By on September 30, 2015

1967 Mustang

1968 Olds Cutlass

Mark’s look today at a couple of late Sixties’ performance icons has inspired me. Yes, my automotive ADD kicked in and off I went to eBay in search of affordable Cutlass and Mustang projects.

And, really, I’m still searching. The majority of what I’ve found are either total basketcases, poorly-done “customs,” or pristine show cars with prices to match. I’d love to find a car that has needs, but could be driven away and worked on over time.

To the car nuts of the internet, please stop it with the “Eleanor” clones. Yes, even this import fanatic drooled over the fiberglass-clad Mustang in the Gone in Sixty Seconds remake, but it’s over now.

On the Mustang end of things, I really dig this ’67 notchback in a polarizing shade of green. Said to be a factory 390 big-block car, it will drive quite differently than a lighter, small-block-equipped Mustang — more like a muscle car than a sports car. The interior looks absolutely perfect on this example and it appears mechanically sound as well. The catch here is the paint. On closer inspection, the paint is quite faded and will need a respray if a show car quality shine is desired. A couple weeks ago, it had a reserve around $17,000, which seems a bit much considering the work needed, but short of rusted-out six cylinder cars, there aren’t many this cheap.

Regarding your father’s Oldsmobile, this ’68 fastback will probably sell around $7,500, if I had to guess. The base steel wheels with dog-dish hubcaps are disappointing. The car really needs a set of color-matched Olds Rallye wheels. It needs some metalwork, and some attention to the interior, but this could be a nice, easy project.

It’s not quite to the level of the Ford and Chevy rivalry — I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Calvin pissing on an Olds emblem — but these two cars have rather similar target collectors.

Best & Brightest, which would you rather?

This poll has been removed.

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53 Comments on “Crapwagon Poll: 1967 Ford Mustang vs. 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass...”


  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Those aren’t even dog dishes, Cutlasses with dog dishes and color-matched steel wheels look awesome.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Yes I gotta admit I’m really into the dog dish hubcaps, steel wheels on a base muscle car. Just, or mostly a huge engine. I did a resto of a ’72 Grande Mustang, 351C with/for my nephew that probably left the factory with dog dishes. I urged him to go with those, but he went with the 5-spoke chrome ponies.

    • 0 avatar
      Chris Tonn

      Yeah, I see that now. I blame the eBay app on my phone..pic was too small.

      That said, I’m allergic to dogs. I figured they’d want to eat more than could fit in the tiny hubcaps, but I have no clue.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      This article sent me deep down the craigslist rabbithole, but it was worth it:

      linkhttp://indianapolis.craigslist.org/cto/5245890174.html

      Now that’s what I’m talking about!! The definition of “presence” IMO.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Why do you like that?! It just looks like a police car. Or something someone would have delivered pizza in, in 1975.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          “It just looks like a police car.” Well I’d argue it’d need to have 4 doors to complete the look, but the plain, dog dish “all business” look is something that I adore. My favorite 70s crime movies all have the lead detective driving some unassuming brown/blue/black Ford or Dodge sedan with the big motor option. So maybe that’s what draws me to them.

          I like the over the top broughamy stuff of the 70s as well, awkward AMC sedans in olive green, and the “Mad Men” vibe of something like a late 60s Imperial or Oldsmobile. I like them all! The way I see things going in the near-ish future is buying a house on some acreage with a sizable workshop, and having a slot in my vehicle fleet for a project car that could be taken up by any of the above listed older cars that could play fair-day commuter car duty, or weekend cruise-ins.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            This is 100% the look I’d want to recreate in a fun weekend cruiser:

            linkhttp://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_17290-Ford-Custom-500-1968.html

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I gotcha.

            Suppose I like the gingerbread versions because there were so many different trim specs and options happening at the time. Special paint here or a different cigarette lighter package, gauges and lights, etc. (Not that we AREN’T headed back that way, because we certainly are.) Always liked the “special edition” feel on things, even though it’s a bit false.

            I picked a fun cruiser for the 68 year as well. That side window treatment is killer.

            http://momentcar.com/images/oldsmobile-delta-88-1968-4.jpg

  • avatar
    Tomifobia

    I’d take the Cutlass. Mustangs and 442’s are cliched to death.

