Brought a 61 Olds back from the dead out of a junkyard

Old November 10th, 2008, 05:14 AM
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Brought a 61 Olds back from the dead out of a junkyard

Just found this site last week. I've owned 66 and 70 Olds 88's a 61 Starfire and I recently purchased a 61 Olds 2 dr. Sedan from a private 60+ car Olds junkyard in Northern Ca. I picked it up on Oct 11th. The guy said it was parked in 91 with no brakes. It needs a LF fender I got the car and all the missing parts needed to replace them , a 63 Olds Starfire Console, bucket seats and a running 455/400 for 2000.00 I like to work with whats in place before tearing things apart . So I got it home and spent 2 days cleaning out rodent and wasp debris. Once that was done I pressure wash the engine and proceeded to clean that up. The carb was missing and the engine was open to the elements but not seized. I pulled the intake manifold off and found rodent nests in about 4 intake ports of the cylinder heads. I wasn't scared off yet. I vacuumed and cleaned everything out and replaced the manifold using the same gasket.My goal was not to spend a bunch of money to find out this thing wouldn't run . So then I cleaned out all the mud under the dist cap and hooked up a battery to see if it had spark at the points, It did. I had a cap and wires from one of my Pontiac engines, installed those. Got the engine to bump over with spark to the plugs. Poured some gas in the intake and got it to cough. I had a good 2 barrel carb from a 71 Pontiac so I bolted that on , filled the bowl through the air horn and hit the key, it started and died. Then I replaced the oil and filter that I had in stock. So I'm into this job at zero dollars so far. Get the oil changed, fill the carb again, and this thing starts and runs. Dirt and debris flying everywhere. Mind you there's no radiator at this point so I run it until the thermostat opens and shut it down. Ok I have a running engine, time to speed some money. So I buy 2 belts and 6' of fuel line and a real carb gasket ( I made the first one). Install the belts, the old decent radiator hoses, the honkin big 4 core radiator the guy gave me with the car that would barely fit, some fuel line to a gas can, water , battery and I'm in business. This thing runs a little rough at first burning out the junk I missed then settles into a smooth purr.The old fuel pump even works after priming the in and out. I also hooked up the trans cooling lines. The fluid looked good. Suprising the brakes also worked after putting fuild in. The trans worked through the gears. So I installed the driveshaft and check the gears up on jack stands going back to the factory 3:08 posi and everything looked good. I did most of this work over the last week. I drove it out of the garage last night under it's own power. All the gears work (amazng since my 61 Starfire's trans was a POS and never worked this good) .It was too dark to drive it around the block. I will try to post some pics. Enjoy.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 05:18 AM
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engine as found, car as found

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Old November 10th, 2008, 05:22 AM
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Welcome to the site. What you just did proves that old American made cars are still the best ever built. Try to do the same with anything made today by any manufactur. Good luck with your build amd send more pictures along the way.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 05:27 AM
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engine now, car cleaned up



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Old November 10th, 2008, 05:34 AM
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Excellent! What a nice way to start my Monday morning. This is the first thread I am reading this morning and your story thrills me. It is the kind of thing I probably would have done. Minimal investment and you have a running car. It is a nice looking one too. You found yourself a really good deal. Again, welcome to our site.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 05:41 AM
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SWEET! I bet you feel great!
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Old November 10th, 2008, 05:42 AM
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The car apparently had some history of public service. It has Heavy Duty seats, dual spotlight holes , an antenna hole welded up , and what looks like a siren button on the floor. I already know I'm keeping the interior original for now. Driveline will stay as long as it works. I really like the sedan body over the HT. My Starfire was very flimsy. Heres a pic of my Starfire, I traded a 55 Chevy for it and found it much the same way I found this car, out of a junkyard after 10 years. I drove it for 5 years on a limited basis but did take in on a few long drives. I sold it to a guy in Las Vegas when i got into Mopars back in 2000. No, I don't regret selling it. I like the sedan better. 1 of 4920 Those Starfires are a tough car to restore, especially if they were in the condition mine was in.


