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The Official 1970 442 Convertible Y74 Indy Pace Car Restoration Thread (Dr Mansell's)

The Official 1970 442 Convertible Y74 Indy Pace Car Restoration Thread (Dr Mansell's)

Old August 18th, 2016, 10:44 PM
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The Official 1970 442 Convertible Y74 Indy Pace Car Restoration Thread (Dr Mansell's)

It was suggested that I start a thread on the restoration of my recent purchase, so here it is.

First off, let me explain that there have been 2 cars at the top of my bucket list for the past 25 years or so. They are my unicorns. One is a 1971 Plymouth Road Runner (Curious Yellow, black strobe stripe, Air Grabber, 4 speed...hey, I'm a Mopar guy, too!). The other is a 1970 Oldsmobile 442 convertible Y74 Indy Pace Car. When I graduated from college in 1991, my first order of business was to reward myself with a muscle car. I found a 1970 Cutlass Y74 pace car in Arizona for $14K, but my dad wouldn't cosign the loan. I wound up getting a 1968 Road Runner that a teacher from my high school was selling for $4400. That started what has been a 25 year stint in the Mopar hobby. The Olds pace car has always been that one that was beyond my reach.

On Saturday, August 13th, 2016; I attended the auction of Dr. John Mansell's collection of barn fresh convertible collection, including many Indy Pace Cars. Dr. Mansell was known in the car hobby as "the Indy Pace Car Expert" and the go-to guy for any information involving Indy pace cars. I went to the auction specifically to bid on his 1970 Oldsmobile 442 convertible Y74 Indy Pace Car. It can be seen starting at 4:36 in the video:

http://joerpyleauctions.com/upcoming...0%26nojava%3D0

The pace car had a bad dent in the driver's fender, a dent in the passenger fender, and a dent in the passenger door. The dents in the passenger side were done by the fork lift running into it when the car was moved into the field for the auction. The car was missing the W25 OAI hood and air cleaner, but was otherwise complete and appeared to be rust-free underneath. The car was built on 4-6-70 and shipped to Time Oldsmobile in Charlotte, NC; then transferred to Gowen Oldsmobile, also of Charlotte, NC. It spent it's first 7 years in Charlotte, then sold to a guy in Florence, SC. It spent 4 years in Florence, then was purchased in 1981 by Dr. Mansell and shipped to New Wilmington, PA; where it was placed in a barn until I bought it last week. Here's a brief history of the car:

• Car built on 4-6-70, shipped to Time Oldsmobile Inc. & transferred to Gowen
Oldsmobile Inc, both of Charlotte, NC
• Car purchased new on 7-24-70 by David M. Bionda, Charlotte, NC, copy of original
warranty
• Second owner was William C. Fanuty, Charlotte, NC until 10-8-75
• Third owner from 10-8-75 to 5-26-77 was Donald Robert & Barbara Burn, Charlotte,
NC
• Fourth owner from 5-26-77 to 2-11-81 was Steven Doulaveris, Florence, SC, copy of
title included
• Fifth owner from 2-11-81 to 10-27-81 was Robert E. Coker of Florence, SC
• Sixth owner was J.L. Mansell, purchased 10-27-81 for $1850, with 117,750 miles.

Well, I won the auction and was given a shopping bag full of paperwork on the car. This included the original owner's manual, Protect-O-Plate, warranty paperwork, build sheets, presale dealership inspection sheet, numerous newspaper features from Indy in 1970, receipts, letters and photos from previous owners, and more than I can mention here. The paperwork was AMAZING!

These photos are from the pre-auction inspection on Thursday, August 11, 2016:
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Last edited by Hurst/Olds 73/74; August 19th, 2016 at 06:18 AM.
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Old August 18th, 2016, 11:16 PM
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Here are photos from the day of the auction:
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Old August 18th, 2016, 11:32 PM
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...and loading it on the trailer for 1 1/2 hour ride home:
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Last edited by Hurst/Olds 73/74; August 18th, 2016 at 11:37 PM.
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Old August 18th, 2016, 11:44 PM
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I was able to push the pace car off the trailer and into the garage for the night. It rained every day from the pre-inspection on Thursday all the way through Sunday, so I didn't want to leave the car with it's ripped convertible top out in the weather. The next day, I got a few pics of the car with it's Oldsmobile and Mopar stable mates:
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Last edited by Hurst/Olds 73/74; August 18th, 2016 at 11:46 PM.
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Old August 18th, 2016, 11:55 PM
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August 15, 2016 (Mon):

