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My 32 Olds

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My F 32 Olds Patrician

It all started in the mid fifty`s when I was about 6 years old. My uncle moved in a house next store and towed in his old high school car and parked it in an old garage out back. My brother and I would often sneak into the garage and play in the car. It had the neatest thing in the dash. Someone had taken out the emblem where the clock goes and put in a translucent skull that must have lit up when the light were on. The temptation was too much for us and somehow the glass got broken and we were showing the skull around the school yard. I think I traded it off for some marbles.

My uncle got busy with work and raising his family moved away and never got back to working on the car but never seemed interested in getting rid of it. Over the years I remember several people wanting it. I could`nt understand how it could just sit there.

It was in pretty good shape when parked but over the years the roof leaked, the rain blew in some broken windows and the garage floor rotted. It sat there pretty much undisturbed and forgotten until 1985 when my uncle sold his place and had nowhere to put the car and offered it to me if I would keep it and work on it.. I was ecstatic.

The passenger side was exposed to the leaks and the front fender and running board were pretty much gone. The first thing I learned was that this is a fairly rare car and you won`t find any parts in JC Whitney or the local junk yard. I developed a passion for this car and started asking around and posting ads and a few leads started coming in.

A local kid called that had a 2 door 32 and a 31 4 door on his Granddad’s place he had inherited. He didn’t have any parts and no interest in selling his cars but it was good to know there was another close by for reference.

A guy out on the coast called with a basket case 4 door and lots of parts with good front fenders. It was all or none. Turned out to be worth the trip and I hauled it all home. By this time I had mine pretty much disassembled and the chassis blasted and painted and with a few new parts and some from the coast car I had a rolling chassis with a rebuilt engine.

I am a good mechanic but not much on body work. I found a guy over in Marsing Idaho at The Old Car Shop who said he would replace all the bad wood and do the wood grain and upholstery if I would haul it over. So over we went with it loaded in the back of my ½ Chevy truck. It was quite a trip but worth it and a year later I hauled it home. I can`t remember his name but he and his son Steve did beautiful work.

Next was a trip to Missoula Montana for another 4 door that was pretty much rust free with good doors and a basket engine. About this time a guy called and said he knew where a 32 convertible body was with lots of spare parts. He said if I send him the money he would get it along with some other parts he wanted. I was headed to Alaska so I said OK and I will pick it up in a year when I get back.

Then a guy from Kamloops BC called and said he had a 32 made into a pickup and for $1000. He would deliver it. Well OK bring it on down. Now I read in the paper that the bank had foreclosed on the kid with the 32 2 door and 31 4 door. For sale make offer. So I did and got em both for $1500. Each.

Now the guy from BC shows up with the sight unseen and it turns out to be a 31 so I took it anyway. The guy that got the sight unseen roadster body and parts called and said come and get. So I did and it turned out to be most of a 31 roadster body and a L32 sedan body and frame with the indented firewall for the longer engine and the dual wiper set up.

Now it was time for a reality check. In the search for some missing parts I had accumulated 5 32`s and 3 31`s and a barn full of parts. My start up business was failing and the fishing industry where we had made our living was in a down slide and we had 2 young kids in school. My wife said enough is enough.

That was 20 years ago and now I know why my uncle had to let the car set so long always hoping to get back to it. I sold off a few parts over the years and things finally turned around and I realized that if a guy can get 1 or 2 cars done in a life time you`ve done good.

I high graded the best parts and sold off the 31`s and 32 2 door and the Montana car a couple of years ago. I saw my uncle at a family gathering last year and made the promise that he can drive it in our small town celebration parade next summer. I traded the 31 roadster body and BC car to a local kid who is an expert body and paint guy. Over the last year he has been working on it and its looking like I can keep my promise to my uncle who is now in his 80`s

Hopefully I will be bringing it home soon to start the final assembly and my uncle will be around to drive it again next summer. I`m still missing a few small parts like the Remo Injection jar and canister and I need some better horns. I should have quite a few parts left over and will be happy to help out someone else to keep them from falling into the obsession I did. I will be happy to correspond with anybody looking for parts.

Cheers Rick

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