The Power Of The 1968 Olds Cutlass Ram Rod – A Closer Look

Are you in the market for a classic car with timeless style and plenty of power? Look no further than the 1968 Olds Cutlass Ram Rod. This iconic vehicle from Oldsmobile is far from your run-of-the-mill vintage automobile – it’s turnkey ready to provide thrills, excitement, and a feeling of nostalgia every time you take it out on the road. Whether you’re looking to drive your dream car or add another impressive piece to your collection, this classic muscle car is worth a closer look. Keep reading to discover why so many classic car enthusiasts are captivated by this unique piece of automotive history!

A Brief History of the 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ram Rod

The 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ram Rod holds a special place in automotive history as a high-performance variant of the popular Cutlass model produced by Oldsmobile, a division of General Motors. This variant was developed to cater to the growing demand for powerful and fast cars during the muscle car era of the late 1960s.

The Cutlass Ram Rod was introduced as part of the Oldsmobile’s response to the success of the Pontiac GTO, which had ignited the muscle car craze in 1964. Oldsmobile aimed to capitalize on this trend by creating their own performance-oriented model. 

The heart of the Cutlass Ram Rod was its engine. It featured a potent 400-cubic-inch V8 engine, known as the W-31. This engine was equipped with a four-barrel carburetor, high-performance camshaft, and other modifications that resulted in an impressive power output of 325 horsepower. The engine was mated to a four-speed manual transmission or an optional three-speed automatic transmission.

To enhance its performance further, the Cutlass Ram Rod incorporated other performance upgrades such as a heavy-duty suspension system, upgraded brakes, and a limited-slip differential. These enhancements helped optimize the car’s handling and traction, allowing it to deliver exhilarating driving experiences.

Visually, the 1968 Cutlass Ram Rod featured unique styling cues that set it apart from the standard Cutlass models. It sported a dual hood scoop, special badging, and distinct striping along the sides of the car. These design elements emphasized its high-performance nature and gave it a more aggressive and sporty appearance.

Although the Cutlass Ram Rod was a formidable muscle car, it was produced in limited numbers compared to other popular muscle cars of the era. Only 515 examples of the W-31-equipped Cutlass models were built in 1968, making them relatively rare and highly sought after by collectors today.

The Cutlass Ram Rod represented a significant milestone for Oldsmobile in the muscle car market. It showcased the brand’s commitment to performance and demonstrated their ability to compete with other manufacturers in the high-performance segment. Despite its limited production numbers, the Cutlass Ram Rod left a lasting legacy as a symbol of Oldsmobile’s contribution to the golden age of American muscle cars.

Anatomy of the Vehicle – Engine, Interior, Exterior Design Elements

Let’s explore the anatomy of the 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ram Rod, focusing on its engine, interior, and exterior design elements:

– Engine:

The Cutlass Ram Rod was equipped with a powerful 400-cubic-inch V8 engine known as the W-31. This engine featured a four-barrel carburetor and high-performance camshaft, delivering an impressive power output of 325 horsepower. It provided the car with excellent acceleration and a thrilling driving experience.

– Interior:

The interior of the Cutlass Ram Rod featured a blend of comfort and sportiness. The front seats were designed with bucket-style contours, providing good support during spirited driving. Upholstery options included vinyl or cloth materials, available in various colors. The dashboard had a clean and functional layout, housing the essential gauges and controls. Some optional features included a wood-grain steering wheel, center console, and upgraded audio systems.

– Exterior Design Elements:

The Cutlass Ram Rod boasted unique exterior design elements that set it apart from the standard Cutlass models. These included:

+ Dual Hood Scoop: The Ram Rod featured a distinctive dual hood scoop, positioned on the hood, which served both functional and aesthetic purposes. It provided additional airflow to the engine bay, aiding in cooling, and also added a sporty and aggressive appearance.

+ Special Badging: The car’s exterior showcased specific badging to identify it as a Ram Rod variant. This included “Ram Rod 350” or “Ram Rod 400” badges, depending on the engine displacement, placed on the front fenders or trunk lid.

+ Striping: The Ram Rod featured bold striping along the sides of the car, typically in contrasting colors. These stripes accentuated the car’s sporty character and added a visual flair.

+ Wheel Options: The Cutlass Ram Rod could be equipped with various wheel options, including styled steel wheels or optional mag-style wheels. These wheels enhanced the car’s appearance and could be customized to suit the owner’s preferences.

The 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ram Rod boasted a distinctive and aggressive exterior design, complemented by a comfortable and sporty interior. Its powerful engine and performance-oriented features made it a standout muscle car of its time.

The Power under the Hood – Specs and Performance Of 1968 Olds Cutlass Ram Rod


– Engine Type: 400-cubic-inch V8

– Engine Code: W-31

– Carburetor: 4-barrel

– Power Output: 325 horsepower

– Torque: 360 lb-ft


– Four-speed manual transmission (standard)

– Three-speed automatic transmission (optional)


– 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) Acceleration: Approximately 6.5 seconds

– Quarter-Mile Time: Mid-to-high 14 seconds

– Top Speed: Estimated around 130 mph (209 km/h)

Additional Performance Features:

– Heavy-duty suspension system: Upgraded springs, shocks, and sway bars for improved handling and stability.

– Limited-slip differential: Enhanced traction and power delivery to the rear wheels for better acceleration and control.

– Upgraded brakes: Improved stopping power with larger front disc brakes.

The 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ram Rod was renowned for its impressive acceleration, delivering a thrilling driving experience. With its powerful 400-cubic-inch V8 engine and performance enhancements, it was a formidable contender in the muscle car segment of its time.

