Back in January, I saw a message from a friend that there was a car advertised a few hours away, and it was a “Good Buy”. So of course I looked it up and sure enough, it was a 1953 Dodge Coronet, two door….. with a Hemi mated to a Gyro-Matic transmission. Now understand that just because it says it has something doesn’t mean it’s actually true, and for all I knew it could be just pieces of a Hemi. But I called the seller, and he indicated that everything was there, but didn’t know anything about the condition. He bought the car from a farmers field with the intention of using it as a derby car. Things didn’t work out for the derby, so he put it up for sale. That’s where I came in. After a short conversation, I bought the car based on a couple pictures, and put a check in the mail right away.
A couple weeks later I made the four hour drive to pick it up. At first it wasn’t much to look at, but then I opened the hood, and there before me was what looked like a complete Dodge Hemi. It had the air cleaner on it, and was covered in thick oily grease and grime, which is just the way they need to be. On the advise of Kenney Rodgers, where he says, “You never count your money, while you’re sitting at the table, there’ll be time enough fer count’n…. when the deal’ns done.”, I already knew this was no time to be drooling, and looking too closely while the seller was still standing there, so I quickly loaded up and headed for home, as there would be plenty of time to look things over later, on my own time.
We pulled the car in the shop right away, and quickly found a lot of rust in the floors, and decided that this one was a good candidate for a parts car. That means we carefully take every singe piece off the car and tag it, photograph it, price it, and put it on a shelf in the warehouse. We then put the parts on line in the parts section of our website for the whole world to see. There is a process to this, and that meant it would take a few more days to get to the point where we could really investigate the motor more.
Soon enough, we found that the motor was froze up tight from many years of sitting, and we found signs that mice had been working their way in through a radiator hose. We pulled all the plugs out and filled the cylinders with oil. Then we slowly applied pressure to turn the motor over. After a while, it broke loose and turned just a bit. Over the next few days it moved just a little more each day until it finally turned over all the way. It still took some time to get it to turn over smoothly, but eventually we had something we could work with. We cleaned out all the signs of mice, and cleaned up the points. A good friend who is old enough to remember these motors when they were new came over to help us out. He helped us trouble shoot one more issue with the points and then, amazingly, she fired right up. My heart skipped three beats, but my faithful pacemaker kicked in and I never even noticed. This was better than cool. This car was rescued from a field, and from a derby to now be running, and the parts will now go to other cars to get them running and looking good too. It’s experiences like this that bring us to work every day, and this is what we love to do.
Be sure to watch the video link at the bottom where we started to motor. It ran really good, and even added a nice smell to the shop that’s still lingering today…….