A New OldsYou've probably seen the decal that says "She told me if I brought home one more Lionel train, she'd leave ... I'm going to miss her." My affliction is similar, except that my trains are a lot bigger than a couple of Lionel-scale diesel locomotives. The problem with collecting cars is that they take up a whole bunch of space.
I'm in the middle of restoring my '66 SS 396 Chevelle that I've owned since 1971. This is a project long overdue, but it also means that in a mild panic I bought two other '66 Chevelle bodies when the plan-of-the-minute suggested that would be a good idea.
That would appear to be a big enough project to deter me from taking on anything else. But that bit of reasoning was instantly dismissed in a classic example of impulse buying when I recently purchased yet another mid-'60s musclecar project.
See, Car Craft contributor and friend Tim Moore bought this '64 Olds F-85 two-door sedan awhile back, complete with its stock 225ci, 155hp V-6, Jetaway two-speed automatic, and a B-O-P 10-bolt rear. Not content with its anemic drivetrain, Tim swapped in a '72 Olds 88 complete with a 455 and a Turbo 400 trans.
About this time, Tim embarked on a major project to build a Roaring Forties GT-40 replica, which required all of his resources, time, and most importantly-parking spaces. So over a couple of slices of sausage pizza one afternoon, Tim announced that the Olds was for sale. I casually asked how much. When Tim said he'd make me a deal I couldn't refuse, I heard myself say "I'll buy it!"
There is that glorious yet short-lived period of time directly after you make a major purchase when you feel really good, like you just made a deal that is really going to benefit you in the long run. But shortly thereafter, the enthusiasm fades, the adrenaline rush of emotion dissipates, and you're left with, "What the hell did I just do?"
That's where I'm at now. I've transferred the title, and I now am legally responsible for yet another automotive mouth to feed in the Smith fleet that has swelled to double-digit numbers. I'm a piker compared to some of my friends who are much more deeply immersed in this musclecar pool. That begins my list of justifications as to why I bought this car. It's actually very cool. It's my first Oldsmobile, so now all you Olds folks can stop sending me hate mail. Of course, it will appear in some fashion in this magazine-that's inevitable. But there is still that lingering doubt that portends that I am on dangerous ground.
I admit it, I have a sickness that in some way or another tends to run my life-like those people who are forced to step outside the building to smoke cigarettes. My rationalization is that the Olds was too good a deal to pass up, and this little F-85 will not only be worth more in the future but will ultimately be a fun car. But that's not why I bought it. I bought it because these cars are like lost puppies; they look at me with those forlorn eyes and rusty bumpers and they end up following me home-right to the DMV. So celebrate, commiserate, or assign blame as you see fit. Psychologists say the first step is to acknowledge you have a problem, then you can begin the process of changing your behavior. I freely and without hesitation admit that I have an addiction to cars. The difficulty lies in the fact that I have no desire to change. So, who wants to go to the swap meet?-Jeff Smith