Crazy for classic cars

Matt Sahlstrom shows off his 1965 Ford Mustang and a rare 1984 Thunderbird Fila

  • Aug. 7, 2019 9:06 a.m.

– Story by Maggie Jackson Photography by Don Denton

Langford City Councillor, Matt Sahlstrom, has been in love with cars since he was a toddler. “My parents have always maintained my first word was car. When I was around three years old, we lived next door to my Uncle Richard, a car collector, on what is now Knockan Hill in Victoria.

Matt’s first classic car was a 1965 Mustang. “I had a 1968 Ford custom, 2-door post, but when I owned it, it wasn’t a classic yet. My first stock car back in 1977 was a 1956 Ford,”

Matt bought his Mustang from a family friend. It had sat in his garage for 10 years when Matt bought it. “I’ve owned the 1965 Mustang for about 19 years now. It’s special to me because it comes with a history that is close to me. The previous owners knew I would take good care of it. We still call it “Josh” as the previous owner had requested.

Matt’s other car is a 1984 Ford Thunderbird Fila. This car is as unique as it is classic as there were only 500 made. Of those, only two of these rare birds came to BC. Matt was able to purchase it from the original owner about 10 years ago. “Everything on the T-bird Fila is 100% original,” he said. “I always regretted selling my 1986 Thunderbird years ago. My younger brother Robert, a Ford mechanic at Suburban Motors, found the Fila Thunderbird online and alerted me right away. He knew it would fill the gap the ’86 left in my heart and my garage.”

The Thunderbird has some interesting options including: a kidnap latch in the trunk, white leather interior, toggle for premium sound and a hand pump that inflates the seat for lumbar support. “The lights also come on when it gets dark,” Matt said. “Which was very premium for 1984.”

When it comes to driving his classics, Matt knows just where to take them. “I love to drive these cars through the country roads of Langford and Metchosin and drive along the Esquimalt Lagoon. I love the fresh air, the peacefulness, the winding left and right turns. Most of the time it’s like I’m the only person on the road. No one tailgating me or rushing me. I just get to take it all in, the scenery and the pleasure of driving these cars.”

Matt would also love to get his hands on a 1959 Cadillac. “I’m the same age as the car,” Matt said. “I love the huge fins and the characteristic front grill. My Mom and Dad gave me a 1959 Cadillac Bourbon Decanter on my 50th birthday.”

In a perfect world, he’d also have a 1935 Chrysler 2 door businessman coupe. “My uncle Richard had one of those too. It was kept in a heated garage on its own and covered in blankets. I used to sit in that car for what seemed like forever, dreaming of owning it and driving it on the streets. Maybe someday.”

Just Posted

Column: Potentially valuable WorkSafeBC review let down by bias

Notes from the Legislature by Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo

Boil water notice rescinded for Yard Creek Campground

Interior Health water testing shows acceptable levels of bacteria

Man jailed for fraud involving North Shuswap credit card thefts

Salmon Arm area man pleads guilty to six counts of fraud under $5,000.

One sent to hospital following Balmoral Road/Highway 1 collision

Violation ticket issued in second crash at Balmoral intersection in two weeks

Owners of stolen truck spot it in Chase but thief drives off

Chase RCMP request help in finding Dodge pickup, Honda Civic

Madchild brings demons of drug abuse to Okanagan

Swollen Members rapper takes Status stage

Civil claim filed over motocross track west of Summerland

Track was constructed on agricultural land around 2016

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

On-foot brewery tours in Okanagan give ‘beer runs’ a new dimension

Brew Crew Kelowna celebrated its kick-off year in this summer

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Repair work to begin on lakeshore paths in Summerland

Paths were damaged during spring flooding in 2017 and 2018

North Okanagan adventure park concerns

LETTER: Neighbour to proposed adventure park in Spallumcheen offers up his concerns on project

Salmon Arm history in pictures: Hospital under construction

The “new” hospital is being built in this 1958 photograph. Hasn’t Salmon… Continue reading

Most Read