1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass

After a life-threatening prognosis, this Cutty was rehabilitated—and made seriously ill.

Story: Evan “Evo” Yates

Photography: Andrew Link

Chicago native Doc J doesn’t take lightly to his city’s whip game being misrepresented with knock-off wheels, silly themes and other vehicular nonsense. To combat any Windy City falsehoods and show the world how the Chi really gets down, Doc took his ’68 Cutlass to the next level in a clean yet eye-catching fashion that leaves you no choice but to respect his hustle.

When Doc copped his ’68, it was in poor condition, trifling enough that most wouldn’t even give it a chance for revival. “It was a shitbox when I got it!” Doc exclaims. “We had to build everything from the ground up.” He drew inspiration from a TV show only a true gear head would appreciate, Overhaulin’. “I saw them doing a ’68 Cutty on that show, but that one was silver and yellow, and since purple is my favorite color, I decided to do it silver and purple,” explains Doc. “I mean, you can’t go wrong with Chip Foose, ya know?”

After the exterior blueprint was on paper (sans the Foose hand-drawn rendering), Doc enlisted audio architect ’Dullah of Elite Electronics in Greenfield, Wisconsin, to re-create the interior with a space-age-but-classy concept. “You spend most of your time on the inside; it’s about you, it’s your car,” says Doc. “I wanted the inside to be ridiculous but still look good. I ain’t want a big, dumb-ass, 20-inch screen in the center.” Doc continues, “I got that new Dakota Digital—that’s the newest dash. Everybody said I should get the one with the numbers on it, but I wanted the needle so you can see your RPMs jump up.”

For the shoes, Doc’s mind had been made up, but his closest advisors swayed his decision. “I grew up in Memphis, so I wanted spinners on my shit,” he says. “But my buddy ’Dullah and my other partner talked me out of it. I told ’Dullah, ‘I’m not building the car if I can’t get it in RIDES magazine,’ and he said, ‘Then go Vellanos.’ Plus, they claim Vellanos are truly forged and can take the potholes, which is good, because our streets are so messed up here.”

For the motor, Doc kept it OG, sticking with an Oldsmobile block. “I took it to this speed shop, and they told me they could get 500 horses out of it for five grand—and he ended up getting 562,” claims Doc. “I could have done a 502 for what I spent, but I wanted to stick with Oldsmobile.” Doc yearned to beautify the block even further with a serpentine setup, but he has yet to locate one. “I wanted to get the March pulley kit, but I still haven’t gotten it. There are so many things you can’t get for the Olds, even if you have the money in hand for it.”

And as Doc will tell you, what sets this classy Cutlass apart from the rest is its details. “Folks gotta focus more on the rest of the car, the suspension and stuff,” he proclaims. “Changing up the suspension really works. I drive a Benz, and my Olds drives like my Benz does. It’s smooth as hell, even with 24s on it—that little shit adds up!”

Spec The Technique:

Performance: Oldsmobile 455 bored to a 496 (dyno’d at 562hp, 611 lb.-ft.); Edelbrock aluminum heads; full-length headers; aluminum radiator; 3.5-inch Borla exhaust; racing steering box; MSD ignition; electric fans; Holley 850 carburetor; Edelbrock intake; full Hotchkis suspension; Detroit Speed rear end; Wilwood brakes

Interior: Alligator and ostrich; leather and suede by Midwest Customs; chrome column; billet steering wheel, pedals and window cranks

Exterior: Custom two-tone purple and sliver paint by Trino Auto Body

Ice: Fiberglass dash with four LCD monitors, ’56 Chevy dash, set of 6.5 JL Audio coaxials; Kenwood 9980 head unit; custom ported subwoofer enclosure with three 12-inch W7 subs; fully motorized trunk; three JL 1000v2 and two 300/4v2 amplifiers; three Stinger batteries; Flaming River push-to-start; all done by Elite Electronics in Greenfield

Wheels/Tires: 24-inch Vellano VTK wheels with color-match centers; Toyo tires, 255/30/24

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