Although Lola was and still is a looker, her mechanical maintenance had been sorely neglected. Sherry remedied that in short order. He started by changing the sludgy crankcase oil and replacing all the filters. In his job, Sherry does a lot of driving, so he decided to take Lola out on the road.
“I drove her a thousand miles that first week,” he said. “It was my shake-down cruise.”
Lola ran like a champ with no hint of any kind of mechanical problem, and her fuel economy amazed him. He’d been hoping for at least 20 mpg. After that initial trip, Sherry took Lola to Jason McDonald and Jamie Day at the Firestone shop at 36th Avenue and Robinson Street. They changed all the belts, shocks, drained brake and transmission fluids, did a rear brake job and flushed the radiator.
“The engine was gunked-up, so I did a bunch of high-mileage formula oil changes to clean her out,” he said. “Now she uses a quart of oil every 3,000 miles, which is normal.”
No major system overhauls. No expensive part replacements. All she needed was just several hundred bucks’ worth of good sense upkeep.
“What I ended up with is a car that’s old and gaudy,” Sherry said, “but I could drive it anywhere. We could get in that car and take it to California right now, and that’s the way I like my cars to be — in that kind of condition.”
Indeed Lola is seductive in appearance but also inspired confidence climbing behind the wheel. Just sitting there for a moment before turning the ignition key recalled many GM cars of the past. Cheesy fake wood dashboard trim, sure, but mostly thousands of comfortable, safe, trouble-free miles on trips hither and yon.
Lola started effortlessly and drove like a dream. She rode rock steady with no hint of listing or swaying, and her front end tracked straight and true, with zero play in the steering.