"We've got less than a half gallon of filler on the car," says Keith. "You could stick a magnet to it all around." When Keith got the car, it was sporting big-bolt pattern brakes-someone had started changing it over. The whole assembly for the small-bolt pattern was inside on the floor. "Everyone thought I was crazy, but I went back to the small-bolt," he says.
Most of the folks Keith worked with for parts had never seen a yellow-on-yellow version of this car before. Finding the interior color to match the original was monumentally difficult. The seats had been recovered, so Keith and Russ had to split it open and find an area that had not been sun-faded. From this sample, SMS Auto Restoration Service in Champlain, New York, was able to duplicate the old pattern.
The strange upholstery also aided in Keith's investigation into the history of the car. SMS Upholstery in Oregon took the '68 date-coded material and determined by the production number (101050) that the car probably came off the line the second day of January 1969. Further investigation showed that of the 83 340 Formula-S convertibles made, Keith's automatic tranny made it rarer still.
From the 15 yards of new material from SMS, Keith had Tony's Upholstery in Sante Fe Springs, Arizona, recover the seat frames and was able to have Legendary Auto Interiors fabricate new side-door panels. Legendary also provided the new dashpad and color-matched the dye for rear interior quarter pieces.
This beauty won its first show, and even garnered the attention of car aficionado and late-night talk-show host Jay Leno, who posed with Keith and the car for a photo. Keith now whisks his wife down along the ocean, top down, enjoying the seaside roads and seaside cars that make California a dreamer's paradise.
Although this case is solved, Keith has plans for the next: a '70 E-Body convertible Grand Coupe 383 big-block. It's Plum Crazy Purple, white interior, and optioned out. Sherlock Holmes and Watson (Keith and Russ) are moving on to another mystery.