The Olds F-85

The Olds F-85

Oldsmobile F85

Photo Courtesy of mecum.com

Every classic Oldsmobile fan is well aware of the Oldsmobile Cutlass, and we will be examining the Cutlass from various angles in different posts as we go forward.

However, today we are going to look at the seed from which the Cutlass as we have come to know it emerged.

Back in the late 1950s General Motors started to develop an interest in producing compact cars. A lot of Americans were becoming concerned with economy, and many families were adding a second car. Therefore, there was a demographic niche for downsized vehicles.

In addition to compacts, the concept of the “senior compact” surfaced and as the name implies these were compact cars with a little more size and power than the typical pure compact. The Oldsmobile division of General Motors made its entry into this senior compact niche with the Oldsmobile F-85.

The very first Olds F-85 was introduced in 1960 for the 1961 model year, and the top trim package available for the car was the Cutlass package, and this is where the Cutlass got its start. Many automotive nameplates that have become popular over the years started out as a package offered for an existing model and the Cutlass was one of them.

This first generation of the Olds F-85 was offered as either a two-door coupe, a two door hardtop, a four-door sedan, or a four-door station wagon. In 1962 an exciting addition was added to the lineup in the form of the Jetfire Cutlass hardtop that was powered by a turbocharged V-8 that could go from zero to 60 in 9.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 110 miles per hour.

The first generation of the Olds F-85 lasted through the 1963 model year when over 121,600 units were sold. Over 53,000 of these were of the Cutlass variety and that popularity was duly noted by General Motors.

This is the first installment of the Cutlass story— stay tuned for the rest over the coming weeks and months!

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