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History Period Details - ‘63 Olds Cutlass

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

  1. OP, I didn't pick up on the car being a four-lug-wheel until you posted that gold wheel photo. Yes, wheel select is a bit more challenging.
     
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  2. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    According to the old fella that had this stashed in his garage for almost 30 years... when the Olds 215 was ready for a rebuild years ago, they dropped in a rebuilt Buick to keep the car on the road. The Olds was never swapped back in. It was rebuilt .030” over but otherwise stock, sitting on a pallet in a corner of the garage. It was offered to the guy that found the car... for $2,000. As far as I know, it’s still in that garage somewhere in Rochester, NY.

    The Buick was decked. No idea yet on what pistons, but it runs good on 89 without detonation. I’m working on some ideas to hop it up a little. In this thread: Buick 215 Warm Over

    That’s the basic plan. This car definitely is a survivor and a full body job and respray would destroy that character. I like the small flaws.

    I’ve heard that too. Mostly people running straight H2O causing corrosion that would block the water passages.

    Thanks to all for the compliments. It’s a cool car we’re hopping to make a little cooler. I’m honestly surprised at the positive and enthusiastic response this Cutlass has received. Not typical HAMB fare!
     
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  3. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Yeah... it’ll be a drag finding much aftermarket. Luckily I do like the steel wheel look on this car.
     
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  4. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,418

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    I think those cars had solid control arm bushings that were greaseable.. They dont make them like that anymore, too expensive.. They just press a rubber bushing in there that also covers up a lot of the mistakes in the suspension from poor welding and measuring.. I've already had the upper control arm pick up brackets off by two inches!!! You could get away with that using rubber not so with solids..
     
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  5. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    I’ll take a look when I get under there. No lift here... so doing anything underneath is a pain in the ass. Right now the plan is for new bushings everywhere, new springs, new shocks (limited choices...), and a rear sway bar. Speedway has a rear bar for a same-generation Tempest that others have used with good results. The control arm plates look kinda flimsy, but I remind myself this is a 2,400lbs car and not a 5,500lbs K10 Suburban!

    That should make a pretty substantial improvement in an already good suspension.

    The 4-corner manual drums stop the car remarkably well. I was surprised. I’ll upgrade to a dual reservoir master, but stay manual.

    Suggestions on how to display the club plaque?

    When I get the blackwall Cooper radials mounted and balanced tomorrow I’ll make a decision on black or body color steel wheels. And if I’ll stay with blackwalls down the road or go to skinny whitewalls again. Thinking bias-look radials. I don’t have any experience with bias ply, so I’m nervous about making that jump.

    Does talk about redline or white letter tired get you banished from the H.A.M.B.?? :p
     
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  6. Stan Back
    Joined: Mar 9, 2007
    Posts: 853

    Stan Back
    Member
    from California

    "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?"

    That was my dumb comment from the other day. I meant to say V-8, not V-6. One look at the picture says Buick. I had a '62 Special. And I always thought the few Tempests that didn't have the 4-banger used the Olds engine, not the Buick. Wrong some more I guess. On a side note, Chet Herbert sponsored a dual-engine dragster with two Olds in it. And, maybe, early on, with one Buick and one Olds.
     
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  7. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    It’s fun shaking out the details of these somewhat obscure small cars. Pontiac I believe ran the Buick version of the 215... but not many were sold in ‘61-‘62. The 4 cylinder was the thing until Pontiac stuffed their big V8 in there. These engines lived on into the 2000s as Rover mills. Lots of cool things can be done with them. 300-ish pounds complete.

    Maybe...?
    [​IMG]

    Or...?
    [​IMG]

    Drove past the modern version of A&A tonight...
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Got the Cutlass inspected and the good Coopers mounted. What a difference in the ride. We’ll run these until we make a decision on wheels/tires and have the cash saved up. I think I prefer the narrow whitewalls, but these may be ok after a good scrubbing.

