Bill Chambles '70 Cutlass Supreme


These photos are of my 1970 Cutlass Supreme Coupe. This beautiful car came to my attention as the result of a want-ad I placed in Hemmings Motor News in 1993. The Cutlass was originally sold by Reilly Olds in Westfield, NJ to Ruth Goodman on January 15, 1970. She returned to the dealership for service, and several years later, the mechanic (I would like to locate the name of this 2nd owner) who had maintained the car for Ms. Goodman bought it from her. He owned the car for the majority of it's life and supposedly only drove it to OCA meetings and special outings. Dale Swieringa of Edison, NJ bought the car in 1991, and in October, 1993, after seeing photos of this great looking Cutlass, I flew to Edison and drove it home to Texas.

On the way to Texas, I decided to introduce my new 'toy' to another old veteran from the past. In the photo, my Cutlass is nestled under the sheltering wing of the famous World War II B-17 Flying Fortress, the Memphis Belle, in her new home in the city of Memphis, Tennessee. I appreciate so much the permission granted me by park personnel, on a dismal day when I was the only visitor, to drive my car into the hanger for this very memorable photo. The 3/4 rear shot was taken at the '98 OCA Nationals, and the pic with me (I gotta lose some weight) was taken last year. Speaking of Nationals, my 'Santa Clause' Cutlass was the only 1970 Cutlass Supreme Coupe in attendance. It's easy to be the best in the show when there is no competition.

This car was ordered with power windows, power bucket seats, power trunk, cruise control, power drum brakes, 350 c.i. engine w/ 4bbl. carburater, air conditioning, auto transmission, white halo vinyl top, and several other smaller options. I have added a tilt column, SSI sport wheels, and a 442 rear bumper with trumpets. This car was very well maintained throughout it's life, and all I have had to do was install new bucket seat covers and get a new point job and top. I have used an 8-track case to house a more modern radio/cassette player under the dash while leaving the original working am/fm stereo in place in the dash. This has proven to be a good decision both aesthetically and accoustically. I also converted the front drum brakes to discs and added factory guages. The speedometer has a speed alert built into it, but as I wanted a trip odometer, I removed and preserved the original cluster and built a new cluster to house the trip odometer. It also has a very rare (to me, anyway) safety sentinal which allows the headlights to remain on for a variable amount of time after the headlights are turned off (as many modern auto models do).

I and my Cutlass have just returned from the OCA Nationals in Springfield, Illinios (a round trip of 2,800 miles), and the car could not have performed better if it had just rolled out of the showroom. It now has 96,000 original miles, and it has more than fulfilled the desire I had back in 1970, when I first saw the new notchback body style, to own one of these great looking automobiles. Sometimes I refer to it as 'Sweet Red', and it never fails to turn heads where ever it goes.


Bill's Email: keystone@freewwweb.com