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Thinking of doing something stupid --- Buying another car that is a project --- 1954 Chrysler


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Well,

 

Monday was a 14 hour day of car driving to look at two cars and pick up some parts at a auto bone yard.

 

First a look at a car on the Dark Side. A 1956 Chevy 4 door hardtop that looked good in photos and description. Crate 350, 700R power rack and AC. The only problem is that I found fiberglass in the trunk pan, a lot of it. God knows what is under the pain on this car.  For $30K it should have been near perfect for a 4 door.

 

We then went and picked up some parts for the '47 Desoto.

 

Next we drive a couple of hours and looked at a extremely tired 1954 Chrysler. This one is a eight passenger sedan. It will need everything. Most of it is there. But there are some missing rear fender trim. That could be hard as the long wheel base cars used different trim.

 

This car is basically my 1947 Desoto with the updated box body of the first half of the 1950's. Same 139.5 inch wheelbase. I looked up some of the parts in the master parts book and it looks like the spindles and drums are the same part numbers. I suspect that all of the low production LWB cars share a lot of parts.

 

I have found only one other of this model in the internet. A black one. That one had factory AC. This car does not.

 

My only question is given my space limitations and my bad back, do I really want to take on this behemoth? It would sure look nice in a 2 tone pain like the Chrysler dark red with a off white top. A red leather interior and darkened windows from the back door back and the thing would look cool!

 

Decisions, decisions.

 

James

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Hey James,

 Over the years I was very content restoring and driving Plymouths: my P10 wagon, P9 Coupe, P22 Concord wagon, P28 Suburban, and then in June 2021, a Bay Area friend calls me and says that an old buddy of his has "an old Hemi wagon" that he needs to sell due to a move. I rented a Uhaul and drove 4 hours up to Arnold with very little info, only knowing that it had sat in the woods since 1981. Turns out it is an unmolested 1954 Chrysler T&C wagon with the 195 hp 331 cu in hemi and 74,000 original miles. I couldn't get the motor to rotate, but the rest of the wagon was in remarkable shape- virtually no rust, some deteriorated wood slats, but nothing that I couldn't fix. We agree on $800, with the caveat that if I could get the motor to turn over, I would send him an additional $200. (which I did.)

 

Once I got it home, I really started to dig the styling, quality etc, and now my plan is for it to be my next resto (after the '52 Suburban I'm currently working on).

THEN, a running and driving "54 Chrysler withe the 235hp hemi came up on Marketplace in a nearby town for a mere $1,800 (it's only money) which I snatched up, as it was the unloved, 4dr Deluxe, which meant it had the upgraded 235 hp hemi. (It's a sickness, I know!)

 

My point in this rambling is you never know what's going to tickle your fancy and you should go for it, although living in the City, I would guess that you probably don't have alot of extra storage space.

If you take the plunge, regarding parts, I found a local vintage auto parts guy- Steve Rotholz -Globe Auto Parts. He is located in Selma CA. He loves NOS and stock parts and probably has 6,000 items at his warehouse. His phone is (559) 352-1407. Leave a message if you call. His eBay name is forthebeachonly. 

Globe Auto Parts

I was able to find quite a few Chrysler SS trim pieces, and a '54 steering wheel with almost no cracks for $50. Good luck and keep us posted.

IMG_1198.jpeg

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james, you found a rare car. you already know that finding parts for this car can be extremely difficult due to such a low production number and it is built differently in many ways from the other models. seems to me the 2 desotos you have now should keep you busy. i am down to one car now and i am glad to only have that one to concentrate on.and Bob, i am glad to see you on this post. i saw that the raleigh classic had a 54 T&C on the auction. not sure if it is over yet, but you would be interested in knowing the price on that one. i am looking for those two bars that extend out from the piece that says chrysler in the grille. for some reason my car does not have those and i think it would look better with them. i will try globe.    dennis

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2 hours ago, James_Douglas said:

My only question is given my space limitations and my bad back, do I really want to take on this behemoth? It would sure look nice in a 2 tone pain like the Chrysler dark red with a off white top. A red leather interior and darkened windows from the back door back and the thing would look cool!

 

Decisions, decisions.

Sometimes just having the project is good therapy for the body, the mind .... lifting, bending, twisting, all the physical movements will exercise your back and build muscles and slowly improve your back's condition, although there will be pain along the way.

 

Looking for parts, researching fixes for unseen issues all of this brain activity will keep you sharp.

