We’ve seen some weird and wonderful rides on our ‘Your Ride’ segment, but this one takes the cake — or should we say, Christmas cookies. One of our readers, Raymond, wanted to show off his 1901 Oldsmobile Curved Dash reproduction from the 50s.
Taking his Olds about town, Raymond soon becomes the center of attention. Drawing a crowd from here to Fresno, Ray makes sure he and his classic car are around to help his community in whatever way possible. But when he’s not showing off his Curved Dash to hoards of onlookers, he gets in on the Christmas spirit with his Santa suit (pictured).
Read the full story:
How did you acquire your ride?
The five weeks before Christmas 2012, from the forest to the road.
I was a volunteer who was hauling big water tanks into the Manton, California forest fire area last October on the 10th, 2013. I am a pretty well known person most anywhere if your in the Classic Car programs. I have been promoting small get together’s and events everywhere I have lived for years starting actually with C. B. Radio groups.
I hauled a tank to a place that had lost it’s water supply due to the fire destroying the water plum. It had sit on this land for years undetected. I noticed it off in a distance from where I dropped the tank. I called it to the attention to the land owner and he had not even known it was there. It had been hid by manzanita and black berries for over the forty years he owned the land.
What drew you to it when you bought it?
When I noticed it, I thought it was an old wagon. I just wanted to check it out because he didn’t even know it was there. I could see it from standing up on my trailer. I asked him if we could go down and look at it. Being an old car collector, and somewhat of a junk collector, I drove my truck and trailer down to look at it. That is when we discovered what it really was.
Does it have a name?
We didn’t know exactly what kind of car it was, but I asked him what his plans for it was. He said he had no plans so I asked him if he would sell it. One of the men who was with me made the statement, “Santa Claus that would make you a great sleigh.” The man asked what he meant by that remark. And the man told him that I was Santa Claus and all the different things I do for people. He said, since I helped him and refused any pay he would give it to me if I used it in my fund raising programs. We loaded it then and there.
What do you feel like when you drive it?
Well, The main boss at our local television news station says I have my own parade everywhere I go in it. It took him three and a half hours to shoot a three minute news segment longer than ever the political News. I feel like I am a person who can help hundreds of people with that little car. And I do just that.
What you would change about your car, if anything?
Well, I have had to tear it all the way down to the frame, and completely restore it. I am always making changes to it because so many things were in such bad condition. I had to replace the 12-horsepower Kohler engine because after I got it running and drove it about 500 miles the rod disintegrated. I am now working hard to re-gear it to a New V-Twin Briggs Stratton Vanguard engine. It is taking a lot of adjustments and money just trying to match gear ratio’s. I have also found old Lantern style lights and an old steam engine air horn and installed them on the car. They are the real old gas and oil lights, but I have converted them to a 12 volt system.
What have you done to make it a bolder ride?
I am giving it more horsepower, a whole new gear ratio for faster speed, where it used to run 15mph. It will, when done, run 35-45mph. I now have a motor that is far more modern and one I can enjoy using and not have to worry about not getting it fixed. I drive it on the highways in California and believe me, when you’re driving with cars and trucks passing you and taking your photo all the time you feel like the pope. LOL
Dream accessory for it and why?
I would love having a real canopy canvas roof and windshield for it. I designed my own. It works but It could look a lot better.
I am also looking for the wood spoke wheels I can exchange for the old spoke style. And brakes. I drive the car all over with only two rear wheel mechanical brakes. They are far from what most people would even consider as brakes today. You just have to love the risk of the early 1900′s to love to drive it.
Thanks to Raymond for sharing his ride! Want us to feature your ride? Click here to find out how