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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:20 PM   #1
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my 1968 442...5/11 UPDATE

Well, seeing as I've been on here awhile now asking questions (and receiving tons of valuable information--thanks guys--Classic Olds is a great site!), I figured it's about time I posted some pics of what I've been doing.

Some background: I purchased this car off eBay in April of 2008. It was a Pennsylvania car, and if I'm not mistaken, I got it off the 3rd owner. He had it a short time and is a long-time Olds man. He told me he got it from the 2nd owner, who was the son of the original owner. I have not tried to contact him yet for more info, but might do so at some point in time. The car is originally Scarlet Red with a Black Vinyl Top. It has a black interior, and I find it personally cool that it's a 4-speed and came with a bench seat.

It has its original 400 engine and original M-21 Muncie transmission. Originally, I thought the car had 158,XXX miles, as based on the body and interior shape (not to mention how poorly the engine ran), I just assumed it had been driven a lot, and driven hard. However, after recently pulling the engine and transmission, based on the wear found, my engine man said there's no way there's 158,XXX miles on it and is most likely 58,XXX miles. So, that's pretty nice. However, that doesn't belie the work I have ahead of me as you'll see in the pics.

For some odd reason (it's a PA car, so I'm not really sure how the seats were trashed after 58,000 miles), the car had 1969 GTO seats in it. I have since sold these seats and purchased the correct '68 bench and rear seat.

As far as plans for the car, I think it's deserving of putting the car back to how it was originally. So, I'm going with the red paint and black vinyl top. I have the interior set ready to go from Legendary Auto Interiors (found out the hard way that seat covers for a '68 from PUI is NOT good). Going with the stock wheels with dog dish hubcaps (my favorite look). This car did not originally come with the Rally Stripe, so I'm not putting them on the car (Joe P. will be happy about that! haha) The car came with the vacuum operated trunk release, so I'm getting a new piece of hose and running it all the way through the car to the actuator. Gotta have that!

I will be putting one thing on the car that was not original: air conditioning. At some point I will be moving back to Arizona, so I'd be foolish not to have it. I have procured a complete 1968 unit, including all the ductwork, heater box, cables and heater/a/c instrument panel face for the princely sum of $200. Pretty excited about that!

Here's some of the items with codes my car came with. Then, onto the mess...er, pictures....

A39 SEAT LAP BELTS WITH A52
A52 SAT, FRONT BENCH
Factory Installed Accessory Group 2
A91 POWER TRUNK-LID LATCH
B93 MOLDINGS, CHROME DOOR-EDGE GUARD
LAMPS, INST. PANEL COURTSEY AND MAP
U35 ELECTRIC CLOCK
U63 RADIO, DELUXE PUSHBUTTON
Y60 LAMPS AND MIRROR, CONVENIENCE
D33 REMOTE-CONTROL OUTSIDE REARVIEW
G92 AXLE PKG. 3.42-TO-1
V01 HEAVY DUTY RADIATOR
J50 PEDAL-EASE POWER BRAKES
N40 ROTO-MATIC POWER STEERING
U80 BI-PHONIC REAR RADIO SPEAKER
M21 CLOSE RATIO 4-SPEED TRANSMISSION (Actually, I have a question about this...the code is P8A 22B. I'm assuming this was built Jan 22, 1968 and the B=M21, correct? It matches my build date of Jan 1968, so I assume it's good.)

OK, well, this is long enough...on to the pics....
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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:31 PM   #2
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Here's a few pics of the car as I received it. I have all the chrome trim. I'm very excited to polish all 357 pieces of it. haha. The spoiler is long gone. It was actually from a 70 W-31. You could see the yellow paint under the crappy red paint job.
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Here's some after I pulled the interior out. There's some odd rust there as well as your typical rust. One of the first two owners did a bang-up job patching the driver's side floor panel. It had a HUGE hole in it, and was patched with metal and tar. No welding for him! On the odd side, for some reason, the section under the middle floor brace and the brace itself has sections of rot. It's as if the middle brace would fill up with water and just corrode.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:35 PM   #3
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In case you're wondering why the huge hole in the floorpan, here it is.... This is going to be fun repairing.
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Back window and package tray are nice, however. Package tray looks like it was painted the other day.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:40 PM   #4
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Thumbs up Looks Great!

