Daily Features

DECEMBER 2017: 1985 OLDS CALAIS 500–‘THE WORST INDY PACE CAR EVER MADE’ IS A WINNER WITH ITS OWNER

By on December 11, 2017

IMGP9290

 

The 1985 Olds Calais was not the stuff of dreams for most car guys.

 

It was a practical compact car with front wheel drive that provided good fuel economy and a smaller size to cope with a crowded urban world.

 

The cars were built from 1985 to 1991 by the Oldsmobile division of General Motors and offered a slightly more upscale choice in the North American compact car market.

 

GM celebrated the arrival of the 1985 Olds Calais by making it the official pace car of the 1985 Indy 500. The General introduced a limited production Olds Calais 500 model to the buying public and a little under 3000 of the Calais 500s were sold that year.

 

IMGP9287

 

The disconnect between Indy 500 race fans and the Olds Calais was obvious because few of them believed that a mild-mannered compact was the right choice for the biggest car racing event in the world.

 

ad-MSCC Logo

 

Thus the 1985 Olds Calais 500 pace car was labeled the “worst Indy pace car ever made” by its detractors at the time. Bob Dorsey is the proud owner of a 1985 Olds Calais 500 and he is a big fan of his mid-80s replica of the official ’85 Indy pace car.

 

IMGP9284

 

Bob has owned his Calais for about 15 years after the car was given to him by a friend because it had a blown engine. Bob thought the Olds was a “real good looking car” when he first saw it and added he had “never seen one like it” in his life.

 

IMGP9283

 

Bob is very handy with wrenches and was able to install another engine from a write-off. The process was pretty simple; “six bolts and the engine drops right out”, according to Bob, when he described the engine’s removal from beneath the car.

 

IMGP2243

 

The body on the Calais was virtually rust and dent-free so it required a minimal amount of repair before a new paint job. Bob added his own subtle change when he painted the polished aluminum hubcaps the same color as the body on his Olds.

 

IMGP9291

 

The interior has been redone-even though the original upholstery only had one crack in the seat when Bob began the restoration. He was able to recreate the official Indy pace car decals on the car with some help from a local graphic artist in his community.

 

IMGP9285

 

The car has been a pleasant experience for Bob because it offers a combination of both performance and economy on the road. In Bob’s words, “it just cruises along” and will get over 20 mpg at 70 mph (about 110 km/h) on the highway.

 

IMGP9289

 

Bob is grateful he is even around to enjoy his Olds Calais because he was a victim of a fuel tank explosion 26 years ago that nearly took his life. He suffered a severely fractured skull in the accident and said he “nearly died four times” after the explosion.

 

IMGP9295

 

Bob was expected to have severe brain damage and not expected to walk again after the explosion, but he defied the predictions and was able to recover from the injuries.

 

IMGP9288

 

Unfortunately, Bob was in two motor vehicle collisions after the explosion and the last collision completely ruined his back. In Bob’s words he has been “too dumb to die” over the years, but he has been smart enough to recognize a unique car from the Eighties is a very good conversation piece at a car show.

 

IMGP2244

 

Especially one with an Indy pace car legacy.

 

Jim Sutherland

 

print
38679 Total Views 3 Views Today

About admin

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Facebook

Featured Ads

Rear View Mirror

FEBRUARY 12, 2018: SRT (STREET ROD TECHNOLOGIES)—THE FUTURE OF THE CAR HOBBY

  The future of the car hobby is one of the most frequent conversations I have at car shows.   The demographics and vehicles are older so the question...

February 12, 2018 View more...
nov11showimgp1109-1

NOVEMBER 9, 2011: WE BID A FOND FAREWELL TO THE 2011 CAR SHOW SEASON

  One of the many drawbacks to a four- season climate is the end of the car season.   We live in a region where Santa Claus is the...

November 9, 2011 View more...

NOVEMBER 3, 2010:1977 INTERNATIONAL SCOUT TRAVELLER II HAS AN UNUSUAL OWNER

  Helen Mclean’s 1977 International Scout Traveler is an unusual guest at any show and shine.   There are not many of these unique vehicles left on the road....

November 3, 2010 View more...
imgp7046

NOVEMBER 25, 2009: LITTLE DEUCE COUPE-AMERICAN GRAFFITI TRIBUTE CAR SIGNED BY MILNER

  Most car guys loved the movie “American Graffiti”.   ‘Herb Scheit liked it so much that he decided to own a John Milner tribute car, complete with the...

November 25, 2009 View more...

Most Viewed

My Star Showcase

MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR OCTOBER 2018 ROAD WARRIORS—A COUNTRY-WIDE LOOK

  MyStarCollectorCar Road Warriors can be found on any street or highway across diverse regions.   For example, this Camaro was on a street in Quebec.     This...

