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Projects Back in it. Bought a 1953 Chrysler 2-door hardtop project

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rickybop, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,305

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    A little back-story, guys. Or just skip to the pictures if you don't wanna listen to me go on and on...lol.

    I don't bowl...I don't golf...I don't follow sports. I never wanted much more for myself than the basics...shelter, food and drink and the love of a good woman. Oh yeah...and old cars. Old cars, hot rods and customs have been my main interest (distraction) and my hobby (downfall) since about 1960...when I was 3. Not kidding. Neighbor boys were greasers/gear-heads. Boy...when they revved their engines, I'd be at the window. I clearly remember their loud black '46/'47/'48 Ford business coupe.
    Collected some raw material for myself over the years. Nothin' fancy. But I had 1/2 dozen pretty cool and worthwhile cars and projects and some parts a while back...including the start of a '29 Ford roadster body on a '32 frame and a 430 MEL project and a '37 Chevy coupe that for at least the first rendition was a 235 six cylinder project that I had running and driving and close to being on the road. Never wanted to get rid of either of these 2 cars until I couldn't drive them anymore. But life happened. I sold everything.
    Wasn't interested in a lot of stuff for a while...not even old cars. Too bummed. Too busy. Mostly just tried to focus on priorities (like work, food and toilet paper...lol) and getting my ducks in a row. 5 years now...takin' those fkn ducks by the fkn neck and linin' those bitches up!...lol.
    Doing better now, in all regards. Recently started hanging out a little more with you guys and looking at your cars/projects. Started getting inspired. (drooling) You guys and your cars really fucked me up lol...made me realize I don't wanna keep just existing. Made me realize that I was starving to have something...something just for me. All work and no play, you know. Told myself, dammit...I am NOT gonna just give up on my own personal enjoyment. Gotta LIVE A LITTLE! There's a time and place for everything. Figured it's about time to get another old car.
    I'm 61. That's not that old. But I've had 2 heart attacks. And as many of you remember, my dear wife, Sandy suddenly went to heaven 5 years ago. Can't BELIEVE it's been 5 years. Anyway, I've learned that I sure don't know what tomorrow is gonna bring. Better move my ass.
    Don't have a lot of money, either. It's a life-long dream, and it would fulfill me to build a real hot rod...an early car. I did consider building just a simple bucket or something...a little bit at a time. Went to look at an early T roadster body. (just the bucket) Yikes...it was a rusted, bent-up, incomplete basket case. I figured I might not wanna get bogged down with a 3-4-5 year long scratch build. I knew it'd probably be wiser to get something later and more together. Not too late...something '54 or older...before they lost most of the round contours. Not too old, so I don't have to modify everything to install a later drive-train. And no matter what I ended up getting, I knew I didn't wanna have to take too much time fixing a lot of rust and/or damage. So I knew I'd have to shop around for the best car I could find for the least amount of money. Jeez, I'm picky. And cheap. I started looking. Saw a lot of 4-doors and junk for too much money. But I also know that once in a while...
    I kept looking.
    I'd seen the ad for this Chrysler a few months ago. "1953 Chrysler Windsor Newport 2-door hardtop 331 Hemi $3,500" The car was brought here to Michigan from Colorado a few months ago, and from what I could see in the pics, it was pretty darn straight and solid. It would've been a good prospect, but it was a few more $ than I was ready to let go of right then. I didn't even call. Then I didn't see the ad anymore and figured it got sold. I kept looking.
    A couple of weeks ago, I saw what looked to be the same ad, back up again...but with a change. "1953 Chrysler Windsor Newport 2-door hardtop $1,000" Whaaaa??? Realized the seller was now selling the car minus the engine and trans. Kind of a shame. But damn...that's a good price for this car, even without the Hemi. And I had the money.
