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History Period Details - ‘63 Olds Cutlass

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by RyanAK, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 176

    RyanAK
    Member

    Hey, gang. Looking for some advice on traditional, period-correct details to include on my survivor ‘63 Olds Cutlass. I have a plan for the hop up stuff (warming up the Buick 215 V8, suspension, etc.) but thought some subtle “character” additions would be cool. Water-slide decals on the quarter windows, license plate frame, front plate (PA only runs rear tags...), wheel/tire choice... That sort of thing. Performance oriented ’flair’... for lack of better term. Being a ‘63, the car sits at the tail end of traditional hot rods and is pre-muscle car. Sort of a ‘tweener. The car spent most of its life in upstate NY, and is now in central Pennsylvania... so anything that ties it to those two places in the ‘64-ish timeframe is especially neat.

    Interior will get a good cleaning and limited restoration with additions of a trio of gauges and a period tach. Exterior will be pretty much left alone except for replacement of consumables like weather stripping and window rubber. Might repaint the emblems... And Dad surprised me with a damn cool club plaque from his home town. Just looking for those finishing touches.

    Thanks in advance! I’m not very knowledgeable about this time period, but this car makes me want to learn. I want to keep it as authentic as possible and maintain the overall survivor character of this cool little Olds.

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  2. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,654

    RJP
    Member
    from PNW

    Set of chrome reverse rims, whitewalls in or out, your choice. Done. Simple is good.
     
  3. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 30,521

    loudbang
    Member

  4. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 5,781

    chevy57dude
    Member

    Hope to see that little gem at some shows next year! Body colored wheels with poverty caps!
    Absolutely LOVE it. Any gauges you add should be vintage. So often I look in someone's otherwise period car and spot the modern gauges or stereo, billet wheel, etc. Plenty of 60's instruments on the market. Show us an interior photo!
     
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  5. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,654

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    Sell your Oldsmobile grille emblem to @Al T Would look better without it.
     
    OG lil E likes this.
  6. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,205

    slowmotion
    Member

    Leave the skinny whites, paint the wheels black, no hubcaps. Add dual 'glass-packs', done. Any town USA 1963'
     
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  7. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 176

    RyanAK
    Member

    Thanks, guys! Agree simple is good. Period gauges... originals if I can find them or appropriate new ones. No billet anything, ever.

    What’s a stereo? :p Actually, the AM radio isn’t working... when I get around to it, there’s a guy that puts modern guts in the original unit. I’d never cut the dash on something this original.

    A lot of the car’s personality will definitely come from the wheels/tires. Those are 30+ year old skinny whites that were on it when it was pulled out of the garage where it was stored. I have a set of good radial blackwalls I’m gonna run while I make a decision on a final combo.

    Here’s some interior shots... pardon the joyful kids with a new old car!

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    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
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  8. Bigmac48
    Joined: Apr 3, 2017
    Posts: 272

    Bigmac48
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Dundalk Md

    When I started personalizing my 40 ,like you ,thoughts went everywhere as far as color of wheels, whites or Blackwalls ,caps beauty rings etc. Think u r on the money with Blackwalls dog dish caps maybe paint the wheels body color ,what I did took and extra wheel old blackwall painted several different colors till you find your taste ,i had help from photo cropper " the moose " maybe reach out to him and if he is willing tell him the diff combos u r thinking ,I owe him a debt of gratitude he certainly helped me choose the correct combo for me !
     
    loudbang likes this.
  9. I like the chrome reverse idea with or without whitewalls that was already mentioned. I think another option since you mentioned the window decals would be white painted steelies in the back (perhaps no caps), with an early spoked wheel with narrow whitewalls on the front - like some Radirs. That set-up might suggest you do some weekend drag racing.

    Always love that silver-blue color on the 60's GM's! My first car was a silver-blue '64 Impala convertible...
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
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  10. plym_46
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 3,999

    plym_46
    Member
    from central NY

    Trim rings, slightly wider tires.
     
