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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 -

    Very cool project!

    I'm really glad you're saving it!

    I've always had a soft spot for '59 Plymouth Sport Fury convertibles ... probably becuase I came home from the hospital in my parents "Powder Blue" 'vert:

    Our '59 Sport Fury Vert @ St Louis Park Minnesota House (circa '61).jpg Our '59 Sport Fury Vert - Owners Plate.jpg Our '59 Sport Fury Vert (circa '61).jpg
    click thumbnails to enlarge

    Please keep us updated on your progress!

    - HEMI32 (on the H.A.M.B.)
    & FIN-ATIC (on ForwardLook.net)
     
  2. husker
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 352

    husker
    Member

    Amazing skills!
     
  3. chooka454
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 20

    chooka454
    Member

    I too have restored a 59 vert here in australia very wortwhile project,Amazing work gongrats
     

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  4. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,994

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    I was wondering why you took on such a project since there has to be one much better but got thinking I cant remember ever seeing one,I have seen quite a few 57 to 59 Mopar products sitting in the junkyards around here that were only driven 5 to 7 years before being junked probably due to rust issues so I cant wait to see it finished. My great aunt had a gray 59 4 door that she probably bought new or only a couple years old and drove until her death in 71 and has been the longest I seen one driven here in the rust zone.
     
  5. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    My father had a brand new '57 Plymouth Plaza when I was growing up in southern Michigan. I can remember him cussing and trying to hold the headlights in place with plumbers tape, but as kids, we loved it because we could get the front seat to see-saw somewhat. This was a five year old car by that time. Chrysler had rushed the new body style into production for '57, and no precautions were in place to deter the rust, especially in damp climates.

    ---John
     
  6. moparmuscle1
    Joined: Nov 15, 2012
    Posts: 85

    moparmuscle1
    Member

    So thats why the front of the fenders on my old 57 Savoy were missing , I thought it must of been a factory option to have full fenders . I found lots of 57 parts cars with the matching fenders to mine . Rust is not your friend :(
     
  7. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    I needed a small amout of filler where I had welded one of the patch pieces in, so I broke out the solder and paddles. Some folks like to use tallow, but I have always used motor oil or auto transmission fluid to keep the paddles from sticking. Here I applied the lead, and filed off the excess. While I had the supplies out, I re-soldered the seams where the factory would have.
     

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  8. nice build there....

    PM me - have some 59' parts left over from my hardtop build....like the fake spare trunk cover....and some other small stuff....
     
  9. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    PM sent...
     
  10. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    More grinding and cleaning of welds continued on the bottom of the car, just about done with that part now. I probably have about 120 hours in that work alone in this project.
    Quarter panels are now quite straight, as the bare metal shows. I still have a lot to do on the top side of the car yet, I will sandblast the body when the metalwork is complete, and then get it in primer to work on the chassis.
     

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

    big M
    Member

    Next step was to find or fabricate the convertible top motor mount. After searching for several years, I found any convertible in any salvage yard would only be sold complete, no parts. I even checked with some of my Swedish friends, and none had anything like it to spare.

    Oh well, I guess this isn't the first time I hit a roadblock. The piece I needed was rather an intricate stamped part, so I set about making a decent replacement. I thought about what I may need, and it turned out I had the supplies right here.
    This is the original Mopar part once separated from the car-
     

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  12. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,186

    The37Kid
    Member

    Could someone please post a photo of a original or restored version of this project? It is out of my relm of interest, but I'd like to know the end result will look like. Is this a rare super valuable car to be worth all this time and effort? Good luck. Bob
     
  13. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    I found an old store shelf in the junk bin that was the same gauge steel as the old base was. I made a few measurements, and cut a section out.
    Next, I used a small hand brake to make the 90 degree bends needed.
    For the center dipped section, I cut a section of an old steering column mast jacket from the scrap bin, heated and formed the ends on an anvil, and welded it into the previously cut shelf section. Another piece was cut for the rear moun, and the assembly was reinstalled.
     

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  14. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620

    BuiltFerComfort
    Member

    What will you do to stop this car from rusting out like all its year-mates? This was infamous for being one of the rustiest set of cars ever to come out if Detroit. That's why you see so few.




    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
     
  15. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    There were several reasons these cars rusted worse than their counterparts at GM and Ford.

    The new designs for '57 were so radically different than the prior ones, and they were rushed into production to make the offerings by Ford and GM appear stodgy. There was little to no thought about keeping road dirt and debris from building up in places such as the headlight brows. Mud and dirt that stays wet will rust metal away quickly.

    Another reason for the rust factor is that inner panels were bare steel with no coating whatsoever. I have taken rocker panels off desert cars and found bright shiny metal towards the top of the inside, and rust out at the lower portion. The factory did spray a coating on the top of the trunk and floor surfaces which helped when it was relatively new, but as years went by, it would crack, allowing moisture beneath, and rust out. Any undercooating applied by the dealer generally did not help the situation.
    The thickness of the body panels was also thinner, 19 gauge, where most cars used 18 gauge.

