October 15, 1998 Banner Small Page D5

Restoration Begins Banner
 
After arriving at my house, the car was cleaned out and evaluated. A look inside the trunk revealed. . . no trunk ! Furthermore, the floorboards, quarter panels, fenders, hood, doors, rocker panels, door sills, inner rockers and trunk lid were all found to be unusable. All the convertible top pieces needed replacement as well. What was needed was a parts car with good metal. Rusty Trunk
Parts Car Fortunately, a 59 Dodge 2dr HT parts car showed up within a few months. The car was about five miles from Hartford.  The guy was so happy to get rid of it, he even offered to tow it to my house for free.   Another lucky break was finding a 59 Plymouth Sport Fury convertible that a muscle car guy was parting out.  The car yielded a perfect convertible top frame, working motor and pistons and other convertible only parts.
After finding a place to do the restoration and acquiring a MIG welder, I began to piece the car back together.  A floor board from Kansas was the first thing to go in, followed by the rockers, inner rockers and door sills.  On the convertible, the latter pieces are made from 12 gauge stamped steel to give the car added structural rigidity.  I had a sheet metal fabricator make up these panels for me.  The rear floor pan was cut from the parts car.  Photo taken in Fall 1992. Floor Board
Ron with Quarter Panel In this Fall 1993, photo, you can see some of the progress.  The quarter panel from the parts car has been patched in the lower areas and welded onto the convertible body.  The doors have also been replaced with the ones from the parts car.  I added the trunk lid to check alignment.  The windshield, which I thought was good, had a few stone chips in it.  So that will be replaced as well.  Photo was taken at my first shop.
Here' s the most difficult part of the restoration.  I didn't have a complete quarter panel available, so I had to piece one together from my parts car plus two other Dodge parts cars. This area was cut open and rewelded five times (!) before I was satisfied. It will still require some bondo to smooth out the seams. The large 2x8 in the center of the car is supporting the cowl, which had to be cut it loose for alignment of the doors. Photo taken in Spring, 1998, at my second shop. Dodge at Shop
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