At an early age, Boardman High School student Nick Miketa set a goal of having a classic car that would be his every day driver. When he turned 16, he had saved enough money to make that dream a reality. Today, at 22, Nick still has the 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass and along with his father, Jim Miketa, the duo make local and national car shows.
"This [Cutlass] was Nick's first car that he bought with his own money," Jim said.
He said Nick had always wanted a classic car when he first got his driver's license. He found the perfect car in West Virginia. It was owned by a retiring school teacher and had only 80,000 miles on it. The teacher had it undercoated regularly to prevent rust and the effort paid off in preserving the car in its original state. It was Nick's perfect ride, the purchase was made and the original intent was to have it as a daily driver.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Nick and Jim Miketa of Boardman, share a father-son passion for vintage Oldsmobiles that began when Nick was 16 years old. Today, they show off Nick’s 1978 Olds Cutlass along with some interesting historic items at local car shows.
The vehicle was in mint condition and needed no restoration. It even included a working factory eight-track, which sent Nick searching for some vintage tapes to play on the system.
After Nick graduated from Boardman in 2010, he had already started getting involved in showing the car. It was taken to national Oldsmobile club events and ended up being a national winner twice for its originality. It has a white and blue original paint job that is rare for that year of Cutlass. The only addition Nick had made was to put lettering on the trunk that said "Simply Original."
Jim was proud of his son and what he had done. He also got involved in putting together displays to use at the car shows.
"For Christmas three years ago, I located a vintage parking meter on eBay," Jim said. "I bought it and restored it with the Oldsmobile advertising that some cities used to bring in added revenue."
Jim later located a fine box that some cities used for people to pay violations right bat the meter. He put the meter together on a base and gave it to his son as a present. Today, the meter display is used at any car show Nick enters.
Nick is a busy fellow who works in security at VMR Star, does theatrical stage rigging at the Covelli Center, and is a volunteer firefighter for the Lowellville Fire Department. He is also a certified national responder. His work often has him working late hours, which means his father has to pitch in to show the car on occasion.
"I'll take the Olds to a car show and my friends will ask if Nick knows I borrowed his car," Jim said.
Nick said his dream ride has taken on new meaning since the day he brought it home.
"I was looking for something I could take to shows that would also be a daily driver," he said. "Now I have a new truck and the Olds has become a show car."
He still enjoys driving it and listening to the older eight-track music. Among his favorite tapes is one by Journey, he said.