WELLSBORO — When Angelo Serva drove out of the Tyoga Country Club and spotted it sitting in the parking lot of the neighboring church, he knew it was a special vehicle.
It seems others agree as the 1991 Oldsmobile 88 Royale and Serva’s story made the cover of the August issue of “Journey with Olds,” the official magazine of the Oldsmobile Club of America. The magazine has a circulation of 4,000 and is distributed across the country and overseas.
“The magazine came. It was on my desk and (my wife) Ann said, ‘You got your Olds magazine,’” Serva said. “I looked at it and I said, ‘Ann, that’s our car.’”
There, on page 32, was his story of discovering the car in June 2016 while leaving the golf course. He checked it out and mentioned his interest and desire to buy the car to his wife, who simply responded, “Why?”
Serva wanted a collector car and this white Olds with a red interior was in good condition. Serva met the owner, learned the car had only 66,000 miles on it and purchased the vehicle when he returned from a vacation trip.
From research, Serva discovered the car had been customized, possibly by a company in Baltimore, Md., after being manufactured. It had spent most of its life in Arizona, which accounted for the lack of rust and wear and tear. For the first 13 years, it had been driven only 7,000 miles. It has just 68,000 miles today.
The son of the original owner sold it to the person from whom Serva bought it, who drove the vehicle from Arizona to Pennsylvania.
It’s a top of the line model with a 3.8 V6 engine, front wheel drive, cruise control, air conditioning, inside temperature control, power radio antenna, power windows and locks and extensive dash controls and instrument panel.
Serva did some minor work and his wife is now as enthusiastic as he is.
“Now she doesn’t want me to drive it,” he said, for fear of an accident.
But, that’s what happened last fall as Serva took the vehicle to be inspected. A deer ran into the Olds. Serva took care to preserve the unrestored status. He found replacement parts across the country, from as close as Woodhull, N.Y., and Altoona, to as far away as Michigan and eBay.
The car has been part of the Pennsylvania State Laurel Parade, with Serva driving 102-year-old WWII veteran Audie Scranton in the parade.
When “Journey with Olds” asked readers to submit stories on unrestored Olds, Serva decided to send in his story. Editor Shannon Olson asked for more information and additional photos. For that, Serva asked his grandson, Evan English, for help.
They photographed the vehicle rounding the boulevard on Main Street, the interior, engine and trunk, along with a full length profile shot parked on Main Street in front of The Green. That last photograph appeared on the cover.
“I really think the pictures Evan took really did the job on the story,” Serva said.
He plans to take the vehicle to Hershey for a car show in October and apply for an antique plate.
Serva has a copy of the magazine and shared a copy with the Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce. To view English’s photos, visit https://rwense2.wixsite.com/eephotos/automotive.”