My wheels: Wayne Porter's 1974 Buick Electra

This is a true "survivor car," and you're just the guy who can verify it. Tell us about your 1974 Buick Electra 225 4-door hardtop.

Well, I bought the car new on the 19th of January, 1974, from Don Smith Motors here in Newton. They had a whole lot full of them ... that was at the time of the first fuel (shortage) deal. I really wish I had the car I traded on this one. It was a '65 Buick Wildcat ... I gave them that car and $5,000 for this.

It is in amazing condition for a 36-year-old car. The gold brocade interior looks perfect, no cracks in the dash. And the metallic copper color is excellent _ has it been repainted?

No, it's the original paint, except for the rear fender caps. They were made out of a rubber material and over time, they just fall apart. Bobby Brenneman, who runs a body shop here in town, found a guy in Arkansas who reproduces them in fiberglass and he matched the color perfectly.

So how many one-owner miles have you logged on it and what kind of mileage does it make?

It has 76,000 actual miles on it. It has the 455 V-8 engine in it and back when we were younger and took it on trips, it would make 16 to 18 miles to the gallon. It still drives and rides like a dream. I wouldn't be afraid to get in it and take off for California right now ... except the tires are 18 years old. I can't find white wall tires for it anymore.

You probably get a lot of offers to take it off your hands, don't you?

Not really ... it doesn't get out of the shed much ... it's hardly spent any time in the sun. My wife sometimes says, 'Why don't we sell that old car?' But she hasn't talked me into it yet. I'm kind of proud of it.