Survivor Oldsmobile: 1965 Oldsmobile Cutlass F85

Earlier this month, we featured another 1965 F85 for sale in California. That car is still for sale on eBay, and a reader mentioned that they found it on Craigslist for $5,300. That car is a project, and this F85 pictured here is a very nice, mostly original survivor. This F85 is running, driving, wearing its original paint and in need of very little work. Find it here on craigslist in California with a very reasonable asking price of $8,000 or best offer. By comparison to the last one we featured, this F85 seems like quite a deal! Thanks go to reader Pat L. for sending this one in.

Under the original Laurel Mist painted hood sits a 330 cubic inch Oldsmobile V8. While the red wires loosely draped in various places is a little bit concerning, the engine looks well-kept, and the seller notes that it runs well and is a great driver. If it were me, I would first investigate the aforementioned red wires, and then replace the universal upper radiator hose if a molded one could be had. Other than that, both the engine and engine bay look to be in excellent cosmetic condition! Survivor drivers are great because they’re nice enough to take to cruise-ins and local shows, but not so nice that you are afraid to run errands in them.

Mid-60s GM interior styling is always great fun, and this Oldsmobile is no exception! The seller states that new black carpet has been installed, but other than that the rest of the interior is in original condition. With the exception of some splitting in the vinyl seats, it looks like the interior could be left alone and enjoyed as is. Repairing the seats would be a big improvement, but if your plan is to drive this car regularly that may not be a big concern. If possible, repairing versus recovering the seats would be preferable because of how original this car is said to be.

On a nice original car like this, aftermarket wheels are usually frowned upon and I personally tend to prefer the original wheel covers. However, the chrome wheels look really great on this Oldsmobile and accent the chrome bumpers. Even the chrome dual exhaust tips look nice! While the new owner may prefer the original look, it can be easily reverted. I would probably enjoy it like it sits! The seller states that this F85 has new points, a new battery, and new brakes and is ready to roll. Some extra parts are included with the sale, such as the original wheel covers and air cleaner. Would you keep it as it is, or repair and revert it to original?

Fast Finds


  1. Joe Cat

    Really nice car. Other than seat repair, I would get rear bumper straightened. 8K seems like a reasonable price.

  2. Rustytech Member

    I love it just the way it is. I would try to find an upholstery guy that could duplicate the lower seat covers, do the necessary repairs, and just drive it. I had a 67 hardtop back in the late 70’s. It was a great car, I wish I’d never sold it!

  3. boxdin

    Love all F85s, but 1965s have a special place w me. Nice car to use & cruise. We locally have a 65 442 post coupe (this would be great clone) and shortly after it was new he chopped it like 4 inches so there is just a small window left.
    imho ruined the car I still see it from time to time.

    • Shane

      Chopped a 65 442. Very sad

  4. Ken Carney

    My BIL owned one while we were in high
    school. His was crammed full of 455
    Olds V-8 mated to a 4-speed transmission, and my God was that thing
    fast! The gentleman he bought it from
    swapped the engine and tranny after the
    original units had gone away. I seem to
    recall that his was the same color as the
    car shown here. My brightest memory
    of his car was the time that we were at
    the auto parts store, where he’d gone to
    buy an oil pressure gauge to mount under
    the dashboard. After installing it at the
    parts shop, the line connected to the gauge blew out spraying oil all over the front seat! We wrapped the offending
    line with one of my sister’s Kotex maxi
    pads to stop the leak until we could get
    back to my house to fix it properly. This
    was back in ’72 when you could fix a car
    with just about anything you had on hand.
    My BIL won a lot of street races with his
    F-85 before trading it in for a brand new
    Rally Nova with a 350/4-speed tranny.
    To this day, I share this story with young
    mechanics who think they can’t improvise
    a repair needed to get a car home. Sometimes they don’t believe it but I do!

    Like 1
    • Andrew Tanner Member

      Great story! I love when cars we feature remind someone of an experience like that, because I usually get to hear about it! Thanks for sharing Ken!

    • Roger

      So true Ken,once when I was away from home the top radiator hose blew on my ’68 Dart GT while I was on my way to buy some new rear tires,had a roll of duct tape with me so wrapped the bad spot and loosened the pressure cap,it did fine on the trip back home where I replaced the hose,yes quick fixes can work just fine.

