Steve Strope spotted this 1964 Oldsmobile while driving down the main drag in Simi Valley, California. It was parked in front of a local motorcycle dealership. Stopping to look, Steve found out the car was for sale, and ended up buying it for $3,000. He knew that the completely stock F85 Cutlass, with a 330ci engine and two-speed automatic transmission, was the perfect starting point for a simple, low-budget build-up that he had been thinking about. He already had a name in mind: Project Long Weekend.
Steve had two reasons for building Project Long Weekend. The first was to have a great-looking, low-buck street machine he could be proud of and drive wherever and whenever he wanted. The second reason was to prove a point. Steve happens to own Pure Vision, the well-known shop that has turned out dozens of top-shelf, no-expense-spared street machines, such as the “Overbuilt” 1971 Pontiac GTO, the T-5R Martini Racing 1966 Ford Mustang, and the Charles Schwab Challenge 1973 Dodge Challenger, many of which you’ve seen in HOT ROD. Even with so many high-end cars to his credit, Steve remains a staunch advocate for the idea that a great car can be built by a do-it-yourself enthusiast on a real-world budget.
As he told us, “The goal was to focus on modifications that can be performed at home, in increments, over one or two weekends, with upgrades that can be completed using mainly hand tools and elbow grease. The reason behind this is to encourage enthusiasts, and to get them building projects they can enjoy.” This car was not built by Pure Vision’s team of fabricators. It was built by Steve, after hours in the shop. The car he bought and the parts he used to build it were chosen based on what the average rodder could afford and accomplish. The car has no sponsored parts of otherworldly tech— although as you’ll see, there is some cool tech involved.
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