Name: 1964 Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass
Year(s) Produced: 1961-1972
Number Built: 15,440
Body Type: 2-door fixed head coupe
Engine: 455 cu in (7.46 L) V8
Power: 210hp @ 4400rpm
0-60mph: 6.3 seconds
Top Speed: 111 mph
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Length/width/height: 202 in./ 73.8 in./ 53.7 in.
Wheelbase: 115 in.
Base Price: US$3,485 (NADA)
Highest Price: US$26,100 (Hagerty)
Crafting a car usually start with the end in mind. Designers will usually begin at a body and an image of how their car will look after all the hard work at the production line. This may not always be the case as Chuck Jennings from San Dimas, California will tell us.
Chuck’s story began with a purchase of a brand new 1973 Cutlass decades ago. Being a true gearhead at the very core, he became dissatisfied with his low-mileage, underpowered gem. Inspired by an Olds motor build-up from Car Craft’s October 2000 issue, he ventured to craft his own 1970 455 Oldsmobile engine. However, once the engine was done, Chuck had second thoughts of proceeding with the block transplant for his Cutlass. Practically, his friends over at JT Automotive refused to do the job for him saying that the Cutlass is to divine to be defiled with so much load of modifications. The solution that was offered to him: “go and find another car”. Chuck took their advice.
Eventually, like a prayer answered, Chuck found an Olds ‘64 F-85 build less the engine and transmission. The best part of it, it is very similar to the Car Craft’s F-85 project that inspired him from the beginning. Since the engine was done already, he had plenty of time to devote himself in breathing life once again to this ’64 backyard castoff shell. With the help of Covina Collision, Chuck had the frame removed from the body which allowed him to sand his way stripping off the deteriorating paint and rust – preparing it for the bodywork, primer, and repainting that will soon follow.
He has a clear end in mind. Chuck was seeking to resurrect this car, and see it live up to its muscle car heritage. He doesn’t just want a car that can charge its way easily from 0-60, but also strong enough to make it through tough corners. He found the answer in Global West’s front package that included springs, tubular upper control arms, and a quick-ratio power steering box. For the rear end, he installed lower control arms with stock uppers, replacement bushings, and matching KYB shocks provided by Just Suspension. With impeccable attention to details, Chuck’s enthusiasm finally paid off with some finely done aesthetics. With help from Just Dashes, he recreated the panels and refurbish the dashpad of the ’64 Olds, and had its inner rear wheels match its body color. Chuck couldn’t be happier with the result.
Even if his resurrected Olds is worthy enough for any showroom, he never lost sight of what his original creation means: it is a heart that was placed in a new (albeit classic) body – it is built for performance. He envisions his F-85 spending more time in the dragstrip than in static car shows. With a 0-60 of 9.4 seconds maxing at 111 mph, Chuck knows he can push his F-85 even more. After all, that’s why he built it.