon where the heart is seen through your shirt! We rounded the corner and there it was, a dilapidated body of a once beautiful Olds A Body. It felt like someone I had kicked me in the guts. This love of mine, could never last! She was just way to high maintenance for this 15 year old to take on. It needed everything. The engine was seized, the transmission was missing and there wasn't a straight panel on this old girl. It was more then I could take on. I walked away that day discouraged. I ended up getting a '78 Cutlass with a 260. It was a far cry from the muscle cars of my dreams but it was fun while it lasted. 8 years would pass and I had a few more cars and trucks, and I had good times with all, but nothing like the love I felt for that '71. I would continue searching classifieds, not with that same gusto I felt as 15 year old. It seemed that time had just taken my love of cars and crushed it. I would never get the chance to own a car of my dreams. Then, I was introduced to this Youtube show called "Roadkill". After introduction, I was hooked. I binge watched every episode! I was amazed and inspired! These were thrashed cars that didn't have nice paint, but instead, the focal point was the fun you can have with them! I began my search again, this time with greater excitement then ever, thanks to the inspiration of Roadkill and amazing garbage. I wanted to find my love again, and this time I was giving up once I found her. The resources for buying and selling old cars have expanded since I was 15. We now could use Facebook! I searched through all the old posts, messaging and commenting and hopes of finding another Cutlass. After scrolling for what seemed to be forever I found one. It was from a year earlier. A 1971 Cutlass, complete with a 350. The ad said it ran when parked. I couldn't message him fast enough. From the pictures it looked straight. It took two days for the guy to message me back! He told me that he still had it, I told him I would be over to take a look at it the next evening once I got off work. This Cutlass was only 45 minutes away, but those 45 minutes seemed to be as long as the two days I had waited to hear back about the car in the first place. I finally rolled into this farmers field. There she was, looking as if she had waited for me. The car had a bit of patina but was straight except for where the farmers daughter had hit the rear bumper with a tractor (only in Idaho). The imperfections made her beautiful. We hooked a battery up to her and poured a little gas down the carb. I waited eagerly... It ran!! The sound of the custom exhaust (sawzall right before the muffler) sounded amazing! I quickly shook his hand and paid the 1900 bucks (yes $200 more then the one from when I was 15). I came back with a car hauler the next morning and took it home. Smiling the whole way. Finally a love that would stay with me! When I got home I immediately started working on it. I replaced the wheels and tires, cleaned the carb, changed the fuel filter and oil then changed the plugs. I could hardly contain myself, the time had come. I was going to drive the car I had fell in love with almost a decade earlier. It came to life after just a few pumps of the gas! I backed it into the road and took my first cruise!

    Completed Modifications

    Engine Management (ECU) (1)
    Exhaust (1)
    Exterior (1)
    Fuel System (1)

    Future Plans

    I have swapped the engine out because shortly after my cruise, it developed a pretty bad rod knock. ! I also replaced the radiator, and am currently building a trans with a manual valve body to make it to where I can shift the gears. I also have a Ford 9 in that I will be fabricating to put in the back of the car with a 3.50 posi. All and all, a simple, tried and true build!

    Wish List: Cutlass build

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