    I called. Apparently, the seller was getting frustrated and tired of having his time wasted by tire-kickers, etc. This was really only a money-making endeavor for the seller. He didn't care that much about the car in the first place. Decided he'd try to make some money by selling the engine alone.
    But now he REALLY didn't care about the car. When I spoke with him, he said to me, "Rick...I gotta tell ya...I don't have the time or desire to be that careful in pulling the engine/trans. I've got the Sawzall out, and I've already cut the radiator support out of it. Probably gonna start cutting the front inner fenders next. And there are rusted bolts that I'm not gonna take the time to remove without cutting." He started scaring me a little...lol. Then he said...get this..."I'm seriously considering cutting the frame at the firewall to make the job easier and faster. Because, you know...most people are just gonna weld on a sub-frame anyway."
    You can imagine...
    I was like, "Oh...God...please...no...don't cut!!!"
    I told him I'd probably buy the car, but he needed to slow the roll. I explained that I use the old shit! I managed to reign him in...mostly.
    Went to look at the car. He had cut the radiator support into about 5 pieces. Jeez. He had cut the drag-link in half. He'd cut a couple of the mounting tabs off the inner and outer front fenders because the "bolts were stuck". Fuck. Oh well...I can fix/replace stuff. That sure wasn't necessary though.
    I still liked the car and I bought it...on one condition...that he didn't cut anything else. I told him... do NOT cut the shift linkage or clutch linkage! Do NOT cut the inner fenders! Do not cut! He agreed.
    Delivery was included in the purchase price. He delivered it the day before Thanksgiving. It's safe now. Sure won't be cutting frame rails or inner fenders! Lol.
    My plans for the car are pretty basic, at least for this first go-around. Fancier later, maybe. First, do a little more disassembly and then get to work removing every speck of grease and rust from the chassis, floorboards, trunk, engine compartment, lower body, etc. Do what few sheet-metal repairs are needed...not much. Epoxy prime. I'm leaving most of the body alone for now. With a little rubbing, the paint will be good enough for now. Besides...I kinda like a few primer spots here and there...lol. The interior is rough. Again...nothing too involved right now...honestly might leave the back seat out for now and do a Gorilla Tape upholstery job on the front seat with a new seat cover. Or maybe a front seat out of a different car for now. Whatever it takes just to get 'er up and running and going down the road safe and reliable and somewhat comfortable.
    The drive-train. Hmmmm...the drive-train. Well...it's kinda sad about the Hemi, but the truth is...for me...it's probably a blessing in disguise. It would take more than I have right now to make that engine what it should be and to replace the fluid-drive trans for something better. But I do want some cammed-up, rumbly "oomph"...a big V8. I'd like to keep it in the family. I can pick up a 440/727-powered, late '60s or '70s Dodge motorhome pretty inexpensively. Some have surprisingly low miles. This car has an open drive-shaft and rear leaf springs with no weird pivot points or anything...so changing out the rear axle for a later limited-slip unit won't be too difficult.
    I have ideas for later. I'll share them in my build thread. This won't be it. I'll start one after I make some progress.
    Just wanted to share getting the car with you guys. Feels good to have this part of me back. Who said, "It's not finishing the car that's important to me...it's having the project." ? Even though I don't wanna take a long time with this, (I want it on the road next season) just having the project is a big part of it. Nobody around me really understands. Sandy understood. I don't have her anymore. But I have you guys...and you understand.
    Thanks. Thanks for being there when things got hard for me. Thanks for being here now.
    It means a lot.
    Ok...enough with the sappy shit. Lol.
    Pictures coming up!!!
    - Rick
     
