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.”

LifeLifestyle

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

Most Read