ELIDA — When Mike Mitchell, of Elida, was 16, he paid $300 for this 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass.
He loved the car at the time and has many fond memories of the car. He and his wife dated for five years prior to marrying, and this is the car they drove on dates. Like most though, marriage and kids came along, and the car was not big enough.
“I sold it because I had six children,” Mitchell said.
Even though Mitchell sold the car, he never lost track of it. Approximately four years ago, he tracked his car down and bought it back, most likely paying a lot more than the $300 he originally paid for it.
While Oldsmobiles were produced by General Motors, it was its own company, The Olds Motor Vehicle Company, prior to being affiliated with General Motors. Ransom E. Olds opened the Olds Motor Vehicle Company in 1897. While becoming a division of General Motors, Oldsmobile was in the middle of GM’s five divisions, above Chevrolet and Pontiac but beneath Buick and Cadillac. More than one million Oldsmobiles were sold in 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986, but by the 1990s Oldsmobile sales declined.
When the division was shut down in 2004, Oldsmobile was the oldest surviving American automobile marque, and one of the oldest in the world behind Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Skoda and Tatra.
During the 1960s, the Oldsmobile company was thriving. The Olds Cutlass was a great selling vehicle, and its “muscle car,” the Olds 442, became an instant hit. The Olds Cutlass was a best seller in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Mitchell’s car is all original. It features a 350 engine with an automatic transmission. The color is brown and gold.
“It’s the original color, ordered from the factory that way,” Mitchell said.
The car is babied and driven only on nice days and special occasions.
“It doesn’t see winter at all,” Mitchell said. “We have six children and nine grandchildren who love it. We cruise with them. It’s fun.”