    BTW, those are full wheel covers, not dog dishes. These are dog dish hubcaps:

    http://blog.hemmings.com/wp-content/uploads//2012/08/1968Olds442_02_700.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Yep vintage Mustangs are everywhere. They’re great, but gotta go with the ’68 Cutlass. Love those. My dad did have the ’68 Olds Vista Cruiser wagon with a big block V8 and standard hubcaps. I was 8 and didn’t think it was “cool” at the time, around 1976, but I remember it was frickin’ fast!

  • avatar
    ajla

    My Cutlass love is for something more like a 1987 Supreme, so I went Mustang.

  • avatar
    GermanReliabilityMyth

    There’s a reason the Mustang was derided as a “secretary’s/hair dresser’s car.” It’s a leg amputation risk to anyone who’s taller than 5′ 8″ so my 6′ 3″ frame isn’t going be comfortable in there until I get fitted for a standard coffin. My friend was restoring one and he let me try to wedge myself in there. It was an exercise in futility. Cutlass gets the vote, hands down, from me and any other gents bigger than a man-child.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Cutlass, because Boomers have milked the Mustang cow dry.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Well, I went with the Mustang because it’s a Mustang and I was never impressed with the Cutlass. For me, the 390 detracts from the car’s appeal. It would handle much better with a 289.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Cutlass. I can buy a new Mustang if I really want one.

  • avatar

    When I was in high school, these were beater cars….my 1969 Firebird Vert, with 400 4 bbl, was a bondo-ed POS, and my dream car….If I could have stored it for 25 years and given it a frame off, it would be worth $$$ now

    Friends had both cars. The Cutlass wore better and was safer than the Mustang. I recall driving a 289 version, probably not the best of the bunch, and between wonky brakes and “aim and hope” steering, the GM cars just wore better.

    Cutlass.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Btw Evil, Muscle Cars are dangerous by nature, it’s true, but this from a man that broke every bone in his body?? Is this even possible???

      Or is it just urban legend? Like that thing with Richard Gere and the gerbil thing??

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    BTDT with both. At least a half dozen friends had Cutlasses. They were the Civics of the 1970s. My ’67 Mustang had the 390. It was way too much engine for the suspension, steering, and brakes. Absolutely frightening in the rain, and we won’t even talk about snow.

    You know what makes me nostalgic? My ’87 Acura Integra. I’m sure it’s not as good as I remember it, but it sure was a LOT better than most everything that came before it.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Correct all around. My first car was a ’65 Mustang 289, when I was shopping for it I also looked at a couple Cutlasses and other A-bodies, they were dirt-cheap compared to the Mustangs. Should have saved my money and bought one of those. The 289 was not that quick and the brakes were horrible. But my girlfriend loved Mustangs, so…..

      My next car was an 84 Accord 5-speed hatch. Didn’t impress the ladies, but a much better car, I’d take it back in a heartbeat.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “It was way too much engine for the suspension, brakes and steering.”

      Well isn’t that the definition of “Muscle Cars”?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    1967 Mustang all the way, but then I’m biased because I own one.

    Although I’d rather have the 289 small block and more balanced handling than the nose heavy big block.

    • 0 avatar
      awagliar

      I also own a ’67 Mustang, which makes me biased toward the Cutlass. As others noted in the comments from Mark’s article, something’s always breaking, be it little (yeah, the wiper switch) or big (third transmission in eight years/12K miles). The Cutlass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Though I would prefer the larger and more sedate big block ’67 Toronado (’68 got a restyle and it unfortunately gained a catfish mouth and lost the pop-ups), I have to choose Oldsmobile here. It’s slightly brougham and somewhat luxury, and displays taste and discretion. The Mustang is none of those things, and is quite trite and overdone by car collectors.

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    That’s a 1968 Mustang in the pic, Chris. Corner lamps give it away as well as the grille, though the grille belongs to a GT of that year.
    [edit: but the side scoops and lack of rear corner lamps says it’s a 67 with the front end of a 68. May be some crash damage to look for.]

    Since neither car is going to be a daily driver, the Mustang is going to be the best value over time. These were the first big block Mustangs, and authentic S-code cars will always have more collector$ value.

    I’d do a cheap restoration back to original color and drive it to car shows for the next 20 years. Somewhat stealthy, and it will never lose value.

  • avatar

    Neither grabs me. The Cutlass would if it were a ’64. Or maybe a ’65. The Mustang would grab me if it were ’64 or ’65, but probably not as much as the Cutlass.

    The Mustang has a lot more historical significance, though. Both Pres Clinton and Newt Gingrich had ’67 ‘stangs.

