1 Of 38! 1968 Oldsmobile W31 Factory Drag Racer

We don’t feature a lot of six and seven-figure cars here on Barn Finds. When we do, they are often rare muscle cars such as this one. You are looking at (what is reported) a 1 of only 38 factory-built Oldsmobile W31’s. These were factory-built drag cars and the seller thinks this may be the only one in existence! The car can be found here on eBay with a requested starting bid of $200,000 and a buy-it-now price of $500,000!

Apparently, these cars were built for select Oldsmobile dealers and were specifically built for drag racing. The seller states the following: “This may be the only one to survive today. Reason being the dealerships were told to destroy their car when they stopped racing it.” The car features a “ram rod” 350 cubic inch engine with a 4-speed manual transmission. While the 350 isn’t as impressive as the 455, these cars were specifically made for racing and they held their own on the track.

You can read an article here about this car that was published by Hagerty.com in 2011. Said to have a little over 20,000 miles on the odometer, the car has been through a light restoration. You can bet most of the 20,000 miles is 1/4 mile at a time! The car still wears its original paint and the interior is original as well.

I’m a little surprised by the car being sold on eBay, but perhaps the seller is gauging the interest of the public and/or getting the hype built up for the car so it can be featured at a live auction? What do you think? Will someone place a bid over $200,000 or will this car end up at a live auction?

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Comments

  1. RoughDiamond Member

    This is an awesome ride and belongs in a GM Olds Museum. Speed is the new Black! I think the Seller should clarify that just because Hagerty has currently insured the car under his ownership at a set value, it does not mean they will automatically do so when the car exchanges hands.

    8
  2. TimS Member

    The only way this brings a half-mil is if it can be proven to have notable racing history. Unquestioned coolness but not that much cool.

    16
  3. doug

    For $200000 at least he could get rid of the $2 steering wheel cover.

    15
    • Derek Nathan Daniel

      That not a cover on the starting wheel it factory leather

      1
      • doug

        You may want to expand the picture. I know the wheel that belongs on this car. This one came from Pep Boys.

        7
  4. Uncle Bob

    Genuinely rare, and a spectacular car if inspection proves claims……….but as usual, rare doesn’t equal valuable automatically. This is the kind of car that normally trades hands by word of mouth within a closed community of specific enthusiasts. Being on ebay hints that either that community has diminished significantly or that the most likely interested don’t agree with the advertiser on what a realistic price is. Could be a fishing expedition. If the advertiser becomes sufficiently motivated someone will be able to buy a very neat car.

    18
    • Steve R

      Why isn’t he including his documentation in the ad? There is no better time to do so.

      Steve R

      7
      • Uncle Bob

        Poorly presented ads are an imponderable……………but highly repetitive. But you already know that…….

        3
  5. Tom Myerscough

    A friend of mine use to have a F85 with the W31 package. BUT was an automatic!!! How many were made with the automatic?

    3
  6. Bob

    Professionally restored 70 W-31s with 4 speeds don’t bring more than 125k, and they’re the Olds that everybody wants. I just don’t see this going for more than that.

    6
    • Bob

      I meant W-30 here

  7. Angrymike

    I love it, but that price ! I always liked this year Olds, but ever owned one and will never own this one .

    1
  8. Troy s

    An absolute screamer of a car, Oldsmobiles answer to the budget Roadrunner, which never caught on at all sales wise. Great machine here!
    I’m not even looking at that price tag, just enjoy seeing one of these again.

    4
  9. CCFisher

    Awesome car, but according to multiple sources, there were 731 W-31s built in 1968, and more than one survived. Perhaps only 38 were based on the low-level F85? Regardless, I’d be reluctant to believe the seller’s story without documentation. I know well-optioned 442s can push the $200K mark, but I would be very surprised if this W-31 brings that kind of money. I agree with Uncle Bob – this is a well-known car, so if the seller were asking a reasonable price, it would have sold privately.

    8
  10. Jbones

    The Berejik 1968 olds factory racer like his is alive but not well here in northern mass. So I guess there’s 2 surviving not just his. I’ve seen and the car in person.

    3
  11. Don H

    Don’t care how rare it is any no cutlass worth 500,000 💰

    12
  12. Don H

    Ant not any 🖊

    4
  13. Chris

    Outstanding Oldsmobile!! Really a very impressive model. As mentioned, I’m not seeing how it will bring the money the current seller is asking nor do I think that the venerable W-30 455 cars bring this kind of scratch. Maybe this is his “I really don’t want to part with my baby price?” I can say that while it’s true a 350 isn’t as impressive as the big 455. I can attest that an Olds 350 Rocket of this era is indeed a strong runner. I had a 70 Olds 350 Rocket and it was a strong mill.

    5
  14. Derek Nathan Daniel

    I recognize this car was a friend of mine in 68 6 month after he bought the can be died his brother took ownership and drive it very little if this is the car for sure (Lansing Michigan ) is the original city it was purchased .

    • Chris

      Hi Derek, with no intended personal attack toward you, I’ll simply bring up the term “punctuation.”

      16
      • Derek Nathan Daniel

        Yeah us old schoolers lol have a great day

        1
    • Chris

      Yeah, and you as well

      1
  15. WThirtyOne

    No. No. And No. This is not the car it’s claimed to be and there is ZERO documentation and ZERO W-31/RamRod driveline components on it.