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Old November 10th, 2008, 05:45 AM
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Still looks like a NARC, FBI, or sneaker car. Like Jamsbo says in the other thread. look for Jimmiy Hoffa DNA in the trunkd
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Old November 10th, 2008, 05:58 AM
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Well, looking at my Starfire does bring back a litte remorse, but it wasn't going to be the car I wanted after restoring it so thats why I got this one, I can do anything with it. Heres some more pics from the yard, BTW, all the cars in this yard are for sell, I will post more info on it later. The guy is in the Olds club but not on the internet.




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Old November 10th, 2008, 06:05 AM
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It is really nice to see that many Oldsmobiles in one yard. Thanks for the pictures.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 06:15 AM
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Cool trailer also

I've got one to pull a Massey Ferggie around but the ramps are a little steep for a low slung A body. I got to put it on a hill to get one on easily
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Old November 10th, 2008, 06:34 AM
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Oh man,that's cool! Isn't it amazing what you can find in the boneyards? I love the fact that you took something dead and abandoned and brought it back to life.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 06:47 AM
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We do not have any yards like that in our area. All of the yard crush anything that is older then the mid 80's. You guys are so lucky. Maybe I need a larger truck when I pick up my 48 in Oklahoma Tuesday, Like maybe a semi-trailer. I should also get my credit limit on the VISA increased, and keep my wife drunk so she does not know what is going on until well after we get home.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 07:23 AM
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Fun project, thanks for sharing! I'm just over the border into Oregon, but I know Northern California can still be a ways off since the state is so long. Where is this yard located? John
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Old November 10th, 2008, 08:35 AM
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1961 D-88 was the last full-size 2-door post Olds built until 1977. Even Buick kept building them thru 1963, and Pontiac thru 1968.

1961 was also the ONLY year Chevrolet built an Impala post coupe, on this same bodystyle.

Good score.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 08:45 AM
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Hey NAS, that's a great find. Good luck with getting it up and running. Not sure if you've seen this stuff, but if you wanted to de-rust the engine, it works pretty well.
http://www.safestrustremover.com/howto.asp
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Old November 10th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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This is really going to be a cool car. This is the kind of story that we all love. I saw pictures of one of these on here or some other site about a year ago. It was done in black and had some cool wheels on it. There were maybe 18's which is about as big as I would go since I am not into big wheels. The sedan has to be a really firm body. Keep us up to date on this one.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 10:28 AM
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Thanks everybody. The yard is private, way out of site, near Red Bluff Ca. Everything in it is for sale. I use to deal with him when i had my Starfire. I was up that way this past summer on my motorcycle and stopped in for a visit. He's sold a 64 442, a 65,F-85post and a 59 98 since July. The short list is 3 or 4 more late 50's, 2 61 bubble tops, 4 62 Starfires 63 64 65 Starfires and Jetfires, 88,98. 64,65 66,67 Cutlass, a 70 442 post 4 speed , 73 Hurst, 73 Cutlass 4 speed car, few other makes, engines trans, starters iron, trim doors fenders, you name it, again, all for sale. He sold the 65 F 88 body for 1500 and the 59 98 ,burned and gutted intereior for 800 just for some examples. I have his numbewr if anyone needs it.
The engine rust stays, it's the patina look that will wow the crowds,(or make them sick) besides it's clean rust. The guy who painted my 69 Roadrunner already wants to paint this car in a single stage white. It also had a glacier blue roof from the factory but i don't see that coming back yet. More pics of the yard.


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Old November 10th, 2008, 10:59 AM
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If you can recall if he has any fat-fendered cars from '42 to '48 let me know.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 11:32 AM
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No fat fendered cars at all
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Old November 10th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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Dan,

Us fat fendered guys are always left out. Send me a list of items you need. As you know I will be stopping at every wrecking yard in every small town all the way to Washington for your place
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Old November 10th, 2008, 12:32 PM
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mmmmmmmmmmm 66 67 cuttys.......... love to get my hands on those
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Old November 10th, 2008, 01:46 PM
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Thats a great story. Congratulations on saving another one! Enjoy!

