No Reserve: 1963 Oldsmobile Cutlass F-85

The owner of this 1963 Oldsmobile Cutlass F-85 found the vehicle hidden away in a barn. It isn’t clear how long it had been sitting, but when he dragged it into the light of day, he received a pleasant surprise. This isn’t a show-quality vehicle, but it is a structurally sound classic that could represent a straightforward project car. He has decided to part with the Olds, so he has listed it for sale here on eBay. It is located in Ontario, New York, and the bidding has hit $3,850 in a No Reserve auction.

When the owner conducted a thorough inspection of the Cutlass, he came away pleasantly surprised. There is a single small rust hole in the trunk pan that the buyer could easily address with a patch, but otherwise, this classic appears to be rust-free. The panels look remarkably clean for a vehicle of this vintage, while the floors and frame exhibit little more than the occasional light dusting of surface corrosion. He emphasizes that this isn’t a show-quality car, which means that the buyer might need to apply a fresh coat of Provincial White paint if the vehicle is to present at its best once again. However, an in-person inspection might reveal that it is good enough to pass as an original survivor. If so, that could save the buyer a considerable sum when it comes to returning the vehicle to active duty. The panels don’t display any significant dings or dents, while the trim and glass look pretty acceptable for a survivor.

It isn’t clear whether the Olds is numbers-matching, but it features the 215ci aluminum V8 that pushed out a respectable 185hp. This V8 is backed by a 3-speed Roto Hydramatic transmission, while the car also features power steering. It would be easy to dismiss the power output from this V8, but it is worth noting that it is pretty impressive from such a small and light V8. In sound mechanical health, it is enough to fire the F-85 through the ¼ mile in 17.6 seconds. The engine bay of this classic presents extremely well for a vehicle of this age. The owner reveals that the Olds runs and moves under its own power, but the brakes are non-existent. The tires are also old and dry rotted, so the buyer will need to perform a thorough mechanical inspection and some remedial work before the car is considered roadworthy. That sounds like a rewarding activity to perform during the upcoming winter months with a view to hitting the road behind the wheel of this classic as soon as the warmer weather arrives once again.

If this F-85’s engine bay presents well, the interior seems to serve up more of the same for potential buyers. It looks like a previous owner might have performed at least a partial retrim because the trim condition is well above what you might usually expect to find in a vehicle of this type. There are no rips or tears and no evidence of any abuse. The carpet appears new, although its fit isn’t perfect. I believe that if the buyer spent some time tweaking and stretching it, they could improve the appearance markedly. The same is true of the kick panels. The vinyl has no tears or marks, but it needs to be stretched and glued to achieve a better finish. I’ve also noticed a couple of repairable cracks in the wheel, and some of the bright trim pieces have developed bubbles. A trip to the platers would help in that case, although some online searching could also reveal replacement items at a reasonable price. I can’t spot any aftermarket addition, with the original pushbutton radio occupying its rightful place in the dash.

If I am surprised by anything about this 1963 F-85 Cutlass, it is how subdued the bidding has been. In the current market, it is unlikely to become a “high-dollar” classic. However, that only eight bids have been submitted is a lower figure than I would’ve expected. That offers a tantalizing prospect for some enthusiasts. For anyone considering a first-time restoration or for someone who wants to be hands-on across the whole process, this F-85 has the potential to be such a car at an affordable price. Is that thought enough to make you considering pursuing this car further?


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  1. alphasud Member

    With 4 days left to go I think it will sell for 8-10K. This isn’t the Buick V8 but Oldsmobile’s own version with their head design and one extra head bolt per cylinder which I can only assume they did it for the turbo jet fire engine. Nice find.

    Like 11
    • David Diauto

      almost 5K now

      Dave D

      Like 1
  2. DRV

    A Great find and is a favorite post car especially for some reason in white. Good luck on the sale.

    Like 8
  3. Ron Ron

    Haven’t seen one of these in a while. Very nice!! I need a 20 car garage for all my favorites!!

    Like 4
  4. jerry z

    Don’t see these cars often. Beautiful specimen too.

    Like 8
  5. PaulG

    I recall seeing this same car featured on here some time ago.
    Clean for a NY vehicle…

    Like 2
  6. Pleease

    My parents’ first new car was a 1963 F-85 – light blue with a white top (I think my Mom’s condition on buying was that they paint the top!) – and it was still around for me to drive when I got my license 10 years later. It had that blue color interior, but I think it was a bench seat, and it had – gasp! – no radio.

    I remember that “reverse” was engaged by pulling the gear selector all the way down, so the order was something like P N D L R.

    Great memories for me, and I really like the specimen presented here.

    Like 5
  7. Dave

    In 1974 I was attending DeVry in Columbus and traded a Royce CB for the convertible version of this. Used cookie sheets and roof tar to patch the holes in the floor. A guy from Olean bought it from me a few months later.
    Driving back from Olean after Thanksgiving, he was driving down I71 in a blizzard when a cop flagged him down and told him that the interstate was closed 20 miles ago. The cop asked him if he was having any problems and when he said no, the cop let him keep going.

    Like 1
  8. GLG Member

    My parents bought one of these new in ’ my Mom’s car. It shared driveway space with the ’57 Lincoln for a few years. What a difference in size and appearance over those six years. Hers was dark blue with a white top and was pretty deluxe with the 215 engine, auto transmission, black interior (as I remember) bucket seats and floor shifted console. I was able to drive it for awhile before it was traded for something else. I always thought this was a neat, trim, efficient, design and it may have unconsciously effected my taste in cars since. I thought I wanted it until I saw the price crest $5K (and likely to move higher) knowing that a near-60 year old car can conceal a lot of surprises for the bank account, time, garage space, and energy! Then, there would be the upgrades; 3 point seatbelts, dual circuit disc brakes, LS3, 4L60E trans, 9″ rear, and fresh paint! These were cool then and with effort and funds can be super-cool now since they are so very rare. Or, leave it stock.

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