Barn Retrieved: 1962 Oldsmobile F85

Tucked away into a barn in the 1980’s this Oldsmobile F85 is very original and would clean up nicely. The seller is offering this Olds’ as is, but it is a factory stick shift car. The styling and size of this classic is quite attractive, and having a stick shift would make this one just a little more fun to drive. Completely untouched since it was retrieved from the barn, this Olds’ is offered for $8,000. Check it out here on craigslist out of Campbell, California. Thank you Rocco B. for the great submission!

Beneath the hood is a very dusty and dirty Aluminum 215 V8. Apparently driven to its resting place, hopefully this drivetrain can be revived. The seller has made no efforts to clean or start this engine so it’s true condition is unknown. Despite being dirty, there is no noticeable rust of any kind in the engine bay. A soapy bath would do wonders for this engine bay, likely leaving a nice condition engine bay with lots of paint, and minor corrosion issues.

Black on red is a nice flavor for this Oldsmobile, and the interior isn’t too bad off. The front seat has a few splits, and there is plenty of dust and dirt, but otherwise this original interior nicely matches the exterior and would be “good enough” for a driver.  The outermost edge of the dash seems a bit bubbly, but the dash is in nice condition overall.  A shop vac, and an interior cleaner of your choice, would likely leave this interior looking pretty sharp.

There are plenty of photos, but the quality is lacking a bit. As a whole this Olds’ appears very solid, and the paint looks as if it could be buffed to a very nice luster. Rust seems to be a minimal concern, as the seller says the only “problem” is some surface rust on the driver side. There are no detailed photos of this area, but it almost appears as if the front lower edge of the hood has some surface rust as well. At the least it appears that there is no rot in this F85. The body appears straight, and the trim is all there although the driver side tail light bezel is bent. As a whole this looks to be a great car to clean up, preserve, and enjoy on a regular basis. Being a stick shift makes it all the more appealing, and the overall original condition is the icing on the cake, so to speak. Based on modern day values this example is a bit overpriced, but these aren’t that common of a car to see anymore. Would you strike a deal for this classic F85?

Fast Finds


  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Those “rally wheels” are from an MGB! Nice project, though.

    • Tom Member

      so you are saying they are SO rare the are 1 of none made!! (From Oldsmobile anyway!!)

    • ed the welder

      my guess was mercury Capri but i think you’re right.

      • Mike W H

        Same thing.

      • Metoo

        Yeah, Capri’s were made starting in 1970.

  2. Wayne

    “Front seat has a few splits”. Massive understatement. An aluminium block that’s been sitting for over 25 years and not started, no thanks. Probably no inhibitor in the cooling system.

  3. Old car guy

    Back seat looks original front does not. I think Opel used the same wheels as well as MG but seller has originals. Could be worth 3-4K if you do a lot of the work yourselves. Interesting find, rare maybe, desirable not really.

  4. Woodie Man

    Front and back seats dont match for sure. The aluminum block is suspect/ I have to say I wish the seller would get it going..otherwise a pig in a poke. I’d like this as I had its relative the 63 Lemans

  5. Howard A Member

    This is another neat car. This has the 4 barrel, making 185 hp, and the 4 speed, which was different, but a lot more common than the LeSabre 4 speed, I bet this was a fun car to drive. Think of when someone bought this car new. 1962, hot rodding in Cal. was at a peak, guy walks into an Olds dealer, can’t quite afford the Starfire, salesperson says, “let me show you THIS hot little number, and for $300 dollars more,( almost $2,500 today) we can turbocharge it for you”. Nah, just give me the regular one, and drives off the lot with a hot rod of his own, burning rubber for a block. Whether this one is worth the money asked, time will tell. There can’t be many like this. Very cool find.

    • Don

      Hi Howard A your story tailing is getting pretty dang good ,like hearing them📕📖


    GM sold the tooling for the aluminum Olds/Buick 215 to Rover and was power plant was more popular in the UK then in it’s homeland right here.

    Cali black plates are a plus

  7. RickG

    The asking price is above Hagerty #2 condition value which is $8,100. I wouldn’t even rate this #4 which is $3,900.

    • Tom Member

      I agree with you Rick on using price guide logic but it comes down to a few things. IF, again IF this car is “your thing” …that someone is going to pay up. It would not surprise me if at auction to go past the asking price. If you consider, that there are very few to choose from out there. Factory Black/Red, Factory 4 speed with original engine, CA car = probably super solid and relatively rust “clean” is going to all add up to an awesome restoration. You would spend $20K + on new sheet metal and rust repair on this vehicle if it lived in the Midwest or east. The limited rust and corrosion (as far as we know) is a huge savings and a better candidate long-term for a great resto. I’d love to pay $3,900 for this car….but I bet it sells for 2 to 3 times that. Again, market the car right and be patient. There more than one person out there that will have a HO for this car.

