Gene Bernshtam Classic Car Blog: The Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

Gene Bernshtam is real-estate investor and an avid collector of classic and vintage cars. He specializes in American manufacturers. Eugene Bernshtam and his collection has won numerous awards in automotive concourses. He counts among his most prized cars a 1970 Bentley T1, a 1975 Chrysler Cordoba, and a 1964 Dodge Polara. He also has a 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme in his garage, waiting to be restored.

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Oldsmobile ceased production in 2004, but during their heyday, they produced many iconic cars, including the Oldsmobile 88, the Oldsmobile Toronado, and the Oldsmobile Cutlass. The Cutlass became Oldsmobile’s signature line, with different models bearing the marque. The Cutlass Calais, for instance, was Oldsmobile’s signature compact car, while the Cutlass Supreme was its top of the line midsize car.

Gene Bernshtam has always been fascinated by the Cutlass Supreme since he first saw one sitting in a neighbor’s driveway as a boy. It replaced the Cutlass Salon which had a rather unpopular fastback configuration in favor of a new notchback silhouette. It was the epitome of style – the base-model Cutlass Supreme, for instance were available with sunroofs or T-tops, embodying the free spirit of its era.

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The 1978 Cutlass Supreme, which Eugene Bernshtam considers the pinnacle of Oldsmobile car design, featured taillights that had Oldsmobile’s rocket logo in the middle. Later models would omit this distinctive feature. However, the two-door coupe had only two headlights compared to the four headlights that both the four-door sedan and wagon had.

Within ten years, the Cutlass coupe became a popular car in NASCAR competition, winning 13 times from 1989 to 1992. While Oldsmobile decided to end its racing program in 1992, Gene Bernshtam still considers the Cutlass Supreme a stylish, high-performance car that could hold its own against top competition. While the last Cutlass Supreme convertible came off the assembly line in 1995, it has been re-introduced to the public’s consciousness through appearances in different TV shows, including Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Pete and Pete, resulting in a resurgence of interest in American sports coupes.