    Caps...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    No caps...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    No amount of scrubbing makes the ‘bone’ color WHITE. When we redo the interior in the spring, we’ll give that vinyl spray-dye a shot. My philosophy is to not replace what can be repaired or cleaned. 57 year old grime is not a ‘period detail’.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Spencer is in love with this car. We have it up on stands to put in seat belts in the rear and Spence says “this is a pretty good stance, Dad”. :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Bob Lowry
    Joined: Jan 19, 2020
    Posts: 354

    Bob Lowry

     
  11. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    I actually used an off-brand magic eraser. The seat got absolutely clean. It’s just that a few panels are yellowed to a ‘bone’ color while the rest of the seat is white. It’s weird. Maybe the real deal Mr. Clean will work better...

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,418

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    That looks great. Don't make the mistake of going overboard and having a car your afraid of. I did that once, never again..
     
  13. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Yeah... 10-4. Did that once upon a time too. I just want it basically clean. Headliner is a little stained... things are faded and discolored... but it’s clean and complete. Front seats will need new vinyl eventually, but good for now.

    Right now I’m trying to figure out where the reinforcement is in the body for rear seat belts... :mad:
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
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  14. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,073

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    I agree with Elcohaulic.. It's got a great look now.. I would leave the blackwalls, body color rims and small hubcaps... Less is always more.... Very cool car buy the way...."Elcohaulic, That looks great. Don't make the mistake of going overboard and having a car your afraid of. I did that once, never again..
     
  15. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Thanks, fellas! Got rear seatbelts in, scrubbed the interior, adjusted the choke (still have a bog going into the secondaries...:mad:), cleaned the tires. Has a good look now and it’s a driver. Finish freshening the interior, install a dual master cylinder, then suspension (springs, shocks, new bushings, rear sway bar), and then hot rod the Buick mill.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Having it up on jack stands gave me an idea of what the stance will look like with fresh stock rate or HD springs. I can also go +1” or +2”. I like this car a little taller, methinks. Makes it feel like one of the factory lightweight Pontiac Tempests that were built on the same platform as the Cutlass.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Dad said hiJACKERS, but I think they were popular a little later than ‘63-‘64.

    Still searching out the little period details. I added a Little Tree air freshener. That was a great suggestion... though I wish you could buy them unscented. My eyes were watering!

    Couple subtle water-slide decals for the quarter windows. I think I’m gonna track down one of the “powered by Buick” ones and wait to see what speed equipment goes on the car before adding any others. Though I do like the A&A and some other local speed shop ones...

    Front plate, rear plate frame when I find the “right” ones. If you see something that adds to the car, post it up!

    Anyone have a thought on painting the valve covers Buick sea foam green like a baby nailhead? They were bare aluminum from the factory, but thought it might be a cool way to say “Buick” under the hood and totally confuse the general public. Heh.
     
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  16. Need skirts ? Think I have a set of new Foxcraft.....pm if interested.
     
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  17. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 31,383

    loudbang
    Member


    LOL did you take the tree ALL THE WAY out of the cellophane? You are supposed to just slit the top to pull out maybe 1/4 inch of the tree with the hanger string. THEN as the smell goes away pull it out a bit at a time to keep the smell going. :)
     
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  18. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 4,498

    catdad49
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Nice F-85, especially for a northern car. Black rims, baby moons and redline tires with larger ones in the rear for a little rubber rake. Don’t forget the twice pipes with Thrush mufflers ( make sure you have the decal in the windows)! All set to cruise.
     
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  19. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    No... apparently I’m super sensitive to this smell. Car smells like a musty old car doused with PineSol. Like a weird nursing home... gotta try another flavor. Ha.

    Are redlines allowed on the HAMB? ;) I like the big-n-little rubber rake but I’m just about maxed out on tire size in the rear. And I do like the Thrush sound. Have dual ‘Hush’ turbos on the Suburban. With stickers in the windows. :cool:
     
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  20. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    No skirts for this car... though I do dig them on certain builds. I really appreciate the offer though!

    Interesting that current production stock springs are too tall. Thanks for that tip, I’ll keep that in mind when it comes time to put a parts list together for the suspension.

    Shock selection is pretty limited. There’s exactly one possible rear sway bar that can be adapted... and I’m casually looking for a front bar from a ‘63 (only) Jetfire or convertible. Supposedly beefier.

