Memory Lane

1961 Oldsmobile F-85

My 1961 Oldsmobile F-85

There is one thing I’d love to take up as a hobby someday but it will require a boatload of cash, and well, I’m not Jay Leno.  That hobby is auto collecting.  I’ve had old cars, new cars, and cars in between, but by far my favorite type of car is classic.  When I was in high school, I drove a 1965 Ford Mustang Coupe.  I very much enjoyed that car, and if I get nothing else, I’m going to buy a convertible version of that car to replace the Mustang I sold when I moved to Conservative Hell 14-years ago.  Sadly, I don’t have the $20,000 (or more) I need for such a vehicle at this point, but I do plan to put money away to acquire one of those cars.

Another problem with car collecting is that if you start to acquire vehicles, you need a place to store them.  Right now I’m living in a standard tract house with a 2-car garage, complete with a man and a dog.  Something that isn’t conducive to storing my motorcyle, Big D’s motorcycle, his 1967 Plymouth Fury Convertible, a 1965 Mustang convertible, and the blue car shown in the photos here.

The production run on this car was 80,000 (vs. 680,000 for the first year Ford Mustang), and this was the first year this car was produced.  In 1962 it became the Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass. This particular example, only has 37,000 miles on it.  Yes, that low.  It’s been driven less than 1,000 miles per year.

Sadly, it will probably take me about $5000 to put it back into good condition, but I do have sentimental attachments to the car.  It was owned by our next door neighbor who was treated like a family member, and I acquired it from his estate after his death in 1991.  I’ve owned it for nearly 20 years, almost half of it’s total age of 49.

1961 Oldsmobile F-85 - Rear ViewI’m a purist when it comes to old cars.  Heck, the license plates on this car are not the plates that were on it for most of the cars life.  Those plates were 1960’s California black plates, and the yellow ones you see here are the plates that immediately preceded the black ones and were used from 1956 to 1962.  California allows collectors to put original year plates on their car (prior to 1970 models), provided they can find a pair in serviceable condition.  Obviously, I did.  Not only that, I searched hard to find a number close to what my car had on it originally.  When it was new this car had license USG 285, and I ended up with USA 652 a number a mere 5633 plates earlier than my car originally had.  Not to mention it’s a nice letter combination.  🙂

Again, I’m a purist.  I’m not the guy that wants to find a 50-year old car, chop it up, and put a huge engine in it.  Nope, not me.  I’m the guy that likes to make these cars look like they did when they came out of the factory.  Yes, it’s old technology, but I like the way older cars drive.  It’s not as if I’m going to be driving it in Los Angeles or San Francisco, where modern cars make the job much easier.

The oddest feature on my car?  It has an automatic transmission with the gear selector on the steering column, but the position of reverse is at the end of the shifter, below the low forward gears.  The selector reads “P – N D L R” instead of the typical “P R N D L” found on most cars today.  That takes getting used when I’ve driven in the hills and use the gears to slow the vehicle though it takes no more getting used to than the wipers and turn signals being reversed on the cars TQE and I drove in South Africa.

I like my car, even if it was the Chevy Cobalt of its day.

After all this rambling I need to ask…  What kinds of cars do you like?

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2 Responses to “Memory Lane”

  1. My first car was a 1965 Ford Fairlane. My sister had a 65 Mustang. It was black with white interior. My fairlane was blue with blue interior. The first new car I owned was a 1971 Mercury comet. It was red with red interior. It cost $2700.00 compare that to today’s prices. Then I got a green 75 Chevrolet Camaro. It was a piece of junk. Then a new 78 Ford LTD II. It was black with red racing stripes. Next came a 1980 Ford Bronco 4X4 blue with blue interior. Then a 1988 Pontiac Fiero which I still have. Then a 1990 Ford f-150 4X4. I now drive a 1998 white Dodge Caravan. I would like to have a new Mustang GT with a V-8 but fear that they will soon be a thing of the past because of the worry over MPG’s.

  2. My cousins bought and restored a 1960s Ford Fairlane. It was supposed to be for their kid, but they kept it for themselves. I love the old Mustangs, but I don’t have a garage or the time to restore one, so I guess I’ll stick to my 2006 model.

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