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Old October 10th, 2011, 04:01 PM   #1
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1965 F85 Cutlass Resurrection

Where to start? How about some history with the car:
This car has been in the family longer than I have, and I just turned 29 this year. It is the car I grew up with, and have a picture (misplaced somewhere) looking out the window as a 4year old. When its restored, I hope to take the same picture, near 30 years later
About 15 years ago, the 330 under the hood decided it only wanted to run on 7 cylinders, in addition to leaving constant 50ft. thick trails of smoke wherever it went.
So my dad(it's still his car) decided to park it until we had money to restore it. The end result was: just sitting at my uncle's place for the next 10 years haha. Eventually his neighbors decided it had to go, and Ive held on to it ever since.
He had debated selling it over the years, but everyone hes known, who's ever sold a muscle car, has regretted it. At one point we even considered trading it for an Rx7 engine (I am still very much a rotorhead) of about equal value. At that time he had contacted the Oldmobile club about restoring it, and I believe the man who looked at it was named Joe. When he learned of this, he pretty much attributed it to nothing short of blaspheme. After his comments(Shameful was among them), for the first time I really started to appreciate the value of keeping something stock! It was a wake up call & needless to say we still have the car. So if you happen to read this Joe, we personally want to thank you!

Resurrection:
So after 4 Rx7's, and paying off my Corvette, Im in a position to FINALLY start restoring this (as soon at the Vette sells that is; if you happen to want a stellar C4 in the Seattle area give Munich Evolution a call: Matt LaCross 206-898-5418 Click the image to open in full size.)

I thought for sure I would have to reupholster the interior due to mold. A new or rebuilt drive-train is a definite must. As soon as its running, the first drive might very well be to the paint shop, and it should be as good as new again; if not better
My girlfriend used to clean up trauma/crime scenes and said the interior wasnt that bad much to my surprise! We got a bottle of level 2 mold control, and I think the pictures will speak for themselves!
That saved $1500 I was expecting to spend on the interior, and that money is going right into the drive-train. So the next step is where to go from here?

If I swap motors Ill always hang on to the 330 and 2sp. Auto. So anything I do will be with the intention to revert to stock one day. That said: I dont know what all is involved with fitting as LS series block w/ 6sp.auto? I figure its definite work, but doable. If someone makes a swap kit, even better! This is highly tempting because not only making more power, acheiving better mileage w/ rising fuel costs, it seems parts and whatnot for the 330 is relatively limited.
Im guessing with custom motor mounts, a custom tranny mount, and having a driveline fabbed, the rest should be pretty straight forward(eg. sufficient fuel pump, new fuel lines, possibly new gas tank, exhaust fitment, engine wiring, etc...)
So thats where I am at the moment: considering an ls1 + auto swap as its very cost effective. But I would love to hear input and feedback. Plus for the record I am not going to part with the original 330/trans.
Thanks for your time!

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Last edited by '65F85; October 10th, 2011 at 04:16 PM.
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Old October 11th, 2011, 09:17 PM   #2
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I must admit that the "LS" engine is a animal of an engine. They are great power source in a chebby body.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 12:26 AM   #3
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Just curious, but how does one grow up with a Cutlass, and end up into rx7's and vettes instead?


That poor thing is growing moss.
, and I worry that you will not like it because it box nosed, instead of bullet nosed like the other cars you fancy.
I really like the car, the paint and the stripe colors too.
2 thumbs up on this project. 2 thumbs down on the LS swap.

Don't let the old girl scare you.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 05:44 PM   #4
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Is that factory air I see in the back window
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Old February 29th, 2012, 02:49 PM   #5
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love those insulated wiper blades
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Old February 29th, 2012, 03:06 PM   #6
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What is that orange/red doo-dad with the light and what looks like a choke pull?
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Old February 29th, 2012, 03:18 PM   #7
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Welcome aboard from another NW guy.
I really dig 65's. Looks like the interior cleaned right up! Cool with the power windows too!

If you decide to skip on the LS for a while due to funds... i'll be pulling my 330 out this summer to prep for my new 455 to go in. Motor runs great, no smoke, pulls hard. Might be a cheap alternative to get it back on the road.

Drop by the local club site if you have a chance...
http://www.tcnwracing.com

we've got a handful of Olds guys, as well as most other brands... and a couple who've completed LS swaps of their own (66 chevelle, 72 chevelle & 69 chevelle).

Rx7's are cool..... Do you know Jim Labreck?

anyway... welcome!
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Old February 29th, 2012, 03:32 PM   #8
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One thought for you, since you are into Rx7's, Corvettes and basically performance cars that handle.

Think of this car differently.

Yes, it is possible to make classic cars (a-bodys) handle as good or better than modern sports cars... but its not cheap. The guys who do it spend a lot of money and even more time researching those components... and in the end, you can still go pickup a modern corvette and kick the a-bodys *** on a track.

I would recommend either restoring the car to original(ish) (i'm into day 2 kind of restorations) or make it into a muscle car... big engine, go fast in a stragiht line kind of thing (again, the day 2 concept).

Both of those options would allow you to enjoy the car more as it was meant & fairly easy to do w/o spending mega $$... and would allow you to not be constantly comparing it to cars that do handle well.

Just my thoughts.

Then again... LS swaps w/ upgraded suspension & drivetrains are way cool. If you have the $$, space & time to do it, go for it. :-)

Last edited by RAMBOW; February 29th, 2012 at 03:41 PM.
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Old March 6th, 2012, 12:46 PM   #9
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Its a olds

455 is all you need and its easy
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Old March 7th, 2012, 01:19 PM   #10
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man , I really like that car ! X2 on the 455 !
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Old March 7th, 2012, 02:23 PM   #11
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i am in the process of doing a disc brake conversion, steering linkage, upper/lower tubular control arms, & springs up front. then, next year i will do a complete rear end upgrade, including an Eaton carrier, gears, upper/lower control arms, sway bar and springs. the following year, once the rolling chassis is all done, the 455 will be next in line for me as well. that's good old BB olds power!!
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Old March 7th, 2012, 05:18 PM   #12
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You won't regret the 455 swap
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Old March 12th, 2012, 11:08 AM   #13
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Seattle

I spent the first 37 years of my life in the Seattle area. I have seen moss on wiper blades more times than I can count. As they say, Seattlites don't tan, they rust.

Great car though, and one you will find much enjoyment from. The original 330 in my car is terrific....no complaints about power that is for sure. Even in Los Angeles traffic...
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Old March 12th, 2012, 11:08 AM
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