Shawn McCollum's '84 Cutlass Supreme


I bought this car in the summer of 1996 while searching for a good used car to supplement my existing car. I came across my Cutlass in South Jersey, and after close inspection, I decided to buy it. The car had the original 3.8 V6 with 84K. The body was in pretty good shape except for the doors and rear bumper, which were rotted out beyond repair. The underside and frame had a little rust, but nothing that could not be touched up. The interior was close to immaculate, except for minor fading, slight tear in drivers side seat and it needed a new carpet. I had a lot of goals for this car, but had to wait for the money.

After about 1 year, the engine went on me. Seems that the oil filter screen became clogged and the engine lost oil pressure. Then came the rodknock. Well, I replaced the engine, but due to money restraints, I decided on just another rebuilt 3.8 V6. Believe me, I am not anywhere near a mechanic, but I have a very close friend who is, so I consider myself lucky. Anyway, since I was replacing the engine, I decided to replace a few more things: The radiator, fuel pump, water pump, carburetor, clean air pump, fan, all hoses and belts, new air conditioning system, shocks, springs, exhaust system and just about everything else under the hood. I also got the transmission rebuilt, which is still in awesome shape. Now, the car ran great, but I needed to work on finishing the interior, then the body.

Thanks to a nice Worker's Compensation settlement, I finally had the money to finish my baby. I had the upholstery repaired, new headliner/visors and a new carpet put in. The color was not a perfect match, but it was pretty close. I then set out to find a set of doors with little or no rust, which turned out to be a nightmare. I searched every yard in Philadelphia and New Jersey, but nothing even came close to what I wanted. I turned to the Olds list for help and was about to purchase a decent set from Mr. Chris Somerville (Thanks again Chris!!) when I got lucky. While driving home to go back to New Jersey, I saw a 1981 Buick Regal for sale s parts. Upon inspection, I saw that the doors were already primered and had no rust at all! I found the guy who owned the car and when I asked him how much for the doors, he said that he had decided not to sell the car, but to finish restoring it. Well, I offered him $75.00 for each door and he said OK. I guess he needed the money. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

Then, I found an aftermarket place for bumpers in NJ called Keystone. A new rear bumper totalled $134.00 plus tax. The dealer wanted $190.00. Now, all that was left was a real paint job and some new stereo speakers. I was referred by more than a few people to a place called Mortland's Auto Body in Riverside, NJ. This guy does nothing but restore classic cars. His prices were a little high, but his work was excellent. I explained to him that I wanted all of the old paint taken off, the doors hung and the new bumper put on. I also wanted new stripping/pinstriping on the side of the car, and new stripping around each window and door. I wanted the same Cream color that the car came with originally. It took about 3 weeks for the car to be finished and it did have some filler at the rear panels on both sides that had to be redone, but the car looks great!!! I recommend to anyone out there that it is worth it to restore an Oldsmobile. Now, I can't wait until summertime to take it out of the garage so I can drive it!!!

Shawn's Email: shawno22@erols.com