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
IMGP9281

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
38377 Total Views 3 Views Today

About admin

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Facebook

Featured Ads

Rear View Mirror

bIMGP5307

SEPTEMBER 16, 2015: THE DISAPPEARED…WHAT WAS ONCE COMMON IS NOW HISTORY

  Memories from the past is the only place where we can find some of automotive history’s most popular rides.   Most of us are too young to remember...

September 16, 2015 View more...
nick my star imgp0508

APRIL 7, 2015: THE NAME GAME–HOW TO UNDERSTAND THE CAR GUY LANGUAGE OF LOVE

  A photo of several abandoned trucks at an abandoned work site came across my newsfeed and became the basis for this piece on car guy lingo.   The...

April 7, 2015 View more...
51-imgp5149

SEPTEMBER 26, 2014 (OCTOBER 2014): JUST DON’T CALL IT A RAT ROD: THIS IS A ’51 FORD LEAD SLED

  We met Joel Henry a few years ago shortly after he and his wife Dana moved east from their Lower Mainland home.   They have an ideal marriage...

September 26, 2014 View more...
59-imgp1527

APRIL 26, 2014 (MAY 2014): 1959 STUDEBAKER SILVER HAWK— UNIQUE CAR AND A UNIQUE OWNER

  Studebaker Silver Hawks were a high point in 1950s styling.   They were clean, well-engineered and unique cars.   They were also underrated in terms of performance as...

April 26, 2014 View more...

Most Viewed

My Star Showcase

IMGP4615-001

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...
mill-jjmscc_Neon

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...
products-IMGP5647

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...
116-006

JULY 2018 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR

JULY 2018 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS     JUNE 29-JULY 1: BRUDENELL PEI,  PEI Street Rod Association’s 40th Annual Show ‘n Shine   JULY 1: SALTSPRING ISLAND, BC Canada...

October 3, 2015 View more...

More At My Star

TWO GREAT CAR SHOWS AND ONE NOT-SO-GREAT CAR GUY

  MyStarCollectorCar was able to attend two car shows in one day this past weekend and gathered some great stories along the way.   Unfortunately we left a story on the table when we encountered the owner of a 1961 Olds F-85 who decided to turn a simple car interview into a highly annoying and See More

JULY 20 FIVE FOR FRIDAY: FIVE REASONS WHY A CLASSIC FOUR-DOOR MAKES SENSE

  The four-door sedan is Door #3 in the car hobby.   They’re the consolation prize; they’re the last kid picked on the baseball team; they’re the out of options default position for car guys.   Is that really fair?     No it’s not fair so here are five reasons why the four-door collector See More

MSCC JULY 18 “WHAT’S IT?” WEDNESDAY—SMASHED UP CLUES ARE STILL BETTER THAN NO CLUES

  WELCOME TO MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR “WHAT’S IT?” WEDNESDAY FOR 2018   This is the third year for MSCC “What’s It?” Wednesday.   This feature was an overnight success back in 2016 so the only thing to do was keep it rolling in 2018.   Look for the first clue at the top of the section and See More

FIVE THINGS THAT ARE BETTER LEFT UNSAID AT CAR SHOWS

  MyStarCollectorCar has spent plenty of time at car shows over many years and we have heard a lot of different things during that long time frame.   So have the car guys and girls who have brought their vehicles and entered them in a show.     One of the topics that pops up See More

Editor’s Picks

olds1

TWO GREAT CAR SHOWS AND ONE NOT-SO-GREAT CAR GUY

  MyStarCollectorCar was able to attend two car shows in one day this past weekend and gathered some great stories along the way.   Unfortunately we left a story...

July 21, 2018 View more...
MA_MyStar_RT

JULY 28, 2018 MICHENER ALLEN COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION SHOWCASES THIS ’69 CHARGER RT TRIBUTE

            ’69 Charger RT Tribute–click here for all the details.   FUNDER WHEELS FORMULA 1 GO CART     *Here’s the incredible history behind...

June 25, 2018 View more...
red deerCapture-001

11th Annual Red Deer Fall Finale Classic Sept 7 to 9, 2018

11th Annual Red Deer Fall Finale Classic Sept 7 to 9, 2018 COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION – CLASSIC CAR AUCTION The 11th Annual Fall Finale Classic Car Auction September 7th...

May 31, 2018 View more...
22007691_907276265760_7140608964278892216_n-001

THE BALLAD OF THELMA: PART 1–CAN A HOLLEY SNIPER EFI SAVE THE DAY?

  Thelma is a member of our family.   She’s our 1977 Chrysler Newport.   She’s the two-door model with the Chrysler 400 cubic-inch engine.     She’s named...

May 26, 2018 View more...

Car Shows and Events

MA_MyStar_RT
JULY 28, 2018 MICHENER ALLEN COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION SHOWCASES THIS ’69 CHARGER RT TRIBUTE

            ’69 Charger RT Tribute–click here for all the details.   FUNDER WHEELS FORMULA 1 GO CART     *Here’s the incredible history behind...

June 25, 2018
ST1
SAINT ALBERT ROCK’N AUGUST—THE BIG SHOW RETURNS AUGUST 7-11

  Rock’n August is one of Western Canada’s biggest annual car shows.   The whole community gets behind this week-long event because this is a showcase for the best...

December 16, 2017
IMG_4818
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
red deerCapture-001
11th Annual EG AUCTION Red Deer Fall Finale Classic Sept 7 to 9, 2018

11th Annual EG AUCTION Red Deer Fall Finale Classic Sept 7 to 9, 2018   COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION – CLASSIC CAR AUCTION The 11th Annual Fall Finale Classic Car...

April 21, 2017

Ads

Ads responsive