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One Lucky Man
by Terry Kohl

Jerry Logar is among the very few men who can boast simultaneous love affairs for over 36 years. He is fortunate enough to have the same wife and the same car as he did in 1966. We attribute luck, care, and the right alignment of the planets. Here’s the story:

In 1966, on a cold January night, Jerry was driving home from his fiancee’s house and fell asleep at the wheel. He totaled his 1963 Olds Cutlass and almost totaled himself. He ended up in the hospital with a brain concussion, his impending marriage only three weeks away.

Thankfully, Jerry recuperated, and with very little time before the wedding, went in search of a new car. Barber Motors, the Olds dealership in Elyria, Ohio at the time, had two new models of Oldsmobile Cutlass - a red 442 and the one the “responsible, soon-to-be family man, Jerry” ended up with. On February 5, 1966, he proudly drove his white with black top, 2 door, Ultra High Compression V8 Oldsmobile Cutlass off the showroom floor. On February 12, one week later, he and his bride, Sally, drove off into the happily ever after. And so began what was to be the long, two love affairs of Jerry Logar.

Over the next 14 years the Olds was the family car. It made it to the hospital in time when their first son, Michael was born in December of 1966 and again one year later for the arrival of Mitchell, the second baby. It has seen countless trips to the grocery store, doctor, church,
schools and vacations. Both sons drove it to their high school proms as they had come to love and respect the car almost as much as their dad.

There were a few long haul trips including camping in the wilderness of Ontario, Canada. These excursions were truly an adventure. Once off the main highway, you met up with gravel before hitting a four-mile, one lane and often muddy stretch of road. The Olds never got stuck. The huge trunk also accommodated groceries for a week, camping needs and fuel for the outboard.

In 1978, the Logar’s neighbor decided to sell his station wagon. Responsible Jerry, a family man with young sons, bought it. Not being able to part with his Olds, he found an old barn willing to share space with it’s various other discards. With the odometer reading 68, 889 miles, the Cutlass was covered with plastic and moved in. Three years later a carport was added to the Logar home and Jerry moved his “baby” to where he could keep an eye on her. Insurance was added along with current plates and except for an occasional spin in the summer months, she remained retired.

In the early 90’s Jerry began attending local cruise in’s and the Olds came out of retirement a few times a week. There is a placard that Jerry takes along that tells the world of her almost 100% original and unrestored condition. The only parts that have been replaced, aside from shocks and tires and a battery or two, are the power steering in 1974, water pump in 1979 and ‘91, drive shaft seal, 10th since '79, temperature sending unit and side mirror in ‘98, hood insulation in 1999
and universal joints this year, 2002.

He has the original invoice, certificate of title and many pictures of her taken over the years. With loving care she looks almost the same as when Jerry drove her off the showroom floor in 1966 for $2,881.20 tax and title. By the way, current mileage is 75,800 and driving.

Recently, Jerry contacted American Collectors Insurance company where his Cutlass has been insured since 1994. The original coverage at that time was for $6,000. Jerry wanted to inquire as to whether he could increase that dollar amount to $14,000. American Collectors, who provides agreed value coverage, did just that. Often, and depending on circumstances and location of vehicle, coverage may be increased to keep pace with the appreciation that collector vehicles enjoy. (It’s always a good idea to keep in touch with your insurance company if you own a collector vehicle).

In August, 2002, Jerry drove his Olds from his home town of Grafton, Ohio to Lansing, Michigan to compete in the Oldsmobile Club of America’s event, the “Historic Cars of Lansing 2002 Meet.” It was the first time since 1977 that Jerry has driven the car more than 75 miles at one time.

This was quite a trip for a car with old, original parts. Concern and trepidation mounted as departure day approached. As it turned out, Jerry’s fears were unfounded. The only problem was a dead battery while still in Ohio. As luck would have it two members of the Northern Ohio Olds Chapter showed up like guardian angels and Jerry caravaned with them all the way to Lansing.

Many folks stopped and traded stories with Jerry during the 105th Anniversary of the Oldsmobile weekend. Some could not believe that he was able to keep his car in such great condition having never done a frame off restoration. One woman cried as she heard the story of how this love affair began nearly 37 years ago . Even Jerry had tears in his eyes as he related the memories he has stored over the years.

Speaking of memories, remember Sally, the bride who drove off into the sunset with Jerry on their wedding day? The bride who has shared Jerry’s “other love?” “Admiration, pleasure and joy are just some of the feelings I share with Jerry on the Oldsmobile,” she said. “There are two additional feelings I must add and they are affection and love. Jerry and I have lots of loving memories of this car but so far, the love we have for each other squelches any rivalry between the car and me.”

Classy lady, Jerry. You are one lucky man.