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.”

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

Just Posted

Put away the shovels, week of rain ahead for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada calling for wet weather until Sunday

Dog dies, Victoria man arrested after incident in Oaklands

Police called to ‘incident between a man and a dog’ Monday afternoon

Supreme Court determines bext phase of Victoria’s plastic bag ban on Thursday

The Supreme Court of Canada will decide whether or not it will hear the appeal

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: Study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

VIDEO: Greater Victoria mom shares ‘insane’ experience of viral dinosaur video

Tabitha Cooper filmed her costumed sons meeting their grandma at the Victoria International Airport

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

Vancouver Island home to one of Canada’s largest private skateboard collections

Eric Pinto owns hundreds of boards, spanning multiple decades

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Most Read