• Last modified 946 days ago (Nov. 20, 2018)


Car enthusiast enjoying '38 Chevrolet

Staff writer

Wayne Ollenberger is a curator of classic cars, with a Corvette and a 1971 Chevrolet pickup. His newest acquisition, a 1938 Chevrolet Master Deluxe, was a less-planned purchase than the other two.

Ollenberger saw the car parked at Midway Motors in Newton two years ago, but he didn’t intend to buy it.

“The next day I got to thinking about it a bit more,” he said. “I got in my car, going down to Newton to look at it. I drove it, started kneeling on it. I think it took three days and then I had it bought.”

What won Ollenberger over was the originality of the car.

“What I like about it, this is the way it came out of the factory,” he said. “There’s no chopping the fenders, no additional stuff put on it.”

The car had a few functional changes made at some point, including the additions of power steering and power brakes, but it remained largely the original product.

“If you’re going to spend any amount of money, buy something nice,” he said. “It’ll last you if you take care of it.”

Along with caring for his vehicles, Ollenberger does not take his cars out when he has to contend with the elements.

“I don’t drive them out in the weather,” he said. “I won’t do that because everything is nice underneath.”

Ollenberger prefers cars already in good condition, rather than fixing them himself.

“I like to buy them pretty well finished out,” he said. “You can buy them cheaper than buying a junker and trying to fix it up.”

Ollenberger has been able to afford the pursuit because of frugal spending habits, he said. By keeping his expenses separate from the money he spends on his cars, he doesn’t get behind.

“You want to keep your bills paid and then what you have left over, you can call that your play money,” he said.

Understanding the value of his belongings was a quality that stuck with him for years, Ollenberger said.

“I’m pretty particular about all my vehicles,” he said. “That’s the way I’ve been from a kid on up. Everything costs a lot of money, and if you don’t take care of your money, you’re throwing it away.”

Along with valuing his cars, Ollenberger likes to share them with his peers. His Corvette has been to several shows, and won three awards at a convention in Bloomington, Illinois.

He has yet to take the Deluxe to any shows, but Ollenberger plans to make the trip for the Peabody Cruise at some point.

“I’ve driven it in parades and even young kids know the difference,” he said. “It makes you feel good.”

Last modified Nov. 20, 2018