When I got the car, I was given an ignition key, but no trunk key was provided. At worst, I could open the trunk and find the trunk floor completely rotted away. At best, I could find a trunk full of NOS parts that the greedy auctioneers missed because they had no key. Thankfully, the build sheet provided me with the codes to my ignition and trunk keys, so I stopped by my local GM dealership (Stadium GM in Salem, OH) and had new keys made. Thank you Lloyd Willis!

I got home and opened the trunk to find...
(wait for it)...nothing. Oh well, at least the trunk floor was solid with only minor surface rust! That in itself in Ohio is a major score! While I was at it, I also installed the glovebox latch, which I found loose in the glovebox. It worked fine with my keys.

Last edited by Hurst/Olds 73/74; August 19th, 2016 at 12:05 AM.
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Old August 19th, 2016, 12:04 AM
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August 16, 2016 (Tues):

Time to actually work on the car. I put the car on jack stands and really got a thorough look at the undercarriage. This car is AMAZING! The only rust issues on the entire belly of this car is a soft spot about the size of a nickel under the brake pedal. That's it...PERIOD!

I pulled the gas tank and drained the turpentine-smelling gas out of it, then reinstalled the tank. The trunk pan and gas tank were amazingly solid for a 46 year old hot rod.
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Old August 19th, 2016, 12:19 AM
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August 18, 2016 (Thurs): New gas in the tank, oil checked, battery hooked up, and after being stored for 35 YEARS...


IT'S ALIVE!!! Not only does it run, it drives! I drove it around the yard and back into the garage! I can now move it under its owner power!
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Last edited by Hurst/Olds 73/74; August 20th, 2016 at 11:04 PM.
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Old August 19th, 2016, 04:41 AM
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Congrats! How sweet.
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Old August 19th, 2016, 04:53 AM
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Great story...and a very cool car. As Adam said, Congrats!
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Old August 19th, 2016, 04:54 AM
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Subscribed to watch this. It is going to turn out great.
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Old August 20th, 2016, 08:50 AM
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did youu get the nos quaters that the doc had for that car?
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Old August 20th, 2016, 06:17 PM
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No I didn't get the NOS quarters. I had spent most of my money to get the car. The quarters were at the end of the day and most of the bidders had left, so I was hoping everyone that was interested had spent their quote and went home, leaving them for me at a decent price. I was SOOOOO wrong. I was willing to go $500 each, or slightly more for just the driver's side, but bidding stopped at $900 or $950...EACH! I'll see what can be massaged on mine, wait on the next deal, or go repop.

Last edited by Hurst/Olds 73/74; September 8th, 2016 at 11:22 PM.
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Old August 20th, 2016, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Hurst/Olds 73/74 View Post
No I didn't get the NOS quarters. I had spent most of my money to get the car. The quarters were at the end of the day and most of the bidders had left, so I was hoping everyone that was interested had spent their quote and went home, leaving them for me at a decent price. I was SOOOOO wrong. I was willing to go $500 each, or slightly more for just the driver's side, but bidding stopped at $900 or $950! I'll see what can be massaged on mine, wait on the next deal, or go repop.
You can find NOS anywhere from $1500 to $1800 for the pair. There was a set here on CO for about a year for $1500. They can still be found without to much trouble.
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Old August 20th, 2016, 07:08 PM
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Congrats!

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Old August 20th, 2016, 10:11 PM
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August 20, 2016 (Sat): I had very little time to work on the car today, but decided to pull it out in the daylight and try to clean some rodent nests (complete with nut shells and a dead mouse...can you find it in the photo?) out and do some general interior cleaning. I ran out of time before my wife's family reunion, so hopefully I can finish cleaning the interior tomorrow. I did discover that the power top is not working; possibly the switch needs work, a fuse is blown, or a wire is chewed. Also, a convertible hydraulic line broke and the carpet is still wet from the storm that hit while the car was outside during the auction, so the carpet will have to be pulled immediately before rust gets a chance to take hold. The before and after pics of the rear seat is pretty neat. Like I said, I ran out of time, or it would have looked better.
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Old August 20th, 2016, 10:58 PM
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...and of course, my "friend" videos me killing a wash bucket when I put the car away. I think the front brakes are still binding up a little bit from sitting 35 years. The open rear and skinny bald tire has a hard time pushing it across the grass sometimes LOL. At least the 455 and TH400 transmission are okay.


