Automotive Intelligence

News of  July 06, 1999

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L.A. Auto Show Announces Theme for Januarys Show: California Dreamin 2000 / More Than a Dozen World Debuts Planned
Los Angeles, July 1, 1999 - Recognizing the global impact of California's influence on automobile design and development, the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show announced California Dreamin' 2000 as its theme for next January's show.

The theme reflects the fact that California's lifestyle and attitudes have an impact upon how people around the world perceive and utilize automobiles. Cars are an integral part of both ist lifestyle and culture, and with Hollywood movies and television shows to spread the word, the world looks to California for the latest trends and styles. Expressive, health-conscious, fun-loving and daring-to-be-different; these are the qualities that give California its unique character.

Four of the world's largest automakers have already committed to unveil at least one concept vehicle each as a part of their support for the California Dreamin' 2000 theme. DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen will lead the way to what will be the most world debuts of concept cars and production vehicles in the history of the L.A. Auto Show.

"Manufacturers recognize that California is not only a huge marketplace, but also a trend-setter for new ideas and products. Consequently, they regard the L.A. Auto Show as an important part of their strategic plans," says Andy Fuzesi, general manager of the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show. "The show is still over six months away and we already know there will be more than a dozen world debuts of concept cars and production vehicles. In the coming months, additional announcements will be made about the world debuts and other California Dreamin' 2000 activities," says Lisa Kaz, show director of the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show.


Final Cutlass Produced

Storied Oldsmobile nameplate personified power and sales to division

OKLAHOMA CITY, July 2, 1999 - Cutlass, a name synonymous with Oldsmobile performance in the 1960's and the nameplate most responsible for the explosive sales growth of the division throughout the 1970's, rolled off the assembly line for the last time and into the history books on July 2, 1999.

More than 11.9 million models were built over the 38-year span including coupes, convertibles, hardtops, sedan and station wagons.

1999 Oldsmobile Cutlass-GLS Sedan

1999 Oldsmobile Cutlass-GLS Sedan

Photo: GM

Introduced as a compact coupe version of the F-85 model in 1961, the new Cutlass featured bucket seats, a luxury interior and a 185 horsepower version of the 215 cubic inch aluminum V8 engine. Less than a year later, a convertible model was added to the sporty line and by 1964 the Cutlass family had grown to an intermediate category that included a coupe, convertible and station wagon model.
Engine displacement grew as well that year with the 215 cid V8 replaced with a standard cid "Rocket V8" pushing out 230 horsepower (gross). A checkmark in option box B09, signified the special police package that delivered a 310 horsepower variation of the engine with four-barrel carburetor, a four-speed gearbox and dual exhaust. Sharp-eyed observers also noticed the special "442" nomenclature that was added to the exterior trim.

With performance on the mind in the mid-1960's from all auto makers, Oldsmobile turned up the heat in 1965 when a 400 cubic inch engine was added to the "442" model.

1961 Oldsmobile Cutlass

1961 Oldsmobile Cutlass

Photo: GM

Performance number for 1965 was 0 to 60 in 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 125 mph. Over the years, the Cutlass family expanded to include a number of models. The first four-door sedan, and the name Cutlass Supreme, came along in 1966 - the year that the Cutlass line-up was Oldsmobile's best seller with sales topping more than 115,000 units. In 1967, the Cutlass Supreme became a model line all its own. The Cutlass Supreme, the eight-cylinder Cutlass and a new six-cylinder model were available in the coupe, sedan and convertible versions, as well as a station wagon and a sports coupe for the Cutlass Supreme.

An even hotter version was added in 1968. Oldsmobile and Hurst Performance teamed up to produce the Hurst/Olds version of the "442", a low volume car that packed a massive 455 cubic inch V8 producing a whopping 360 horsepower.

The 1970's opened with Oldsmobile producing its 12 millionth car, fittingly a red Cutlass. By 1971, the last of the traditional high-powered "442" models equipped with the 455 cid Rocket was produced.

The 1970's brought many sales records for the model, as the Cutlass became the best-selling intermediate car in 1973. By 1975, Cutlass was the best seller for the division and in 1976 Cutlass was the best seller in the country! Nearly a quarter of a million Cutlass Supreme hardtops was sold in 1977.

1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass "S"

1976 Oldsmobile Cutless "S"
- America's best-selling passenger car

Photo: GM

The immense popularity of the model helped push the division over the 1 million mark in sales for the first time ever. The first Calais model appeared in 1978 and used a Supreme body with a special vertical "egg crate" grille, a Calais stand-up hood ornament and a higher trim level.

The next major change to the line-up occurred in 1982 when the first of the front-wheel-drive Cutlass Ciera models were introduced. A new Ciera coupe was added in 1986. The same year, Oldsmobile had three nameplates in the top 10 domestic sales race including Cutlass Ciera and Cutlass Supreme along with the Delta 88. The final model Cutlass was introduced in 1997 as part of Oldsmobile's Centennial line-up. All new and replacing the Ciera, the last Cutlass was a trim sedan with a crisply tailored, elegant interior and exterior look. With a long list of standard features, it became a whole new expression of value for Oldsmobile.

As the Cutlass name passes into automotive history, Karen Francis, general manager for the division, places the final version of the car in its rightful context as one of the brands that helped turn Oldsmobile around. "The Cutlass was one of the most popular cars in GMs history and this last model played a key transitional role for Oldsmobile," Francis said. "The Cutlass was instrumental in the evolution to the new Alero, which is a key ingredient of our expressive product portfolio for the future."

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