Detailing a Cutlass

Q.

I have just about finished my 1971 olds cutlass supreme. This is a convertible with 350 4barrel numbers matching car. During the restoration the decals in the engine compartment were removed from the car. I need a picture or some help in the location and type of decals that the car would have originally come with. Any help would be appreciated. Door decals and glove box decals would help also.

A.

1971_Cutlass_Supreme_convertible As the previous owner of a 1971 Cutlass, I still have a soft spot for these great cars and that 350 Olds engine that runs forever and never failed me. As you are likely aware some models of cars have very detailed documentation in regards to decal and sticker placement, as well as inspection mark stamps. Unfortunately we could not locate a single reputable source for this information in regards to a 1971 Cutlass. But that’s the bad news… The good news is, because of the popularity of these models, all of the engine compartment stickers/decals are reproduced. A quick check discovered countless sources for decals including: Year One (yearone.com), Original Parts Group (opgi.com), and others. Also keep in mind some decals are GM corporate, so while they may not be listed for a Cutlass they may in fact be listed for a Chevelle.

There are also numerous inspection marks stamped in paint on the firewall, We could not find a source for these, although we are currently planning a video shoot on how to create these stamps and properly apply them.

As to the exact placement of every decal and stamp… This can sometimes vary even in the same model year, with changes on the production line. My recommendation is to do the research, web search unrestored 1971 Cutlass’s, take notes of their location on several cars before determining the exact location and types that should be on your car. Old salvage yards can also be an excellent source for cars that haven’t been touched in decades, just remember to bring your camera.

Okay I wasn’t going to go here, but in the interest of providing you a clear and complete answer. The best way to determine what and where the decals and inspection marks should be is to clearly document all of them before a single bold is removed during your restoration. I have personally witnessed professional restoration shops spend as much as two-days photographing every nut, bolt decal, mark, etc.… before ever putting a wrench to the car, and often they’ll take countless more photos as the car begins to be disassembled. I know it’s too late in your case although it is certainly something you’ll want to consider before starting your next restoration.

Thanks for the note and be sure to send us a picture of your ride to:
ClassicCarRestorationClub@program-director.net.

I know I’m looking forward to seeing it, and I know other members will too!

Discussion
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3 Responses to “Detailing a Cutlass”
  1. Clay

    I have a 72 Cutlass Supreme, 350/350 4brl, that was restored in 2005 and has several new decals, but I don’t know 4 sure that they are in the original locations?? Clay

    Reply
  2. Blaine

    Check out Fusick Automotive Products. They only do Oldsmobile. They have a pretty good selection of books and do an excellent job of repro parts. Blaine

    Reply
  3. DOUG

    I would recommend contacting the REOlds Museum, in LAnsing Michigan, for all of your historic queries.
    They have some models in new condition in their museum that can be used for research purposes, and your model, being a popular one, might be in their museum aresenal.
    Good Luck !
    Doug Posey, DVM
    Corpu s Christi, Texas

    Reply