Dick Guldstrand is a legend of the Corvette community and an extremely successful businessman in his own right, but many enthusiasts might not know of his involvement in several Hollywood productions. In this video from YouTube, Car Museum 2010 interviews Guldstrand at the Legends of Riverside in March of 2010.
Guldstrand says of his high school days, “Obviously here in southern California, you’re either a Hot-Rodder, or a candy-ass… I was enthralled with what was going on in the community at the time, so what you have to do is start working on cars if you’re not a jock.” Guldstrand got his first break into Hollywood in 1947’s “The Big Wheel” with Mickey Rooney. He was working in a shop when someone from the production studio came in looking for guys with cars to be in the movie. So Guldstrand and a few of his friends drove their cars as extras during filing at the Culver City Speedway.
Guldstrand was also involved in the making of 1967’s “Grand Prix”, and helped with the staging and technical aspects. Guldstrand also talks about how he and Jim Garner became such good friends during the filming of Grand Prix, that they later decided to found American International Racing, and campaigned three new Corvettes in a racing series.
Guldstrand even worked with Elvis Presley on three movies; “Viva Las Vegas”, “Speedway”, and “Spinout.” Guldstrand has very fond memories of The King, saying that Elvis was, “a prince. He was like a kid that was out of place… He was just a guy having a real good time.”
Guldstrand leaves us with this final thought of the intermixing of Hollywood and So Cal car culture: “If you were a part of the southern California community, and you were into racing, there’s no way you could keep out of the movies.”