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Car Collector Chronicles
Volume II, Issue 4 Car Collector Chronicles April 2009

• Car collecting today • Classic rides • Reports from the field • Oldsmobile

The Car Show Circuit
Everyone with a collector car is more than familiar with the car show circuit. After all, one of the pleasures of collector car ownership is showing off your ride, and mingling with like minded folk, right? We don’t care about awards, because we already now our car is a winner. Every show has a car classification scheme for judging purposes. My ’62 Olds, more often than not, falls into the 19601969 Full-sized Stock class, or some such. That means, for judging purposes I am competing against virtually every vehicle manufactured in the decade of the 60’s; a pretty large group. then the usual decade long grouping. At this show I could not help but notice one guy who was talking to anyone and everyone who would listen about my car. I wondered what that was all about? It turned out that he was not merely talking,, he was complaining vociferously. His complaint was that my Oldsmobile was not an orphan. He based this on the premise that GM was still making cars. I thought, but did not say, “Since Olds is not an orphan, take me to the nearest Olds dealer!” An unanswered question for me was, why this was such a matter of concern to this dude? I began to investigate. It turned out he had also entered a car in the show. His car was a 1954 Desoto. His entry class was, ORPHAN. Well, it was beginning to make some sense now. His Desoto looked painfully

similar to my first ride, the 1954 Plymouth I came to despise. That it did, did not endear this crank to me one bit. Also, was not Desoto a Chrysler product, and was not Chrysler still in business? Like a lot of local car shows, at this one the spectators picked the cars to receive the awards. In the orphan class, the bellyacher claimed a 2d Place. The 1st Place award went to some guy with a 1962 Oldsmobile, Yours Truly. In this instance, revenge was doubly sweet. The crybaby got his comeuppance, and Olds triumphed over Chrysler. It was a good day!


The Car Show Circuit GDYNets On the Web Rocketeering Remembered



If/when I see a way to narrow the field, I am not opposed to using it. At one show I participated in they had an orphan class. I figured why not? Oldsmobile is, sadly, now an orphan. The number of entries in this class had to be far less


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GDYNets on the Web
WHERE YOU WILL FIND GDYNets (me) on the WWW: DAVE’S DEN is a website devoted to a myriad of interests. Foremost is extensive information on the “Steel City” of Gary, Indiana. There are also offerings covering the making of steel and U.S. Steel-Gary Works, the U.S. Marine Corps, the M14 assault rifle, of course Oldsmobile, and the tragic story of the murder of Gary, Indiana Police Lt. George Yaros. SAVED 62 is a website devoted to my 1962 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 convertible. The site also has a lot of information on Oldsmobiles and its founder, Ransom Eli Olds. CAR COLLECTOR CHRONICLES; you are looking at it. It is a work in pro-

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Dave’s Den Saved 62 jeandaveyaros Car Collector Chronicles -


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This article originally appeared, circa 1995, in Journey With Olds, the monthly publication of the Oldsmobile Club of America. I am its author.

Oldsmobiles have been a part of our family all my life. The first I can remember was a two-tone grey '48. The originator of this Olds tradition was my grandfather. A few of the Oldsmobiles my parents revered and acquired were "preowned" by him.
“I can still see that look of pride and contentment in the ol' man's face whenever he drove the newest Olds home from the dealership.”

In one of his novels the late Jean Shepherd, a writer of nostalgia fiction, and the now cult classic movie Christmas Story, fondly recalls the sound of the Olds pulling into the driveway. I too remember the unique purr of the straight-8, hydro of my dad's '48 backing up the drive, telling me supper time had arrived. The '48, a veritable tank, was hardly the only Olds to have a reserved space in our drive. In addition to the sun-visored '48 there was another visored 1951 88 4-Dr. Sedan with Van Auchen bumper guards, a classy '53 Holiday, a '57 98 Hardtop, a 1961 98 Hardtop, a '63 Dynamic 88 rag top, a '65 Cutlass and a 1967 98 vinyl-roofed, boat. I can still see the look of pride and contentment on the ol' man's face whenever he drove the newest Olds home from the dealership. He exuded an "all is right with the world" attitude, even though the purchase meant taking on a 48 month auto loan, which was not that common four decades ago. One hunk of Lansing iron stands out vividly from the rest. My privilege was to be its second owner. The first, my older brother, apparently neither understood nor appreciated this exquisite example of Olds engineering and design. This became evident when he traded it in for a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk! Upon learning this, I high-tailed it down to the Studebaker dealer, traded in my primered & raked '55 Chevy Bel Air and swung a deal before the engine could cool down. Thus, a junior in high school ac-