    Appreciate the continued interest!
     
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  21. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,992

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I see a lot of guys hot rod say a '63 to 1963 specs and parts but that car wouldn't have been hot rodded for a couple of years after it was brought home. I like the term "day two". Day one is the day you bought it, original equipment, restoration stuff (boring). Day two is when you pull the trigger on headers, carb, tires and wheels, dual exhaust, tape deck (8 track), craig speaker grills, accessory SW gauges, decals, paint work, one headlight with air induction in the other, etc. For your car I'd be aiming at the 1965-66 parts counter. And radial tires with poverty caps...? Never really got that look. Love bais tires with poverty caps. Blue striped good years. They will ruin the ride while making your ride look the part.

    Love the Olds, big fan. I drive a 68 "day two" 442 rag top that I have enjoyed for 23 years. I went with a Mondello built motor, console mounted his/hurst shifter, W30 air induction under the bumper, sun tach, factory 8 track, as cast torque thrusts, Dr Oldsmobile water slide decals in the quarter windows and a couple of vintage style racing stickers on the lower front fenders (I stuck the decals to a sheet of magnetic sign material so they are easily removed).
     
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  22. gsjohnny
    Joined: Nov 27, 2007
    Posts: 113

    gsjohnny
    Member

    it needs trim rings with the baby caps
     
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  23. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Yeah... so... I bought this car just a week ago and it came with two wheel/tire setups: 30-year-old BGF whitewalls on the stock steel wheels that were rock hard and had flat spots in them... and a set of new Cooper blackwall radials on sketchy gold/silver rims that ride super nice. So that gave me a chance to see a few options on the car for nothing more than the cost of a mount and balance. I’ll run these Cooers for a while, but totally agree... Bias will look much better with the steelies and caps. The radials smash the illusion. This is temp thing while I get the car situated. I’ll likely spring for bias-look radials when the time comes. Blacks, narrow whitewalls, redlines, bluelines... still undecided but currently favoring blackwalls.

    Maybe redlines. Maybe.

    Hope that makes sense. :cool:

    Yeah... this is a more appropriate term for the details and appearance I’m going for. Sounds like your approach with your ‘68 was similar, just a few years later in time. I’d love to see that car.
     
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  24. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    Funny... I’ve been looking for a couple cheapo trim rings locally for a mock up. Great minds and all that, eh?
     
  25. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

  26. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,418

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    I think that car has an excellent stance. Funny, most guys work to get there cars low like that and you want it higher.. LOL

    BTW, they sell chrome hub covers on e-Bay to cover the bearing retainers on the front hubs.. They also sell nice chrome lug nuts..
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
  27. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,841

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    I'm not sure when it started , but Oldsmobile had a exclusive to them , pearl white Naugahyde , I had a terrible time trying to find it in the '70's . To my eye , that seat was repaired with the wrong color or a lesser quality material that the sun yellowed.
     
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  28. Boatmark
    Joined: Jan 15, 2012
    Posts: 277

    Boatmark
    Member

    Great car! That car is so nice that I would pass on some of the suggestions like scallops. I think it would be great as a not quite Day-2. (Day 1-1/2??)

    Think of it as a hot rodder who had grown up a few years, has a family and a middle management job, now has this new Olds. Still a hot rod guy at heart but on a budget.

    So he adds period mag wheels, dual exhaust, slightly wider rear tires, some subtle gauges, and maybe something like a wood rim Corvette steering wheel.
     
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  29. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,418

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    If that's a quadrajet 4 bbl and your having bogging issues. Take the hose off the dashpot and cripm the tubing so less vacuum flows into the can. Leave that little spring alone so long as its closing the flapper when the secondary's are not in use..
     
  30. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 194

    RyanAK
    Member

    I like these early- to mid-sixties cars with the rocker just about at the hubs. ‘Blue Cheese’ definitely needs some suspension upgrades, even if just back to stock with a rear sway bar. She’s pretty soft.

    Hub covers are a great idea. Why that didn’t occur to me... I have them on the Suburban running wagon wheels.
     
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