Ransall Virden has had his ’69 Oldsmobile Cutlass since 1986. In fact, it was the first car he owned that he was able to drive. He had other vehicles, but he was never able to get them to run well enough to be reliable rides.
His Olds, however, ran then, and it still runs today. So well, in fact, Virden has plans to pass it down to his son, Reese, when the time comes.
“It is the car that I drove to high school,” he says. “It got me to and from, and I still drive it today.”
Not only does Virden still drive the Cutlass, he’s still working on it, too. He says he’s always redoing something, which keeps him busy. He started way back in the mid-’80s with the motor and transmission and has since worked on just about everything else, including the rear end, the wheels, the tires and the paint.
The car was originally the same white that it is now, but Virden added the black stripes back in ’97 “just for the looks.”
So far the majority of Virden’s upgrades have been to the motor and body. The interior hasn’t had too much work yet, though it is sporting a new steering wheel which came from a specialty car. As a matter of fact, he says he got a lot of parts off that specialty car.
Even with the new steering wheel, he admits that the interior is in dire need of repairs.
“It’s rough,” he laughs. “It’s real rough.”
He does have plans to completely redo the interior, some of which he can do himself such as installation, but the majority, such as upholstery, will have to be done by a professional.
He says the Cutlass isn’t a car show piece, but even so he’s entered it into a few smaller events just to have it shown. Though the interior isn’t as well kept as the body, Virden says he gets a lot of people interested in looking at his car. But the thing he likes to brag about most is the 500 horsepower, big block, Chevy engine.
Virden can’t help smiling as he looks at his old car.
“It’s fun,” he says, “It’s just fun.”