Photos by John Jackson
Mitch Henderson Could Give Lessons on How it’s Done
Getting a straight answer out of Mitch Henderson, the owner of these two ‘62 GM beauties, is like expecting not to find fish in the ocean. You can ask him why he built a pair of ‘62 GMs so closely related that they both feature the same 215-ci all-aluminum power plant backed by a Dyna Flow Transmission on a Wednesday and get a completely different answer than you did just 24 hours ago. We have heard at least a dozen different reasons, but we are willing to bet it came down to simple indecision.
As we have heard it, Mitch found both the ‘62 Olds F-85 convertible Cutlass and the ‘62 Buick Skylark for sale right around the same time and fell in love with both of them. After some soul searching, he decided he had to have both of them. I guess at some point not buying one or the other would equate to telling one of your kids you loved them a little bit more than their sibling.
The Skylark was all original with just 28,000 miles on the odometer, and from the looks of it, the car had spent a considerable portion of its life indoors. It was so clean, in fact, that Mitch just buffed out the stock red paint, cleaned up the stock red interioR, and the car was ready for a trip to the suspension shop.
At RPL Customs they built custom upper and lower control arms up front, installed a full air ride system and bolted up a pair of 18 x 7 front and 18 x 8 rear Billet Specialties Vintec wheels wrapped in 225/40/18 front and 245/40/18 rear Toyo tires. Believe it or not, that is all that was done to this car. Oh sure, Mitch could have gone hog wild in the interior or engine bay, but no matter what he did it wouldn’t be any cooler than it is right now.
The Olds needed a lot more work to bring it back to show condition. The first order of business was a trip to see Mike Coy to have all of the lumps worked out of the sheet metal and have him spray the body with a fresh coat of Spies Hecker’s Foxy Brown. The engine and interior panels where sprayed with a darker brown called Godiva.
Then the Cutlass visited Mike Stucky to have the interior and top done. Mike stitched the interior with Godiva ultra leather on the stock GM pattern, and then stretched the new top out of Hartz cloth. At this point the Olds was taking significantly longer than the Buick, but it was shaping up to be worth the wait.
With the paint and interior finished, it was time for another trip to see Roger Lynskey at RPL Customs for another set of custom control arms, air ride on all four corners and a matching set of Billet Specialties Vintec wheels wrapped in Toyo tires.
We have to say that Mitch showed incredible restraint with both of these cars, but now that they’re both finished, the only decision he has to make is which one to drive. We have a suggestion: If it looks like it’s going to rain, take the Buick.