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Thread: New toy

  1. #1
    Super MURCer KRSESQ's Avatar
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    Default New toy

    After years of hemming and hawing and gnashing of teeth, and with the encouragement of one of my clients, I took the plunge and got myself a project car:

    20190706_111527.jpg

    1975 Camaro Type LT. Manufactured early January, 1975. Barnyard find, of sorts. No engine or transmission. The interior needs to be gutted and redone. And of course, there's the rust. Camaros are well-known rust-buckets. But since I was at the point where I was ready to start buying all the sheet metal to build one of these from scratch, this actually saves me a little work. Naturally I'm going to have to learn to weld. YouTube here I come!

    We're going to wash her, and fix her, and make her pretty! gollum small.jpg

  2. #2
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    HaHa!! You're gonna have fun

    Our last project car was a 1959 Chevy Impala (the one with big fins); cream white with red leather.
    Dr. Mordrid
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  3. #3
    Super MURCer KRSESQ's Avatar
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    It's already been fun. My client found it in Drake, ND. Here's a Google image of it in situ:

    Google Maps.jpg

    (That's it, right next to the propane tank.)

    Only the front tires held air well enough to tow, so I loaded it tail-end on the dolly. Started pulling it and it didn't feel too bad, but when I got about 1 1/2 miles out of town I noticed smoke pouring out of the front wheel wells. Knew instantly what was going on so I found a place to pull over and jacked it up and pulled off the front tires and took a tire iron to the brake calipers and pried on them til the rotors spun freely. Got the wheels back on and hit the road again and it rolled like a dream. My old 2000 Jimmy with 175,000 miles on it didn't even breathe hard. Even got decent gas mileage.

    Once I got it home I called around to find a replacement tire for the rear (if you look closely at the image you'll see those aren't even radial tires). Quickly discovered that the tire shops don't even stock 14" tires anymore. Everything's 15" and up. So I had to hit the junkyard for a tire that fit and held air.

    The following Monday I cruised down to DMV to get the title transferred. The lady behind the bullet-proof glass checked her computer and said "I can't register this car. It's listed as having been crushed." She gave me the number of a car-crushing company in Minot. I gave them a call and the fellow I talked to made it sound like this is not an uncommon occurrence for old cars like this. He had someone who could correct it, but she was in Fargo because her dad was having heart surgery. He gave me her number and told me to text her a copy of my title with the VIN. I did so and she texted me back to let me know she'd look into it when she got back to her office. That was a long week and I'll admit that my prayers for her dad to make a speedy recovery may have been a little selfish.

    The next Monday she texted me to let me know the correction was made but I should wait 24 hours for it to propagate through the system. The next day (my birthday, coincidentally) back to the DMV with the title. This time the lady frowned at her computer and said "I see they made the correction, but it still won't let me register it." She had to go find someone from a higher pay grade to enter her access code to let them issue a new title. I'm pleased to report that the car is now officially "uncrushed."

    (The lady at the crushing company explained that they would often get 100 cars at a time from junkyards and they don't check the VINs on every single car; they go by the list the junkyard provided them with. What probably happened is they were presented with another 1975 Camaro with a VIN close enough to mine that a couple of digits got transposed, or a 6 read as a 5, and the "wrong" car got crushed.)

    I knew that by buying this thing I was committing myself to cleaning the garage. But it quickly became apparent that no matter how much I cleaned and reorganized and threw away, there was no way I was going to make room for that car (it's a small garage and it doesn't help that I had two 1978 Honda Hawk motorcycles stashed in there already). Convincing the Mrs that we needed a garden shed was a surprisingly easy sell, even with my insistence that one of the motorcycles would be stored there.

    So we prepped and poured the slab in August, gave it a good three weeks to cure nice and slow, got it framed and roofed, adopted some baby squirrels, got the siding up, custom-built a door, released the squirrels back into the wild, filled the garden shed with garden stuff, and got the car into the garage. To give things a little perspective, this is the first time this garage has been used to store an automobile in 40 years.

    Now it's just a matter of cleaning and inspecting and making a shopping list. If I get this completed within the next 5 years, I would consider that an extremely accelerated timetable. And if anyone from the IRS asks, I'm building a self-driving car.

    So between all that, the wife buying a car for herself, the stitches in my hand, and a winter road trip with my nieces to visit Colorado State University, it's been an eventful year.