Last edited by Hurst/Olds 73/74; August 20th, 2016 at 11:07 PM.
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Old August 21st, 2016, 08:00 AM
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That was funny. You did kill that bucket. Not sure if your insurance covers that. Read the fine print.
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Old August 21st, 2016, 07:47 PM
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August 21, 2016 (Sun): Today, in celebration of National Get-Rid-Of-Soggy-Jute Day, I pulled the soaking wet carpet out the the car before it could cause issues to the floor pans. The sat inside for the past 35 years, but it sat outside for several days prior to the auction on August 13th, when several storms passed through, dumping water through what was left of the convertible top and onto the carpet. I'm glad I didn't wait any longer, it was SOAKED! I did find a couple of small places that will need patched in the front floor boards, but I don't believe a complete replacement will be needed. While I was at it, I finished cleaning the interior, and put the top down the rest of the way...since it's not really doing anything anyway. Oh, by the way...bug & tar remover works wonders on cleaning "sticky death" off of an Oldsmobile Rallye steering wheel. Mine looks like new now. We'll see how long that lasts.
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Old August 22nd, 2016, 03:35 AM
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Thanks for the chronicle of activity. Keep up the pace and good luck in your restoration. I live in Canton so maybe some day I can stop by and see your Olds and the MOPARs too.
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Old August 22nd, 2016, 09:23 AM
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The posts will slow down. I'm not spending big money on this project until our future house and garage are built. I'm just trying to clean it up as best I can, take inventory of what's needed, and stabilize any issues so they don't get worse. I should drive it to the NE Ohio Chapter OCA Carnation Mall show next weekend LOL!
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Old August 22nd, 2016, 01:46 PM
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Steve, I sent you a private message with those contact details we talked about. Thanks, Paul
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Old August 23rd, 2016, 06:53 PM
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August 22, 2016 (Mon): today was finally clean-the-outside-of-the-car day. I finally got to wash the car, get the convertible top all the way down, and put a temporary air cleaner on it to keep the engine from getting crud in it. As you can see from the 2nd photo (looking through the windshield towards our 2006 Charger Daytona), I think my car had raccoons in it LOL!
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Old August 23rd, 2016, 07:22 PM
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August 23, 2016 (Tues): Today, I pulled the front seats and console out again to tackle the rust on the front floor pans and stabilize it from getting worse until the whole car can be restored. I wire brushed all the rust from the front floor pans, which revealed more small holes, and sprayed primer sealer on it. I also removed the speaker-hole-damaged kick panels and replaced them will nice ones that came with the car. The carpet had been hanging on the clothes line for the past two days and was completely dry (including the jute padding), so I re-installed the carpet...just to make it look purdy. The last photo is what the interior looked like at the auction. It's come a long way with a little soap and ArmorAll.
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Old August 24th, 2016, 03:54 AM
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Steve, interior looking great for a clean, amazing what a difference soap, water and effort can make. The gm interiors tended to look a lot plusher around that time compared with other manufacturers. When I spoke with Wil, he said a lot of damage was done to many cars through the 'coons getting in through the convertible tops and damaging the interiors. He said they got through the tops plus the boot where the top folds into and then into the trunk. I thought he said they had been in your car, he said he opened one trunk and there was a mother raccoon with 2 babies!


