PROJECT W-31 DONE
Part 1: The Olds That Started It All Finally Gets Its Restoration
Part 1: The Olds that started it all finally gets its restoration
Most Oldsmobile collectors are familiar with Stephen Minore and his authentication and certification business, Cas-Am Performance. Regular MCR readers may recognize the name, too, as he’s been featured in several stories over the years. Despite his young age, Minore has become one of the most knowledgeable and respected Oldsmobile 4-4-2 W-30 specialists in the country. He writes his regular Rocket Report, consults on top-notch Cutlass, 4-4-2, and W-30 restorations, and can be found around prominent examples of the marque from Barrett-Jackson and Mecum to MCACN.
The 1970 Cutlass W-31 you see here has played a role in Minore’s love of Oldsmobiles since 1993, when he attended an Oldsmobile Club of America Nationals meet in Somerset, New Jersey. While walking through the rows of cars, he happened to stumble across a Senior Preservation 1968 Hurst/Olds owned by Bob Trieschmann. They struck up a conversation, talking about the Olds and the fact that the name Trieschmann was also Minore’s mother’s maiden name. After discussing their family tree, they realized they were distant relatives.
Trieschmann mentioned that he owned another Olds, a 1970 Cutlass W-31 fourspeed with a black interior, painted Galleon Gold with black stripes. This Olds had a
“The W-31 was capable of low 12-second runs at the drags”
5 After showing the car for a while, Minore decided to turn the W-31 into a street/strip car. Here it is in race trim, wearing classic Weld Wheel Super Lites all around with Mickey Thompson S/S Indy Profile tires in back. Minore remembers purchasing the wheels and tires from another Olds friend, Ed Riotte. Note the green Connecticut Emission sticker in the lower right corner of the windshield very similar color scheme to a basket-case 1970 W-30 four-speed that he’d sold a couple months before. As soon he heard “gold with black stripes, ram air, and a fourspeed,” he knew he had to have it. He took delivery of the car that October.
Minore’s interest in the W-31 model dates back to a conversation he had with Olds collector Dave Bunch, who worked at Oldsmobile as a college student from 1968 to 1973. Over a four-hour conversation, Minore got a crash course on the ins and outs of the small-block-powered Oldsmobile. “If that conversation never happened, I would not have purchased this W-31,” Minore says. “Many thanks to Dave for leading the way.”
1 The first photo that Stephen Minore shot of his W-31, in Wallingford, Connecticut, after he purchased it from Bob Trieschmann. Minore isn’t sure which of the previous owners installed the W-35 rear spoiler.
2 The W-31 went through several owners prior to Trieschmann, including Paul Tortorici, a well-known Olds collector and owner of S&P Tees out of Hackensack, New Jersey. This is how the car looked when Tortorici bought it from its second owner in Ashland, Kentucky, in 1986. Notice there’s no spoiler.