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Projects The best deals are right under your nose- 1952 Chevy Deluxe "Survivor"

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by IronTrap, May 4, 2014.

  1. IronTrap
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 470

    IronTrap
    Member

    Earlier this winter an old friend of mine contacted me because he knew I liked "old cars" and his father in law had an "old chevy" that had been sitting in his garage for a "real long time". After prying a little more info out of him I found out it was a 1952 Chevy Deluxe four door. Once I heard it was a four door I kind of said I wasn't too interested, but figured I'd ask for pics and a price.

    A week or so later pics and price came through and I was surprised how straight the car seemed in the initial pics... I agreed to come look at it and at least get a feel for the condition it was in and pass the word on to friends.

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    Turns out the car was less than 3 miles from my house and in a garage/house you'd never think had an old car in it. The owner Paul told went into telling me the story behind the car as I started digging around it...

    Paul's grandfather bought the car new in 1952 and a few years later sold it to Paul's father who owned and drove it until the early 1980's. His father like many that grew up during the depression where very thrifty and resourceful. Paul told me his father would pull any '52 chevy parts he would find in a junkyard, swap meet, flea market, etc and save them for keeping the car on the road. He also was very meticulous about maintaining the car. In the early 1980's Paul inherited it from his father when he no longer could drive any longer. Paul then only drove it for less than 500 miles before a leaky fuel pump gasket caused him to park it. Since then Paul's father passed, his garage filled with all of his fathers shop contents and the car got buried for many many years. Just recently he took 2- 40' dumpsters out of the garage of "stuff" and he decided it was time to sell the car.

    After checking the car over, hearing the story, and seeing ALL of the spare parts that came with it, I decided I NEEDED to buy this old gal and get her back on the road again. I made an offer and after a couple months of no word, I finally closed the deal with Paul this past weekend and drug the car home. I figured I'd post some updates/progress on the car as I go. Eventually I want to just do a few small modifications, but mainly just get it cleaned up, back on the road, and enjoy it.

    Here is the car being loaded up and enroute and finally in my driveway at home with all of the spare parts that were included...

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    Paul tells me the seat covers, door cards, sunvisors, and headliner were all hand stitched by his mother when the car was still pretty new.. I kinda dig them all and will probably be leaving them as-is.
     
  2. ss34coupe
    Joined: May 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,178

    ss34coupe
    Member

    Nice find! Clean it up and start driving.
     
  3. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    Looks like a real solid car. I like the 48 to 52 Chevrolet cars.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  4. IronTrap
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 470

    IronTrap
    Member

    After getting the car home yesterday I couldn't wait to dig into the car today. I started by cranking the engine over by hand to make sure it was broken free, then I poured a little oil down each cylinder and turned it over a few more times by hand. I grabbed a new battery from the local autoparts store (damn 6V batteries are expensive!) and cleaned the terminals and hooked it all up. I had my girlfriend turn the key on and hit the starter switch.. and nothing.. checked voltage and nothing out at the starter when the switch is hit.. guess it needs a new push button switch.. I then used a starter switch I had for in the engine bay and found the starter was stuck (as expected). After cleaning the terminals and a few taps with the hammer I got the starter to work again.

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    Long story short, the starter needs to be torn apart and cleaned and regreased, but it does work. I also found a ripped coil wire boot and a bad condenser producing weak spark. Once I changed all of those out I successfully zapped myself holding a plug wire (guess those need to be replaced!) and got the engine to fire on some fuel I poured in the carb for a few seconds.

    I then moved on to the fuel tank. The fuel gauge was working, so I knew there was some sort of liquid in the tank.. but not sure what. I removed the drainplug in the tank and NOTHING came out.. removed the tank to pump feed line and still nothing.. decided to poke in the holes with a piece of TIG filler wire. Once I broke through the hard fossilized fuel in the bottom I got the tank to drain, but the pump feed line hole is still really clogged.. I think I may remove the tank and take it to a local radiator shop to be boiled clean.. suggestions are accepted here!

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    Oh and the brake pedal went immediately to the floor.. guess I'll take a look at the master cylinder next time I'm under the car!
     

  5. swifty
    Joined: Dec 25, 2005
    Posts: 1,828

    swifty
    Member

    Boy that's an excellent example and in terrific condition even if it is a 4 door. As 34 coupe says just clean it up and drive it and you'll be amazed at how many non-car folks had one of them "back in the day"
     
  6. chevy54man
    Joined: Feb 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,683

    chevy54man
    Member
    from NC

    Get some brakes and clean her up and drive! I like it a lot!
     
  7. old soul
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,093

    old soul
    Member
    from oswego NY

    Good score dude.
     
  8. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,812

    Jimbo17
    Member

    I had one that was the exact same green color and I always liked that color.

    Nice car and a real good project for sure.

    Best of luck with it. Jimbo
     
  9. fat141
    Joined: Jul 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,575

    fat141
    Member

    Great car, please don't chop it up, sure someone will suggest that soon.
    Cheers
    Rod
     
  10. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    I would probably had to wash it to see what I had first thing, still waiting for those pics.........diggin the more than likely factory pinstripe on the wheels
     
  11. mr.chevrolet
    Joined: Jul 19, 2006
    Posts: 7,578

    mr.chevrolet
    Member

    Man, that car brings back memories. my first car was almost an exact duplicate. $45 bucks at Yenko Chevrolet, that included tax, title and plate. Thank you John D'Arrago
     
  12. IronTrap
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 470

    IronTrap
    Member

    Thanks guys, really excited to give this car another lease on life.

