DMC = Disassembled Motor Car
Quote of the Week:
"You built a junkyard... Out of a DeLorean?" - Jason Snyder
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October 23-29, 1999
| The time has come (finally) for me to venture into the world of stainless steel & gullwing doors.
October 23, 1999 I brought my baby home.
The previous owner, a Lotus collector, bought the car in 1988 for his then-wife. The car was in perfect working order, with only 1721.4 miles. He took the car apart for a thorough cleaning and restoration.
Shortly thereafter, he went through a divorce and the car had remained untouched since.
She is a 1981, with a 5-speed, and gray interior... VIN 5927.
|See the door? Believe it or not, there is an entire
disassembled car in this mess somewhere.
It wasn't the easiest chore to dig the car out of the shed it has been buried in the last 9 years, but we managed. It had been stored rather poorly... lots of the parts are damaged due to poor storage & handling.
|In fact, if you are planning on storing a car, two things to avoid
putting in it are a bail of fiberglass insulation & a ten pound bag of
Puppy Chow. It was a veritable rodent resort town.
The three of us that were trying to lift the pontoon & frame up into the body just couldn't quite get it off the ground. That posed quite a challenge as we had to lift it up into the 24' U-Haul truck I rented to get her home. We eventually had to use a roll-back truck to drag the unit across the floor and up onto the rollback, then position the rollback to slide the unit into the truck. Ouch.
|Getting it out was a bit easier, as we had six people, and also noticed
that the pontoon was in fact not even bolted to the frame. Made for pretty easy lifting when separated.
We manuevered it all into my garage and I started to work. Here's my preliminary shopping list:
- all new lines, both fuel and brake.
|But it isn't too bad, I keep telling myself. I'm just at the initial "I
bit off more than I can chew" stage. I decided to start small by cleaning the pontoon and organizing the interior parts inside. I then
hung the body panels on the car with a couple of bolts each just to get them out of the way. Doing these things made me feel a bit better. I
then put the binnacle on the dash, and when I looked at the odometer, I nearly cried...
The car has 1721.4 miles on the clock. Now maybe that's 101,721.4 ... I'm afraid to ask. But so far everything on the car seems to support that the only wear & tear is that caused by poor storage. Whatever sparked the previous owner to take the car apart that completely will always boggle me...
|And this is the truck I brought her
Well, it looked kind of like this. =)
If ya' gotta move, ya' gotta move in style, ya' know?
At this point I had to repeatedly assure my neighbors I had not bought a Fiero...
The resemblance though is striking when the naked pontoon body is seen. You can tell where Pontiac took their styling cues from for their little mid-engined two-seater.
|Sigh... I have my work cut out for me. My first 'real' work on the car
involved climbing under the front frame to chip away broken epoxy, wire brush, and then coat the metal with Rust Reformer. I bought several
cans of Rustoleum Dark Machine Gray and
plan to paint the affected areas as correctly as I can, but I realize
I'll never get them perfect. I'm on something of a timeline. I need to have the car assembled enough to sit outside by Christmas, as I need to
get my '58 Plymouth out of the elements as soon as possible.
|I realize that while under both my time and monetary constraints, I will never have a concours-quality D. The undercarriage will have to be a bit ugly, and I'll have to 'make do' with a lot of non-perfect pieces. I intend to focus my energies into the car's exterior and replacing lots of the interior. Having the car look good at least will help stop me from panicking about the scope of this project. I had a bad spot last night, where I just imagined myself selling the car piece by piece on eBay... potentially making enough money to buy a car in better shape...but I guess I'll just try to hang in there & build the best car I can with the resources I have. I can't expect anything more of myself than that.|
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