      • SamM

        I did the same thing. I had my 1982 SAAB turbo sitting in traffic at the Lincoln tunnel on the way into NYC one night. Popped a hole in the upper rad hose, right on top. A quick fix with duct tape till I got into the city where I stopped at a parts store. They had a new hose, but it was 180.00?!?! I told him where to stick it and, since it wasn’t leaking, left the duct tape on and finished my evening and drove home. The next morning I checked it, still no leak, so I left it on. After a few weeks, I finally replaced the hose (14.00), the tape repair never leaked.


      A friend popped a fan belt one Saturday night and used his girlfriends pantyhose as a make shift belt. It got him home.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      There’s a million of these stories.
      Mine is that the accelerator cable snapped in my Camaro, so I used a metal coat hanger to fashion a temporary one. Probably not the safest thing, but I used it for about a week until I could get over to the dealership.

      • SamM

        I have another one. I had a 1967 Galaxie Convertible with a 427 side oiler and a top loader. Back roads of west Milford NJ one night. Fuel pump gives up the ghost. I had an old 1 gallon metal Toro gas can in the trunk. I duct taped it to the hood with a length of fuel line run to the fuel log (2x4s). gravity fed. 15 miles to home, had to siphon the main tank twice to get home. Those were the days, eh?

    • Old Car Guy

      How about a pop top lid to repair a distributor rotor 20 miles in the middle of nowhere when hunting? Took a few hours but better than walking. It got us to the nearest town to buy a new one.

  5. Moxman

    This is a really cool car. A 4-4-2 wanna-be! I’m also disturbed by that crummy, flex top radiator hose. I’m certain that NAPA or O’Reilly would have a molded hose for this car. A really cool boulevard cruiser.

  6. Terry J

    442 wannabe not relevant. Had a pal George whose folks had a hardtop and that 330 would scream. On the blacktop 1/4 outside of town it would run away from everybody else’s folks car of similar type. :-) Terry J

    Like 1
  7. Angrymike

    I was born in the wrong part of the US, living in the rust belt my entire life I’ve rarely come across cars like this without a ton of Bondo and some really messy wiring. So I’d investigate the wiring clean it up and bring that really clean car back to Ohio ! These were plentiful in the early 80’s but here, by then, they were rotten or mud filled ! Nice car…..

    • Rocco

      Being from Akron, Ohio, I know what you mean. 2 months of summer, 10 months of winter.
      Living in Florida since ’74 and loving it.

  8. OldCarGuy

    Nice car. You don’t see many with AC much less one with a dash pad that isn’t cracked. The first thing I would do is replace that single reservoir master cylinder with a double and re-plumb the brakes.

    FWIW, I’m in the process of rebuilding a ’64.

  9. DrinkinGasoline

    I love it the way it sits (big fan of chrome smoothie’s with baby moons). However, I do agree with RustyTech about the upholstery as well as OldCarGuy about the dual master cylinder upgrade. Would make for a very slick cruiser.

  10. Troy S.

    Torque thrust D rims would be my first change, these rims don’t cut it for me, and I’d lose the chrome tail pipes. Nice looking machine, always wanted a 442 or W-31 cutlass years ago but those are investments now, not fun drivers like this.

  11. Rick LaBeaume

    I have basically the same car. Mine is a 330 ci 4bbl factory 4 speed,dual exhaust bucket seat car. No AC just p.s p.b. Outside color is Ocean Mist, White interior. I have owned it for 4 years now as it was a retirement gift to myself. Fun car to drive ,and gets lots of attention. I am running with 17 inch Torque Thrust wheels. Rick

  12. Rolf Poncho 455

    Oldscarguy that car looks grate post pic’s as u go

    • OldCarGuy

      Thanks! Will do.

  13. Ken Carney

    Been there and done those! Any of you
    folks ever fixed a blown heater hose by
    inserting a piece of copper tubing? You do this by inserting a piece of copper pipe into the broken halves and then clipping it into place with hose clamps.
    For you young folks out there, that piece
    of copper must be slightly smaller than
    the inside diameter of the two halves
    of the broken hose so that the pipe
    slides firmly into place under the ends of
    the hose. Then clip it tight, and check for
    leaks. Works every time!

  14. Jim W.

    If the picture of the original air cleaner on Craigs list is from this car is accurate and the carb is a Rochester 4 barrel the engine would produce 320 HP. I had a 67 Olds with the 330 CI, Ultra High Compression with 4 barrel and being a 4 door the car would still run like a scalded cat. If the Olds was closer to NC I would jump on this today.

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