Looks to me like an awesome car to start with. Seems to be structurely sound. The color is great, it's a 4 speed. I had one years ago and I miss it.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:40 PM   #5
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OK, in the pic, the package tray looks like it was painted yesterday and then subjected to a monsoon quickly thereafter. It's nicer than the pic show.

Back to the not so nice...cowl rust....driver's side:
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Pulling the engine and transmission!! That's my uncle manning the hoist. Not sure if you can see it, but there's about an inch of oil on the entire engine. It was incredible.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:41 PM   #6
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good looking car.
what fun wood they be if they were already perfect
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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:44 PM   #7
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A couple more pics!! Next update will be after I get back from Phoenix the last week of Jan.
Click the image to open in full size.

there was also about an inch of grease on the engine support and everything around it.
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Off to the sandblaster's!!!!!
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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:51 PM   #8
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Looks to me like an awesome car to start with. Seems to be structurely sound. The color is great, it's a 4 speed. I had one years ago and I miss it.
Thanks. For an east coast car, I and a couple other people who have seen it think it's pretty decent.

I forgot to mention, one REAL nice thing this car came with when I bought it are NOS bumpers, front AND rear. They're mint, and I'm guessing worth some serious coin. Very nice to have.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 07:24 PM   #9
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Real nice project, you scored big on the bumpers, keep the pics comin'
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Old January 5th, 2009, 08:13 PM   #10
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And the fun begins. Nice project keep the pics comming.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #11
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Very nice. Matching motor. The Pontiac upholstery has to go, however.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 02:07 PM   #12
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The Pontiac upholstery has to go, however.
Haha. Already gone! Have purchased a proper front bench and rear seat for the car, as well as seat covers from Legendary.

Just talked to the sand/media blaster today. Guess my trunk lid is shot due to the stupid spoiler that was on it--completely rusted out the lower inside brace. So, I'm in need of a new trunk/deck lid if anyone's got one and is close to AZ....
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Old January 6th, 2009, 02:32 PM   #13
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Nice project keep us posted on the progress and of course add pictures as needed to show how you are doing. Good Luck
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Old January 6th, 2009, 03:31 PM   #14
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Tom,
I have one of my 68's on eBay and one of the things I made sure to photo is how clean the rear package deck corners and the windshield corners on the dash are. That is the toughest thing to find solid on the 68 and 69's. My car lived its life in California, San Diego to be exact and is in GREAT SHAPE, and know one wants to pay 5K for it. If I can't get that for it I will just have to keep driving it! Gee thats too bad, NOT! I am originally from N.Y. so I know about rust cars, yours looks pretty good for an Eastern car. Best of luck and if nothing else HAVE FUN WITH IT!
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Old January 6th, 2009, 07:24 PM   #15
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Tom,

Nice looking project car. I had the same problem with my cowl area. Lots of fun with the grinder and welder fixed it though. Good luck and keep the pics coming.

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Old January 7th, 2009, 06:22 AM   #16
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Very cool, Tom! Thanks for sharing your project with us, and keep the updates coming. It is not only interesting and fun, it helps all of us, too as we learn from each other.
Some of my observations:
Bench seat 4-speed is exceptionally cool!
I know you're determined to add the AC, but going so original as you are and as that car was built for speed, are you *sure* you want to go with that "non-original power robbing sissy option" AC? I know, it is a matter of personal preference, but I guess you know how I feel about it now.
The SSI wheels look great, but wouldn't be original to the car, so the dog dishes are a great way to go!
If you don't have one, buy a '68 assembly manual. Best $25.00 you can spend on your car!!
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Old January 7th, 2009, 07:42 AM   #17
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Thanks for the comments and encouragement, guys. It's going to be a lot of work that I have to get done in a short period of time, but I think it'll be worth it.



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Bench seat 4-speed is exceptionally cool!
I thought so, especially on an Olds which is obviously more of a "luxury" brand. I figured most probably picked the bucket seat option.

Quote:
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I know you're determined to add the AC, but going so original as you are and as that car was built for speed, are you *sure* you want to go with that "non-original power robbing sissy option" AC? I know, it is a matter of personal preference, but I guess you know how I feel about it now.
Generally, I would whole-heartedly agree with you. I'm about keeping the car original as it's number's matching, and I would definitely do so. However, I'm fairly certain I'm not staying on the east coast and will probably make the move back to Phoenix at some point in time. I'm not sure if you've spent any time in AZ, but it'd be impossible to drive to work or any event where you need to be somewhat dressed up without A/C. I don't want to be limited by weather, I guess.

