Compact Convertible: 1962 Oldsmobile F85 Cutlass – SOLD!
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May 11, 2022, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
GM’s Y-Body compacts of the early 1960s make a nice choice for a one-car collection for two reasons. First, these remain relatively overlooked and forgotten by most collectors, so prices remain relatively reasonable. Second, despite being labeled compacts, they provide decent room for four people in a size that can fit in the average garage. Our latest example is a red over white vinyl, driver-quality, 1962 Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass originally listed in April 2022 on Craigslist in Woodland Hills, California (Los Angeles). Despite utilizing all but one of the two dozen allotted picture spaces, the seller does not provide a picture of the V8 engine.
Currently offered at what the seller describes as the “priced to sell” as of $13,500, researching the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the private seller has their F-85 priced between this guide’s #1 “Excellent” estimate of $18,900 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $12,400. Values on the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool shift a bit lower as this second data point confirms the private seller has his Cutlass priced between the #3 “Good” appraisal of $16,200 and the #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $9,700.
General Motors began developing its first compact cars in 1956, beginning with initial planning on what would become the Chevrolet Corvair in 1960. The company’s compact strategy turned out to be two-fold as the following year the company launched its “Senior Compact” Y-body-based cars for Buick (Skylark), Pontiac (Tempest), and Oldsmobile (Cutlass F-85). Y-bodies shared the same basic body shell and lightweight engines.
The Oldsmobile F-85 shared the unibody platform using a 112-inch wheelbase and became Oldsmobile’s smallest, cheapest model that was nearly two feet shorter and $451 less expensive than the full-size Dynamic 88. F-85s featured a double-wishbone front suspension and a four-link live axle in the rear, suspended with coil springs and drum brakes all around. Unlike its platform mates, the first-generation F-85 was only ever offered with the new Rockette 215 cu in (3.5 l) all-aluminum V8, Oldsmobile’s version of the Buick aluminum V8 which later became famous as the Rover V8. With a two-barrel carburetor and an 8.75:1 compression ratio, it was rated 155 brake horsepower at 4,800 rpm and produced 210 foot-pounds of torque at 3,200 RPM.
For the 1961 launch year F-85s came in two body styles, a four-door sedan or a four-door station wagon with either two or three seats, and in a choice of two trim levels, base or De Luxe. Transmission options were initially a 3-speed manual (with synchromesh on the top two gears) and the newly introduced 3-speed Roto Hydramatic. The overall length was 188.2 inches and the curb weight was around 2,800 pounds. A few months after the model’s introduction, Oldsmobile added a “power pack option”, which included a four-barrel carbureted, high-compression, dual exhaust version of the 215 cu in aluminum V8, and a shorter 3.36:1 final drive ratio with either manual and automatic transmissions. This premium fuel-only engine was rated at 185 horsepower at 4,800 RPM and 230 foot-pounds of torque at 3,200 RPM. Initial sales were somewhat disappointing but were soon picked up by the May 1961 introduction of a pair of pillared two-door coupes, each with a different roofline and market placement: the F-85 Club Coupe, which became the lowest-priced Oldsmobile model, and the sporty F-85 Cutlass. The Cutlass came equipped with the 185 hp “power pack” drivetrain and featured De Luxe-type exterior trim with a more upscale interior with standard bucket seats, upholstered in two-tone vertically pleated vinyl, and an optional center console.
For 1962 styling changes were minor and included a new grille, different chrome ornamentation on the bodyside, and new interior trim. The existing F-85 models returned, and a convertible was added to the line-up in September, available in both standard and Cutlass versions. The automatic transmission was replaced with an upgraded four-speed Roto 5 Hydro-Matic transmission, and an all-synchromesh four-speed manual became optional. Overall F-85 sales rose to 97,382, with the Cutlass displacing the four-door De Luxe sedan as the top-selling model.
While the example here doesn’t feature it, the 1962 Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass was the first American car to offer a turbocharged powerplant. The US Auto Industry YouTube Channel Provides this 1962 Oldsmobile Jetfire Turbo Rocket V8 commercial explaining the engine in detail:
If you’re looking for a vintage four-seat convertible that can fit easily into a standard garage, this 1962 Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass convertible may be the ride for you.
Here’s the seller’s brief description:
Show or Go: What would you do with this 1962 Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass Convertible? Please comment below and let us know!