    The ’67 Mustang is macho, but the styling is messy. The ’64-65-66 is feminine, very beautiful, and clean. It’s only that these are so common that keeps them out of the stratosphere.

  • avatar

    Cutlass, but I’m biased because I used to own one.

  • avatar
    Irvingklaws

    Cutlass over the notchback. You’ll need to add some air shocks to jack the rear up. Then a set of Cragar SS wheels with white letter tires. Also a pair of Jensen Tri-axles mounted in the read deck, hooked up to a Kraco equalizer-booster bolted under the dash, fed by a Craig Powerplay in place of the stock radio. And don’t forget a set of aftermarket fog lights bolted up under the bumper. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Meh. If I’m going to have a project I think I want it to be about 20-25 years newer and Japanese.

  • avatar
    readallover

    I`ll take the Olds all day long. The Mustang just does not want to turn.

  • avatar
    raph

    Mustang, I’ve owned other cars but only when I paid cash for them. If its involved a payment plan I’ve always purchased a Mustang.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I’m struggling a bit here, the 390 sure makes the Mustang a beast, as it is basically a truck engine, in a car with a chassis designed for a smallblock. But it’s a notchback, which basically makes it a less practical Falcon.
    That makes the Cutlass the better looking in this case, but it was made to have a bigblock in my opinion, and I’m not fan of vinyl roofs on cars with sloped rears.
    I guess I would go for the Mustang and make it a sleeper, or clean up the Cutlass and get a 455 for it, or…I don’t know

  • avatar
    pbr

    Whichever has the least rust!

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    The Cutlass looks good but the interior is a mess and needs a lot of work. The vinyl roof undoubtedly hides a horror show of rust. I would go up a few years to this ’72, which has nice colors and looks ready to drive right now:

    http://ebay.to/1FIv1AC

  • avatar
    jrhmobile

    The chance that lime-colored pile of Mustang parts is a legit S-code 390 is somewhere between Slim and None, with Slim leaving the building.

    Which I suspect is why, even though the ad title says “S-code”, the description says in the first sentence that it “appears to be” one. With a quick “history” of 5 items as a buyer and none as a seller, whoever’s trying to move this heap o’ pony parts will disappear into the wind once the deal is done.

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      the auction shows both a pic of the vin plate and the Marti report. It’s sitting a little nose high in the photos like the big block cars do. Means it has the right suspension for the 390. I’m betting it’s the real thing.

      • 0 avatar
        jrhmobile

        I dunno dude. It’s got a ’68 front end, a ’67 back end, even earlier wheels, and the interior is pretty low-spec for an S-code car. Except for, oddly, the roof console.

        I’m sure he’s got a VIN plate and a Marti report for … something. And like I say, the 100% positive feedback for very recently buying 5 things, but selling nothing, is awful suspect. I’m not a betting man, but I’d bet you a nickel that this ain’t what it’s portrayed to be.

        As for the seller? I wouldn’t put up a dime. The proof’s in the pudding, I guess. But I wouldn’t be booking a flight to Oxnard to check it out.

  • avatar
    slance66

    The car I always wanted was a 67-69 Cougar. Fantastic looking car, and very uncommon.

  • avatar
    Chi-One

    Here’s mine, a ’69

    http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u125/howlee4651/100_0430.jpg

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I’d take the Cutlass over the ‘Stang any day.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    The Olds got my vote. Too many good memories in a ’68 Cutlass. And I love the Coke Bottle era styling.

  • avatar
    Curt in WPG

    Cutlass. My 68 Beaumont is a fellow GM A body and they were fun and easy to work on – basically all you needed was a 1/2″ and a 9/16″ wrench and you were good to go. The best cleanest GM A bodes were the 68-69 ones. What makes this Olds look good is it didn’t get the ass jacked sky-high with Crager SS or Centerline rim look that pretty much every other 2 door Cutlass of that era got. Bonus points if it has a Lear-Jet stereo though.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Mustangs like that are everywhere. Boring.

    But a 60s Cutlass …. cool!

  • avatar
    CobraJet

    I guess I lean toward the Mustang since I have been driving my 69 Mach I weekly for 26 years. It’s been reliable and a lot of fun. But I have also owned two GM A bodies in the past: a 69 Lemans coupe and a 72 Cutlass convertible. The GM cars handled better.

  • avatar
    redav

    From the right angle & in the right light, that green on the Mustang is very nice. Green seems to be a color that is really hard to do well.

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