published Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Readers Rides from the past: Olds makes memories for life

Story and Photos by: Tim and Cathy Blount

In 1970 I accompanied my sister’s husband to an Oldsmobile dealership in Williamsburg, Va. We were going to pick up his special order 442 with the W-30 option. My dream of owning that car began that same day. I remember offering to clean their car just for the opportunity to drive it.

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A few years passed by and in 1975, while attending college, I learned that my sister and her family had outgrown the car and were thinking about getting rid of it. I jumped at the opportunity and convinced them to sell it to me. It was quite a change from my current ride, which was a 1973 Pinto. The 442 became my “official” weekend cruiser and date mobile. I dated my wife Cathy in that car and even drove it to my college graduation in 1977. In 1978 obligations such as engagement, marriage and purchasing a home forced me to park the 442. There it sat in my mother’s driveway in my hometown of Poquoson, Va. for 19 years.

A lot happened during those 19 years. In addition to being married, we were blessed with the birth of our son, Taylor. After his birth, I knew that one day I would eventually have the car restored, not only for myself, but also to share with our son.

In 1993, I was informed that my job was relocating me to North Georgia. There was never any doubt that the Olds would make the move with us. After sitting for all those years, a lot of work would have to be done before the Olds would be able to make the trip. Fortunately, I had a family member who was an engine specialist. He agreed to rebuild the engine before our move. So, the work began.

Our son was just five years old at the time. I remember him running around the garage amongst all the pieces and parts of the engine on the floor. He had no idea that one day, he too would dream about having this car to drive. After several months of hard work, the Olds was ready for the move. We drove it onto the truck, along with the rest of our possessions, and made the move.

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From 1995 to 2005 the car was operational but still needed restoration. Taylor would sit in the car while it was in the garage and pretend like he was driving it. I realized that it wouldn’t be long before he would be driving. Boy, how time passes! I knew that I had to find someone who could bring the car back to life so that Taylor could experience this car in the same way that I had. I wanted to start working on it and have it finished before Taylor finished high school and headed off to college. This would be the beginning of a very special project for us to enjoy together.

We found someone we trusted to do the restoration, and in July of 2005 the Olds left our home to begin its restoration. It was an exciting day for all of us. We documented every aspect of the restoration with photos and even visited the car almost every weekend. Little by little, we were seeing the life being put back into our Olds.

One day, in January of 2006, Taylor came to me and said, “Dad, I would love to drive the 442 to my junior prom.” I was thrilled that he wanted to drive the car to the big event, but I knew that it would be pushing it to have the restoration complete by April. When our friend and restoration specialist heard that Taylor wanted the car for his prom, his immediate response was, “We have to make this work,” and he did. While others arrived in limos, Taylor rolled up to his junior prom in the beautifully restored 442 W-30.

In addition to his junior prom, Taylor also drove it to his senior prom in April of 2007. The greatest moment came when Taylor headed out to his high school graduation in the 442 in May 2007. We are very hopeful that in a few years Taylor will drive it to his college graduation, just as his dad did in 1977.

This has definitely been a family project. My wife and I enjoy cruising in the car. I have not entered it in any shows as we are still just enjoying the memories we had with the car and the new ones we are making. Car shows may come later!

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