February '17

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FEBRUARY 2017 THE SHOP 69 HOT ROD & CUSTOMIZATION "While we have not yet officially started selling Olds parts, we'll be collecting names and addresses for the Olds restoration parts catalogs we are bringing out." Yager believes the Oldsmobile market will be a smaller niche. "We've seen estimates saying that of the defunct (or zombie) vehicle brands like Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Mercury, Suzuki and Olds, about 11 percent of the cars still on the road would be Oldsmobiles. This means there could be up to 2 mil- lion Oldsmobiles still in service, in need of repair or in need of restoration. Of course, only a small percentage of the remaining cars would be considered collectible." Citing articles that appeared in Forbes. com and Classic Car, Yager points out that collectible car prices have gone up tremendously in the past eight years, with certain Oldsmobile prices almost doubling since 2008. "The first Olds to come to mind when you talk about hot cars is the Oldsmobile Cutlass models, especially 1968-'72 Olds 4-4-2s with the W30 and W31 options," Yager notes. "However, models that are not necessarily top of mind but seem to be getting hotter include the 1961-'66 Starfire and Jetstar coupes and convertibles, which are beautiful cars, and also GM's full-size B-, C-, D- and H-bodies like the 1959-up Eighty-Eights and Ninety-Eights. "Another segment we plan to focus on is the 1966-'92 Toronados that were built on GM's front-wheel-drive E-body platform," Yager continues. "Those are gaining popularity. We also can't forget the X-body guys with 1973-'79 Omegas. They are very similar to the Chevy Nova. We've decided to target these Oldsmobiles with catalogs, because we feel Olds enthusiasts have fewer choices for restoration parts, especially when it comes to parts for full- size Oldsmobiles." Yager's research indicates Olds developed an enormous brand loyalty with Middle America. "It was neither the rich man's, nor the poor man's, car," he suggests. "The Oldsmobile Club of Arizona's website says: 'It's a brand that defined the emerging middle class of America in post-World War II. It was a statement of achievement that, once tasted, could not be forgotten. What better way to commute from the new suburbs than taking a rocket-ride in a Rocket 88?'" JOHN GUNNELL has been writing about classic cars since 1972. He is also the owner of Gunner's Great Garage in Manawa, Wisconsin. He owns 11 cars and seven motorcycles. The classic Gen I Oldsmobile Rocket V-8 made its debut in 1949. According to Kanter Auto Products, this is one of the most popular Olds engines. | 800.345.8476 #westinauto | #westintoolboxes made in the usa 5.3861 | 082216 ALWAYS THERE WHEN YOU NEED IT tool boxes

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