  4. #4
    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    Congratulations, that is a pretty car, hope the project goes well. I really like classic 1950s to 1970s american cars.

    Doc: Impala 1959 is one of my favourite 1950s American cars, with 1959 Cadillac being my favourite. You're very lucky to own one.
    https://www.retrogames.cz/play_1145-DOS.php
    Street Rod was one of my favourite Dos games from 286 386 era and I always got the 1959 Impala late in the game.
    I took a great photo of Impala once:
    chevrolet impala in rain by i see world in lines, on Flickr

    I'm 99% there in bringing my 2009 Civic (the space ship one) back to perfection as I crashed it early September (not a big crash but once airbags go off, it's costly). I decided to have the car fixed as it cost slightly less to fix the car I drove and know how it has been maintained with true low millage than to buy similar car in unknown condition. The first repair shop has done a couple of things that bothered me without any communication while having car for more than a month: there was condense in the headlight they replaced with aftermarket, so I ordered OEM and they installed ugly airbag/horn from a steering wheel of vanilla Civic that had like 200.000 miles / 300.000 km with plain silver Honda logo that was yellowed as chrome had worn off. I ebayed nice Type-R steering wheel which has same airbag/horn as my Type-S from Lithania and had it installed. I also ordered gloss black Meta Chrom licence plate holders from Austria. Now the only detail that is missing is the rear bulb cap for the light as after won't fit on OEM and shop threw originals away. I had had the scratches on rear bumpers and scratch on door from someone hitting it fixed in summer and fortunately crash was front left fender.

    I would like to do car restore project one day as well.
    Last edited by UtwigMU; 20th November 2019 at 14:38.

  5. #5
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    My late father in law was a Restorer Supreme; he once took two 1966 Mustangs, one damaged in the front, one in the rear, cut both in half then welded the good halves into a whole vehicle. The frame reinforcement and joinery he did was pure artwork.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  6. #6
    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    Default utwigmu

    KRSESQ, what sort of engine and transmission was in that Camaro originally?
    V8 and 3-speed torque converter?

  7. #7
    Super MURCer KRSESQ's Avatar
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    That would have had a 350 cu in V8 with a four-bbl carburetor bolted to a turbo hydra-matic 350 3-speed automatic transmission. I'm hoping that if I think good thoughts I might be able to find an '80's model Camaro with the fuel injected 350 V8 and transplant that. If I had the cash I'd be awfully tempted to electrify it.

  8. #8
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Crate motor?
    Dr. Mordrid
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    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  9. #9
    Super MURCer MultimediaMan's Avatar
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    Congrats!
    Hey, Donny! We got us a German who wants to die for his country... Oblige him. - Lt. Aldo Raine

  10. #10
    Super MURCer KRSESQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Mordrid View Post
    Crate motor?
    I don't think so. I've had the itch to rebuild another small block V8 for a long time. Just never had anything to put one in. The engine I built for my old Camaro had the camel-hump heads, Corvette cam and a 750 Holley. It moved that little car well enough. And the only trouble it ever gave me was that those gosh-darned rear crank seals would never stop dripping. A friend suggested boring and stroking a 350 to a 383 but expenses will probably force me to work with what I can get.

  11. #11
    Super MURCer KRSESQ's Avatar
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    I'm trying to decide if these rear tires qualify as what we used to call "slicks"?

    20190706_180917.jpg 20190706_180950.jpg

    "Slicks" were really just low-profile, extra wide, flat street tires usually on a deep-dish rim.

    (To provide some scale, that's a size 9 1/2 E shoe.)

  12. #12
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    "Slicks" in my day were drag tires

    Dr. Mordrid
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    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  13. #13
    Super MURCer KRSESQ's Avatar
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    I wonder how white walls with baby moons would look with Ford Magma Red or Cadillac Garnet?

  14. #14
    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRSESQ View Post
    I wonder how white walls with baby moons would look with Ford Magma Red or Cadillac Garnet?
    Weren't baby moons and white walls more 1950s thing, not 1970s muscle car thing?

  15. #15
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UtwigMU View Post
    Weren't baby moons and white walls more 1950s thing, not 1970s muscle car thing?
    They were common through the early1970's, tailing off after then.

    They did look very cool on my '57 and '58 Chevy Bel Air's though. Dad had them on his '63 Falcon (which had a tricked Boss 302 engine.)
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 22nd November 2019 at 02:21.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

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