October 19, 2018 View more...

JULY 2018 ROAD WARRIORS—THIS IS WHY SUMMER IS ACTUALLY A COOL SEASON

  Winter is the enemy of classic iron but summer is its best friend.   That’s why you’ll see cars like this shoebox Ford in the summer months because...

July 13, 2018 View more...

MSCC MARKET REPORT 2018

  MSCC MARKET REPORT 2018   Welcome to the MyStarCollectorCar Market Report.   This will be a regional look at prices for collector vehicles based on actual sales so...

August 3, 2017 View more...

MSCC Products and Services Showcase

These are all great businesses and they support MyStarCollector Car through their advertising  so we can continue to bring you our  insight into the old car hobby 365 days...

July 13, 2016 View more...

More At My Star

THE DEATH OF THE NORTH AMERICAN SEDAN

  There was a bygone era when the sedan was king of the road in North America.   Sedans were a practical approach to the transportation needs for most families who wanted to corral a large herd of kids in one vehicle prior to a trip from Point A to Point B.     Many See More

THE OTHER MEMBER OF THE 1960s FORD HERD: THE FIRST-GENERATION BRONCO

  The name Ford Bronco became synonymous with OJ Simpson after he was involved in a two hour low speed police chase while he was a fugitive passenger in a 1993 Bronco.   However, the Bronco name was already famous before Simpson’s infamous flight from arrest for a gruesome murder charge in 1994.   In See More

BAD GAS AND OLD CARS: THE NEW REALITY

  There was a time when gasoline had a completely different effect on the internal combustion engine.   Gas formerly contained a lead additive and plenty of high octane choices for engines that were built during a bygone automotive era.     Car engines from the past ran leaded fuel through a carburetor system that See More

SECOND GENERATION CAR GUY: DAVE WEIDNER PICKS FIVE OF HIS FAVORITE RIDES

  Dave Weidner is known as a dedicated car guy in his circles who (along with his brother Robert) followed in father Lou’s footsteps when it came to vintage vehicles from a bygone era.   The Weidner family also built their business around the automotive world and own Weidner Motors, one of Central Alberta’s most See More

Editor’s Picks

GET COACHED ON THAT CAR PROJECT—REYNOLDS-ALBERTA MUSEUM VEHICLE RESTORATION WORKSHOPS

  Restoration projects are not easy.   In fact, a full restoration can be the most complex and difficult job you’ll ever take on but the pain is definitely...

September 3, 2018 View more...

NOVEMBER 1-4 2018 PALM SPRINGS CALIFORNIA CARS STARS ROCK N ROLL Collector Car Auction

    NOVEMBER 1-4 2018 PALM SPRINGS CALIFORNIA CARS STARS ROCK N ROLL Collector Car Auction 11th Annual Red Deer Fall Finale Classic Sept 7 to 9, 2018 COLLECTOR...

May 31, 2018 View more...

BIG RIGS—A HOT NEW TREND IN THE HOBBY

  Big rigs were never a glamorous form of transportation because they were built for work not recreation but these big machines still have a huge army of fans....

February 17, 2018 View more...

FEBRUARY 12, 2018: SRT (STREET ROD TECHNOLOGIES)—THE FUTURE OF THE CAR HOBBY

  The future of the car hobby is one of the most frequent conversations I have at car shows.   The demographics and vehicles are older so the question...

February 12, 2018 View more...

Car Shows and Events

ST ALBERT’S ROCK’N AUGUST: THE RAIN, THE PARK, AND A BRADY BUNCH CAR-PLUS A MOPAR FEST

  MyStarCollectorCar was on the road to St Albert, Alberta this past weekend for their annual Rock’n August car show held on the grass in their famous park system....

August 11, 2018
JULY 28, 2018 19th ANNUAL MICHENER ALLEN CLASSIC AND COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION

FEATURE CAR—THIS MONSTER ’69 CHARGER       The 2nd Generation Chargers are widely seen as one of the most iconic muscle cars ever built. They looked fast from...

June 19, 2017
NOVEMBER 1-4, 2018 PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA EG AUCTIONS CARS STARS ROCK N ROLL Collector Car Auction

    NOVEMBER 1-4 2018 PALM SPRINGS CALIFORNIA CARS STARS ROCK N ROLL Collector Car Auction SATURDAY FEATURE LOT 162     1969 CAMARO RS SS 396 – 375HP...

April 21, 2017
OCTOBER 2018 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR

  OCT 4: RED DEER, AB Thursday Cruise Night Weekly Show and Shine ***Note this show is back in the North Parking Lot at Parkland Mall.   OCT 6:...

September 30, 2015

Ads

Ads responsive