Bring Offers: 1970 Oldsmobile F-85 W-31

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When a seller lists a classic project with muscle credentials and says they might consider offers, it guarantees that potential buyers will sit up and take notice. Such is the case with this 1970 Oldsmobile F-85. The seller set their price at $6,500, but somebody might take it away for a lower figure. If you aren’t already tempted, the fact it is the W-31 variant may tip the scales. I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Eric L. for spotting a car that might quickly find a new home.

The history of this Olds is a great unknown because the seller is sparing with their information. However, its weathered Ebony Black paint suggests it has battled the elements for years. The buyer will probably elect to strip the exterior to bare metal as part of a high-end restoration, although that process might be more straightforward than most would expect. The panels sport minor bumps and bruises, but what this car seems to lack is significant rust. The lower extremities look surprisingly sound, and the seller doesn’t mention any hidden floor problems. Of course, they don’t say much else, so only an in-person inspection will reveal the truth. Most trim pieces are intact, and the glass is in good order. The F-85 rolls on what appear to be Super Stock III wheels. These are probably a later addition because my reference material suggests they didn’t join the Oldsmobile range until 1971.

Lifting the hood reveals what makes this F-85 genuinely special. The seller states the first owner ordered this classic with the W-31 option, meaning its 350ci V8 would have churned out 325hp and 360 ft/lbs of torque. They teamed this V8 with the three-speed Turbo 350 automatic transmission, producing a car that could storm the ¼-mile in 15.1 seconds. There were faster cars available in 1970, but this was an impressive figure for a vehicle that could comfortably accommodate six people. As with almost every other aspect of this Olds, we are flying blind on its mechanical health. The seller doesn’t indicate whether the car is numbers-matching or if the engine even turns. It wears an upgraded Edelbrock intake and carburetor and some cosmetic enhancements, and I think there may also be aftermarket headers. If the engine turns, it might kick into life with minimal effort. However, factoring a rebuild into the project budget would be wise.

The interior presentation supports my belief that this Olds has spent a considerable period exposed to the rigors of UV rays. Many items are pretty baked, and some components are missing. The photos suggest that any surfaces wearing vinyl are toast, and a complete retrim is the best course of action. Kits to achieve a factory look are available, although those unconcerned about total originality could opt for more luxurious cloth seatcovers. The first owner didn’t tick many boxes on the Order Form, so there are no luxury touches like air conditioning or power windows.

The seller listed this 1970 Oldsmobile F-85 W-31 here on Craigslist in Grand Junction, Colorado. It shows promise as a project candidate, although the buyer faces a long road before it fires a shot in anger once again. However, its lack of apparent rust issues suggests it is far from a lost cause. It has only been on the market for a day, and I won’t be surprised if someone snaps it up pretty quickly. Are you tempted to be that person?

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  1. Stan

    Dr. Olds really offered some exceptional choices. Thats alot of go-juice for a Hydramatic 350 .. surprise its not the TH400 ?
    Would be some cruiser if brought back to life. 😎

    Like 11
  2. Snotty

    Western slope= no/limited rust and plenty of UV rays.

    Like 10
  3. Tommy T-Tops

    Yes I don’t see much rust, not even the bottom of the rear quarters. 5k cash would prolly do it..just disassemble it on the trailer and off to the dipper..might be a diamond in the rough if you have the means and experience

    Like 4
  4. Mike F

    A 1970 W-31 was my first exposure to street racing and the 1/4 mile NY National Speedway (long gone). A friend bought one new with the 4 speed and Hurst, dark green with the wide white stripes and matching white vinyl bucket interior. Just days after delivery we installed Hooker headers, exhaust cutouts and traction bars. The car screamed. Low 14s consistently with ground shaking rumble that was addictive. It was like time stood still on the 1-2 shift and then pinned back into the seat.

    Like 15
  5. Dennis

    Curious how much of the W 31 specific goodies are still on the engine…

    Very rare Olds!!

    Like 7
  6. Joe Padavano

    The engine is not an original W31. The alternator bracket and triple groove pulleys indicate that this engine came from an A/C car, which was specifically NOT an option on a real W31. The engine is what makes the car a W31. The missing carb, intake and unique balancer will cost somewhere in the $15K range just for those parts, if you can find them.

    Like 1
    • Poppy

      I see non-powered drum brake master cylinder on the car and is that just a standard heater core box on the firewall? Could be the car is a W-31 even though it has a replacement engine from an A/C car. Would be curious to know what the transmission code and rear end codes were.

      Like 2
      • Joe Padavano

        Lots of Cutlii were built without A/C or power brakes. FYI, the brake booster can be unbolted.

        Like 0
      • Joe Padavano

        Of course the real problem is the cost of replacing the missing W31 parts, even if the car is real. Of course there is no way to prove reality either.

        Like 1
  7. Deanna Hotovy

    Those are not super stock 3 there are super stock 2 and there were available in 70 . They are 14×7 with bolt on center caps. The super stock 3 were chrome I believe!

    Like 3
    • Mike76

      The only difference between SSII wheels and SSIII wheels is the paint color. This car would’ve had SSII wheels painted argent grey from the factory. SSIII wheels became available in the 1971 model year and were painted lower body color.

      Like 1
  8. william stephan

    Whay oh why always with the ede-losers??? Were the q-Jets that popular to steal that they are all gone?? Spend $300 instead of a $25 kit says MUCHO. NEXT! No soup for you!

    Like 3
  9. Rw

    Have always loved Q jets very good carbs

    Like 6
    • Mark RuggieroMember

      In the boat biz we called them Quadrabogs, accompanied by that classic sound. Fixed innumerable examples. Ethanol played havoc with them, throw in some neglect… .

      Like 1
  10. Tbone

    Gone. I think someone got a neat project at a very reasonable price in today’s market

    Like 2
  11. Mountainwoodie

    Didn’t all the W31 s have red inner fenders? He says.

    Like 0
    • Bob


      Like 3

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