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  11. Stan Back
    Joined: Mar 9, 2007
    Posts: 810

    Stan Back
    Member
    from California

    63 Cutlasses were a weird year. The passenger compartment stayed the same as the 62s, but the body was stretched on both ends. Are you sure you don't have the Olds V-6 (same as Pontiacs), not the Buick?

    Show us an engine picture . . .
     
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  12. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 176

    RyanAK
    Member

    Great input! Thank you. I try to do this with all my jalopies. My current DD is a ‘78 K10 Suburban. Wagon wheels, white letter A/T tires, KC Daylighters, Thrush mufflers and decal, late ‘70s gauges...

    This car is tough. Three-year platform, one year only body. Oddball everything, including wheel lug pattern.... so rims will be a challenge. But I’m determined.

    The steels-in-back/spokes-up-front combo is a cool idea. I’ll definitely keep that in mind. One of Dad’s pals used to go to a he Numedia drags on Wednesday nights and swap to slicks or DOTs on red steelies on his Biscayne.

    This might be an Olds 215 block, but definitely Buick heads. I’ll get some photos.

    Here are a few ‘dodads’ I’ve been considering...
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    Recently missed this on eBay...
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  13. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 30,521

    loudbang
    Member

    Contact member @Jimbo17 he could give you some advice on the decals.
     
  14. loudbang likes this.
  15. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 176

    RyanAK
    Member

    Scallops are an interesting thought too! And Donnie Baird’s Olds is really beautiful.

    Factory lightweight, stripper, sleeper, stocker, street racer, Wednesday night drags, sled, cruiser, kustom.... I can see this car in many guises. I’m more hayseed hot rod than full custom... we’re in the sticks here in Union County, and this car is going to be driven on an almost daily basis. Lots of good food for thought.

    I’ll definitely ping Jimbo about decals. Thanks for that lead!

    R
     
    loudbang likes this.
  16. if it's gonna be a daily driver, then my vote is narrow whitewalls or blackwalls on 6" cragars, radirs, or chrome reverse all the way 'round. Sort of a 'day 2' look.

    And, if that is a whip antenna (spring?) then get a conventional antenna that sticks straight up. Looks kinda tacky to me...
     
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  17. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 176

    RyanAK
    Member

  18. Bob Lowry
    Joined: Jan 19, 2020
    Posts: 233

    Bob Lowry

    Ryan, cool car...and straight from Smokin' Shamokin...have fun with it!
     
    loudbang likes this.
  19. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 176

    RyanAK
    Member

    You local, Bob? Wanna buddy me up to the hosie? We’ll get a couple, two, tree beers. Get a load on. It’ll be bad news, butt!

    (Anthracite coal region of PA... we talk stoopid...)

    That’s about right. Day 2. And the antenna is the stock piece. Just bent. Agree it looks lousy. Luckily I have vice grips...
     
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  20. VANDENPLAS
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,679

    VANDENPLAS
    Member

    Chrome reverse
    Bellflower exhaust
    Lowered
    What ever stickers and doo dads ya like
    Done!

    ya wanna sell it ?:D
     
  21. Bob Lowry
    Joined: Jan 19, 2020
    Posts: 233

    Bob Lowry


    Sorry Ryan, used to travel all that area...good people and lots of good memories. Let me know if you find
    a picture that you think would make a cool decal.....
     
    loudbang likes this.
  22. plym_46
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 3,999

    plym_46
    Member
    from central NY

    Worked at PSU from 70 to 73. Bought my Plymouth from the original owner. Car was from a Chrysler Plymouth dealer in Bellefonte, fellow lived in Lamar.

    We had an Olds dealership in our village, I remember when those came out. We got into the back lot and snuck the covers off them to get a peek before the official introduction date. Thought they were sharp cars. Guess the public wasn't ready for small Oldsmobile. Looking at them today they weren't really small but in the day next to the full-sized they looked really short.
     
