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49 Chevy 2 Door Fleetline Backyard Recovery

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by RadRandy, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. RadRandy
    Joined: Feb 4, 2010
    Posts: 24

    RadRandy
    Member
    from Kansas

    [FONT= ]Part 1
    My 22 year old son Austin had a co-worker tell him about a 1949 Chevy that his retired uncle had learned to drive in and that the uncles brother had started taking apart back in the 1960’s. Over time, parts were either sold or lost and the concrete blocks it sat on had sunken into the ground. To add insult to injury, some neighbor kids busted all the glass out of it and broke the glass tail lights. They offered the car to Austin FREE for the hauling but it was going to be a challenge due to its condition and location.

    The first thing we had to deal with was the location. The property had two driveways both with narrow gates with pillars and with the narrow street out front there was no way to get a car trailer through them. Then the car was way in the back of the deep yard and blocked by a burn pile, a old camper and a lot of other misc piles of stuff. We went and pre-looked at the setup a week ago but this weekend it was time to go fetch. Attached are pictures of the driveway and the car as we found it. Note there was no front suspension to mount wheels to and there was a tree next to the right rear wheel opening which was setting on a bare rim. This was going to be a little bit of work but I will come up with something. To be continued...........................
    [/FONT]
     

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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  2. GaryB
    Joined: Dec 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,529

    GaryB
    Member
    from Reno,nv

    got your work cut out for ya,good luck on saving it
     
  3. mashed
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,474

    mashed
    Member
    from 4077th

    To me it'd be worth the money to let a ramp bed tow truck driver deal with it.
     
  4. RadRandy
    Joined: Feb 4, 2010
    Posts: 24

    RadRandy
    Member
    from Kansas

    Part 2
    So the question was “how do you move a car that you can’t put front wheels on?” My answer was to turn the car into a trailer. Being the pack rat that I am, I needed some real heavy tubing to make a trailer tongue out of but all I had was some thick wall angle iron that had been given to me previously. The first step was to cut and weld two pieces of angle iron together so it becomes square tubing then I make a “T” shaped trailer tongue. Add a couple little plates on the ends to keep my chains from sliding off and weld on a hitch and Ta Da! I have what I need.

    At the resting ground for the old car we used two sizes of floor jacks and cinder blocks to get the car up off the ground so we could mount the rear tires that I brought along with us. (Note, the wheels came off a 1950 Chevy that we parted out a couple years ago and the tires were given to me. Remember me the pack rat : ) With the rear on tires again we install the trailer tongue I made that by the way had never been tested or checked for fitment before now. With some heavy duty chains and some large grade 8 bolts, a block of wood and a extra safety chain we now have a 1949 trailer that used to be a car.

    So we pull the car out of its resting place and find that the right rear wheel is not turning. We drag the car anyway to get it onto the gravel driveway and we jack it up again and remove the tire. With a little inspection we discover that the reason the right tire was off the car in the first place. The rear brake was locked up and someone before me, more than likely the uncles brother many years ago, had been hacking away at the brake backing plate and must have given up. This finding very well could have been what parked the car in the first place and what started its downhill travel of becoming neglected and used for parts. Anyone that has ever tried to remove a stuck brake drum knows its no fun but this was worse than that. Since that drum had sat in the dirt for many years the brakes and brake drum had rusted together. Had I been at home I would have gotten out my cutting torch but I did not have it with me. What resulted next was about a 1 1/2 hour can opener method of getting the drum off. We hit it with hammers to dislodge the rust, squirted mass amounts of Liquid Wrench and WD40 in where we could and used pry bars hammered under any edge we could get into. Luckily the drum was rusted enough at he bottom that we were able to start tearing in with the pry bar and with each heave and ho we were gaining. The sun was out and the Kansas humidity was cranked up so we were sweating like crazy. Finally we got it off.

    With the tire back on the axle we drove out of the driveway and onto the street. A real Pack Rat (not me) came out from under the truck area right where we had been working all day (Geez, that would have been exciting had he popped out earlier) and hung upside down on the rear bumper. My son Austin kicked it and stunned it a bit but it jumped down and into the ditch beside the road. I threw a cinder block on top of it and that ended that. We took a few pictures of the car and down the road we went. We did have to stop once right away as there was a fender skirt bracket that had got caught on the RR tire and was rubbing it. Other than that we drove home at about 30 MPH and received many a look and wave as we drove by people out doing their Saturday chores in rural Kansas.

