A few months ago I was summoned off my 1947 Plymouth sanding project and into the front drive. My awesome husband found and obtained an early Birthday gift for me! As I brushed off and mosied out if the garage I saw a beauty on a trailer; a COMPLETE 1940 Plymouth Sedan!!!!!! 4-doors, suicide doors, engine, tranny, interior, chrome, housings, bumpers. The car was a single owner and garage stored. Would have been all cherry but 20 or so years ago the garage was broken into and the car was vandalized. All the glass broken and some spray paint on the fender. After that the weather got into things so all the fabric is deteriorated. We have started the resoration with clean up. All forward from here! I will post more pictures.
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1948 Plymouth Convertible
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When my husband was young the carcass of a car arrived at his family home. Over the next few years he played in it with his older sister, kid stuff. Later his Dad started rebuilding the car and he was part of it. The car was finished after a few years and the family drove it. When my husband was 16 the car was sold, for unknown reasons to him at the time, teenage stuff. The sale broke his heart and he was angry. In 2002 he decided to start searching for the car. Unfortunately, with no success but has been searching ever since. One week ago today he received a call that there was a possible sighting of this beloved car in Durango! Thinking nothing of it he decided to go check it out anyway. Upon arrival he saw the car and still wasn't certain. He called me to come help check it out. The confirmation on the identity of this car was laying in the locked trunk, he said. We found he keys and unlocked the trunk. When the lid was lifted and I was sure my husband was going to his knees. To our surprise, there was an outline of a Thunderbird emblem made by his dad out of thumbtacks so many years ago. After over a decade of searching the 1960 Ford Thunderbird is back in the family, forever.
There is a lot more to the story but I don't want to bore anyone. Please ask questions if you have any ;-)
This is my attempt on a run down of the work done so far on the interior.
1. The seats were reupholstered from a maroon-color vinyl to a black/grey leather-like vinyl. The back seat was out of a 1980 something blazer. Perfect fit and with new fabric looks perfect! Also notice the maroon carpet trim. I used VHT black plastic/vinyl spray paint. Saved the expense of resewing the trim :-D
2. If I would have been on top of my game I would have taken before pictures of the gauges. They were Dakota digital and green. Not a good combo for a convertible. The sun is most always on top or behind you, so it was always a guess as to how fast I was driving. I chose Autometer gauges and an aluminum dash insert. The dash was disassembled and removed. My husband and I debated on painting it with an automotive glossy black. A few months later we decided powder coating was far more durable and not too expensive. The local company we use gently sandblasted the dash, glovebox and windshield frame then powder coated. They look great and will not scratch as easily as paint!
3. The steering wheel was a task. I originally chose a Grant three-spoke wheel that the company rep said would work with my steering column (1970 Imperial with tilt and telescoping). SHE was incorrect. In my 13+ years dealing with the automotive industry I have learned that just because a girl can answer the phone or stand at the parts counter does not mean she knows her **** (pardon the language). So, the grant kit does not accommodate telescoping steering and there is no way to "rig" it to work. The husband did some research and found the Lecarra company. They made an adapter kit for my steering column and carried lovely steering wheels. I chose one that looked more retro and decided not to paint in because I'm going for a more "ratrod" look.
4. My biggest achievement was the driver's side door trim. There was not one on the door and none to be found anywhere. I contacted a few local metal workers until I found one that had experience in fabricating parts on older cars. Luckily, the passenger door had the trim and the guy said he could make one to fit the driver's side. $200 later I have NEW door trim that looks original and fits. Hazah!
Stay tuned for my next update on the exterior (we put in the engine/tranny today!)