PROJECT W-31 DONE

Part 1: The Olds That Started It All Fi­nally Gets Its Restora­tion

Muscle Car Review - - Contents - By Drew Hardin Pho­tos: Stephen Mi­nore

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.

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