Monday, September 21, 2015

The 1957 Belvedere

I ran across this old photo in my archives today and started getting nostalgic...

I was going to call her Elizabeth and I had every goodie I could get my hands on for her; dual quads, oval air filters, all four bumper wings. But, I ended up getting rid of her after I got laid off from Lexmark in 2009. I've been kicking myself in the ass over that decision ever since.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Cleaning Up The Mess

So after leaving the shop locked up for a couple months over summer, I walked in a few weeks ago only to find the walls, ceiling and most of my shit covered in mold and black mildew, evidently from a leak in one of the cement block walls. This place has the worst gawd-damned ventilation I have ever seen, as in NONE WHATSOEVER. To make matters worse, I've lost over $3500 dollars in collectibles that I had stored inside. I am not a happy fucking camper right now.

This is what it looks like after spending a few weekends cleaning up (and I'm allergic as hell to this shit which does not help. At all).

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Yeah, She's Rough. But...

A little history for those who haven't seen the video (posted here on this blog) where I tell her story: I found Maxine, my 1963 Plymouth Savoy while surfing Craigslist one day last Spring. I had a '63 sedan (with the same slant six and three on the tree) back when I was in high school in '77 and in the back of my mind I was secretly hoping I could find another when she popped up. Bought new back in December of 1962 Maxine is a one owner, local survivor from Grayson, Kentucky. I've got the paperwork to prove it and even found her build sheet still tucked in the springs of the rear seat. And yeah, she looks rough. But mechanically, the Savoy is very sound and you can tell by looking that maintenance was performed regularly. Even the brake system was replaced, front to back, about 8000 miles ago (the service station tag was still on the radiator support when I got her). So while her sheet metal will give you nightmares, the rest of her is pretty solid; floors, rockers, trunk, frame and torsion bar supports. And the interior is all original and intact with only a minimum amount of wear, pretty amazing considering her age and the fact she was a daily driver until her first owner passed away. She might not be your thing, but I really dig her. The only question I'm working on now is what to do with her next... start repairing the sheetmetal or leave her as-is. From a strictly monetary standpoint it wouldn't be worth it, but at the same time I can't help but think of how cool she'd look with the damage repaired and a new coat of paint on her. Something I'll be pondering over most of this Spring I'm sure. In the meantime, I'll keep driving and enjoying her. If you see us, be sure to wave!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The View From Here

Working 100 miles from home means I only get shop time on the weekends, in between household chores, since my garage is in town and I live 7 miles away. Sometimes though I'll pop in on my way home to check up on things, like making sure the furnace is still working, during the week. I grabbed this shot last night after I caught Maxine looking at me as if wondering when I was going to start paying attention to her and take her out for a drive. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Project Cars

I started this blog in 2008, shortly after my purchase of a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere, a car that I really wanted and thought was a good candidate for a long term restoration project. A year later it became evident that the car would need more work than I was willing to put into it and I quickly lost interest. I was laid off from work later in 2009 and eventually traded it for another car, a 1963 Chrysler Newport in much better shape. But, after a while I got bored with it too, the car just didn't do anything for me. I've had several prospective projects since then, including the '62 Imperial that I thought would be my "ultimate" project. But like the others, it didn't excite me. After some soul searching I finally came to the realization that I had developed a deep fondness for the Virgil Exner era, late 50s finned Mopars. Two in particular had always caught my eye, the 1958 Belvedere and the 1959 Dodge Coronet, the latter I really dug for its mean, aggressive eyebrows over the front headlights.

I finally got a chance to score a Coronet back in November of last year and I have to believe that, along with my 1963 Plymouth Savoy driver, I've finally found some rides that I really like and feel are worth taking on.

The moral of this story? Carefully consider the kind of car you REALLY LIKE and are willing to spend several years living with while you bring her back to life. You'll save yourself a lot of aggravation, and money.

More to come.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Peggy Sue (part 2)

So, I've been wanting another late fifties, Virgil Exner era MoPar for some time. Since I got rid of my '57 Belvedere back in 2010 actually. Several cars have come and gone here at the Rusty Nuts Garage, but none of them got me as excited as these old finned cars do. I'll elaborate later on how I got this one, an unmolested, one owner pink and white 1959 Dodge Coronet. But I will admit that I sat on the '62 Imperial while secretly hoping for the opportunity to get her. It only took two years.

Her name is Peggy Sue.

Monday, December 22, 2014

It's A Hobby

And there are some weekends when not a lot of anything gets done at the shop at all.