For those who wonder what I am on about, I too was interested in the 442 pace car but decided to leave it at the time, I highlighted a few cars, not expecting them to be in my price range at this type of auction. I bought the Torino Indy pace car which I thought had a great history. When I spoke with a relative of the deceased collector, John Mansell, he said he had a plan of the barn with all cars in it, he said he put a note for reference against my car which said "no coons". When I saw Steve bought the Olds I sent him a message introducing myself. I live in the UK and am a lifelong USA car enthusiast, mainly musclecars, I also own a 68 442 and 51 IHC truck.
Paul.
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Old August 24th, 2016, 10:08 AM
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I am looking forward to your posts on this thread. As you know, I bought a Y74 Pace car a couple months ago myself. It is a solid driver but I have restoration on my mind as well. Will probably get started later this year, good luck with your special car!
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Old August 28th, 2016, 07:06 AM
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Subscribed........very nice car
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Old August 28th, 2016, 02:20 PM
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August 28, 2016 (Sun): I went to the Northern Ohio Chapter Oldsmobile Club of America car show and swap meet at the Carnation Mall in Alliance, OH. I set up as a vendor, but (of course) bought more than I sold. Today's score for the pace car: A nice original OEM GM front and rear bumper with exhaust cutouts and a set of correct 14x7 SSII wheels with decent trim rings and center caps. The bumpers both need rechromed, but they are in nice condition otherwise...and they're NOT REPROS.
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Old September 7th, 2016, 05:40 PM
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September 6, 2016 (Tues): I met with a guy I met at the Alliance show and bought two NOS convertible outer wheel houses and a sun visor ( I also cleaned up the bumpers for a better photo). The parts are starting to pile up. I also got the title in the mail from the auction company last week. Now, if I could just find an original W-25 OAI hood somewhere, I'd feel like the car is at least complete...dented, but complete.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 05:44 AM
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Nice car, great thread, subscribed
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Old September 8th, 2016, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Hurst/Olds 73/74 View Post
...and they're NOT REPROS.
Wise choice there, you can't go wrong with originals!
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Old September 17th, 2016, 07:38 PM
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September 17, 2016 (Sat): I met some great new Oldsmobile contacts yesterday at the Csnfield, OH swap meet, where I was set up as a vendor to sell some Oldsmobile and Mopar parts. I met a guy who had a friend at the swap meet and "might still have a 1970 442 Ram Air hood". I called the guy last night and he agreed to sell the hood and bring it to the swap meet for me to see it. He said it had nose damage, but was an otherwise nice original hood, with no rust to the metal frame. Well, this morning, he brought the hood to my vendor space and it was as described. I bought the hood at what I think was a great price and have it on the car tonight (it still needs bolted down). Also yesterday, I got a really nice, strait 1970 front bumper from a fellow Oldsmobile guy (thanks Dana!). Now I just need to get a 1970 hood tooth, chrome, and get the repair done on the nose. At least I have two scoops now over the engine bay!




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Old September 17th, 2016, 08:55 PM
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Very nice, good luck and congrats on making your long wish come true. It will make the effort of the restoration that much better. I may have an extra hood tooth
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Old September 18th, 2016, 10:16 AM
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Thanks stevengerard! Speaking of 19u0 hood teeth, does anyone make or have a template for drilling the holes for the "442" emblems in the proper location on the nose piece?
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Old September 18th, 2016, 12:37 PM
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the template is on the back of the tooth itself. There are little pilot holes for the various emblems. You just have to make sure you drill the correct ones for your application
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Old September 18th, 2016, 01:03 PM
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Awesome, thanks! One more dumb question...is the tooth steel or fiberglass, and was it the same material on all models?
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Old September 18th, 2016, 01:38 PM
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originals are cast pot metal - rather fragile where they connect to the hood. I believe the aftermarkets are now fiberglass. IIRC one repo place was making metal but it was more money than finding a used one. Edit : Same on all
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Old September 19th, 2016, 03:15 PM
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September 19, 2016 (Mon): A great day from the U.S. Postal Service. I had been in contact with Bob Brannan, who was an Oldsmobile zone rep for the Charlotte, NC zone in the 1970s. Bob still has a car that he purchased from Gowen Oldsmobile and still had the "GO GOWEN" chrome metal dealer emblem on the car. Bob graciously offered to give me the emblem for the pace car. I not only received it in the mail today, but also received my personalized plates for the car (not that I'm going to drive it now, but when I saw the tag was available, I HAD to have it!









Last edited by Hurst/Olds 73/74; September 19th, 2016 at 03:23 PM.
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Old September 19th, 2016, 04:11 PM
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Cool plate and Gowen emblem. Nice. Have you been hitting any more buckets?!?
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Old September 19th, 2016, 08:37 PM
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LOL! No, I got it out of my system.
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Old November 11th, 2016, 12:41 PM
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Are you going to stay with a black top or go white?
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