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The resurrection of Rusty, the '59 Sport Fury convertible

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by big M, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    This is a long term project, especially as my business takes most of my spare time. A good friend we called 'Dammit Jim' owed me some money for storing about fifteen of his cars, and he was rummaging through a truck wrecking yard in upstate New York that time forgot, for vintage Ford parts that he dealt in.

    I got a call from him one day and he asked if I would be interested in a Plymouth convertible that had been left for dead in 1965, after looking at his pictures, I figured it would be worth what he owed me in parts, although the Golden Commando 361 was long gone.

    He had a mutual friend that was helping him at the time load the car up onto a two-place trailer, along with a rusty '60 Edsel coupe that was sold to a collector in the bay area, and he brought the load west. Both cars had to have ropes wrapped around them to keep major parts from falling off, it's a wonder the state troopers didn't pull him over! When he arrived, we set the Fury convertible on top of another frame before moving it with a forklift, as it was breaking apart rapidly.
    Pics are not the best quality.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  2. FANTM58
    Joined: Apr 24, 2009
    Posts: 403

    FANTM58
    Member

    If you havent already , check out forwardlook.net
    there is a wealth of info on that site

    never mind,,,, i just saw it was you ,,,Big M...
     
  3. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    Next was to seperate the body from the frame, after cutting a couple body bolts the job was done. The body fell apart in 2 big chunks. The usable parts were saved, and the rest went into the scrap bin. The frame itself was not usable, as there were holes the entire distance, front to rear. The x-brace, torsion bar mounts, third body mount pieces all were specific to the convertible, so the frame was saved.
     

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  4. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    Good to see you- Just figured out the pic posting here, so I thought I'd share this crazy venture.

    ---John
     

  5. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,942

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    John, I believe that's a '59. ;)

    Can't wait to see your latest updates.

    Danny aka '57burb'
     
  6. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    I found a '59 coupe locally that had been stored in a goat pasture, the glass was scratched so badly and the upper body was so dented from the goats jumping up on it for years, that I didn't feel bad about sacrificing it for this project. It looked pretty solid, until I removed the shag carpet that the neighborhood cats had been using for a toilet. Floors were pinholed as was the trunk, but maybe salvageable.

    I dismantled this car down to a body shell, and moved it into the barn to start the project.
     

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  7. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    Thanks, Danny! Fat typing fingers strike again! Not sure how to change the heading, though.

    ---John
     
  8. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,942

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    I'm sure an admin will see it and get you fixed up. Love the work you're doing to save this car, she's well worth it.
     
  9. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    The convertible frame was now moved back in the barn to set the body squarely onto, and supports were fabricated to bolt into where the door once were. This would allow me to cut the roof off without distorting the door openings. The spotwelds at the windshield were drilled out, and the C-pillars were cut to allow removal of the roof.
     

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  10. HRK-hotrods
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 922

    HRK-hotrods
    Member

    "Forward looking" to see your progress... lol... Will be a sweet car when finished. :)
     
  11. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    I drilled out the spotwelds from the convertible window frame, which was in surprisingly good condition, cleaned the surfaces on the body, then made some measurements on both sides from an untouched car. This was fairly important to get right on. The holes were then rosette welded and the excess ground down.
     
  12. I think Rusty is an appropriate name.
     
  13. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    Pics-
     

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  14. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    Spotwelds were drilled out of the rear tub to leave the necessary convertible-only pieces. The rear wheelwells are also convertible specific, and although rusted out, would need to be saved. The same rear panels were also then removed from the donor body.
     

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  15. oldwood
    Joined: Mar 13, 2010
    Posts: 959

    oldwood
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from arkansas

    That's some of that CA new math. '58-'59 no one will know the difference. That sounds like a Johnny Cash song. LOL
     
  16. SquireDon
    Joined: Aug 8, 2010
    Posts: 600

    SquireDon
    Member
    from Oregon

    Subscribed!

    Looks like a good build.
     
  17. thunderbirdesq
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 6,951

    thunderbirdesq
    Member

    whoa... you must really want a plym convert! Cool to see someone going to these lengths to resurrect an old vert.
     
  18. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    I removed the rear wheel wells from the body, and compared them to the old convertible ones. They are seamed together in a different manner to allow the top to fold down into the well completely. I used the lower several inches from the coupe wheelwells, and butt welded them into the upper part of the convertible ones. This was rather time consuming, as there were other patches that were needed where metal was thin, but I got them done.
     

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  19. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,867

    chaddilac
    Member

    WOW!!! Very cool, I'm diggin' this build!!
     
  20. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,006

    koolkemp
    Member

    This is my type of build ! Looking great!
     
  21. Ghost of ElMirage
    Joined: Mar 18, 2007
    Posts: 758

    Ghost of ElMirage
    Member

    if you pull this one off you are God lol you can do it good luck
     
  22. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    Next was to remove the heavy rust and scale before readying the body for their re-installation. I chose reverse electrolysis, as it's cheap but effective, ann no hazardous waste to dispose of. After their bath, a light wire wheeling was all that was necessary to shine them up.
     

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  23. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,851

    Squablow
    Member

    Looks great, looking forward to more. I have a '55 Dodge CRL convert in about the same shape or worse, with a solid 2 door hardtop shell and a complete runner 4 door sedan to do exactly what you're doing here. ForwardLook convertibles are worth the effort!
     
  24. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    Thanks for the positive words!

    About this time in the build, I got a call from my friend Jim [that found the car] and he was going to the V.A. for some surgery, seems he had a couple tumors in his head that they were going to remove. The operation was a success, Jim called me several days later, saying how he had not felt this good in 30 years, but that they also had found lung cancer from asbestos. I told him I was going to get the car finished, and he called me Loco [or something like that] He contracted pneumonia several days later, and passed away. I took a bit of a break from the car, as it was hard to look at for awhile.

    ---John
     
  25. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    Sounds great!
    I will be looking for updates on your project!

    ---John
     
  26. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    After getting some other things accomplished around here, I got back on the project with renewed vigor. I reinstalled the rear wheelwells into the body, and began prep work for welding the ragtop rear tub back in.
     

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  27. I'm liking it! Best of luck.
     
  28. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    Back to the body, I melted the solder out of the seams on top, and drilled out the spotwelds. Once these pieces were removed, a few other necessary repairs had to be mad underneath, then my friend Rodger helped me fit the rear sections together. Rosette welds completed this portion, now looking more like a ragtop!
     

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  29. ,,,,, sic 'em there, ole Brillo Face! Sow 'em all how it's supose to be done!

    Yes, the FwdLk site 'is/can' be a wealth of knowlege/information on the Virgle Exner styled '55-'61-2 'Mopes'. Several on there will 'bend over backwards' to help,,,,,,,.

    However, when visiting that place, tread very lightly and guard your dataplate, broadcast sheet, like your SS #! DON'T GIVE IT OUT!

    There is a small group of egotistical, holier-than-thou, self proclaimed 'experts' that if, your vehicle, the vehicle you are planning on buying, OR selling, is NOT EXACTLY the way that DP/B'sheet says it is. You do not deserve that vehicle, or should be allowed to sell it! PERIOD!

    Also, if ANY person(s) should re-popp ANY (FwdLk) parts, they should be placed on a list equal of that to a 'sex offender's' list. and should be arrested for copyright infringment!

    Other than that,,,,,,,,,,,
     
  30. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,357

    el Scotto
    Member
    from Tracy, CA

    Cool!! Keep at it!!
     

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