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quired his first Oldsmobile in 1963. The original purchaser, my brother, had to co-sign the loan papers so I could complete the financial transaction and drive this fine piece of machinery home! At 17 years young, I had become the proud owner of a 1960 Super 88 Oldsmobile, SceniCoupe, 2-Dr. Hardtop. She sported a hand rubbed, ebony black lacquer finish in which one could shave. What made the car unique was the 394 c.i. engine and 4-barrel Rochester were connected to a factory option, 3-speed, column shift, manual gear box. No one else in my circle, city, state or region (that I knew) had such a configuration. I do not know how many similarly equipped Olds' rolled of the assembly line (a total of only 16,464 Super 88's were manufactured in 1960)? I do know it is an understatement to say creations like mine were few and far between. This fact was attested to by the conduct of parking attendants. More than once an attempt was made to jam the gear shift into [D]rive without ever touching the clutch pedal! The reason my brother dumped the car was the clutch was going out. So he thought. Investigation by me revealed the transmission bolts were working loose from the bell housing. They had been reinstalled sans lock washers. A quick trip to the local Oldsmobile dealer, $1.40 for washers and 15 minutes underneath the car put her back into factory condition. Needless to say, big brother was not a happy camper! His loss was my gain. This mechanical marvel was a definite screamer. It would quickly crank to a speed of 95 M.P.H. + in 2d gear without a strain. Thanks to dual Smitty glass packs, she sang seductively in the process. Very little could keep up with her on the highway, which is where the youth of the 60's flexed their muscle. 1960 Olds' had a rolling ribbon speedometer which went from greento-orange-to red, depending on speed. I discovered the speedometer tube could be made to roll so fast the color would fade to black. This only occurred when her 315 horses galloped in excess of the 120 M.P.H. limit on the speedometer! Exercising an owners prerogative, a conscious decision was made to try and enhance Oldsmobile's styling. This was accomplished by removing all the chrome, including the make and model designations,

“At 17 years young, I had become the proud owner of a 1960 Super 88 Oldsmobile, SceniCoupe, 2-Dr. Hardtop.”

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leaving only the side molding and rear fender trim. The process was referred to as "shaving." After all, having experienced GM's 1958 offerings, chrome removal was now de rigueur. The Super 88/98 tail light lenses were also replaced with the less gaudy versions found on the 88's. Additionally, the hood was bulled (filled in to continue the line where the marque was inset). Dual, working spotlights, fender skirts and '57 Plymouth Points (hubcaps) were installed. This mild customizing was made easier by my taking a part-time job in a body shop. The body shop job ultimately proved to be a financial lifesaver. Even though the car was a 2-Door Hardtop, during our time together it became necessary to install four (4) doors on her! In fact, the only sheet metal not touched was the roof. She spent so much time in the body shop it became necessary to buy a back-up vehicle for $100.00 (A 1954 Oldsmobile - what else, right?). Rest assured, the need for a back-up spoke to my driving ability at the time, not the quality of the machine. At that point in my driving career, as my father was more than prone to say, "There was a loose connection between the seat and steering wheel!" Alas, the car was sold during my college years to some lucky Indianapolis resident, as I was moving up to a newer Olds convertible. I never saw her after owner #3 drove off. I not only wonder what happened to her, I want her back! Leonard Nimoy: I am in search of . . . .

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Collector Car Pics

NEWSFLASH → [25 Mar 2009] A ’55 Cadillac Coupe DeVille has been added to the Yaros Car Barn! More to follow in future editions. Ok, I have had my say. Now it is your turn! I invite/encourage submission of your comments, opinions and contributions, and ask that you help spread the word about our pub. Everything sent shall indeed be reviewed by me. Submissions should be sent to: _______________________________________

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Keeping the Hobby Alive Ransom Eli Olds Collector Car Pics