  2. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,305

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    A couple pics from the ad.

    Chrysler (2).jpg Chrysler (4).jpg
     
  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,030

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Mild custom in the works?
     
    Rickybop likes this.
  4. badgascoupe
    Joined: Jul 22, 2011
    Posts: 150

    badgascoupe
    Member

    Glad to hear you're taking another shot.
     
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  5. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,022

    partsdawg
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Minnesota

    Sounds like a fun project. Glad you’re bringing us along for the ride.
    Enjoy!
     
  6. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,305

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

  7. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,305

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

  8. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,305

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

  9. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,305

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

  10. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,305

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

  11. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,305

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

  12. badgascoupe
    Joined: Jul 22, 2011
    Posts: 150

    badgascoupe
    Member

    Looks like a nice start.
     
    Rickybop likes this.
  13. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,205

    flynbrian48
    Member

    I was gonna say it looks like one of those, "...the hard work is already done!" ads you see for disassembled projects, then I read your entire post... Holy cow, it's a wonder there's anything left! Hopefully the PO didn't throw any of the pieces away that he Sawzall'd up, and you can mock it up and tack things back together. Should be cool, and you're right, old motor homes are thick, and dirt cheap. Good on ya.
     
    Rickybop and chryslerfan55 like this.
  14. Looks good! I really dig MoPars of all kinds and era's, the 50's Chryslers are big honking steel sculptures!
    Keep us posted please.
     
    Rickybop and Hnstray like this.
  15. I'm happy for you Rick.

    Are you going to be able to get it in the garage where you can get to work during the winter? HRP
     
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  16. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    Looks cool already...just make it go!:cool:
    HRP has been doin some bumper cleaning investigation that should be helpful when you get ready, as yours dont look bad at all either;)
     
    Rickybop likes this.
  17. Cool car! If you were closer I'd make you a smokin deal on a 383/727 I have.
     
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  18. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,371

    wvenfield
    Member

    He thought cutting it up was the easy way to get the engine out? LOL
     
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  19. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 21,178

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Rickybop and Hnstray like this.
  20. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,305

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    Thanks guys!
    Mild custom at a later date? Yes! I think maybe.
    Pretty sure I'm gonna make some small changes to start with. Shave the trim on the quarters, deck-lid and under the doors. Keep only the front fender spears. Simplify the grille a little.
    Who knows...maybe get crazy later.

    I did see Danny's (HOTRODPRIMER) rusty bumper thread. I told Danny and I'll say it here. CITRIC ACID!!! It's safe. It works. It works so good, that after I get all the grease off this chassis, I'm thinking I'm gonna build a tank under and around the car...about 3 feet high. Add water and about 100lbs of citric acid powder, stir and simmer.
    I'll do a thread on it.

    And yes, Danny old friend...I've got the garage ready to work on the car in there. Heated and insulated, cleaned and organized. I'm sure the car will be in and out a hundred times.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  21. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,221

    F&J
    Member

    "garage is cleaned and organized"...come do mine...PLEASE lol

    Looks super solid and I never saw many "any make" early 50s 2dr hardtops even back in the day here. Seems like 54 or 55 more were made.
     
  22. bubba55
    Joined: Feb 27, 2011
    Posts: 355

    bubba55
    Member

    There you go brother flea - good to see ya back in the saddle again - well git yer arse busy and enjoy - keep da pics coming and smile


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  23. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,434

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    at times good to lay your cards on the table and see if you win the pot - overall you have what looks like a good start - of course, running a Hemi would be Cool - but, budgets must be kept - might fish around a bit and find a good running motor/trans that you could trade for - yep, seat covers for now - the seller over priced car in the begining, next heading for scrap yard - what a nut - have fun
     
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  24. I'm seriously very happy for you. Looks like a nice car.
     
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  25. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,305

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    "He thought that cutting up the car would make removing the engine/trans easier?"
    I know. People. Told me he's "built 100 cars."
    And..."This car weighs 5,700 pounds!"
    Groan...lol. That's ok. Dear God, please help all the misguided souls. Including me...lol.
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  26. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,305

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    F&J (Frank)...
    Clean your garage? You got your garage all dirty from driving your hot rod down all the dirt roads in the rain and mud! I can imagine what it looks like. Clean it yourself!
    LOL!!!
     
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  27. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    Nice score on the hardtop. My friend here has his grandad's '53 New Yorker 4 door, it rides and drives really smooth, even at our freeway speeds here.
     
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  28. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,305

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    Yeah Frank, first hardtops were when...'51 maybe? And there weren't a whole lot of 'em early on.
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  29. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,305

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    Bubba...Mikey...thanks, brother flea! Lol.
    I'm smilin'.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  30. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,305

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

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