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If you don't have one, buy a '68 assembly manual. Best $25.00 you can spend on your car!!
Yep, I've got one!

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Tom,
Nice looking project car. I had the same problem with my cowl area. Lots of fun with the grinder and welder fixed it though. Good luck and keep the pics coming. Darrell
Thanks Darrell. I'm actually buying an "upper cowl cut" from Desert Valley Auto. Apparently it's half the firewall, the upper cowl, and dash top. I have to figure out where I want to cut/weld on the dash. I'd like to retain the original VIN # position and mount, but I'm not sure how wise it is to attempt to weld on top of the dash. I guess you did it, so it can be done. Any recommendations are welcome.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 12:40 PM   #18
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Thumbs down bad news

Well, I just talked to my sandblasting man today. And the news isn't good. While I knew the rear quarters were replaced at some point in time, apparently the blasting unearthed a ton of problems under the quarters. Bad bondo, bad something else he couldn't even blast off, bad patches, RIVETS in the outer body, and a bunch of other issues. He is a former painter and bodyman, and he said unless I have a TON of time, no to mention the money I'd spend on new sheet metal, I'd be better off finding a rust-free donor body.

Now, while I live in AZ this isn't too hard to do, I know the serious issues re-bodying causes, especially when selling a car. Essentially, I realize this is basically going to seriously hurt the value of the car. However, if there's one thing I don't have, it's time. I live in NYC, the car is in AZ, and I have to keep using up vacation time and cash to fly out there to get this done. It's in my parents garage and taking up the whole garage, so I really don't think I have much choice in the matter. Guess I just won't ever sell it.

Also not very psyched to have spent a ton of cash media blasting a body I'm not going to use now.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 02:32 PM   #19
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Also not very psyched to have spent a ton of cash media blasting a body I'm not going to use now.
I've been there. I have blasted 2 cars that weren't worth as much as the media used to blast them. I call those "Race cars" .
Not worth the restoration time and money, and no one in sight that has the money and time.

If it were me, I'd spray it down with some rustoleum, cut it open, and try to make it pop wheelies.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 02:35 PM   #20
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Rivets in your quarters won't drag your 1/4 mile times down too much.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 02:54 PM   #21
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Rivets in your quarters won't drag your 1/4 mile times down too much.
No, but they DO tend to make little round stress cracks in the paint.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 02:58 PM   #22
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I figured most probably picked the bucket seat option.
Actually, in 1968 (and many other years around that), the 442 base interior was bucket seats with a three speed HD manual trans, Hurst floor shifter, but no console. The bench seat was actually a credit option worth about $50 or $60. I remember seeing a 68 442 that must have been the least expensive 442 you could have ordered that year. Sport coupe, bench seat, and 3 spd manual trans. Nothing else. Kinda cool in an oddball way.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 04:09 PM   #23
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I just noticed this is a 442 4 speed car.
That would be a tough decision. I'd probably fix it.
Congratulations, Papa. You just bought yourself another kid to raise and pay for.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 06:27 PM   #24
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Keep in mind your sandblasters perspective. He sandblasts AZ cars for years then he sandblasts a car from the East coast. He's in shock cause he has never seen one like that.
Ask a sandblaster from the East coast to go down to AZ and he'll tell you it's not bad at all. He'll even tell you he sees much worse that gets fixed.
In CT, excessive ventalation due to rust is the norm. We just get better at welding. So will you. Keep the car and have a ball.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 07:42 AM   #25
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Yeah, this is a tough decision. With a little time passing after receiving the news, I'm considering cracking it open and repairing whatever needs to be repaired under the quarters and everything else. I dunno. It's really a tough call.

If I decide to tackle removing the quarters, what tips would you give me? Should I cut along where it was previously welded in? I haven't seen how they were attached yet, so it's a little hard for me to make a determination. I'll know more a week from Sat.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 08:00 AM   #26
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I can't tell you what to do exactly, but I have had similiar problems in 2 or 3 cars in the past. Many of these ole cars got sideways and hit trees, phone/light poles in the rear quarters. The standard "repair" was to load them us with Bondo paint and put them back on the road.