    I will NOT be chopping this car or doing any major cutting.. it's far too original and has way too cool of a history to molest it. I plan to do some minor mods like a tasteful drop of the suspension and maybe some period correct add-ons/accessories.

    I gave it a quick rinse last night but ran out of light to shoot photos, I'm going to give it a proper bath tonight after work and I'll grab a couple photos, eventually I will get the Mothers metal polish out and rub down the stainless as well, but I figure I should probably focus on getting it lot-driveable first.

    More pics tonight!
     
  13. cmarcus
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 953

    cmarcus
    Member

    Love the more doors (I might be biased) :p

    Just glad to see another one saved and back on the road!
     
  14. IronTrap
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 470

    IronTrap
    Member

    Been busy on this thing since the HAMB went down and up. Since then I ended up having to replacing the fuel tank as it had a deteriorated tank sealer kit on the inside and someone had undercoated over rust holes in the tank.. all of this combined meant the tank was too much work to bring back and I ordered a repop tank and sender.

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    In the meantime I pulled the fuel feed lines and used Aerosol Injection cleaner to dissolve the varnished and hardened old fuel at each end and blow the line out. Night and day difference by the time I was done!

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    With all of the done I had to tear the carb down and clean it up as well as the fuel bowl. After a few times cleaning the bowl, I had clean fuel flowing from the tank and the car was running on its own! I took it for a careful test drive up and down the driveway and the powerglide seems to shift fine and nothing seems to be horrible when rolling. I also found that the neutral safety switch on the column in the engine bay was bad and stopping the starter button from working, I jumped the terminals for now, but need to look and see if replacements can still be had.

    After a trip to SoCal for work and a visit to El Mirage to watch some racing I was back on the car this week. Washed her properly and started rubbing out the front stainless grill trim. I think it will come out nicely with a bit of elbow grease! I also put on 3" drop blocks and removed the bottom leaf in the rear. I then cut 1.5 coils off the front as suggested here, but it looks like I need to go another 1/2 a coil or so to get the front down just to the tops of the tires. I also have a set of shocks due to arrive today for the front as the rears were shot.

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    Next up is to go through the brake system and rebuild the wheel cylinders and replace the master cylinder. I hope I can have this thing safe to test drive to my corner gas station by my birthday on June 1.. would be a killer present to myself!
     
  15. 48FordFanatic
    Joined: Feb 26, 2011
    Posts: 1,335

    48FordFanatic
    Member
    from Maine

    Nice looking old Chevy.
     
  16. Rusty Heaps
    Joined: May 19, 2011
    Posts: 768

    Rusty Heaps
    Member

    That is a nice find! Can't wait to see more pics and details.
     
  17. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,082

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    great looking car! needs some white walls. I'd load it up with bumper guards and a visor while I was at it..
     
  18. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,067

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    That is beautiful. I love the color. If that was mine I'd just clean her up and add a few period accessories. Wide white tires a must. Olds hubcaps would look nice.
     
  19. JEM
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 1,040

    JEM
    Member

    Nice car. My favorite postwar Chevy (well, okay, I like the '65-66 big car a lot too, and the '69 Camaro...)

    If it were mine I'd be going for the shine-runner look, big steel wheels, not-too-visible work on the suspension and brakes...

    Enjoy.
     
  20. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,856

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    It's a clone of the car my parents had when I was born. I haven't seen many (or any) green '52 Chevys with powerglide around. Thanks for the memories!
     
  21. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,715

    belair
    Member

    Great score. Tthe car looks super.
     
  22. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,633

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca

    I just came across your post and I gotta say "Cherry Chevy" and I am happy that you are not molesting it. No V8, No T-5, No front clip. Thank God!
     
    Old-Soul likes this.
  23. Old-Soul
    Joined: Jun 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,611

    Old-Soul
    Member

    Yup, just gotta enjoy it for what it is. A real nice, clean sedan. Needs nothing more than to be driven.
     
  24. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,252

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :D Nice score there.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
  25. IronTrap
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 470

    IronTrap
    Member

    Yep exactly! I'm all for customizing and chopping up cars to make them "your own" but not survivors like this. It's a good exercise in restraint for me! I'm saving up for some wide whites right now, hoping next month I can afford a set (having multiple project cars gets expensive quick!). I agree also on changing the hubcaps, kinda hung up there and couldn't decided on what would look best.. a set of spinners or sombreros have crossed my mind as well.. definitely needs something though!
     
    Old-Soul likes this.
  26. Old-Soul
    Joined: Jun 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,611

    Old-Soul
    Member

    '54/55 Olds caps look good on everything.
     
  27. motoandy
    Joined: Sep 19, 2007
    Posts: 3,327

    motoandy
    Member
    from MB, SC

    Nice start for sure. Once mechanically fine, it doesn't need much. Just highway time.
     
  28. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,067

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    Actually you only need two hubcaps! That'll save a few dollars. Just large disk like caps like the Olds would be period correct mild hop-up.
    A switch to the earlier 49 taillights would be worth considering. They're prettier. Are they a bolt in swap?
     

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