Do you ever drift back, possibly way back, daydreaming about the first car in your life?
I hope it’s a happy memory.
Dave Oczkewicz of Mill Creek has sweet memories about his 1954 Chevrolet Delray that came into his life when he was a student at Everett High School, working part time at Everett Cash and Carry, where his Uncle Louie Larsen was the manager.
When enough cash accumulated in his pockets, he visited Earl Meyer Used Cars, next door to Walsh-Platt Motors on Rucker Avenue.
There sat the Chevy.
He drove it through junior college.
A swell story.
But here’s the payoff: Oczkewicz still owns the “mild custom Stovebolt Six.” I don’t know much about cars, but when Mopar magazine ran a story about Oczkewicz in it’s Collector’s Guide, they called it a mild custom Stovebolt Six.
Oczkewicz keeps the car stored in mint condition.
And he has stashed most every other car he’s ever owned.
In 1966, his grocery store job really paid off. Oczkewicz bought his first new car, a 1966 Plymouth Satellite hardtop.
The Plymouth tickled his fancy until Oczkewicz decided he really needed to be seen around town in a muscle car. In 1970, he went back to Walsh-Platt Motors and chatted with his friend Dwayne Lane. He told Lane he wanted a fast car with stripes, preferably a very cool high-performance Dodge.
There wasn’t a good inventory of muscle Mopars (a name long associated with Chrysler vehicles), but Lane suggested Oczkewicz take a closer look at a Dodge Super Bee on the lot.
That is how Oczkewicz met a FT6 dark tan metallic 1970 Super Bee.
Oczkewicz had overlooked the car at first sweep through the lot because of the blah color.
As Oczkewicz considered the Super Bee, Lane added some honey to the pot.
He offered to throw in a Tic-Toc-Tach, costing $60, a rear window defogger and a rear seat speaker. He dropped the price to $3,300.
That wasn’t good enough for the savvy buyer.
To close the deal, the seller offered, in writing, to repaint the car at any time in the next two years, or if Oczkewicz learned to like dark tan, he was welcome to revisit the dealership and get a $100 refund.
The color grew on Oczkewicz, he said, and he ended up taking the $100. It was a good decision. There were only 169 Super Bees painted in the dark tan color.
He only drove the car, with 33,000 miles on it, for a year. Thinking it was something to keep, he stored it, and went back to driving the Plymouth Satellite.
The Satellite went into storage in 1975.
This was becoming a habit.
Through the years, the cars came out of storage to the delight of car show visitors. Oczkewicz joined a Mopar club where members appreciated his Plymouth, retired with 66,000 miles, and Dodge Super Bee, that is called a “survivor car.”
The retired CPA met his wife, Cheryl, at Everett High School. They are both Everett natives.
“My family has 244 classroom years at Immaculate,” he said. “Dad still lives in North Everett.”
There were a couple of decades when Oczkewicz drove plain old company cars, but we know the story doesn’t end there. In 2007, he spotted a yellow Dodge Super Bee, where else, on a Dwayne Lane lot.
“I hate yellow,” Cheryl Oczkewicz said.
So her husband “cloned” a red Super Bee to be identical to the yellow model. Guess who was on the lot when he bought the Bee?
And where is the red Bee that has 2,700 miles on it?
It’s in storage.
Oczkewicz said his cars are worth about $200,000, but none are for sale.
He drives a Dodge Durango. His wife drives a PT Cruiser.
Cheryl Oczkewicz said the topic of how much they spend to store the collectible cars comes up now and then in their conversations.
“Cheryl says someday she is going to have to buy me a huge plot,” her husband said.
Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451, email@example.com.