Sandy's 63 Jetfire 4 spd manual

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  • #16048
    graytoad
    Participant

    I have been encouraged to post a thread about my 63 Jetfire and its preservation/restoration. I am not sure what to call what we are doing: we are not truly restoring it: we are just ‘fixing it up’ and getting it back on the road after sitting in a drive in shed of the original owner in California for 33 years! Usually when we restore a car we go all out to make it the best possible car to suit us and that generally involves performance modifications as well as interior and exterior restoration.
    This car will be different! We do not intend to modify the car in anyway – a big change for us! Actually I had a 57 Olds Fiesta wagon that we did not modify either but most of our cars are resto-mods. We replaced that 57 with a 1961 Dynamic 88 Fiesta wagon that now has a 6 L – LQ9 from a Denali with a 4L65E Transmission and a Lokar floor shifter…….. but both of those cars are another story for another time!
    Anyway: I only discovered the existence of the Jetfire in March 2019 when we saw one at the Oldsmar Florida car show. That car, a red 63 is owned by Felix Garcia, a member here. He was not at his car at the time so I could not ask him about it but when I got home the ‘world wide web’ held many answers to my questions. (I am Canadian and apparently only three 62 Jetfires were imported into Canada and could not find out if any 63’s were at all: no wonder I had never heard of them!) I discovered they were a very low production car (under 10,000 cars in 2 years production) that the were available with a factory 4 speed manual so I naturally wanted one of those! I love the boxy style of the 63-65 era cars and the smaller size of the F85/Cutlass cars so the 63 was for me. I also found out that somewhere around 80% of the cars had been converted to standard style intake and 4 barrel carb set up of the Cutlass in the mid 60’s due to customer issues when the cars were not being maintained as they should be.
    So I had my work cut out for me to actually find a 1963, factory 4 spd manual, Turbo intact, original, mostly complete & unmolested car: preferably white or a light color with preferably not a black interior. Good Luck sister!

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    #16052
    jensenracing77
    Participant

    Thanks for posting here. From the pictures I have seen, you are doing a great job with the car. I completely understand when people want to modify cars and restomod cars. It is a fun section of the car hobby on certain cars. That said, I feel you made the right decision for your Jetfire. The rarity of them and lack of peoples knowledge of them make it so great to keep them original. They are a huge draw at any car show as they are and that alone is the majority of the fun for these cars. I have had countless people at shows ask me how I built it and made it all work. The look on their face is priceless when I tell them Oldsmobile done it and is factory.

    #16054
    graytoad
    Participant

    I see that it chose my first photo as the ‘cover photo’. I would just like to say that the photo was taken the day after we got it home, the car got a quick wash, no detailing: just to knock the road grime off it. Note the very spotty bumper and grime caked in the Jetfire logo etc. Far from a ‘cover girl’ photo…..lol. BTW: that grime is still in the logo…

    #16056
    jensenracing77
    Participant

    You will likely find that you need to remove the emblems to get it really clean in that spot. The factory used a sealer around the emblem and trim holes to keep water out of the trunk. After all these years I find that it has oozed out from under the emblem. I pull them out and clean them up and use new sealer on all the studs. Not sure what the factory used on all of it but I find black and also off white. Most of the white has turned a yellow color by now. I use some stuff called “Premium Elastic Sealant Compound” and come in an off white color. The black sealer is something really close to the 3M Strip Caulk.

    #16057
    graytoad
    Participant

    I intend to remove the emblems to clean things up properly. Thanks for the heads up on the sealer Eric.

    So, to continue with my story: Imagine my surprise – less than 2 months following our ‘discovering’ the existence of the Jetfires and thinking I would love to ‘someday’ be lucky enough to find one – one pops up on an Oldsmobile Buy & Sell page. Mark & Harrison Cole (father son team at Sierra Auto Restorations) pulled an original 4 speed car out of the drive in shed of the original owner in California on May 4th.
    [blockquote]BBCode you used is not allowed.[/blockquote]
    Among all the people commenting on the car was my comment – “OMG: totally interested in this car: keep me informed if you decide to sell it.” That car would not leave my mind so within a few hours I sent a private messaged to Harrison asking about the car and working towards ‘trying to buy it from them.
    The more I saw, the more I knew this was the car for me: all my hopeful ‘tick boxes’ had tick marks – Turbo intact, factory 4 speed manual, original, unmolested, rust free, Plus a white exterior and red interior is a favorite of mine (my 61 Fiesta Wagon is white w red too) All I had to do is convince them to sell the car to me’

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    #16063
    jensenracing77
    Participant

    That is the 3rd 63 that I have seen that had that mesh wired onto the radiator. The 4 speed 63 I drug out of the barn in Iowa had the same material on it. I wonder if this was an era thing that people did or if it is something Oldsmobile was doing. I know it is not from the factory this way strange how three of these cars I know of were found like this. Here is the one I found

    Attachments:
    #16065
    graytoad
    Participant

    Being that I am from that era (I was a little kid in 63) . . . Yes, it was very commonly done for two reasons. Mostly for folks who lived on dirt roads to help protect the rad from possible punctures from rocks kicked up by passing cars. People also did this to help keep bugs from getting imbedded in the rad fins which are hard to get out – a dry brush would easily brush them off screening as they get quite dried out in that hot spot.

    #16066
    macf85
    Participant

    Awesome! That is a great find Sandy. Do you plan to keep it or sell it off when you’re complete? Also, is that an aftermarket manual choke control I see in the photo of the heater controls? Please keep the thread going with photos as you proceed.

    #16067
    oaklyss
    Participant

    Thanks for posting Sandy. Do you know what city the car was found in? What dealer was it originally purchased from when new?

    #16068
    jensenracing77
    Participant

    They need to see the bottom side pictures after you cleaned it. This car is incredible guys!

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