GREAT FALLS — The Cruisin’ the Drag Car Show is coming up May 5 and 6 in downtown Great Falls. Of course, there will be plenty of activities for the whole family and plenty of classic cars to check out, including one that has its place in Hollywood history.
Robin Fladstol jokes that he came out of the chute a classic car enthusiast.
“This is about as hot rod as you can get,” said Fladstol.
The prize of his collection is a rebuilt 1997 Corvette.
The car was in the movie‘2 Fast 2 Furious’.
While it doesn’t have a prominent role in the 2003 hit film, it did show up in the opening scene.
“About four minutes into the beginning, it was painted red, and it said X-Box 360 it was sponsored by Microsoft, it had a wrap on it,” said Fladstol.
The dashboard is signed by some of the film’s major stars, including Ludacris, the late Paul Walker, and director John Singleton.
So how did Fladstol become the keeper of the keys? The Texas man who built the car sold it to another car lover in Great Falls.
“It happened to be next to my office at Easterseals, where I worked,” said Fladstol. “I heard it and I went over, looked at it, dreamed about it, and years later, I wound up getting it just by the power of the hot rod gods.”
While at a car show, Fladstol was even able to catch up with the car’s original owner.
“A fella from the base was from the town in Texas that this car was built,” said Fladstol. “So he was on the phone and he said, 'Guess what, I'm looking at your car.' So I got to talk to the fella that actually built the car itself down in Texas.”
Fladstol has had the car for about five years and says he’s still in shock that he owns it.
“Oh, it's got a roller 348 in it with an F-5 supercharger,” said Fladstol. “So with the nitrous and everything, it's pushing pretty close to a thousand horsepower. It’s got a six-speed in it. Yeah, she's a honey.”
It's only been out a few times, but it always draws a reaction.
“Once the kids find out find out that Paul Walker sat in that seat and signed the dash, it's all over,” said Fladstol. “They fall in love with it. I let them take their picture in it right where Paul Walker was sitting and they usually get a kick out of that. But from 8 to 80, they all love it.”
Fladstol says he has been approached by some potential buyers but would have a hard time letting it go. He says he may one day start a non-profit and auction it off. Until then he’s hoping to get up to speed.
“It’s got really low gears. So I get out a hole in the top end pretty good,” said Fladstol. “It supposedly can do 200 miles an hour but yeah but haven't found a road around here.”
Fladstol says he thinks he’ll always have hot rods. He says for him, they offer valuable life lessons.
“Guys are asked if they like cars or girls better. It must be cars because I've had too many cars and too many problems that way,” said Fladstol.