Though it shares the same 112-inch wheelbase as the '61 to '62 Cutlass, at 192.2 inches, the '63 body is 4 inches longer-and 2 inches wider at 73.7. Unique fenders, hood, doors, quarter-panels, bumpers, and trunk lid make the car bigger, as Olds stylists emulated the look of fullsize '88 and '98 models. This was in response to data showing the buying public preferred more substantial-appearing compact cars. Though a total reskin, the underbody, chassis, suspension, and drivetrain were mostly carried over from 1962. Marvel at the original Wedgewood Mist light-blue paint and rust-free body. This one's at Desert Valley Auto Parts in Phoenix (DVAP.com). Though it shares the same 112-inch wheelbase as the '61 to '62 Cutlass, at 192.2 inches, t The auto industry is an amazing thing. Thanks to fierce competition, designers must make continuous changes to (hopefully) keep potential customers from checking out the other guy's stuff. It's a high-stakes game of chess. This '63 Olds F85 Deluxe Cutlass convertible is a great example. It has a bigger one-year-only body than its '61 to '62 predecessor. One-year vehicles are especially expensive to manufacture because the development and tooling costs cannot be spread out over several years. So if the car is a sales flop, it really shows up on the bottom line. Fortunately, Olds' bigger-is-better strategy paid off and 118,811 F85 models of all types sold-versus 95,095 in 1962 and 76,394 in 1961. Let's ponder this neat '63-only Olds Cutlass ragtop. Groovy Factoids 99 percent of '63 Oldsmobiles were built with automatic transmissions. Oldsmobile adopted the Cutlass name from a Korean Conflict-era Navy jet and first applied it to the two-seat experimental Cutlass GM Motorama dream car in 1954. The first production car to use the name was the '61 Cutlass, the top offering of the F85 compact car line. Unlike its corporate compact car siblings (Buick Special and Pontiac Tempest), which were built mostly with sleepy Slant Four and V-6 cylinder engines, the Olds F85 was a V-8-only proposition. As such, the first-generation F85 was the only compact car that came standard with a V-8. But don't get too excited. Though burly 394 Olds V-8s were used in fullsize cars, Olds designed a lightweight, all-aluminum, 215ci V-8 for the F85 (it was also optional in Buick Specials and a handful of Pontiac Tempests). This '63 features the optional Rochester 4CG four-barrel carburetor and makes 195 hp. The base 155hp 215 had a two-barrel Rochester 2CG carburetor, while the turbocharged 215 had a crazy Carter YH one-barrel side-draft carburetor and made 215 hp. Unfortunately, the turbo mill was only available in the Jetfire two-door hardtop. Unlike its corporate compact car siblings (Buick Special and Pontiac Tempest), which were Bucket seats were a really big deal in 1963 and were standard on Cutlasses. To amortize costs, GM forced Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac (BOP) to base their '61 to '63 compacts on the rear-engine Corvair platform of 1960. It's true. Each division employed a different strategy to adapt the driveshaft to the nearly flat, Corvair-sourced floorpan. A small-diameter, curved driveshaft delivered power to the Pontiac's rear-mounted transaxle, while Buick and Oldsmobile employed small transmission cases and unique rear axles with the pinion set at a very low angle. This allowed the driveshaft to be mounted lower. If you compare the surfaces found inside a Corvair's trunk compartment (up front), you'll see it shares numerous sheetmetal stampings and suspension parts with the front engine BOP compacts. Bucket seats were a really big deal in 1963 and were standard on Cutlasses. To amortize co The rare factory console is in great shape and is still connected to the two-speed Jetaway automatic transmission. The only thing that would make this Cutlass convertible cooler would be seeing the factory optional four-speed manual stick-a $200 option. Heck, we'd even prefer the base three-speed stick to this slushbox. Of the total '63 F85 production (118,811), only 12,149 were Cutlass convertibles. The rare factory console is in great shape and is still connected to the two-speed Jetaway By Steve Magnante Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!