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It’s A Car, No It’s A Boat!

From the time Teddy Olenski of Ansonia, Connecticut was 15 he’s been in love with cars. Fast forward some years and he now owns about 40 vintage vehicles, trucks and such in various conditions. In particular of interest to me is his 1962 cherry red Amphicar and his turquoise 1954 Nash Metropolitan. Oh be still my heart!

I was introduced to Olenski through a Facebook friend. I called him up and the rest is history. This was a bucket list kind of a day going for a ride in his Nash Metropolitan ( ala Lois Lane from Superman) and rounding it out with a drive on land and water in the Amphicar, this was just unbelievable. Olenski fired it up for its maiden May 2011 ride right into the Housatonic River at a boat launch in Derby, Connecticut. There wasn’t much of a crowd when we first drove it into the water, but you should have seen what formed after folks figured out what was going on. This was way too much fun.

Olenski’s Victorian late 1800’s home and carriage house in the back where he keeps his two best collectibles,  is eccentric to say the least with all kinds of really cool collectibles, that’s just who he is. In the attic there is a shuffle board table which runs the length of the third floor space, unbelievable.

Every body knows him around town because of his cars, in particular for his Metro Nash. He says it’s a car fit for Daisy Duck. When he drives it down the street with his hair flowing in the breeze, well it’s the site of somebody who is having a lot of fun when he’s behind that vintage wheel.

Speaking of that vintage wheel if you look closely in the photos below, Olenski has added a little glitter to the wheel so that it shows off better in the sunlight.

Olenski says often times people think it’s Jerry Garcia motoring about, he fancies that a bit. He’s doing life on his terms, seems like a good way to go if you ask me.

What is Olenski’s day job, well he works on cars running Ted’s Auto Restoration of course among other things.



  1. Kathy DeBurra
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    I don’t know if I’d like to be Lois or a Mermaid more! What a great story and so much fun to see the joy Ted has in sharing! Great!

  2. joe s
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 4:04 am | Permalink


    Thanks for another great post. Your voyage in the Amphicar looks pretty special. As Teddy says in the video, they are rare; especially in condition to still navigate land and water.

    Old cars bring back fond memories for many of us. You show three photos of a green car with a single amber marker light; I think it is a 1940 Chevy. I learned to drive on a 1940 Chevy (it was a black Special Deluxe with suicide doors). On my first trip without my instructor (my cousin) beside me, I took out several feet of fence when I didn’t straighten out the wheel quick enough after a turn.

    My sister was in the back seat. She reminds me often of the damage.

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted May 25, 2011 at 4:06 am | Permalink

      Joe, what a great story, thanks for sharing that. I think the cars of yesterday are so gorgeous. Thanks for reading.

  3. Posted June 8, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Interesting and unusually cool cars.

    Over 40 years ago, a friend’s dad, 3 houses up the street, had an Amphicar – in fact when they announced they were shutting down he purchased 5 more so he’d have a “lifetime supply”.

    Robert Schwink had become a paraplegic in the early 1950’s due to an automobile accident; thus getting into and driving a car was possible, but not a boat (at least not easily).

    A senior engineer at Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado (where the largest construction company in the state, Coors Construction, worked for decades enlarging the place) he had designed his own hand controls for the manual transmission Amphicar and took his son Phil and I fishing in it regularly.

    It was a hoot!

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted June 8, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      Doug, thank you for writing this, what a great story, I love this kind of stuff!

  4. Michael Burke
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Permalink


    Great article. I am so glad I got you the oportunity to get to know Ted. From the moment you posted a pic of him in his Nash convertible driving down the highway on Facebook. Then your comment about the car I knew I had to try set something up. He is a very interesting guy. I met him years ago while helping Ernie run the Heav’nly Donuts Cruise Night. Everytime he stops in we tease him in a good way.

    I thank You for doing a story on him.

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted September 13, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

      Michael that was so darn much fun, my favorite video, that was a great day.