I've always fixed it but the tricky part is where the trunk pan meets the quarters and how much rust is in which or both.

I believe I'd go for it.

Good luck.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 08:18 AM   #27
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I've always fixed it but the tricky part is where the trunk pan meets the quarters and how much rust is in which or both.
Based on the description the sand blaster gave me and from what I had noticed before, this is exactly the issue. I think I'm going to need to replace the wheelwell as well as the surrounding trunk pan area.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 09:31 PM   #28
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1.24.09 UPDATE

Well, my trip to Phoenix is coming to a close. It's been fairly eventful. Aside from going to Barrett-Jackson, where I could afford nothing, I've lost a car and frame to rust, found a replacement in New Mexico, bought and arranged for shipping on such said car, shipped my car and frame off to the graveyard, and started preparing for my new car.

After receiving the 442 back from media blasting, I discovered a literal nightmare awaiting me. My car was 100 times worse than I had ever expected. The roof, trunk and rear panel, dash, rocker panels, inner and outer fender wells all looked like swiss cheese. This also doesn't include the incredibly bad job done on the quarter panels (riveted) as well as the 50 or so patch pieces riveted into various places on the car. Oh, and did I fail to mention the tar-like covering used over these patched that the media was unable to remove?

Next, I can talk about the frame which was rusted, had an unbelievably bad patch welded on the side of it, body mount holes about the width of the top of the frame, and a crack due to the lack of stabilizers on the rear upper control arms. The torque just eventually cracked the frame.

As much as I wanted to save the car, all of this was just too much to overcome. I was looking at replacing the roof, the trunk, the entire car floor and floor braces, a rear light panel, a dash, rockers, and a lower & upper cowl. In other words, most of the car was useless.

So, as luck would have it, a guy contacted a guy, who had a guy contact him at the right moment and I was able to purchase a 1968 Cutlass S Sport Coupe. It has an A-C paint code, which is pretty cool. White body with a PAINTED black top. It's a New Mexico car and has zero rust. Has AC, power steering, brakes, front bench seat, original wheels (with wheel covers--I'll be changing them to dog dishes), all the chrome trim.... At the end of the day, the price was too good to pass up, and I had gotten to the point that I just didn't care it wasn't originally a 442. I want something I'm going to be able to enjoy and drive in the next year. Not 5 years down the road.

I have my 442 engine and all parts that will go on the car, including my original TL code rear. I'm replacing the front and rear springs for added support with the weight.

One nice thing is, I now have a surplus of '68 442 parts. I should be able to sell a bunch and cover the cost of the Cutlass. Which isn't bad.

I'm sad I wasn't able to save a number's matching car, but in the end, I'm going to have a great looking car that I can enjoy. Which, when it comes down to it, is all that really matters.

When I'm a little less depressed about seeing them (and get home to NYC), I'll post some pics of the unintentional "Swiss-Cheese" 442.

Tom
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Old January 25th, 2009, 06:40 AM   #29
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Thanks for sharing, Tom. I feel your pain. That's a big hurt after the excitement of starting to restore a numbers matching 442, and a nicely equipped one at that. At least it didn't end up being in marginal condition and continue to be a money pit that would never became what you wanted.
And you will now have a car with all the fun driving that a 442 has to offer!
Thanks again for giving us all the benefit of your experience.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 07:08 AM   #30
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Sorry about the bad news

Before you haul away the shell to a scrap yard I would pull the tags and VIN. It might save you trouble down the road with someone reusing them. Also I heard a story here in Minnesota about a guy switching tags, reriveting and getting caught. It's a long story but the main point is, he was told as long as you don't remove the rivets and replace the cowl with your original cowl you would still have a legally titled car. It still is a rebody but who cares. This is hearsay but from a real good source that knew the guy personally.
Just some things to consider,
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Old January 25th, 2009, 07:39 AM   #31
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Before you haul away the shell to a scrap yard I would pull the tags and VIN. It might save you trouble down the road with someone reusing them. Also I heard a story here in Minnesota about a guy switching tags, reriveting and getting caught. It's a long story but the main point is, he was told as long as you don't remove the rivets and replace the cowl with your original cowl you would still have a legally titled car. It still is a rebody but who cares. This is hearsay but from a real good source that knew the guy personally.
Just some things to consider,
Dave
Unless you including the VIN tag area with te cowl, the cowl has the body taq, not the VIN tag. It is illegal to change the VIN tag, not the body tag.

