As a youngster pumping high-octane gasoline for local muscle car owners in Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley during the 1960s, Mark Lundquist could only dream of owning a 1965 Chevrolet Malibu Super Sport (SS). As if to make up for lost time, however, Mark now has four Chevy SS cars (as well as a beastly “standard” 1968 Camaro) of varying vintages parked in a Joshua Tree, California, garage that inspires envy in every guest who drops in. And yes, this collection includes a ’65 Malibu SS.
Other drivers speed past this Czech oddity without a second glance, seemingly oblivious to the car’s dorsal fin and triple headlights. But as Paul swings the Tatra into a parking space in front of a favorite local bistro, it’s as if he has brought the black teardrop to a stop in the middle of a Hollywood spotlight. Here come the second glances, the puzzled questions. "What in the world is that?"
We’ve been asking–actually, begging and pleading–for a ride in this monument to Americana but James Chen always found a way to politely turn us down. He is, he says, willing to share his Ferraris and Lamborghinis and Cadillacs, but he and his family enjoy such a personal relationship with this particular car that he seldom shares it with outsiders. He finally gave in.
In 1967, Glenn's parents special-ordered a silver Saab Sonett II from a Florida dealer and, as a result, Glenn spent his childhood riding to school not in Detroit’s muscle cars of the 1960s and ‘70s but in a 1500-pound Swedish sports car with a 70 horsepower, two-stroke engine. The Sonett has followed Glenn through life. In 1980, when he was eighteen years old, Glenn bought the car from his parents for $300 and, with the help of his father, gave the car enough energy to carry Glenn through college and into adulthood.