Live Auctions

Bargain Basement Olds: 1965 Oldsmobile Cutlass F85

After sitting in a barn for more than 30-years, the owner of this 1965 Oldsmobile Cutlass F85 has brought the car back to life but is now leaving it up to the next owner to return the car to a fully roadworthy state. Barn Finder local_sheriff referred this beauty to us, so thank you so much for that. The Olds is located in Westmoreland, New York, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $2,500 for the Cutlass, which could make it a very inexpensive entry-level project car.

The Mojave Mist Cutlass looks quite promising on the surface because while the paint is looking tired, the panels appear to be nice and straight and free of any rust problems. There is evidence of surface corrosion on the inside of the trunk pan, but I think that this could be cleaned and treated successfully. However, that is just the entree for the surface corrosion that is present under the car. Some components carry a pretty decent coating of surface corrosion, and I would be very inclined to address this before the situation deteriorates into full-blown rot. All of the external trim and chrome is present, and while most of it looks like it might respond well to a bit of work with a quality polish, it looks like there are some items, most notably the front bumper, that will probably require a trim to the plater.

Under the hood is a 330ci V8, while the Cutlass also features a 2-speed Jetaway automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. After sitting for several decades, the Cutlass has been treated to some work to return it to a running, driving state. The fuel pump and fuel filter have both been replaced, while the carburetor has been given a clean. The Olds has also received a new battery and new brake hoses, and the owner makes it very clear that there will be no further mechanical work undertaken on the car. Given the low BIN price, I can fully understand why he would be reluctant to spend any more money on the vehicle. He says that the Cutlass runs and drives, but I suspect that there will be further work required before the car could be considered to be roadworthy.

The interior shots of the Olds aren’t great, but what can be seen looks to be generally quite good. The dash and pad seem to be in good condition, the wheel is free of cracks and wear issues, while there are no obvious aftermarket additions to the car. This photo of the front seat seems to show the worst of the interior issues, so a new cover is certainly going to have to go onto the shopping list. The carpet also appears to be quite faded, so maybe a new carpet set should also be added to that list.

Finding a cheap and solid project car is always a nice experience, and that’s what this Oldsmobile would appear to be. It is not perfect, but it seems that the majority of its issues could potentially be addressed in a home workshop. As a budget project car for someone who is unsure of their abilities, so doesn’t want to outlay a lot of money to test their skills, it could be a very good option. It is certainly something to think about.


  1. TimS Member

    I’d like to have room for this car. Sort it out and make it a dry day driver. Maybe even piss off a few “real car guys.” You’d rarely see another one like it.

    Like 6
    • Sunshine

      With a Tilt-wheel this Olds can … wait for it … make room for you!

      Like 1
  2. Stevieg Member

    This is the type of car that I would have found to be boring 20 years ago, the typical old man hauler. Now I like it. Too bad I am turning into an old man lol.

    Like 21
    • RTS

      Sounds like a 2018 Elantra Value edition may be in your future. Definitely a high performance car, but also an old man’s car.

      Like 2
  3. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Considering the sometimes staggering prices for classic cars these days, $2,500 for a decent project is chump change. This is a good-looking car with a lot of potential, a perfect project for a reasonably handy guy on a budget. It seems to be a solid car and it looks like every thing it left the factory with is there and in pretty good shape. The 330 V8 is a good motor that will move this F85 along nicely.

    Sure, it’s a 4-door but when was the last time you saw one? This would draw my attention in a sea of 2-doors, that’s for sure. I’m really tempted by this car, it’s only a couple of hundred miles away but I just don’t have the room right now. Somebody is going to get a pretty nice vintage car for cheap money.

    Like 9
  4. Snappy

    Why did the owner wait until after he had sat in a barn for 30 years to start working on the car?

    Like 2
    • Tony Primo

      Probably that’s how long it took him to raise his kids, send them to university and pay off the mortgage.

      Like 12
    • ZachC

      It was my grandfather’s car and he never got around to restoring it. Also, I am currently in college and working on restoring a 64 Galaxie 500xl.

      Like 2
  5. Poppy

    Pretty rare to have tilt wheel in the ’60s, especially in a base model F-85. Neat car.

    Like 3
  6. dyno dan

    Finally, something decent and affordable! Thanks
    Barn Find Guys!

    Like 7
  7. Del

    Nice set of wheels for a young new driver

    Like 2
  8. Dan Decker

    That’s a perfect father son/daughter project if I ever saw one! Best way I know to get next generation gearheads going.Just sayin’ in my opinion, thanks Barn finds!!

    Like 5
  9. Ken Cwrney

    I agree with you Dan. Our hobby is dying
    because young folks today just aren’t
    interested in getting their hands dirty. I
    started out when I was 12 years old helping Dad and his friends rebuild a V-12
    in a ’37 Lincoln Zephyr. That’s when the old car bug bit, and I’ve been infected ever
    since–even after my doctor told my family to take away my tools due to severe heart issues. If I could swing it, this would be a great uncle-niece project.
    She’s grown up around mechanics and knows quite a bit about cars but no one’s
    really given her a chance to strut her stuff
    as of yet. Might even go against my doctor’s advice and help her out a little.
    Other than that, I’ll just have to be content
    to be a stupidvisor and let her do most of
    the work herself. That way, we’d have a
    nice driver/cruiser to use and enjoy. Restos are nice, but beaters are neater!

    Like 4
  10. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Hopefully it went to someone that appreciated the car. One thing I didn’t see anyone mention was the cockeyed hood. Looks like the whole hood was twisted and if it’s closed in the first picture, then there was something seriously wrong with it or the car itself (as in accident damaged?)

    • ZachC

      The hood looks cockeyed in the pictures because the hood can be annoying to get open. In reality, the hood closes all the way. No twisting or accident damage.

  11. Zach Commisso

    The hood isn’t closed all the way. It can be annoying to get open, so I left it open. There’s no bending in the hood, etc.

    Like 2
  12. Steven

    I had one before. Green but faded to gray. Car drove beautifully. The trans pump seal area cracked and leaked quarts. Couldn’t find a replacement and let it go. Kick myself over that one.

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