I get it home, and the first thing is to take care of the rust. I enlist the services of Dan Powell of Owasso, Oklahoma, to do the metalwork. he replaced the trunk floor, outer wheel housings, and rear quarters. He also straightened the frame where it had a slight bend. Early in the car's life, it was rear-ended on the left side. This had shifted the back end of the car about two inches to the right. Somebody attached a new quarter-panel, but never straightened the frame. Dan straightened the frame, then attached the new panels. With Dan's work done, it was back home to strip it down and get it ready for paint. After some searching, it was decided that G.W. and Sons in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, would lay on the new FYI basecoatclearcoat. They also applied the flat black to the hood and fender tops. This paint was formulated by the Sikkens paint rep to be like the original Organasol, but more durable. We're now two months into the project, and it's home with a straight body, good sheetmetal, and great paint.
Other than the Rallye gauges that Performance Car Graphics in Tallahassee, Florida, refurbished, I did the rest of the work myself. The first things I tackled were the stripes. It took about six hours to do each side. Then I finished installing all the other body accessories: side marker lights, bumpers, grill, taillights, all of which were cleaned, painted, if necessary, and polished. With that done, I turned to the engine. Everything was stripped, and the block and all its parts were painted, then reassembled. A new set of original Holleys, which came with the first car, were parked on top of the freshly-painted engine. A new wiring harness was strung throughout the engine compartment, and new stainless brake and fuel lines were installed from front to back, along with a new gas tank. All new steering and suspension components were installed, and the front calipers were rebuilt.
The original floor pans were cleaned, and new paint was applied inside. New wiring was also installed. Everything was taken apart, cleaned, and repainted. New interior from Legendary was purchased, including new interior panels. Installation of the headliner was a pain, but the new seat covers and foams went on effortlessly. It took a year, but in November 2000 the car was ready.
With the exception of the interior panels, tires, and the Organasol paint, everything is as close to original as possible. I used correct-dated parts wherever I could, but instead of the correct AM radio, it does have an original AM/FM Radio. It doesn't have the original engine, but I know where it is. The owner doesn't want to sell it yet, but I'll keep working on him.
I now live in Easton, Pennsylvania, the rear hasn't been done yet, and from the looks of it, the 83/4 has never been touched. The case is covered with 33 years of oil and dirt, and the Sure Grip and 3.55 tags are still in place. I guess I have a project for this winter. Until then, I'll continue to drive, show, and enjoy the car.