Welcome to

Tom Olsen's Page

Tom Olsen is a Sioux Falls native that's been involved in the car hobby since the mid-1960's.  Over the years, Tom took photos at many of the car events he was involved in, both in the Sioux Falls area, as well as the years he was stationed in New Jersey while in the US Army.  Tom is now semi-reitred and writes for the MotorMarket magazine, sharing some of his automotive experiences. The following pages hold a few of his articles and photos he has put together for our enjoyment.  

Tom and his first race car; a 1956 Chevy 2-door station wagon. Photo from 1965.

Here's the 1956 Chevy 2-door station wagon Tom and Joyce own today.(Yes, it's a totally different vehicle.) This wagon is restored to re-create the look of a 1960's Junior Stock drag race car.

As noted above, Tom's car hobby started with his first 56 Chevy wagon, bought in 1964. After an engine overhaul and several refinements, Tom sucessfully drag raced this car in 1964 and 65.

In 1965, Tom then traded his wagon for this nice 56 Chevy sedan. This car also had the 225hp/265ci engine, but Tom never got the opportunity to race this one on the dragstrip.

In early 1966, Tom bought this 63 Chevy Bel Air which already had quite a local reputation as a fast car, on and off the dragstrip. This was Tom's favorite car from "back in the day"; he sold it to a friend upon entering the Army in 1967.

Upon returning from a year in Viet Nam, and getting married, Tom and Joyce Olsen bought this 1969 SS396 Chevelle new, in New Jersey, where Tom was still in the Army. They have actually owned it 3 times over the years, and still own it to this day!

Tom raced the 69 Chevelle in the 1970 and 71 seasons at several area dragstrips.  This photo is from Thunder Valley Dragways in 1970.

After leaving the racing scene, Tom and Joyce owned this 1964 Corvette Sting Ray equipped with a 327 engine and 4-speed trans. (They'd both like to have this one back.)

 

This clean 1967 Chevelle 300 Deluxe was originally a "little old lady's" car. Tom put in a 350 engine, and son, Justin, eventually owned it.

Tom and Joyce bought this 1988 Chevy Monte Carlo SS new and enjoyed it for several years. It went to a friend in Albuquerque, NM.

This 2001 Camaro SS, built by SLP Engineering, replaced the Monte Carlo.  This was Joyce's hot rod; it had the 6 speed trans, T-Tops, and leather interior. Tom and Joyce eventually sold this to their son Travis.

Tom and Joyce's boys are into cars as well; older son, Justin, owned this very nice 1967 CHevy Nova. This car came from AZ, Justin put in a 350 engine and TH350 transmission.

Younger son, Travis, owns this clean 1967 Chevy Nova powered by a nasty 383 stroker motor. Travis enjoys thrashing on this car, so it seems that nearly every season brings a new engine/transmission combo.

This 63 Chevy Bel Air is part of the Olsen's current collection; it's a different car than the one shown previously.  Tom restored this in the early 1980's; it's powered by a 327 with a 4-speed trans.

This is the Chevelle that Tom and Joyce bought new in 1969.  Tom did a full restoration in 2001-03, and they drive it regularly to cruise nights.

This is what the black and white station wagon pictured above looked like the day Tom purchased it. Tom calls it his "barn find"; it had been in this storage unit for 38 years!

It's going to take some work, but I think it's salvageable; purchase day in July of 2011.

After a 3 year restoration, here's the finished product at a cruise night in August, 2014. The wagon sports a 327ci engine with a 700R4 transmission and 4.11 gears.

Tom and Joyce enjoy attending cruise nights and GPSR events in the summer.  Here, in their 63 Chevy, they're arriving at the annual "weinie roast" at Ron and Karen Roe's.

The Olsen's, along with assistance from Jerry and Robin Miller, enjoy hosting a cruise night each summer.  Tom has parked two of the cars outside in preparation for the annual event.

Cars are beginning to fill up the yard for the 2013 cruise night at "Tom's Toybox".  Over 85 classics and rods were here in 2014.

Car club members seem to enjoy their cruise night dinners!  Folks are lined up for the catered "taco bar" at the Olsen's cruise night.

Featured Car of the Month
Read Featured Club Story August 2011

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