  8. Alex W

    This 215ci aluminum block and head engine was prone to overheating and head gasket problems, but there evolved ways to help it. They were used in Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac models for three years(61, 62, 63). Supposedly the Buick version had a slightly better head design. There was a guy in Michigan who specialized in upgrading these with both horsepower and reliability gains, even increasing stroke with a Buick 300 crank. GM did sell the rights to Rover and they continued development, using this engine reliably for many years. The stick shift bellhousing can easily be adapted for a T10 5spd. I agree with the risk of aluminum block, unused for so long without proper coolant being fatally corroded. Could be built into a really fun car, if the engine is salvageable, but not at this price.

  9. Blindmarc


    • duaney

      It is incredibly difficult to install the SBC in these cars. We know all about it!

  10. John M

    Saw this the other day and it is local to me. Way overpriced considering how long it has been sitting, but a very cool car with the 4 speed and aluminum V8.

  11. Dave Member

    I concur, Mr. Blindmarc.

  12. Richard Gaskill

    Tom, check out lot T69.1 at Mecum Indy next month. It’s a ’62 4 speed F85.
    Then check lot R216 at the same auction. That’s a nicely restored ’63 Jetfire with the rare turbo.

    • Mark McKenzie

      Ahoy Richard do you have detalails of that auction? If so could you please forward them to me at thanks man, Mark McKenzie.

      • Mark McKenzie

        ATTENTION Can anybody that knows the details of the Auction that Richard Gaskill (above) mentions PLEASE forward them to me, here in Perth Western Australia. Thank~you Mark McKenzie.

      • Alan (Michigan)
      • Rocco

        Also interested.

  13. Randy Bitner

    I actually owned and drove one of these. Nothing special. I had the Auto Transmission dog, Blew out once for me, sold it and blew out for the new owner. Never knew if the little V8 over powered the auto, but a cute car with a small V8. Never had trouble with engine. The MG Rally wheels a great + as I had several of them.

  14. Smittydog

    Sporty, sharp looking car.

  15. Wayne

    The wheels would have to be from an MG Midget. (The only one with the same bolt pattern) Same as the Cosworth Vega by the way. (4 on 4″). All the other cars listed have a different bolt pattern. Capri is 4 on 4.25. And MGB is 4 on 4.5 like Datsun and early Toyota.

  16. Loco Mikado

    Rover V8 swap. They took the 215 and made it into a dependable engine and used it for over 30 years vs GM’s 3 years. It bolts right up, has more hp and efi and a lot better gas mileage. There are a few mods to do but I would say you would end up with a better car than the belly button SBC 1\2 the weight of the SBC.

  17. rumpfox

    I thought the trannie’s in these was mated to the front of the rearend

    • ACZ

      You’re thinking of the Pontiac Tempest. Was more akin to the Corvair

  18. stillrunners lawrence Member

    iiiiiiiiiidenical!!!!! move hands up and down…..get it ? My Cousin Vinney…..damn funny movie…..Olds against the Tempest…..not sure which one was the bad guys…

    • boothguy

      Bad guys had 63 Tempest 326 posi, Ralph was driving a 64 Skylark. My favorite movie although you can quibble with some of the car “facts”. I still have a crush on Marisa Tomei. I’ve had 23 vehicles with the 215- if the motor turns you will probably be okay, cam usually wipes before the bottom end gets hurt- if its stuck better find another engine. I’d love to have it but not anywhere close to that money

      • Rocco

        I’m with you about Marisa Tomei. She got an Oscar for that performance.

  19. mankosan

    Did you notice that the black plates or not the same in all the pictures? Curious.

  20. Michael

    I love these, bought one that has been sitting for 17 years. a little carb spray and it started, longer it ran, the smoother it got. I also have the 3.5 in my 1970 Rover 3500 s no problems with cooling. Put in a thermostat that opens 20 degrees sooner, have found this to be common in all t-stats lately. Mine is a 4 dr, 3 on the tree, runs great!! Also had a 1980 3500 sd1, loved it, stupid and sold it. Some one please shoot me!! The seat in my 1962 F-85 are crap, these really look pretty good!

  21. Jet

    This car not only an f85 its a cutlass.

  22. Mark McKenzie

    Thanks Alan in Michigan , your a good bloke, thanks again regards Mark McKenzie.

  23. Brian M Member

    Curiously, GM put left hand threaded lug bolts on the left side of these and right hand on the right, ala Chrysler. My dad twisted one off of our four door regular F85 until he saw the tiny “L” on the end of the bolt. I learned some of my cuss words from that event. Our speedo only went to 100 vs the 120 in the Cutlass and dad broke it twice.

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