I"ll be watching this thread for more..
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Old November 10th, 2008, 02:19 PM
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I love these stories. If I had a couple million bucks, all the time in the world and some skills to go along with my love for these old heaps...
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Old November 10th, 2008, 02:40 PM
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More pictures of the boneyard

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Old November 10th, 2008, 02:50 PM
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This 62 was his sons daily driver in high school, it was driven in.


cool wheels
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Old November 10th, 2008, 02:58 PM
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More Starfires


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Old November 10th, 2008, 07:55 PM
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Boy- why does a yard like this ALWAYS have to be clear across the country?!

A 65 Starfire AND a 65 Jetstar I in the same yard- nearly unbelievable. That light green 64 Starfire would have been a near twin to mine in its prime.

Diggin' them 59 Galaxies too!
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Old November 10th, 2008, 09:16 PM
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cool story and pictures
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Old November 10th, 2008, 09:27 PM
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I may be 3,000 + miles away, but I'm seriously considering being buried here when I die
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Old November 10th, 2008, 10:00 PM
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If the guys name is Joel i just bought the 65 f85 from him and had it shipped to ohio.Real honest and reasonable guy
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Old November 11th, 2008, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by club442 View Post
If the guys name is Joel i just bought the 65 f85 from him and had it shipped to ohio.Real honest and reasonable guy
Yes, thats Joel and I'm Tim, glad to hear you got the car.I think one of those 65's (SF or JS) will be mine before it's over. His daily driver is a 65 Delta with a 455.
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Old November 11th, 2008, 02:17 PM
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Hi Tim ,thanks again for the lead on that car.Do you know if the wheels on that 62 would be the big 5"gm pattern or the 4 3/4. like to have those for my 442.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 03:17 PM
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The wheels go with the car for now (until I talk him out of them) ha ha . Latest update on the car is that it starts right up, all the gears work, the brakes actually work too. Drove it around the block, not bad for a junkyard car. I'm been doing a little chrome and trim polishing and also did a little research on the spot lights. They were Unity's still available (193.00 ea) The important part is the mounting bases, I will buy those and search out the swapmeets for used lights. Anyone know of a 3 speed set up for a 61-62 full size, please let me know, I want from shift **** to rear end. (finders fee)Here are some pics.

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Old November 19th, 2008, 04:45 PM
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Looks good! A real junk yard jewel,that's for sure.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 06:18 PM
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NAS Backyard can you PM me the address. I am going by that way and would lilke to stop by and get parts for my 57 Olds. I see one in the pictures you posted.


Thanks

Pat

I will send you a PM as well
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Old November 20th, 2008, 10:01 AM
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Wow nice find. I have a 61 2dr sedan and love the body style. I would be surprised if there are more than ten cars like this left. I knew of 5 before this one.
Pat
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Old November 21st, 2008, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by KQQLCAT View Post
Wow nice find. I have a 61 2dr sedan and love the body style. I would be surprised if there are more than ten cars like this left. I knew of 5 before this one.
Pat
Pat, is yours a 3 speed or auto? Any Pics?? Theres 2 on e bay right now.
I got the paperwork and plates today from DMV, also insurance.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 03:17 AM
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More progress on the car, Got the DMV paperwork done and put some insurance on it Friday. checked the brakes, wheel bearings, and replaced all the missing lugnuts. Took it out for a drive, trans shifts kind of weird but better than my Starfire did. Check to see what I need to replace the fuel lines to the tank and the tank itself.Dug alot of dirt out of the frame. Found a bit of rust in the rear floorboards, nothing i can't fab up. Detailed the wheels and tires and polished the hubcaps. Also found some killer closeout deals on brake parts at Rock Auto so I made an order of 75.00 total and got all 3 brake hoses,both rear wheel cyls., rear shoes, and front whl cyl. and Master Cyl kits.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 04:18 AM
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That is awesome.
I wish I could have found a deal like that up here in the great white north.
I searched high and low for a few years to find the car that I have now and you can be sure I paid a pretty penny for it. I seriously considered flying to California to find one and either drive it back or have it shipped up here but the cost would have been too much.
If I had a few more dollars to spend I would still consider it if I could find a decent 1960 Ninety Eight for a good price.

Best of luck with the car..
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