50 States Special Feature
"That car is a chick magnet."
"At our age we'd attract only old hens."
Overheard in a restaurant tonight.
Sometimes the best parts of an adventure requires no planning. Occasionally, they just come upon you. Steve Volla's farm did just that.
Our friends Anders and Rose asked us if we would like to see an awesome classic car collection. I avoided eye contact with Quilter Girl and said,"Yes!"
After breakfast at the local cafe in Hope, we traveled to... well, we went five miles North, seven West, up a short gravel road, then North and East and into a farm. Right there. We met Steve Volla, who in addition to farming 6,000 acres with his kids, likes to find and restore muscle cars, mostly of the Chrysler vintage.
We hemmed and hawed about where to start, but since the girls only wanted to see a few cars then take off, we started in the fun building. Oh, my.
The busses caught our attention, stage center. While Steve loves MoPars, the Chevy bus and his 'Stay in School' bus (another Chevy) stood out from the beautiful crowd. Look at the yellow one. Yeah, it has two hemis, both blown. Wow. The sticker on the back says, 'This vehicle stops at all railroad crossings... and gas stations.' D'ya think? It's one of his few 'show-only' rigs, as he drives most of his cars.
This baby is fun to drive, but basically you're driving an engine. Steve states that at thirty miles an hour you can punch it a bit and struggle to control it.
Lots of 'Cudas and Challengers. Many from limited productions, quite a few he's fixed up for fun. Fun means fast. He keeps a stable of GTXs in a separate area, and a few Roadrunners pop up here and there.
This is where Steve does the work. During the cold North Dakota winters he'll take a car and turn it into something beautiful again. He does most of the work, all the body and paint work, and sends engines out for rebuilding and tweaking.
Here's the raw products. He sees the end product like a sculptor sees a statue in a chunk of marble. Some he keeps, mostly stock and some he fancies up pretty good.
The Cheap Trick Avalanche causes whiplash to the classic car watcher, as it isn't classic or exactly a car. But it enjoyed its fifteen minutes of fame in the SEMA show in Las Vegas in '08 and it is tricked..but not cheap. In the passenger seat, mounted like a cop's shotgun is one of the bands' guitars. Notice the mirrors, shaped like guitars. It comes with police light bars and ground effects, and has enough woofer, mid and tweeter to blow the windows out of an armored car.
Outside he showed us his Dodge pickup. That's a factory 500 horsepower 500 pounds of torque Viper engine in it. "Would you like to go for a ride? Or perhaps drive it?"
Age has taught me to not hesitate to say yes. We climbed in and ran down the road apiece, and back. I can assure you that this is the fastest pickup I've ever driven, going from 0 to 110 in four wide smiles.
This building houses the cars waiting for their makeovers. Some seem okay, others look pretty trashed, but Steve sees the possibilities. He states his passions include working on the cars, driving them, and also the hunt-for the cars and parts. He's got 130 cars, down from around 200 where I think he realized he overreached and cut back a bit.
What an awesome tour of his toy house. Makes you want to find a wreck and give it a new life once again. Thanks Steve, Roger, Anders and Rose for including me in your fun.
And Quilter Girl? No problem. We left the fun and found her and Rose in Mayville, skipping through a quilt store.