Raschka's Rad Ride
Several years ago, I was tootling around my hometown—Oroville, California—when I saw this crazy looking car go by. I had never seen anything like it and thought it would be cool to see it up close. A few days later, I was telling one of my friends about it and she said she had seen it too. I was publishing the Gold City Gazette at the time and thought it would be cool to do an article about it but had no idea how to find the car or the owner.
I finally talked to someone who knew who owned the car. I don’t remember all of the details of how I succeeded in tracking down this guy, but I was totally excited. I contacted him and arranged to do an interview and get pictures of the car. I feel the story is quite interesting and thought it would be a good addition to my blog.
The car originally belonged to a man named Everett Raschka. When Everett was 18 years old, he dreamed of building his own custom car. He could envision the car in his head, all he needed was the resources to construct the vessel. It would prove to be an elusive task that at times may have seemed as if it would never come to fruition.
When he was about 52, he finally began working on his dream car. He started with a 1956 Buick and set out to create a one of a kind mode of transportation. It took him about five years to complete the car that looks something like an airplane wing from the side. All of his hard work paid off. He owned the coolest, most unique automobile in town.
Raschka always bragged that the midnight blue humming machine would glide down the street smooth as butter. Other motorists would make the mistake of staring as they passed Raschka, resulting in many vehicles ending up in ditches because of the distraction. He felt somewhat responsible for the incidents, so he painted the car white in attempts to decrease the possibility of causing wrecks.
Raschka loved to travel and made up a bed in the back of the car for long trips. His awesome invention was once featured in an Oregon newspaper after he had been observed driving it down the road. He put the words “GONE AGAIN” on the back of the vehicle because it was never long before he was, well—gone again.
When Everett passed away, the car sat for about 25 years. Then his son, Dennis, began driving it. Dennis stated that the car is about 1000 pounds lighter now than when originally constructed. It has all of the original running gear. He gets about 18 miles per gallon on the highway and 16 miles per gallon in town— and looks pretty cool doing it.
The car was out of commission when I interviewed Dennis because it needed a new water pump. “You can’t just go buy a water pump for a ’56 Buick,” Dennis quipped. “You have to have it built,” he continued. He said he should have the pump in about a week and be back on the road. No doubt, Dennis installed the pump and cruises the streets of Otown in his gliding machine—the coolest car in Oroville.