Rocket Science - Body ID


Body ID

A body cars 1961-1972


Overview

     We will begin with the base line F85 and work our way up to the Cutlass Supreme and Hurst Olds.

     The F85 began with the 1961 model year. Introduced as a compact it helped round out Oldsmobile's line up for many years to come. The F85 came in two platforms, Standard and Deluxe, and 8 models, with the deluxe 2dr sport coupe carrying the Cutlass moniker. It was of a uni-body construction and was equipped with the aluminum 215 V-8 (a design later sold to British Leyland)

     1962 saw the addition of several models to the F85 line up. Two convertibles, new deluxe models, and a new turbo charged Jetfire platform. Olds hoped this would get them back into the performance market. Styling stayed relatively the same for 62.

     For 1963 The F85 received all new sheet metal from the beltline down. The model line-up was pretty much the same as 62, including the turbo charged Jetfire.

     Big changes came about in 1964 for the F85 group. The series was completely redesigned from the ground up. No longer a compact, the F85 moved up as an intermediate in the Olds family. Gone was the Jetfire turbo and the 215 V8, but Olds had much better things in store for the buying public. The Standard and Deluxe platforms returned this year, and the Cutlass rounded it out as the third platform. Introduced mid year as option code B09 (actually a police package) the 442 was added to keep up with the tremendous success of the 64 Pontiac GTO. For $136 you got a 330 4bbl, 4 speed manual trans and dual exhaust, plus front and rear oversized sway bars, heavy springs, heavy duty cooling, and a unique to 442 dual snorkel air cleaner. (1964 Detail)

     The 1965 F85 Group had a few styling revisions but overall remained the same. The 442 was still an option on the F85, but now it gained a 400-ci motor instead of the 330. Olds also offered an auto trans for the 442 this year making the name mean 400 - 4bbl - dual exhaust. (1965 Detail)

     Tri Power! That's what Olds added to the 442 in 66 (and only in 66) with option L69. This put 442 square in the face of the GTO 3 duce set up. Another first for 442 this year was the introduction of the W30 option. Considered a drag race option, this added a hotter camshaft, forced air induction, a 4.33 rear end ratio, and the L69 tri-power set up to the 442. Also new for the year was the debut of the Cutlass Supreme to the F85 corral, though only available as a 4dr. The rest of the line up remained much the same except for the annual styling changes for all GM's. (1966 Detail)

     442 once again returned as an option in 1967. Now only offered on the expanded Cutlass Supreme model line up. The W30 option also returned but the L69, sadly, did not. New for the W30 were the red plastic inner fender wells unique to this option. Cutlass and Cutlass Supreme became models in their own right for 67 instead of being sub-categories on the F85 platform.

     Once again huge styling changes were in store for Oldsmobile "A" bodies in 1968. A new shorter sportier look was just the ticket for Oldsmobile's intermediates. The F85 was whittled down to just 2 models, a Town Sedan and a Club Coupe. The Cutlass also returned as an expanded line with the 4 door cars and station wagons carrying just the Cutlass name and the 2 door cars now being called Cutlass S (presumably for "Sport" but I find no documentation of this). The Cutlass Supreme also returned this year, which confused many people with the close similarities between the "S" and "Supreme". Convertibles were available on the Cutlass S and 442 platforms only. The big news for the year was 442, now its own model and no longer an option and available in 3 styles: Coupe, Hardtop, and Convertible. The W30 option also returned this year, as did several other "W" options for the Cutlass models. Another new and little known about car offered by Olds dealers was the Hurst Olds. We will cover the Hurst Olds in depth a little later.

     Only one F85 model remained for the 1969 year, the F85 2dr Club Coupe. The Cutlass returned, again with the 2 door cars carrying the "S" logo. Cutlass Supreme, 442, and the Hurst Olds all were back for another run. As in previous years, minor styling changes marked the entire Olds line. Again only Cutlass S and 442 had convertibles in the line up.

     1970 was a banner year for the Intermediate Oldsmobiles. Performance was at its peak and styling was exciting. F85 was again one 2dr sport coupe for 70. Added to the line up were the Rallye 350, the Indy Pace Car 442, the restyled Cutlass Supreme on the "A Special" framework and the SX package for the Supreme. 442 now boasted a 445-ci power plant and horsepower was at an all time high. Many other "W Machine" goodies were also offered for the model year. Convertibles were now only offered on the Cutlass Supreme and 442 lines with the 442 version being nothing more than a Supreme with all the hi performance goodies. (1970 Detail)

     Rising insurance rates and the impending threat of stricter EPA regulations start taking their toll on Olds "A" bodies by 1971. F85 continued with both a 2dr Holiday Hardtop (Carrying the Cutlass name) and a 4dr Town Sedan. Gone as quick as it arrived was the Rallye 350. No pace car, Hurst Olds, or W31 for 71 either. The Cutlass line was even more confusing with F85 2drs carrying the Cutlass name. As in previous years the 2 dr cars in the Cutlass line up carry the Cutlass S designation. The Cutlass Supreme was continued as well along with the Y79 SX package, although not as exciting as the 70 version. The 442 was back with the W30 option available, but power was going down across the board.

     What was supposed to be the next major restyling for the A body will have to wait for the 73 model year because of a labor strike at GM's Fisher Body division. 1972 Oldsmobiles are just slightly revised (and I do mean subtle) 71 models. There are two F85s again this year, a 4dr Town Sedan carrying the F85 logo and one 2 door hardtop having the Cutlass name (confusing at best). Cutlass has one 4dr model and two 2dr models, again the 2 doors carry the "S" moniker. The 442 is no longer it's own model for 71, reverting back to option status and a sad one at that. The W29 442 package consisted of only an appearance and handling group available only on the Cutlass S and Supreme Convertible models. The 455 had to be added as an option on top of the W29 as did the W30 package. The upside of 1972 was that the Hurst Olds and Indy Pace Car were back once again.



A word about the Cutlass Supreme:

     From 1966 to 1969 the Cutlass Supreme was really nothing more than a trim level option with added luxury items and styling. Beginning in 1970 the Supreme became it's own body style based on the "A Special" platform shared by the Chevy Monte Carlo and the Pontiac Grand Prix. ALL convertibles from 70-72 are based on the Supreme. There is no such thing as a Cutlass S convertible after 1969. One confusing factor is the use of the letter S in Olds intermediates. A CS is a Cutlass Supreme a Cutlass S is just that, a Cutlass S. These are not interchangeable. Another misnomer is that the "S" in Cutlass S stands for Sport, but I have been unable to find any support for this idea.