Vermonter Posted December 29, 2014 Report Share Posted December 29, 2014 (edited) Hello, all. This is my first post on this forum. I joined because I was lucky enough to obtain a free 1951 Windsor and I would like to get it running within the next year. I apologize in advance if this isn't the place for this an introduction. I didn't see an introduction forum. Here's a back story on how I got my hands on this car: About 5 months ago I saw this car on Craigslist for $1600, listed about 3 miles away from my apartment. The ad stated he was moving out of state and the car had to go. I called the guy and set up a time to go see it. When I got to his place, he wasn't home. This was a good chance to get the tire-kicking out of the way and really eye-ball it without offending anyone. I looked it over thoroughly, and I wasn't too impressed. It's not a 'special' car, It was in rough shape, and I wasn't really invested in it emotionally. However, by the time the guy showed up, I had developed a strange love for the car. Every angle of it screamed potential and drew me in. I studied it closer. At this point, I'm basically sold on the car if I can manage to work out a deal for a slightly better price. He explains what he believes to be the issue with it not running. He also says he has a collection of parts for the car. I asked him what he meant by "parts"... so he shows me his garage. He has almost every NOS part available to completely re-chrome the car, fix any insignificant broken piece, and new rubbers. So now he's reeling me in. He told me the parts do not go with the car, but he can work out a deal with me. I had to step back. I told him that I will give it some serious thought and I would contact him at some point to discuss it more. I never mentioned working out a price. I was starting to think $1600 was fair. A couple weeks pass, and the responsible part of me has blocked the car out of my mind. I had moved on. Out of the blue, he calls me and says "I've had a couple people look over the car and they all try to talk me down to a ridiculous price or just kick the tires and leave. I have a new deal for you". He tells me he wants me to come help him tear into the engine and see if we can get it running. His deal to me was "if we get it running, you can have the car and all the parts I've collected for the original asking price" or "if we can't get it running, you can have the car for $1000". I told him I wasn't ready to shake hands on it, but he lived close enough and I just wanted to get my hands dirty on a flathead because if anything, It gives me something to do on a friday night. Fast forward, We are digging in to the engine, suspecting a broken timing chain. He had all new parts ready to go. We get a couple hours in to the job, and I had made a couple parts and tool runs. By the time we get done, we realize there's nothing wrong with the timing chain. He steps back, scratches his head and says "well back to square one". He makes a couple comments suggesting he might just trade the car for something to a neighbor or keep it for whatever reason. At this point I had really written this car off. I just put in a bunch of hours and bloody knuckles into this car and now he wants to trade it to his neighbor? I left without making a scene, and went on about life. Maybe I misunderstood what he said, I don't know. About 2 months go by, I'm not even thinking about this car anymore. I'm in the passenger seat of my wifes car and I get a call from the guy. He asks me if I am still interested in the car and he has a new deal for me. I wasn't excited to hear it, and any money I had to spend is now gone AND christmas was a couple weeks away. I let him talk. He says "I want to give you the car. Your'e the only guy that I've dealt with that's been decent, shown genuine interest, and hasn't tried to talk the car down. I want you to have it". I didn't know what to say other than thank you. He said the only thing he can't do is give me the collection of parts. I was fine with that. Free rat rod. I was blown away. He could've accepted any low ball offer from anyone else, but he didn't. He would rather give it away to someone who genuinely wanted it than sell it for a low ball price. He did state "I can't take it with me and I can probably make my money back just by selling the parts". Good enough. I got a truck and trailer and got to his place by the end of the week. He helped me load it, gave me every single piece the car needs to become 100%, including every tiny replacement part that was missing down to the turn signal lever. He even gave me OG White walls, and a replacement front fender even though the one it replaces isn't that bad. So now I'm sitting on a Flathead six 1951 Chrsyler Windsor Deluxe Coupe that does not run. I came here because I was searching other forums for information and kept being guided here. It made sense, ratrod forums are fun, but I needed specific help from a community of people who deal specifically with this type of engine. Here is everything I know about the engine and where I am with it: (where mentioned, "previous owner" will be "P.O.") 1) The distributor was not turning with the engine. P.O. thought it was a bad distributor so he replaced it. Same issue, no movement. 2) P.O. thought it may be the timing chain. Checked, Timing chain is perfect and both gears cam and crank turn. 3) Car turns over just fine, won't fire. (no spark/no movement in distributor.) 4) Car was being driven when it stopped running about 2 years ago. Stopped dead in traffic on throttle. 5) I have no idea if the P.O. timed anything after replacing the distributor or if that has anything to do with it. 6) The engine is the original Spitfire Flathead six with fluiddrive transmission. I am trying to be as thorough as I can be, But I am a 29y/o who, up until recently, has never had my hands on anything other than daily driven Hondas and a few other Toyotas/Subarus. My knowledge is limited, especially on vehicles that pre-date myself by a few decades, but I've been handed a very exciting project and I owe it to the P.O. to get the car running. The timing couldn't have been worse with finances and my Honeymoon plans already being laid out for this coming summer. It has always been my dream to own a ratrod. I think this car is a perfect place to start. It has all the original parts and real age. I don't intend on modifying anything on this car, and I wan't to keep it as original as I can, only replacing as needed, with NOS or decent used parts. You will see in the pictures that there is a bit of red spray paint on the rear of the car, I want to remove that so that car is uniform. The only modifying I MIGHT do is to lower the car a tad. Not too much to scrape everywhere, but just enough to get a bit more of an aggressive look. We will see. I am open to any comments, guidance, advice or knowledge. I'd like to get some conversation going as to where to start to get it running. If I can get the car to the point where it runs smooth, I will hopefully get the engine out and give it a thorough rebuild so I can reliably drive it to shows. I will keep this thread alive as progress is made, but It's currently winter in the northeast, so progress pics probably won't make it on here until late spring. Until then, here are some pictures of what I am working with: Thanks for looking. Edited February 1, 2016 by Vermonter Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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