In the summer of 1970 I was driving a 1959 Rambler Station Wagon (all I could afford at the time) when the motor blew up. I couldn't afford a new car so I ordered a new motorcycle. That weekend I was at a high school friends house playing basketball when he told me he had enlisted in the Air Force to become a pilot. He said he didn't want to put his 1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 Holiday Coupe in long term storage so he was going to sell it. His name was Craig (Butch) Atkinson and he was the drummer of a local rock band call the “Count V”. In 1966 the band produced a hit song called “Psychotic Reaction” and they decided to go on tour to promote there song. The band members couldn't afford a bus so they decided to use their cars to get from city to city. Butch and one other band member knew their cars weren't big enough to carry their equipment (Especially Butch's drums) so they both purchased new '67 Olds 442's because they looked great and had huge trunks. The cars made two cross country tours and logged thousands of miles before the band broke up. I told Butch that I was interested in buying his car which I had admired since he purchased it. He sold me the car for $1,200.00 and I immediately canceled the order for the motorcycle.
The car was my daily driver for fifteen years until gas prices forced me to get a more economical ride. In 1985 I decided to restore the car and it sat in my garage partially disassembled for four years. My wife finally told me to either finish the car or SELL IT! I got the message and completed the ground up restoration in 1990. I still drove the car to work occasionally and one day one of of my coworkers told me I should enter the car in a local car show. Since this was something I had never done, I didn't have any idea what to expect. I cleaned the car up and drove it to the car show but was told that since I didn't pre-register my car I would be parked in the overflow area. While my wife stayed with the car I walked around looking at all of the fabulous cars on display and I was Car Show Hooked! When I returned to my car my wife came running up to me all excited and said “We won an award!”. One of the car show organizers came up to me and told me that my car didn't belong in the overflow area and he escorted us and the 442 to the main show area with the other winners. I'll never forget that day and I have been showing the car all over the western US ever since.
Over the years the 442 has seen many changes and upgrades to get it to it's current state. It still has the original 400 CI engine and Muncie M-21 4-speed transmission. A few years ago I located a “NOS” Olds 12 bolt “Posi” rear end and installed it in the car. I also upgraded the suspension to improve handling and converted the front drum brakes to disc's for safety reasons. The car is an absolute blast to drive and turns heads everywhere we go. I still drive it to all car shows except when the distance is too far to be economical.
Before Butch died in 1998 he got a chance to see his car again. He was attending his class reunion in San Jose, California and I drove the car to the reunion so he could see it. He couldn't believe how great the car looked and when I tossed him the keys and said “take it for a spin” he didn't hesitate to take me up on my offer. He was gone for about half an hour and when he came back he had a smile on his face from ear to ear. I offered to sell his car back to him but he refused saying he new he couldn't maintain the car as well as I had. He is the only person I have ever offered to sell the car to.
Over the years I have owned and restored many other classic cars including a real 1970 Olds 442 W-30 4-Speed Holiday Coupe but the '67 will always be my favorite. The car will be handed down to my kids when I can no longer drive it and they are already fighting over who will get it (friendly fight!).