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  23. The Shift Wizard
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,103

    The Shift Wizard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That color blue was my least favorite....... but this little Olds is in such great condition, the color matters not at all. I love it. (I might paint the wheels black because of my opening comment, though...... Oh, oh, and I'm a babymoon guy. Poverty caps and matching blue wheels are too much carpool/salesman's vehicle for me.)
    Hunting and scoring any and all the little details is big fun. But don't try and do all that on day one. Take your time and cherry-pick the perfect, Goldielocks embellishments when and as you find them. Start with a period-correct, pine tree air freshener and upgrade from there. LOL!! The car club plaque is a super yes.
     
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  24. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,329

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    If those are your kids paint the wheels black, get chrome lug nuts and put a pair of Porter mufflers on it with a good tune up followed by a dual master..

    If those are your grand kids, a set of ET Team 3 Vintage wheels.. Take the engine apart and chect it all out, Dual master cyl., with maybe a transmission rebuild....

    Those cars have excellent suspensions with a nice four link rear end.. They're almost begging to be built up..
     
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  25. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 176

    RyanAK
    Member

    Ha! I only just got it! There are currently a few around ranging from parts cars to fully restored. Driver projects ~$6,500 like this one. Good restorations $12,000. Turbo Jetfires fully done... $30,000 and up. These F-85s and Cutlasses are really an easy point of entry for guys interested in a cool ‘60s jalopy.

    Great people. And from the stories, a pretty cool car scene. I’ll keep an eye out for a neat local decal. Amato’s A&A Speed Shop in Moosic comes to mind as one of the few local speed shops from the early ‘60s. Hollywood in Reading too. I’m still researching!

    I lived in State College and Bellefonte off and on for a decade. There are still some finds to search out in that area.

    These are cool cars... but yeah. Public wasn’t quite ready!

    This is probably my least favorite factory color also. Hard to see ‘Wedgewood Mist’ and think ‘performance’. But it’s really grown on me. I found a 409 Biscayne stripper in this color on the interwebs and it totally flipped my switch for this blue.

    These wheels were black stock on this car. I had the guy that fixed the small amount of rust hit the wheels since he had paint in the gun. Figured it’s easier to Krylon back to black if I want than try to get them body color down the road. Ha. Blackwalls, black steelies, and these poverty caps might look good...

    Love that plaque. Not sure where to run it, but it really makes the car. And I hear ya on the hunt for the little embellishments. That should be fun for me and the kids to keep interest in the car high.

    Dual master for certain. And those are my kids. Ha! I’m 42. We’re gonna do mild “bolt on” hop up on the Buick mill eventually. Right now it just needs the choke figured out on the 4 Jet. And we already got chrome lug nuts. :cool:

    Suspension is first move for us on the performance side of things. Always is for me. New springs (maybe HD or +2”...), shocks, front sway bar bushings and links... might ‘beef’ the front sway bar. I think I have a solution for a rear sway bar figured out... need to take some measurements. Yeah... we’re gonna make this car handle. :D
     
  26. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 176

    RyanAK
    Member

    These are the wheels the PO was running. I wouldn’t even take delivery with them on. Ha.
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    Got a box of ‘stuff’ with the sale. Including stock full wheel covers and some Olds wire covers of unknown vintage.
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    This is a good look. In white it sorta looks like a factory race car.
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  27. ccain
    Joined: Jun 13, 2009
    Posts: 412

    ccain
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Very nice Olds!

    Those wire caps are mid 80s - mid 90s Olds like what came on a Cutlass.
     
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  28. Doubtful, seeing it was a Buick V6 , not Olds ;-) Also the Pontiac used the 194 4 cyl. or the 326 Pontiac V 8 in 1963
    A very few Tempests were sold with the Buick 215 in 61-62.
    This all said, I'm surprised this car has a Buick 215, as opposed to Olds' version.( Different heads, intake, pistons.)
     
  29. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 5,719

    -Brent-
    Member

    It looks like there's a lot of life left in that paint. I'd probably detail it inside and out and under and then polish it to the best of my abilities.

    It's a really neat car.
     
  30. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,809

    stuart in mn
    Member

    Nice little car, I always like their looks. My brother had a '63 Cutlass back in the mid 1960s; I remember is he had overheating issues, as I recall the antifreeze back then wasn't very compatible with aluminum engines.
     
    loudbang likes this.

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