    Anywhere I have seperated and re-joined panels, I have added rust preventive before re-joining them. Rocker panels, inner quarters, etc. will all get coated as well. This should solve most of the future rust issues, as well as keeping dirt buildup too a minimum.

    ---John
     
  16. WillyKJr
    Joined: Sep 5, 2009
    Posts: 149

    WillyKJr
    Member
    from Blackstone

    I do admire the ambition John. That Fury is one of the coolest sleds ever and it makes me smile that you are saving this one. Keep up the great progress updates. Good stuff.
     
  17. biscaynes
    Joined: Mar 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,649

    biscaynes
    Member

    can't wait to see this one done, good work! :cool:
     
  18. Bob (The37Kid) -

    Here's an example that sold for $78.5K at auction last year:

    FL0112-121309_1.jpg

    ... and an example that sold for $53K at auction last month:

    14212073-620-0.jpg

    That said, why should it matter how rare or valuable a car is?

    Maybe it's just me ... but I'd like to think that most HAMBers (including you, big M, & myself) aren't in this hobby just to make $$$ on our project(s) ... but rather are a group of individuals that enjoy preserving Automotive history ... be it the restoration of a "Forward Look" Mopar, the re-creation of a historical racecar, the building of a traditional Hot Rod or Custom, etc., etc.

    Considering your signature line:

    Having the project is what makes me happy, finishing it isn't something I think about.
    ... I was a bit surprised by your post!
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  19. falconvan
    Joined: Apr 2, 2008
    Posts: 1,105

    falconvan
    Member
    from festus, Mo

    This is awesome, John. People might say,"Why put that much time and work into something so far gone?" Just to say that you pulled it off would reason enough for me to try it. How many people can say they were able to save something like this? It's not like we're all building cars because we're making huge profits.
     
  20. jaydogg1
    Joined: Sep 28, 2011
    Posts: 6

    jaydogg1
    Member

    Fantastic build John. Iv'e been going thru it today and feeling the urge to get back to my shop and cut out some rust. Im feeling rather inadequate after seeing your restoration skills but am still planning to come down there next week to pick up that rust free inner fender for my 59 Plymouth Suburban. Mostly its an excuse to wander around some old tin and look at the other burbs you have there. I will call and see if your going to be around one of those days.
    J Brunswick
     
  21. Awesome work and obviously for the love of it, and not financial reward.
    Subscribed.
     
  22. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,186

    The37Kid
    Member

    Hemi32, Sorry if my original post sounded off key, I just didn't know what the car looked like until you posted the photos. Thanks, looks like the work will be worth it. Bob [​IMG]
     
  23. Sweepspear
    Joined: May 17, 2010
    Posts: 292

    Sweepspear
    Member

    This is one reason I like the H.A.M.B. so much!
    I've seen many members here such as John tackle a car that most involved in the car hobby would deem not even worthy of being called scrap.
    And turn them into works of art.
     
  24. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,994

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    I had a 55 Olds convertible that was almost as bad that I wanted to build but was not sure of my skills to get it back in shape or a place to work on it so I sold it,it did run and drive and would have been worth the effort but I ended up with my dads 55 Ford convertible that needed much less work.
     
  25. big M
    Joined: Mar 22, 2010
    Posts: 709

    big M
    Member

    Thanks for everyone's input regarding this build.

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

    big M
    Member

    Good to hear from you, Jay.
    Just give me a call to be sure I'm going to be at the yard. I will be looking forward to meeting you, and have a selection of '59 Suburbans for parts.


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

    big M
    Member

    Tidying up the convertible top well, I had saved the end caps that mounted over the main top rack pivot. The one was a bit far gone to use, so I fabricated another from a piece of 18 gauge steel. Next, I butt welded it on and ground the welds down.
     

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

    big M
    Member

    I paddled the lead back into the factory seam, and used it to fill some small imperfections. After smoothing out the edges, I was ready to do the same to the opposite side. The original end cap turned out to be solid enough to use, so it was butt welded on, and the repair finished in the same manner as the first side.

    ---John
     

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

    big M
    Member

    I cleaned up some of the prior welds, then moved on to the trunk weatherstrip gutters. The seams had rust issues, and there was a section that was dog-eared from the rust. I decided rather than replacing these channels, to repair them instead. I used brazing rod to build the edges up and strengthen the weak spots, then cleaned them up using a carbide burr. I also removed the old remnants of seam sealer that had cracked and was coming loose.

    ---John
     

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

    big M
    Member

    The drain channel for the convertible top well was basically rusted away, a body pick revealed it was too far gone to repair. I had just brought a few '63 Chrysler 300 converts in the yard, but after checking, I found the curvature of their drain channels to be all wrong.
    I proceeded to find a sheet of 14 gauge steel, and cut a light arc out the width of the channel. Then I cut away the badly rusted original channel from the body. After cleaning up the edges of both areas, I cut another piece to make the side portion that would later be welded to the body. The side piece was welded to the arced lower piece, heating, and bending to form the same arc as I went along. There were a couple holes in the rear of the channel that needed repair, so this was done before welding the new lower channel into the body.
    I took time on this, after doing all the floor work, the last thing I would want is water draining into the passenger compartment or trunk.

    ---John
     

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