The F85/Cutlass was born in 1961, and by 1969 had established
itself as a versatile performer. This 1969 Cutlass F85 is a great
example of how Oldsmobile was able to neatly straddle the luxury
and performance car markets, combining a reasonable price, V8
power, and features like an overdrive transmission to create a
unique driving experience.
In 1961, the Cutlass was a model in the F85 lineup, but by '69, it was the other way around. The F85 was your base model, but as an Oldsmobile, it was still loaded with features and style. Distinct from its corporate cousins, this was the era when each division within GM competed on equal footing, and the result is a batch of very interesting cars. This one wears a recent repaint in the original code 63 Palomino Gold with a correct code 50 white top, painted not vinyl! The neo-fastback shape gives it a muscular stance, and with generously flared fenders, it definitely looks the part of a muscle car. Workmanship is quite good throughout, with smooth sheetmetal and great gaps, all of which are easy to do when you start with good base materials. The split front grille with vertical bars would become an Oldsmobile trademark for years to come, while out back the rear window and C-pillars flow smoothly into the quarters, resulting in a spacious trunk. The F85 was a car that could do it all.
Oldsmobile was still a family car, even in F85 trim, so the bench seats add utility without sacrificing luxury or performance. Everything is neatly reupholstered in correct original patterns and using contrasting light brown vinyl that works quite well with the Palomino Gold paint job. As I mentioned, it carries factory A/C (although it's not currently hooked up), which helps bolster its upscale credentials, and the overall vibe inside is more luxurious than a comparable Chevelle. Just check out that handsome wood-rimmed wheel! Round gauge pods are at once sporty and highly visible, even if they don't offer a lot of instrumentation beyond a speedo and fuel gauge, but a set of auxiliary gauges under the dash improve the view. The original AM radio has given way to an AM/FM/cassette head unit, the carpets, door panels, and headliner are in great shape, and the trunk is correctly detailed with a reproduction mat and full-sized spare tire with matching cover.
The F85 was available with several engines, including a 350, so the current ZZ4 350 cubic inch V8, while being a Chevy powerplant, is a good match with some extra pop. It offers 4-bolt mains, a rebuilt Holley 4-barrel carburetor, and a hydraulic roller cam to help it crank out 355 horsepower and more than 400 pounds of torque. Nice! A few chrome dress-up pieces give it a racy look, and there's a lot of new equipment under the hood, suggesting that the owner kept his priorities straight. Other new gear includes a fresh dual exhaust system, a 700R4 4-speed automatic gearbox, and long-tube headers for impressive torque. The chassis is impressively clean and tidy, and it rides on a set of handsome 15-inch Magnum 500 wheels and awesome-looking BFGoodrich Silvertown redline radials.
Oldsmobile fans will really dig this sporty coupe, but if you're simply looking for a bargain A-body with a ton of performance, this Olds is a great way to travel. Call today!