Factory Air: 1963 Oldsmobile Cutlass F85 Convertible

Though Independence Day is in the rear-view mirror (no pun intended), there is still plenty of time to take advantage of the gorgeous (for the most part) weather that has blessed us thus far. A perfect way to enjoy it is with this 1963 Oldsmobile Cutlass F85 convertible with factory air conditioning. Find it here on craigslist in Edison, NJ, with an asking price of $9,998.

Introduced in 1961 as a “senior compact”, the Cutlass was the only car of GM’s senior compacts to feature a V8 standard. For 1963, Oldsmobile restyled the Cutlass slightly, adding four inches to the car’s overall length, which increased to 192.2 inches. The added length ultimately squared off the styling compared to the 1961-62 models, and gave a more upmarket look similar to the full-size Oldsmobiles of that year. Fawn tan with a black top enhances the car’s overall appearance and lends the car a more grown-up look. Overall, sales for the Cutlass during the 1963 model year totaled 53,492 cars, of which 12,149 were convertibles, making this a rare car indeed.

The Cutlass was considered the top trim option on the F85 for 1963, so it’s little to no surprise that the car features bucket seats and floor shift, especially since the car featured is a convertible. This particular car features the three-speed Roto-Hydramatic, which was used on the F85 Cutlass from 1961-1963. The owner does mention that the transmission does slip occasionally, so this should be checked out.

According to the seller, the odometer just turned 100,000 miles. Unfortunately, there is no picture of the engine or the engine bay, but most likely the car is powered by a 215 V8 with a four-barrel carburetor. Rated at 185 horsepower and 230 lb-ft of torque, the Cutlass’s engine is no screamer, but should provide more than enough power for cruising, especially considering that the car’s curb weight is around 3,000 pounds. As previously mentioned, the seller does mention factory air-conditioning, but does not mention if it is operable. He (the owner’s name is Steve, by the way), also mentions that the “evaporator is in the trunk and still needs some additional parts”. Additionally, the car appears to be missing its horn button and radio (I’m guessing it’s an AM radio, but GM did offer a transistorized radio in 1963). On the positive side, much like the rest of the car, the interior appears to be in great shape, with only slight fading in the carpet. Overall, though, this car is in excellent shape and, once everything is sorted out, should make for a nice cruiser to take to the local shows and on a nice, winding country road.

Fast Finds


  1. Terry J

    GM’s famous Hydramatic came out in the Olds line in 1940 and didn’t use a torque convertor. I had a ’49 303ci Olds and a Hydro in a Model A coupe circa 1975 ish. That cast iron 4 speed tranny was HUGE and very heavy, but was it ever tough. The Cutlass pictured surely didn’t use that same Hydro, but it was obviously a grandchild of the early version. :-) Terry J

  2. Anthony R from RI

    Price seems high given that its going to need transmission work. But a great restomod candidate at the right price

  3. racer417

    Noooo… Too nice to restomod IMHO! Fix the trans or convert to a four speed!
    Too few of these around to customize. Find a ratty one if you want to mess with it.
    The standard 1963 Cutlass engine (not the F85) was the 215 aluminum V8, as was true of the Skylark that year.

  4. jw454

    I had the 1964 version of this car in 1975. Very nice cars. It was just one of the many that came my way that were: Nice when I got it and junk when it left. I was very hard on cars as a youth. Sad Sad Sad.

    I don’t know about the price but this one looks good.

  5. ccrvtt

    The first cool car my parents ever bought was a ’63 Cutlass convertible. It was light blue with a white top and white interior – absolutely beautiful. While the color combination was actually quite feminine I loved that car. My dad fried a piston in northern Michigan and subsequently got rid of the car when he got a company car.

    Fortunately he found a ’62 Cutlass convertible several years later – my first car. I would love to have either one as a toy now but I’ll keep my C6 as a DD. Nice find.

  6. Rolf Poncho 455

    Please tel and explane to me what is CUTLESS and Y
    do thy call it a CUTLESS

    • jw454

      A Cutlass is a form of a short sword. It was used mainly on board sailing ships. A longer conventional sword would have gotten tangled in the ship’s rigging during battles with pirates attempting to takeover the ship. It was prized by pirates as well. Since the Oldsmobile “A” body was a bit smaller than the flagship 98’s, 88’s, Holiday, and Starfire’s and, was expected to pack a punch in the car market, it was crowned Cutlass. Just a bit smaller but, powerful.

      • Greg Member

        Actually, from 61-63 these were built on the shared Y-body platform, along with the Pontiac Tempest/Lemans, and Buick Special/Skylark. They became intermediate sized for 64.

  7. Nova Scotian

    Two points…who cares about air conditioning, it’s a convertable. And where are the seat belts?

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