Once the original car (body) is gone, it is gone. Same for any original part, engine, trans or whatever. There is only one reason to alter/add/change numbers: FRAUD. The only people trying to say it okay are those that have a stake in an altered numbered car.
Nothing wrong with rebodies, and nothing wrong with changing engine, parts, etc. But if it is done with honest intentions, there is no reason to alter numbers..........except fraud.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 07:47 AM   #32
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Having followed the Camaro trade for awhile now, this practice is sadly very common and highly discussed. If I wanted a number's matching vehicle, I could have spent $15,000 on body repairs (the work that needed to be done on it was going to be fairly technical, and even then, a donor body would be needed to cut off parts). However, that just wasn't in my budget or time frame, so this was the absolute best way to go.

On some level, it's easy to get caught up in the number's matching game. However, I'm well aware that I won't get out of the car what I've put into it, and have accepted that fact. My ego can handle not having an original 442 body. If other people can't accept it, well, I guess that's their problem. All I know is, I'm going to have a very nice car when everything is primed, painted and buffed.

I did cut the VIN out and took the trim tag off the body in remembrance of what once was. Poor car. RIP. lol.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 08:49 AM   #33
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Tom, I have absolutely no doubt you are doing the right thing, and I applaud you for not going the fraudulent route.
You will no doubt have one really nice car when you get done.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 12:42 PM   #34
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I thought as long as you had documentation proving ownership of both cars you were cool as far as the vin tags went. Am I wrong here? If so how are you supposed to rebody an otherwise good car?
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Old January 25th, 2009, 06:13 PM   #35
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No, it isn't cool. Legally or ethically.
Now if by rebody, you mean taking all of the parts, drivetrain etc off of one car (call it car A) and putting them on another car body (car B), there is nothing wrong with doing that. But there is if you try to make car B have the identity of car A, that's where the problem is. That is no more right than starting with VIN and body tags and building a car around it. Sure it become close to that if you replace everything *but* the body, but where do you draw the line? The car doesn't live on by carrying forward the VIN tag. The end comes when the body goes. That is what makes surviving cars rare. No other antiques out there are afforded the option of moving an identification tag to a "better piece". That's quite laughable outside the automobile world.
I'll say it again, there is only one reason to alter/add/change numbers: FRAUD.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 09:14 AM   #36
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Figured it was about time I updated this. Just got back from Phoenix and working on the car. Didn't get as much accomplished as I had hoped. It's amazing how time consuming things are to clean properly. For those of you doing this for the first time, always allot extra time prior to & during reassembly for this. Also, it's not helping any that half my bolts are missing as I didn't take the car apart. All in all, I can't say it was a super enjoyable long weekend, but it wasn't bad either. At least progress is being made.

The pics aren't great. My camera battery died soon after I got there and I had to borrow one to take these. I regret not taking a photo of my dash which I finished restoring. Used SEM on the lower dash--landau black--looks awesome, and then used a silver leaf paint pen for the accents. Turned out fantastic. Couple that with the new rechromed dash cones/bezels and rebuilt speedo, new rally pack, and new wiper and headlight ***** and it looks almost as good as new.

Anyway, here's the pics.

Car when I got it. That wasn't a pale yellow. It was a bright shade of yellow. I hated it.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 09:16 AM   #37
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Here's the car as I left it Sun night. It's an A-C paint code car--Provincial White bottom and Ebony Black top. I really like the combo. You don't see a ton of old 442s that are white, let alone white and black.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 09:18 AM   #38
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Here's the engine and firewall components installed. We almost crushed the A/C box putting the engine in. Luckily, it was only minor and I put a skim coat of sealant over the hairline crack.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 09:19 AM   #39
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Here's my only shot of the trunk. It doesn't really do it justice. I purchased the correct formula trunk paint from The Parts Place. My body man asked me where I got it as he said it's by far the best stuff he's ever used.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 09:20 AM   #40
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Well, that's it for now. Back in 2 weeks to start installing the dash wiring, dash, and remainder of the interior.
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