“My father helped me, and it was like a father-son project. Now that I’m retired, I can finish it.”
- The Ride
- The Driver: Spence
- Car in Question: 1965 Oldsmobile Cutlass Holiday Coupe
- Spotted at: Magic Mountain, 26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia, CA 91355
- Odometer: 378,593
- Car’s Nickname: Sparky
Q: What color is your car?
A: It’s called ‘GT Red,’ and it’s a standard GM white color for the top.
Q: How long have you owned the vehicle?
A: It was my graduation present. I graduated from Monroe High School in 1971.
Q: I’m horrible at math, so how old are you?
A: Fifty-nine years old.
Q: Fantastic. What neighborhood do you live in?
A: I live in Canyon County.
Q: And what is this beauty’s main use?
A: It goes to car shows. It has been to the drag strip a few times. Just recently we had a little get together on the streets, and I was the victor, beating out a Trans-Am.
Q: Where do you guys usually race?
A: Not too far from this area. We call it Crocker International Raceway.
Q: Do you come to Magic Mountain often?
A: I was here not too long ago with my daughter and her husband.
Q: What’s your favorite ride?
A: It’s Goliath, probably the largest coaster here.
Q: You have no fear, I love it. What features about this car do you like to brag about the most?
A: Well there’s so much to brag about this car, not only the body and paint, but also the drivetrain. Now if you had a motion camera…when I turned the car around, I slid around by doing a turnout, and it just peeled out going sideways coming around the other way. It’s got a lot of power.
Q: What’s under the hood?
A: It’s a 425 cubic inch Olds big block.
Q: Do you ever take it for weekend trips?
A: I take it for short jaunts or to a car show or something like that. Its days of being a grocery-getter are numbered now because it’s been restored as a muscle car.
Q: Do you do most of the work yourself?
A: I have my friend Ed, here. He helps me out. My son-in-law works down in Chatsworth for a shop where they build engines and stuff like that. He’s helped me.
Q: And who has insured this vehicle?
A: Hagerty Show Car Insurance.
Q: Is it expensive?
A: Not really because the stipulations are that with a car this old, you have to keep your mileage down to a certain amount, and it has to be garage kept.
Q: Where’s the craziest place you’ve been with this car?
A: Up in Salt Lake City, Utah. This was back in the early ’70s. I was at my girlfriend’s house up there. That’s another novel.
Q: Alright, alright! So this car’s seen some good times. Do you have any rules in the car?
A: I prefer no eating in the car, especially no smoking.
Q: What do you listen to in the car?
A: Well, when it had a radio—nothing is hooked up in there right now—usually good Pink Floyd, some Zeppelin, or something like that.
Q: Since there’s no radio, what car is this song singing to itself all the time?
A: Motor tunes, the exhaust note.
Q: Excellent, and if your car had a motto, what would it be?
A: Walk softly and carry a big stick.
Q: What’s your dream car?
A: This one, when it’s finished. It still needs an interior and stuff like that. My father helped me, and it was like a father-son project. He passed away several years ago. And now that I’m retired, I can finish it more or less. I’m doing things to it to get ready to finish it up now.
Q: What about the interior needs work?
A: Headliner, carpet, and seats, the whole thing basically.
Q: Is there anything else we should know about your car?
A: Well, other than the power plant right over here next to Magic Mountain, there’s JGM Motorsports, Jim Grubbs Motorsports. He built the engine, and he’s been reputable for building performance products for people for years. I was living in a community right south of where we’re at now, and I was amazed to find out his shop was right close to where we live, and I had the engine built there. Then my son went to pick it up, and we put it in in the garage.
Q: How long ago did you put the engine in?
A: About 2006.
Q: It’s got a great roar to it.
A: Oh yeah. The exhaust kit that I got on it, a performance exhaust, is called the American Thunder. It lives up to its name.
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Photos and interview by Michael Shen, blogger of lacantdrive.com