Since I was a young boy I have been drawn to classic cars and hot rods. I had dreams for years of owning a tri-5 chevy wagon but financially it was never a reality. I have built many hotrods and ratrods over the years helping friends and as a teen studdying under some SAE hall of fame mechanics. My dream was finally realized a couple nights ago when on a whim I contacted a young man on craigslist that had a Rambler wagon for sale. It had the classic looks, twin headlights, fins, chrome, etc. I offered him a trade of a S&W custom 357 Mag revolver. Amazingly he was trying to get into a 1970 toyota corona and his brother wanted the gun for the ammount of cash he owed on the toyota. A circular trade deal was struck, he got his car, his brother got a gun, I got my car and everyone was stoked!
I drove the car home!!! Running and driving with working factory AM Radio. The body is super straight, the trim is all there plus extra, the glass is all good. The bad lies in the floor. the floor is totaly rotten and will require many hours of carefull cutting and welding as it is a unibody car. I cant complain though its a classic and rare car and its mine free and clear!!!
This evening my 5 yr old daughter Kaitlyn and I started working on the old 59. Kaitlyn took one of the bolts out of the front seats and vacumed a bunch of cancer out of the car. I had a lot of fun doing it with her. the seats and all floor materials are now removed. Here are the photos from this evening. the final photo showing the rusted floor. Luckily the floor is not nearly as rotted as I thought they were, but its certianly shot. next I will start removing rotted metal on the way to replacement.
So this evening at about 7:30 I headed outside to start cutting apart the rotten floors. With angle grinders fitted with wire wheel and another with cutting/grinding wheel, shop vac, chanel locks, screw drivers, and other implements of destruction, oh and saftey glasses and bandana on my face SAFETY FIRST!!! I headed out to the rambler and set to work. I took it slow making sure not to cut across any bracing or framework. It was far slower than I had first imagined due to the ton of bracing and framework, not that I am complaining because thats all in good shape. It was not as far as I hoped to get but I figure if I just keep going out there and chipping away at the job it will get done quickly enough and probably be a cleaner job if I dont rush.
So I had a HOLY COW moment neer the end of my work this evening. I was starting to clean up I looked up under the dash and there it was!!!! The rambler fuel mileage HOLY GRAIL!!! OVERDRIVE!!!!! Thats right, I did not know it when I purchased it but this car came from the factory with the very option I was considering seeking out and adding to the car. There it was right in front of me, my precious overdrive. Now let me remind you guys I am not hotrodding this car, I am going to drive it daily and keep the stock motor as long as I can, so this is a huge upgrade to me. Boys the value of the car just went up!
Yesterday I drove the car without floors about 5 miles to my uncles shop. My uncle david is a sheetmetal worker and has all the sheetmetal equipment in his home shop. So Tuesday I will head over there with my welder and start on the floors. David will cut and shape, I will drill and weld. Lots and lots of spot welds to attach the substructure to the new sheet metal. Not to mention the endless tack / stitch welds. A labor of love to make sweet Caroline driveable.