SEMA’s Car Guys in Congress
Believe it, or not, many of the lawmakers in the nation’s capital are into cars, just like us. Driving Force caught up with the chairmen of the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus to find out what’s in their garage.
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Mark Stevens’s ‘67 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme served as his high school transportation in the early ‘70s. (Visit this Oldsmobile page and online photo gallery for the full scoop on the car’s subsequent restoration).
“As a collector car owner, I encourage you to support SB 6009,” wrote Mark Stevens to his Washington state lawmakers earlier this year. The bill would allow personalized license plates for collector vehicles. “I would imagine that there are many more like myself who would purchase a collector plate that better expresses how we feel about our vehicles. I am restoring my ‘67 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme from high school and am excited at the prospect of putting personalized plates on it as I have on my three other vehicles.” While the bill passed the Senate, it unfortunately failed to receive a final vote on the House floor before the legislature recently adjourned for the year. The Renton resident is hoping for the proposal to be considered again in a future legislative session.
In the meantime, Mark will resume his passion project: returning his high school ride to its former glory. “Each car has a story of their own, but I guess this is the one that moves me the most,” he admits. “The Cutlass holds so many memories, I could never give it up. I’ve been doing a ground up restoration on it myself in my garage. The chassis is done now so I need to concentrate on fixing a little rust on the body and get going on the paint. Based on challenges that the body has presented, I’ve realized I really need a shop with room to work and a place to paint the car.”
Mark’s journey with the ’67 began in the summer of 1971. “My folks wanted to paint our 1918 home. The estimates came in so high that they offered me a deal instead: they’d supply the paint and buy me a car with the money they would have spent on the house.” The Stevens household always had Oldsmobiles, so it came as no surprise that this marque was desired. His mom found the Cutlass with only a few thousand miles on it. In fact, it had never even been driven in the rain! “We had looked at so many junkers by this time that it really stood out. When they brought the car by, it had my immediate approval.”
The '67 has become a treasured family legacy. Mark owned it when he met his high school sweetheart—now his beloved wife. “As we attended our reunions over the years, I saw my friends getting rid of their high school cars. One day, mine was the only example left among the group!” His son loves the car so much that when the younger Stevens bought his first muscle car, a Mustang, he had the seats reupholstered in red leather to remind him of the Cutlass. However, Mark says that the car will ultimately go to his daughter someday. More projects are planned for restoration once the ’67 is finished, including his brother’s 1969 Olds 442, a 1938 Dodge Coupe and another 1967 Cutlass Supreme.
Many thanks for your involvement in our beloved hobby in "The Evergreen State," Mark!
Stay Up-to-Date on the RPM Act: Get the latest information on the motorsports bill at www.sema.org/epa-news.
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