Like the Ozzy Osbourne song, I'm making progress, but the car is getting less assembled instead of more. I had the bumpers done about 2 years ago. The rear one was a mess, with lots of waves in it. I have large trees in front of my house, so the first thing I kept seeing when I opened the garage door is the wavy bumper, made even more noticeable with bright shiny new chrome. Seeing it over and over again was like Groundhog day, so I got tired of looking at it and sold the bumper on ebay. Sold it and shipped it away. I bought a reproduction to replace it. It came with holes for bumper guards that I don't have. I sent it back, and finally have the right one. When I get it assembled and installed, I still won't be back to where I was a month ago....
Lots of things happen in a month. I'm losing my job of 15 years, and that steady paycheck. The silver lining is that I inherited the cabinet sandblaster and a bunch of other tools, all of which I've spent the last two weeks jamming into the basement and garage of my tiny 900 square foot house. I was never Mr. Organization to begin with, and the stuff is stacking up frightfully high. This is just the edge of one stack of stuff. The new bumper peaks out of its new box in the foreground of the second photo.
I filled a bucket with hot water and Dawn dish soap and threw in all the seatbelts, and soaked them overnight. I threw in everything, buckles, retractors, everything. After they had soaked overnight, I used a stiff nylon bristle brush and scrubbed them down. I hosed them off and the water that came out of them was pretty dirty. I set them in the sun to dry while I wire-wheeled off the mount bolts. I had very little time for the car today, but I did manage to get these done, and no disasters this time. Will try for the passenger door panel tomorrow, which will be another short day.
3-11-06. I combined this entry with the last one, because I didn't want a bunch of seperate entries with only one photo.
A few days ago I installed the new top lift cylinder hoses and cleaned up that huge mess. The temperature was letter perfect today, in the 70s. I got out of work a half hour early, and made some good progress on the car. I got alot of work done on the dash, the glove box liner, glove box light, dash panel map light, glove box door, hinge and stop arm. I also managed to get the AM/FM radio installed. I picked it up on an Oldsmobile message board a couple years ago for just $40. I'm missing one of the original knobs, so I kind of made one out of a Delta 88 knob. It isn't correct, but will fill the hole until I find the right one.
I put some old 6x9 speakers in the rear body structural member, and fast wired them up to the stereo to see how it sounded. The stereo is state of the art 1971, but it's original and I love the way it looks. I'd like to have some kind of CD player hidden somewhere, but I'm not sure how I want to do that just yet.
This car is killing me! I restored a few cars years ago, and all on the cheap, on a shoestring. I've spent five times as much money and effort on this car, and it seems like each and every thing possible blows up in my face on this one.
I prepared to install the passenger door panel, put down the top, and pow! One of the hydraulic hoses broke right in half, soaking the rear floor and underlay with fluid. I don't understand it, because I installed all this stuff not that long ago and it was fine.
I removed the rear interior panels that I had just installed not an hour earlier, and mopped up some of the mess. It was warm today, but the remains of the hose broke apart between my fingers like a pretzel, practically crumbled to pieces. More money to spend, and more time between now and finished. I guess I should now be considering other hobbies at this point.....
This second photo shows one of the rear panels installed-right before I removed it to clean up the oil spill.
All the news isn't bad though. As the sun set, I drove the car slowly around my neighborhood with the top down for a short time. It wasn't just aimless cruising, I was charging the battery back up after having the doors open for so long!
Fantastic 65+ temperature here in St. Louis today. I decided to install some interior panels. The progress was slow because the panel is reproduction, and the door shell was not originally from a Supreme, so I had to located and drill the holes for the interior pull handle.
I installed the plastic vapor liner, and did it right with sealer around the edges, and routed the power lock and window switch wires through.
The panel itself wasn't too bad, just took a little time. Had to be careful not to scratch the brown dye/paint on the armrest base. I used the scratch awl to locate those holes, no big deal.
I then had to remove the panel to figure out how to tie the power window switch wiring away so it wouldn't hit the glass as the window goes down, then had to take it apart again to reroute because it made a bulge in the panel. Then I used the scratch awl to poke holes for the lower screws, installed those and it was done.
One minor disaster: the clip on the window switch broke off, so it won't stay tight in the panel. Hopefully I can find a car old enough at the yard with power switches to get another one off of.
That wasn't the last disaster I had to deal with today though.....
The car appears pretty close to finished on the outside now, but I still have to do some final panel alignment, lots of interior and dash work, and install the wheel trim rings. I'm saving those for last. I'll get one of my friends to take a photo of my cheesy grin as I put the last one on, and I'll be sure to post it here.
The convertible top is finally installed. This is a Kee top, which I bought from the PartsPlace. I had it professionally installed, along with a new back window. I thought black looked better than the original white top. The car's body color looked a little dark to go well with white. I considered cream or off-white, but in the end chose black.
It looks pretty inviting with the top down, but the photo does not show that it is about 25 degrees outside...