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Restoring A Classic – Tips For Bringing The Ram Rod Back To Life

Restoring a classic car like the 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ram Rod can be a rewarding project. Here are some tips to help you bring the Ram Rod back to life:

– Plan and Set Goals:

Before starting the restoration process, establish a clear plan and set realistic goals. Determine the extent of the restoration you want to undertake, whether it’s a full frame-off restoration or a partial restoration focusing on specific areas.

– Research and Documentation:

Gather as much information as possible about the Ram Rod’s original specifications, features, and design elements. Consult resources such as owner’s manuals, repair guides, and online forums dedicated to classic car restoration. Proper documentation will guide you during the restoration process and help maintain authenticity.

– Inspect and Assess:

Perform a thorough inspection of the car to assess its condition. Identify areas that require repair or replacement, such as body panels, engine components, interior upholstery, electrical systems, and suspension. Create a detailed checklist to keep track of the tasks involved in the restoration.

– Create a Budget:

Restorations can be costly, so it’s essential to establish a realistic budget. Account for expenses such as parts, labor, tools, and unforeseen repairs. Prioritize critical components and areas that need immediate attention.

– Find Reliable Parts and Services:

Locate reputable suppliers or salvage yards that specialize in classic car parts. Ensure that the parts you source are authentic or high-quality reproductions to maintain the car’s originality. Additionally, establish connections with trusted mechanics or restoration experts who have experience working on similar models.

– Work Methodically:

Follow a systematic approach to the restoration process. Start with the structural components, such as the body and frame, and then proceed to mechanical systems, interior, and exterior finishes. Break down tasks into manageable sections to maintain momentum and track progress.

– Preserve Originality:

If your goal is to maintain the Ram Rod’s originality, strive to restore rather than replace components whenever possible. Retain original trim, badges, and interior features whenever feasible. If certain parts cannot be salvaged, consider professional restoration services or consult with experts for guidance.

– Attention to Detail:

Pay attention to even the smallest details to ensure an authentic restoration. This includes using the correct fasteners, matching paint codes, replicating factory finishes, and recreating accurate interior upholstery.

– Patience and Perseverance:

Restorations can be time-consuming and challenging. Maintain patience and perseverance throughout the process. Embrace the journey, learn new skills, and enjoy the satisfaction of bringing a classic car back to its former glory.

– Regular Maintenance:

Once the restoration is complete, establish a regular maintenance routine to preserve the car’s condition. Regularly inspect and service mechanical components, protect the exterior with proper detailing and storage practices, and address any issues promptly to keep the Ram Rod in top shape.

Remember, a classic car restoration requires time, dedication, and a genuine passion for preserving automotive history. By following these tips and seeking assistance when needed, you can successfully bring the 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ram Rod back to life.

Common Issues to Watch Out For and How To Troubleshoot Them

When restoring a 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ram Rod, it’s essential to be aware of common issues that may arise. Here are some potential problems to watch out for and troubleshooting tips:

Engine Performance Issues:

– Problem: Rough idling, misfiring, or decreased power output.

– Troubleshooting: Check the spark plugs, ignition system, and fuel delivery. Clean or replace spark plugs, ensure proper spark plug gaps, inspect ignition wires, distributor, and points. Verify fuel system components, including fuel pump, carburetor, and filters, are clean and functioning correctly.

Electrical Problems:

– Problem: Electrical malfunctions, such as faulty lights, gauges, or accessories.

– Troubleshooting: Inspect and clean electrical connections, check fuses and relays, and test wiring for continuity. Replace any damaged or worn-out components. If necessary, consult a professional electrician or automotive electrician to diagnose and resolve complex electrical issues.

Brake System Troubles:

– Problem: Spongy or ineffective brakes, brake noise, or uneven braking.

– Troubleshooting: Inspect brake pads, rotors, and calipers for wear and damage. Bleed the brake system to remove air bubbles and ensure proper fluid flow. Check brake lines for leaks or corrosion. Replace any worn-out or faulty brake components.

Suspension and Steering Problems:

– Problem: Excessive play in the steering, poor handling, or abnormal tire wear.

– Troubleshooting: Inspect suspension components, including ball joints, tie rod ends, bushings, and shocks. Replace any worn or damaged parts. Check wheel alignment and have it adjusted if necessary. Lubricate steering components and address any issues with the steering gearbox.

Cooling System Issues:

– Problem: Engine overheating, coolant leaks, or poor cooling performance.

– Troubleshooting: Inspect the radiator, water pump, hoses, and thermostat for leaks or malfunction. Clean or replace the radiator if clogged. Check the coolant level and quality. Flush the cooling system and refill with the appropriate coolant mixture. Ensure the radiator fan is functioning properly.

Interior and Exterior Restoration Challenges:

– Problem: Damaged or deteriorated interior trim, upholstery, or body panels.

– Troubleshooting: Repair or replace damaged interior components using authentic or high-quality reproduction parts. Restore or repaint body panels as necessary, ensuring proper surface preparation and paint application techniques. Consult restoration experts or experienced professionals for complex bodywork or upholstery repairs.

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Conclusion: What makes the 1968 Olds Cutlass Ram Rod so desirable is its classic style, polished chrome accents, and custom interior details. With a wide array of options: 4-speed manual or automatic transmission, leather seating, and an Oldsmobile V8 engine, this vehicle is sure to make an impression for any car lover. The cutlass packs power and beauty into one great package – making it a popular choice among classic car enthusiast for its unique design and top-notch performance.

For those who are in the market for a classic vehicle that stands out from the rest, the 1968 Olds Cutlass Ram Rod should definitely be on their list of possible contenders. Whether you’re looking to restore it as a daily driver or just use it as showpiece for your collection– this old-school powerhouse will always be certain to draw attention wherever it goes. So what are you waiting for? Get behind the wheel of the 1968 Olds Cutlass Ram Rod today!

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