There’s a bit of nostalgia behind Ken Burk’s 1966 Oldsmobile Cutlass.
“When I was a kid, my mom had a car that was similar to it, and I always thought it was a neat car,” says Burk, chief of the Winterset Police Department. His mom’s was the same car, just a 1967 model.
It was back in 2009 when he found the car through an online auction service. It was being sold at an estate auction in California.
Aside from the childhood connection, Burk also liked that it was a one-owner vehicle, still had the original parts and was unusual.
“You don’t see very many of them around,” he says.
He bought the car for about $4,500, and shipping was about $700. It was in good shape and ran well when Burk received it, and he drove the car that whole summer, contemplating whether or not to put the money into restoring it. He decided to make the investment.
By the time he put on new tires and rims and had the car repainted, he’d already spent more than the amount he paid for it, he says. He’s done some cosmetic and service work on the car on his own. But there’s still a lot more that needs to be done to it, such as redoing the interior, which Burk plans to do himself.
Burk’s interest in cars was something that began in childhood. He worked on them with his stepdad, a mechanic, and his older brother always had neat cars.
For the past 30 years or so — since high school — Burk has had a “project car” he tinkers with. Some were drivable, some never made it out of the garage. This ’66 Oldsmobile is his biggest undertaking so far.
“I’m not really mechanically inclined, but I have friends who are, so that helps a bunch,” he says.
The Oldsmobile won’t be Burk’s last rebuilding project; he’s thinking of maybe following up with a 1960s pickup. But the next time around, he’ll be looking for something further along in the restoration process.
“I like unusual cars, so it would be something that when I see, trips my fancy,” Burk says.
Contact Darren Tromblay at 953-4822 ext. 304 or email@example.com to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of What’s In Your Garage?