Jeff Shaw is a parole agent for the state of California. His territory is not crowded suburbia, on the contrary, he works in the more sparsely populated atmosphere high up in the Sierra Mountains. Jeff's home base is Galt, California. Jeff let us in on a little secret-in the mountains, "cars are everywhere." he managed to find an abandoned '68 Plymouth Fury in the woods.
Jeff tells us about the Fury, "The county had an abatement sticker on it. So, I talked to the county official on that one, and they said to go get it. So I ended up getting that one for free, a '68 two-door hardtop."
Jeff's clients are parolees. He checks in with them regularly, tests them for drug use, and works closely with the police departments. One of his parolees was staying on his grandmother's ranch "way the heck up in the hills." On his first trip up there, Jeff noticed the outlines of a car under an old tarp and thought, Boy, that looks like a Duster or a Dart. Jeff asked the parolee's grandmother for permission to have a look. He pulled back the tarp to spy a rust-free '65 Dart GT with a 273 under the hood. Jeff was interested because he saw that it had a four-speed. He asked her if she wanted to sell it, and she said, "No, no, I'm going to fix it."
When he asked her what was wrong with it, she said, "Well, I pulled in the driveway one day, and the motor stopped. I had a fellow come over and look at it, and he told me the motor had seized up."
Jeff assumed the motor was no good. The 85-year-old lady did not want to sell. She wanted to fix the car. Jeff left his number. Five years later, the lady called and said she needed to get rid of the car. Jeff didn't hesitate. He loaded up a trailer and headed for the high country. He was surprised to find the Dart had a trailer hitch. The lady used the Dart GT to haul her horse trailer. Also, she was the original owner. All her vehicles were four-speeds, including her truck. The Dart had been used, but not abused. The black vinyl roof (mostly worn away) was an unusual option. The odometer read a little over 80,000. The body was rust-free, except for a little bit in the trunk at the bottom of the spare tire well. The last license plate was dated 1986.
According to Jeff, "I see way too many cars, and my wife wishes I didn't." Jeff had to sell the Dart, but it went to a good home in Tennessee. The buyer had one exactly like it brand-new when he was in college.
Jeff told us he never tried to start the 273. He just assumed the motor was locked up. The new owner called one day to explain all it needed was a new condenser. The 40-year-old Dart GT fired up with a new battery, and it ran fine after the gas tank was cleaned out.
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