By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
An Oxford resident’s custom car iwill be on display at Autorama this weekend from March 4-6.
Matt Chojnacki’s 1960 Oldsmobile Dynamic Bubbletop is being shown as part of a display of cars for Pontiac-based Paul’s Auto Interiors.
The car was purchased in Lansing in November 2019 and became a lockdown project for Chojnacki and neighbor Dave Gulda.
“Every night we would go out to the garage and work on it because we were quarantined and there was kind of nothing else to do,” Chojnacki said. “It kept me sane during the COVID lockdown times.”
The Oldsmobile was extensively restored and upgraded in just about every aspect and features a new 6 liter LS2 engine with a 4L80E automatic transmission made by John Blanchard of Engines by JB in Milford, given a two-tone paint job by Premium Truck and Auto in PPG Chalk White and Bavarian Silver paint. The body work was done by Joshua King. The Olds also has flush mounted door handles, custom lights, custom side mirrors and extensive chroming on the outside and under the hood.
Not settling for just visual and engine upgrades, the Oldsmobile’s technology has been brought into the 21st century. Brand new wiring and switches carry power to LED exterior lights, a touch screen on the center console and stereo/subwoofer setup. And, all this work can be enjoyed from within the brand-new leather interior featuring French stitching in diamond patterns, made by Paul’s Custom Interiors with design support from former Cadillac design director Kip Wasenko.
“The whole back end of the car was redrawn and we put it back together again,” Chojnacki said. “Nobody makes any 1960 Oldsmobile parts, so pretty much everything had to be either scoured on the internet or hand made … For example, we cut three rear bumpers apart and welded back together the best pieces and then sent it off to get re-chromed.”
The car has seen very little road use — there are only about five miles on the odometer — and has served as a show car for most of its new life. It has been shown twice at shows for Hagan Street Rod Necessities and has appeared on Hagan’s catalog covers, the Summit Racing website and in technical articles for Rodding USA. The Oldsmobile is going up for auction on May 20 at Mecum Auctions Indianapolis as Lot F34; no starting price is listed on Mecum’s website.
Chojnacki’s Oldsmobile is the first custom car entry he’s had at Autorama after previously entering two race cars. The first was a 2006 Cadillac CTS-V and the second a 1986 Chevrolet Camaro, both designed for road racing. The Camaro placed high in competition; Chojnacki is 90% sure it placed second in show.
The Oldsmobile will be on display all this weekend for Autorama, which is going on at the Huntington Place (formerly TCF Center and Cobo Arena). Chojnacki will be at the show on Friday and Saturday. Tickets can be bought at the door or at O’Reilly’s Auto Parts stores at a discount.
By Dean Vaglia