The interior had been well maintained during the car's lifetime. "The interior trim, chrome and stainless, was cleaned and reinstalled. Not a screw was missing and all were reused on reassembly, as were the power units for the seat and windows," Wayne says. "The original leather remained under the seat covers my mother added in 1963. When the factory leather was removed, the padding was powder, but the hides still had the factory cut date stamps." A Vintage Air A/C system now replaces the factory air unit, and a Pioneer stereo and speakers takes the place of the stock AM radio. As a final electronic touch, a rear camera system has been installed in the car, with the camera mounted on the rear license plate frame.
"The Mild to Wild Classics...
"The Mild to Wild Classics crew remarked that this was one of the few cars they've taken apart and found no spare change," Wayne says. "Yep-that was Mom's car; there would never be any spare change!"
El Paso Electro-Plate handled the chroming, and the exterior chrome and stainless pieces look like they did the day Wayne's dad first drove the car home. The headlights are Halogen now; taillight lenses from Fusick Automotive Products in East Windsor, Connecticut, are now LED.
"When the car was taken apart, they found a bullet hole in the sheetmetal under the radiator," Wayne reveals. The bullet hole remains, but how it got there remains a mystery. When the bodywork was complete, the Olds went into the Mild To Wild spray booth for a two-tone Cyber Green and white paintjob, using Martin Senour paint.
Instead of choosing retro rolling stock, Wayne decided on C-57 five-spokes from Coys Wheels, and Nexen N1000 high-performance rubber. Front 235/40ZR18 tires are mounted on 18x8 rims, and rear 275/35ZR20 radials roll on 20x10s. The brakes are 11- and 12-inch front and rear Wilwoods with a Classic Performance Products master cylinder, booster, and proportioning valve, and a custom pedal assembly from Mild To Wild.
A Billet Specialties Chicayne...
A Billet Specialties Chicayne model steering wheel is mounted on a Flaming River shifter column. The original dash was restored with Ultraleather padding along the top. The original insert was cleaned up and reinstalled, retaining the factory gauges, which were restored by MO-MA in Albuquerque.
The revived Powell family Oldsmobile is back on the street and drawing attention. Marcella still loves it and their sons now have their own memories of their grandfather's Olds. Wayne and Marcella's own grandkids have been helping clean it at car shows since they were the same age Wayne was when he had his photo taken out on Route 66, and are undoubtedly collecting their own future memories. His mother and father are gone now, but Wayne knows they would appreciate the Olds as much as anyone. "I'm sure my mom would recognize the car in its new colors, would ask what I did with the hubcaps, and maybe, just maybe, grin a bit at the thumping of the 502."