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TOP HAT JOHN-CLASSIC CARS COLUMN -Tech Center News, January 29, 2001

The column in last weeks paper was of the Oldsmobile, its impending demise and some of my thoughts of Oldsmobile cars that have been such a big part of my past-good remembrances. Well the story line got cut short right at and with my dad’s 1970 Oldsmobile being not so good an automobile … and it continues.

Dad’s 1970 Oldsmobile 98 LS was somewhat of a problem as it must have had ‘gremlins’ causing those electrical shorts, premature tire and brake wear and that one time head gasket failure. Now, I was not to blame for this malady-the blown head gasket-as I was already on my own and never used, uhhh, I mean abused, this Olds. And I might add that all the other Olds cars dad owned ‘lived’ with my constant trying out-if you will-the application of its power sources on the highways. This ’70 model was, as my mother would reference it- a ‘nogoodniak’.

Yeah, I do remember my parents staying at a friends cottage in Lexington right on Lake Huron and calling me with the request to come and get the Olds as it was overheating and throwing away its coolant. It was the blown head gaskets. Hooked a heavy duty bumper hitch to my trusty ’63 Buick Le Sabre with the 401-V8, rented a 4-wheel car hauler and brought the Olds home … what a ride that was with over 5,000 lbs. balanced on a bumper hitch. Whew!

Me, I have owned a good number of Oldsmobile cars, maybe 10 or better, with my ’50 Club Coupe and the three 1965 models being my all time favorites. The silver 1965 Oldsmobile 98 LS four-door sedan, that I brought back from a salvage yard and restored was my favorite though.

You know, I’m sitting here writing this and find myself getting a little emotional. It was good times with these Oldsmobile cars. I‘ll remember all these cars like an old ‘Teddy Bear’ whose coat is wearing thin … but still keeps you secure at night, just knowing its’ there. And I would never throw away a ‘Teddy Bear’.

Thank you Ransom, "Boss" Kettering, Gilbert Burrell, Gibson Butler, Helen Earley and John Rock … for my Oldsmobiles.

The inaugural McME-Motor City Motorsports Expo-finished up its weekend stay at the MCCC South Campus in Warren and was considered an initial success by its promoters the Competition Specialists Auto Club. The Expo was billed as a Greater Detroit area mini-SEMA and exhibiting only this areas auto vendors motorsports products and services. Interesting to note is that the promoting and organizing club is a charter MHRA member and a SEMA member.

Next year they are planning a larger and much more marketed venue. The website for McME is www.McME.net. For Email: McMExpo1@aol.com. If you wish to speak with a human being call Paul Curtis at 810-296-2488 or Max Lunsford at 248-788-0135 for next years information and scheduling.

The annual January auctions of Arizona have just finished up and, according to some initial reports, a good many records have been set. I think we will know just how solid our economy is in the next few months and this will certainly reflect on the old car hobby. Remember though, this is big business this old car stuff and, if you ain’t careful … someone will get into your pockets. No matter what it is always ‘buyer beware’.

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