I first saw it on Ebay ( http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... =p3907.m32 )and sent the seller (named Gary) an email after the auction ended stating I might be interested if the deal falls through. The guy emailed me the next day and said the winning bidder was some zero feedback member from the Netherlands Antilles, so he probably wouldn't be closing the deal.
So that weekend my son and I go to look at the car and it looks to be in worse shape than Gary stated (big surprise), but not terrible. As it turns out, the car was in storage since 1980 (it still had the 1980 NY registration sticker on it). It was dirty and had a filthy interior full of odd parts and didn't have the original doors. However it had an uncracked dash and front spoiler that only had some surface rust, so I figured if it didn't work out, at least I would have those parts for the '74 so it wouldn't be a total loss.
The car ran really rough and had little power, but Gary said he thought the timing belt might be off a tooth. While checking the lights and other electrics I found most things worked except the brake lights and the headlight motors wouldn't lower the lights, Also upon stepping on the brakes they went to the floor and would not pump up. Gary assured me he would have that taken care of if I bought the car, so after fighting with myself for 45 minutes, I gave him a deposit and told him I'd be back the following weekend.
Long story a little shorter, I picked up a tow bar from Harbor Freight and made some adapter plates as per Tony (thanks) and headed Back to Pa. Sure enough, Gary has the brakes working and the car is out front with the front bumper removed per my request. Hooked up the tow bar, and after a little BS-ing we were on our way. It's really nerve-racking pulling a car with a tow bar if you've never done it before, but once on the open road I found myself doing 70 with the little car tracking right behind my van. Made the 157 mile journey without a problem and realized all that worrying I did was for naught.
Once the car was home I got busy. Fixed the brake lights (disconnected wire), headlight motors (poor fuse contact), shifting issue (bolted lollipop joint together) and the timing, the belt actually was off one tooth (Gary turned out to be a pretty honest guy). Even the door buzzer works although I wish it didn't, it really gets annoying. I know I can disconnect it but I won't, I'm sure it will disconnect itself in a matter of time. I topped off all the fluids and pulled the seats out and vacuumed and scrubbed the interior and hit it with Armor-All. I was amazed that it cleaned up so well.
Two days on the road and the alternator belt went and the engine overheated almost immediately (I figured it was because the belt also ran the water pump). Changed the belt and everything has been fine since. I'm still leery about taking it on anything but local trips but the more I drive it, the further I'll go.
Enough Blabbering, Here are some pics:
Tow bar brackets, not pretty but they work. Also note clean front spoiler
The damage to the drivers side....the rocker is not rusted, the paint just peeled off to the primer. There is NO rust there
A few shots of the dash:
Some more of the interior, drivers seat needs help but th rest is salvageable
The 2 rust spots that concern me - In the luggage compartment ....Anyone??
What is this? It's in the luggage compartment next to the VIN tag.
The luggage rack that Gary let me take off another car. I also bought an extra top for 20 bucks
I can almost consider this car a barn find. It is in incredible shape for a Northeastern car that is 32 years old. I really believe this car has been stored indoors since 1980 and I'm glad I decided to buy it.
And Tony... IT'S BLUE!!!!!
Me and Brown 25....since 2005
~~Regards from the right coast of the U.S.~~
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