    The floors are gone in the car and the door latches are missing (note duct tape holding them shut) and its certainly not worth restoring so why did we do this? Well for anyone that doesn’t understand the love for old cars it will be hard to explain but for us its an adventure to dig out this old stuff and try to give it a purpose again. In the case of this car, the Fleetline long sloped roof is popular for customizers and actually the best part on the car. Believe it or not. someone could make a custom car out of this with a newer chassis. In my case, I have a 1952 Pontiac setting on my lift that someone cut the roof off with a Sawzall. I was planning on selling the Pontiac later this year but just in case someone was afraid of buying a car with no roof, I can now offer an option for them :)

    If nothing else I had a great day spending time with my son who also has the love for old cars and trucks. We were soaked with sweat, tired and dirty but smiling all the way home with our adventure and recovery.

    Randy
     

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  5. RadRandy
    Joined: Feb 4, 2010
    Posts: 24

    RadRandy
    Member
    from Kansas

    You couldn't get one in the driveway.
     
  6. jfreakofkorn
    Joined: Apr 13, 2010
    Posts: 2,641

    jfreakofkorn
    Member

    now thats awesome to see that on the road again ( somewhat )

    it has save me all over it, and glad to someone wants to do something with it ....
     
  7. jfreakofkorn
    Joined: Apr 13, 2010
    Posts: 2,641

    jfreakofkorn
    Member

    what do you about the car (type/ style ) and from the past owners ....

    besides sitting up for like forever ...
     
  8. RadRandy
    Joined: Feb 4, 2010
    Posts: 24

    RadRandy
    Member
    from Kansas

    Its a 1949 Fleetline 2 door sedan. The owners brother started working on it in the 1960's and was going to turn it into a dirt oval racer but he was better at taking apart stuff than putting it back together. As I mentioned in part 2, I think the right rear brake was stuck even back then and he couldn't get the drum off but hacked away at the backing plate trying. The beginning to the end most likely.

    The owner had watery eyes as he talked about the car and his fond memories of leaning how to drive in it. The coolest quote from him was "you can haul off the car but you can't haul off the memories". Puts a lump in a car guys throat hearing something like that. So true.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  9. M224SPEED
    Joined: May 12, 2010
    Posts: 171

    M224SPEED
    Member
    from Missouri

    After all that work,the car deserves to get back on the road again someday.
    Good job!
     
  10. slosteve
    Joined: Oct 30, 2008
    Posts: 48

    slosteve
    Member

    Very inspirational labor of love story and great innovation for the tow. What car nut could leave that thing sitting once you knew of it's exsistence. I'd love to have it myself.
    You avatar brings memories of our trek to Salina in 2011; plan on returning next year. What a great show.

    Steve
     
  11. mashed
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,474

    mashed
    Member
    from 4077th

    Where I'm from law enforcement would've had a field day on me.

    Bet you were just a little apprehensive on the drive home.
     
  12. morepwr
    Joined: Sep 22, 2012
    Posts: 54

    morepwr
    Member
    from socal

    What a great story! Very well done getting that car out of there. I am the same way and it is amazing how hard car guys will work to rescue a car isnt it?!
     
  13. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,617

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    "I have a 1952 Pontiac setting on my lift that someone cut the roof off with a Sawzall."
    Have you thought of sectioning the Pontiac by cutting away the top half of the body and welding on the top half of the Chev? They are both A bodies and should fit.
     
  14. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 29,072

    The37Kid
    Member

    Nice save! Had a '50 like it a few years ago that I parted out to keep other projects moving. Bob
     
  15. chevy54man
    Joined: Feb 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,683

    chevy54man
    Member
    from NC

    Lot's of work there but a great project! Best to you and yours!
     
  16. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,192

    drptop70ss
    Member
    from NY

    Ditto on that here. Ticket fines would of made a flatbed a bargain.
     
