With the car up on a lift, the underbody could be inspected. The good news was that although there were small dents in almost every exterior panel, the car had never been involved in a major accident. There were a few rust holes that needed to be repaired in the trunk floor. at first, it looked like the trunk weatherstripping was the culprit, but when the rear window was removed, rust holes could be seen along the lower edge.
At the suggestion of McCaron, Goldberg dropped the car off at chassis builder Bob Hansen's chassis shop. Hanson would do three modifications that would make the car stronger, accept larger rear tires, and make room for the Hemi engine. Hansen tied together the frame sections to make the car more rigid, and he moved the rear spring mounts inward to allow for the larger rear tires. He also modified the right side shock mount under the hood, which lowers the upper mounting point of the shock, providing additional room for the Hemi's righthand valve cover. This modification to the righthand shock tower was also done to the original '65 factory Hemi cars. Minitubs were also considered, but Goldberg opted not to install them because the inboard movement of the rear springs and the already large wheelhouses provide enough room for oversize rear tires.
Because this was a Southern California car that was stored in a garage all its life, disas
The only rust on the floors was in the area around the gas pedal. Luckily, it was only sur
The worst damage to the body is the dent in the decklid. Because of the location of the de
For the body and paintwork on his Dodge, Goldberg wanted a shop that had solid references and was close to home. He also wanted one-stop shopping where the bodywork and paint could be done in one location. His research led him to Orange County Rod-N-Customs (OCRC) in Anaheim, California. The owner's name is Steve Austin-not the former wrestler-but a young man with a vision and an intense passion for cars. Austin is a land speed record holder and third-generation car builder, who, along with Kyle Fitzpatrick, opened OCRC in 2001.
Unlike many Mopars of this era, Goldberg's Dodge didn't have a lot of rust. Austin's band of bodymen attacked the worst area: the rust below the rear window. This particular panel required fabrication of a flanged piece with curves in two directions. If not done properly, the rear window will not fit, and there will be an obvious mismatch in this highly visible area. OCRC's Leo Carbajal did an excellent job of fabricating a replacement panel for the rusted section. He also smoothed out the dents in the side of the car, as well as a pesky dent in the decklid. OCRC's staff also replaced the trunk floor, which had rusted because of water seeping in through the rust holes in the rear window panel.
Originally, Dodge trimmed its base Coronet with a thin body side molding, but the A-990 race cars did not have this side trim. Each of the mounting holes, along with the antenna hole and side mirror attaching holes, were welded shut and metal-finished. Austin's team chemically stripped the original paint off the entire car. He's not a fan of media blasting because careless work can warp panels. It also leaves fine particles that have a tendency to become airborne when the final coats of paint are applied. Chrysler used exceptionally tough primer that resisted the chemical paint stripper, so it had to be sanded off.
The culprit for the rusty trunk pan ended up being the area at the base of the rear window
Fully stripped and ready for its trip to Bob Hansen's chassis shop, where the subframes wi
Jeff Utterback, one of the fabricators at Hansen's shop, explains how the right-side sprin