  16. 68custom

    gonna have to come up with some documentation if he expects to get half of his 500k asking price, BTW its a beautiful car. I also feel its worth mentioning that the biggest motor installed in 68 and 69 cutlass /F-85/ 442s was the long stroke 400 unless we are talking about the Hurst/olds. any way nice car but the price is really ambitious!

    2
  17. Big River

    Some how a 455 would be a much better option. If one exists with the 455 then I could see $200,000

  18. Herbee

    Personally I like the 350 Olds better than the 455 . The 455 brings a lot of cubic inch to the table. However you get small block Chevy flow numbers with the heads C castings included. Weak bottom end with oiling issues. However the early 400 cubic inch engine is not a bad engine 65-67.You still have the oiling issues.

  19. David Rhoces

    no Olds is worth 200 grand !

  20. David Rhodes

    there ain’t no Olds worth 200 grand !

    6
  21. gbvette62

    There are a few W31 F-85’s, still floating around.

    Back in the 60’s and 70’s, Chesrown Olds in Ohio sponsored a number of drag racing Oldsmobiles. The most famous one was probably the white a 68 W31 F85 post that won the 68 Summer Nationals at Englishtown. It was a big deal back then, because it beat Hot Rod Magazine’s 56 Chevy sedan delivery, to win Stock Eliminator. The 68 Chesrown W31 was found and restored a few years ago.

    A few years ago, there was a beautifully restored, green 68 W31 for sale, that was featured on a number of internet car sites. It was a 2 door post, but I think it was a Cutless S, not an F85, and the asking price was around $35,000.

    1
  22. Jeff

    There are quite a few Hemi cars for a lot less money, who in their right mind would spend 200K for a 350 powered Cutlass? This is either a hail Mary of enormous proportions or a joke.

    https://classiccars.com/listings/view/1125833/1968-plymouth-gtx-for-sale-in-cadillac-michigan-49601

    10
    • Chris

      I love those Hurst inland 4 speed shifters Mopar used in the late 60’s. And sign me up for the bargain priced Hemi GTX!

      1
    • Superdessucke

      He’s got bids over 200 grand already. If somebody’s got three million in their 401K and is wanted a car like this since high school, I suppose it’s not that big of a deal, I guess.

      This is being considered by people in a different financial league then those of us working regular jobs and watching our 401K’s creep up like a snail.

      4
      • CCFisher

        Shill bids. Folks in this price class don’t bid in $100 increments.

        6
      • Superdessucke

        Agreed, this isn’t a 1990s Volvo 850, LOL!

        2
  23. michael h streuly

    Its still just a Oldsmobile not even close to being worth half a mil 50k maybe.

    3
  24. Superdessucke

    Okay it is now official. My 401k is crap. I really hope I get the same boost the Boomers did. Wow. Anytime now stock market…

    4
  25. Karguy James

    Apparently you could order the W-31 Option on just about any Cutlass platform and they were not all that rare. Perhaps there were only 38 of the W-31 F-85’s made, but that does NOT make them a “factory race car” and the notion that Oldsmobile sent them to dealers to race and then be destroyed is a far fetched fantasy. At only 325HP they would not have been any real threat at the dragway in 1968.

    Still a very cool maybe $35,000 car.

    From a Hemmings Article;

    “Nonetheless, 1968 saw the first of Oldsmobile’s W-31-option small-block engines, offered under the Ram-Rod 350 moniker. The W-31 was built to make power the way other high-performance small-cube V-8s did: with high-flow induction, aggressive camshaft timing and RPM. The ’68 Ram Rod 350 was rated at 325hp and used the same cylinder-head castings as regular 350 engines that year, with a “5” casting number, though fitted with larger 2.00/1.625-inch valves from the 455. The camshaft featured 308 degrees duration, making for a choppy idle that mandated manual brakes due to the resulting low idle vacuum; manual transmission, either a three- or four-speed, was also mandatory. One of the unique W-31 pieces is the harmonic balancer, which is larger and thicker than the standard 350 piece, perhaps to better cope with the junior W’s higher RPM capability.
    The W-31 was offered on F-85 Club Coupe, Cutlass Supreme coupe and standard Cutlass coupe for 1968, and brought ram-air induction scoops mounted beneath the front bumper, feeding large tubes that passed through the fenderwells to reach the dual-snorkel air cleaner. Just 742 examples of W-31-powered Oldsmobiles were built that first year.”

    5
    • Uncle Bob

      Keep in mind that at 325 hp, at this weight, it speced out as NHRA E/Stock in the day…probably plenty competitive in it’s class when properly prepared and driven.

      2
  26. Ron

    Appears to be a very nice original car but, price is kind of crazy…

    2
  27. Gr

    There is no way this car is worth anything close to that. Someone rare does not always equal $$$.

  28. Jeff

    One of the 200K bidders most likely is a SHILL, they have (38) THIRTY EIGHT BID RETRACTIONS in the last (6) six months.

    Let’s Sing S-H-I-L-L -O-R-I-A after me S-H-I-L-L -O-R-I-A

    7
  29. Jeff

    The first and third 200K bidder is also a SHILL, they have (60) SIXTY BID RETRACTIONS in the last (6) six months.

    Let’s Sing S-H-I-L-L -O-R-I-A after me S-H-I-L-L -O-R-I-A

    6
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      I agree Jeff. Current bid:US $200,300.00
      Reserve not met
      [ 3 bids ]
      Price:US $500,000.00

      3
  30. Nikrnic

    I think I’ve misread something here. One too many zeros.

    2
  31. P

    Neat yes, but he’s asking Hemi car, or Cobra money

    2

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