  17. RadRandy
    Joined: Feb 4, 2010
    Posts: 24

    RadRandy
    Member
    from Kansas

    I had working tail and brake lights on the car via the Harbor Freight magnetic trailer light kit so it would be no different than I had it on a two wheeled tow dolly. I don't think I would have even been pulled over if I ran into the law unless they wanted to talk about the car. Another good reason why I live in Kansas :)
     

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  18. RadRandy
    Joined: Feb 4, 2010
    Posts: 24

    RadRandy
    Member
    from Kansas

    As I posted earlier "The owners brother started working on it in the 1960's and was going to turn it into a dirt oval racer but he was better at taking apart stuff than putting it back together" so it is presumed that the car was last driven in the 1960's.

    Today I get the trunk opened up cleaned out and guess what I found. A 1961 License Plate. I betcha that was the last year it was on the road. So 52 years of sitting. I would have been 3 years old when it was parked :)
     

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  19. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    56sedandelivery
    Member Emeritus

    The exterior body looks to be in pretty good shape; the floors are typical, especially after sitting for so long. Glass is expensive, and it would probably be a little cheaper to convert to a one piece windshield, like we did with my nephews 51 Bus Coupe. OR, since you're already headed in that direction, make it into a trailer! Just kidding about that. There are loads of information on these 49-54 Chevrolet cars here on the HAMB, and on ChevyTalk.Org in the 49-54 forums. Good luck with the project. Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  20. Wagonmaster2
    Joined: Aug 18, 2010
    Posts: 333

    Wagonmaster2
    Member

    Looks like a good start!
     
  21. If I were closer I would be after the trailer in the second picture.
     
  22. To do a roof swap to another 49-52 you'd need the doors and probably be easier to swap over the entire rear half of the body with the top, than just the roof, unless your cut car was also a fastback.

    I think mine was worse and the guy I sold it to posts updates every once in a while, he has all new floors in it already.
     
  23. hellerlj
    Joined: Oct 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,098

    hellerlj
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Car or No Car, I just think it's great that you took the time to work
    with your son and spend the time together, sharing something that
    you both seem to enjoy. These are the moments that later in life
    will be the most important.....You are to be commended !!!!!
     
  24. RadRandy
    Joined: Feb 4, 2010
    Posts: 24

    RadRandy
    Member
    from Kansas

    All kidding aside, I like vintage campers and the tear drop ones are cool looking so I did actually think about turning it into a tear drop camping trailer if all other plans fall through. Lot of work no matter which direction it goes.
     
  25. RadRandy
    Joined: Feb 4, 2010
    Posts: 24

    RadRandy
    Member
    from Kansas

    Thanks! I couldn't agree with you more. Quality time with a little education on old car retrieval too. Here's the same son's current driver. We went to Missouri and brought it home about a year ago. Swapped the trans to a syncro'd truck 4 speed so it could be driven easier. He's age 22, works full time but drives this 15 miles one way into town (Topeka) to mow some peoples yards. He gets thumbs up, waves and pictures taken of him wherever he goes. It looks better with the fenders on but they were in bad shape so they are off for the summer. He also just bought a running and driving S10 last week so you know where this is heading. His buddies come over to look at our stuff. Group of young guys digging the old iron. I couldn't be happier.
     

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  26. tkmark
    Joined: Jan 23, 2011
    Posts: 123

    tkmark
    Member
    1. 49-54 Chevy Cars

    Randy, whats the latest? Any progress? Keep us updated. Mine had 4 wheels and a drive train when I found it but was very rough. Good luck!!! Mark
     
  27. RadRandy
    Joined: Feb 4, 2010
    Posts: 24

    RadRandy
    Member
    from Kansas

    Hey Mark, no change on the 49 Chevy. In fact I put it on Craig's List recently because my son and I brought home another International pickup body and have decided to sell off the 49 Chevy Fleetline, the 53 Chevy 2 door sedan and the 52 Pontiac Chieftain fake convertible so that we can concentrate on the pickups and the Pontiac Muscle cars. Nine car projects is a little on the crazy side :) Thanks for asking.
     
  28. sadsack
    Joined: Jan 29, 2014
    Posts: 72

    sadsack
    Member

    nationsl guard practice helicopter airlift sadsack
     
  29. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,620

    toml24
    Member

    I've always liked the 1949 Chevy Fleetline Deluxe. That's the car my mom had back in the day.
     

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  30. JesseOdomTattooer
    Joined: Mar 18, 2014
    Posts: 24

    JesseOdomTattooer
    Member
    from Plano

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