The mid seventies really was a low point for American cars wasn't it? I'm thinking of the Pinto based Mustang, the Matador (shudder), AMC Pacer etc. I went to a couple of car shows-the manufacturer's shows- and and was appalled at the fit and finish of the cars! The paint jobs I could have done better- and I am not a good painter and this was at major public shows! I started with a Volvo dealer in 1980 and was impressed with the paint finishes on them if not the styling-or lack of it.
Some of the biggest improvements in modern cars is the fit of body panels and the paint finish which is usually excellent. The styling usually sucks though imho...
Early 70s everywhere finish was lousy. Even supposedly upmarket cars. I nearly bought an XU1 new in 73, the paint was see through on the lower rear 1/4s, as was my mates V8 HQ ute of the same era.
Most restored cars are far better finished than new. I suspect that Olds is no exception.
My 71 Galaxie probably was better finished than most, but that did do the motorshow circuit before being sold here in Adelaide, and was assembled outside of Ford by a contracter anyway.Though that period Fords were better finished than Holdens. Which would not have been hard. I can remember a near new 70 Camaro [350 2bbl 3 speed manual!] here that was quite average in finish too, so maybe GM in the states too.
Volvos of that period were all repainted as new cars here as the paint would not handle Aussie conditions. Though the actual finish was pretty good.
I see modern cars that are lousy too. Bad orange peel in the paint as the clear went on too dry, bumpers that do not match the car, on most makes. Different gloss and sometimes color too. Panel fit is a bit better though the cheapies are still pretty bad, as is the interior finish. Carpets stretched in. hoodliners dont fit properly etc etc. Really they will not live as well as the 70s cars. They are nearly as buggered at 4 years instead of 40!