 

Trust me, you take on this project you will prolong your life by at least 20 years ....  🤠🤠🤠

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2 hours ago, capt den said:

james, you found a rare car. you already know that finding parts for this car can be extremely difficult due to such a low production number and it is built differently in many ways from the other models. seems to me the 2 desotos you have now should keep you busy. i am down to one car now and i am glad to only have that one to concentrate on.and Bob, i am glad to see you on this post. i saw that the raleigh classic had a 54 T&C on the auction. not sure if it is over yet, but you would be interested in knowing the price on that one. i am looking for those two bars that extend out from the piece that says chrysler in the grille. for some reason my car does not have those and i think it would look better with them. i will try globe.    dennis

Hey dennis,

After you old me about the '54 Chrysler from the Raleigh auction I tried to get the sold price but they don't publish their results! :(

If Steve at Globe doesn't know if he has the 2 bars,(because his inventory is huge), I can snoop around for you.

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3 hours ago, Los_Control said:

Sometimes just having the project is good therapy for the body, the mind .... lifting, bending, twisting, all the physical movements will exercise your back and build muscles and slowly improve your back's condition, although there will be pain along the way.

 

Looking for parts, researching fixes for unseen issues all of this brain activity will keep you sharp.

 

Trust me, you take on this project you will prolong your life by at least 20 years ....  🤠🤠🤠

Or maybe it will just seem like it.

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I read earlier discussions that these super-chassis machines had many beefed-up parts that were not common to other Chryslers. They had a higher GVW rating leading to larger steering components. Brakes. Chassis parts etc. If I recall these larger parts were hard to come-by.  As an example 5000 NY's may have been built in a certain year.  Same year might have had 7 limos. Maybe another 7 special extended wheel base models. Taxi, sedamulance, etc...Consequently used parts may be made of unobtainum. Is this an accurate assessment?

Edited by keithb7
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11 hours ago, Bob Riding said:

Hey James,

 Over the years I was very content restoring and driving Plymouths: my P10 wagon, P9 Coupe, P22 Concord wagon, P28 Suburban, and then in June 2021, a Bay Area friend calls me and says that an old buddy of his has "an old Hemi wagon" that he needs to sell due to a move. I rented a Uhaul and drove 4 hours up to Arnold with very little info, only knowing that it had sat in the woods since 1981. Turns out it is an unmolested 1954 Chrysler T&C wagon with the 195 hp 331 cu in hemi and 74,000 original miles. I couldn't get the motor to rotate, but the rest of the wagon was in remarkable shape- virtually no rust, some deteriorated wood slats, but nothing that I couldn't fix. We agree on $800, with the caveat that if I could get the motor to turn over, I would send him an additional $200. (which I did.)

 

Once I got it home, I really started to dig the styling, quality etc, and now my plan is for it to be my next resto (after the '52 Suburban I'm currently working on).

THEN, a running and driving "54 Chrysler withe the 235hp hemi came up on Marketplace in a nearby town for a mere $1,800 (it's only money) which I snatched up, as it was the unloved, 4dr Deluxe, which meant it had the upgraded 235 hp hemi. (It's a sickness, I know!)

 

My point in this rambling is you never know what's going to tickle your fancy and you should go for it, although living in the City, I would guess that you probably don't have alot of extra storage space.

If you take the plunge, regarding parts, I found a local vintage auto parts guy- Steve Rotholz -Globe Auto Parts. He is located in Selma CA. He loves NOS and stock parts and probably has 6,000 items at his warehouse. His phone is (559) 352-1407. Leave a message if you call. His eBay name is forthebeachonly. 

Globe Auto Parts

I was able to find quite a few Chrysler SS trim pieces, and a '54 steering wheel with almost no cracks for $50. Good luck and keep us posted.

IMG_1198.jpeg


Love your Chrysler!

I agree with on Steve. He’s been very helpful to me.

 

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16 hours ago, Adam H P15 D30 said:

What's the 54 Chrysler got in it?  HEMI..

54 was kind of a 1 year only HEMI, short bell, wet intake but large port heads....  usually

 

Not sure if you can read the text, but the Deluxe had the 235hp motor, while the standard New Yorker got the 195hp. In order to make that 40hp increase, Chrysler added " a four barrel carb, larger air cleaner, improved intake manifolding, larger exhaust manifold; dual exhaust and larger intake and exhaust ports."

It was the largest hp engine in any production car in 1954.

235hp.jpeg

195hp.jpeg

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i guess you cannot just swap parts to make yours a 235 HP. not sure if this project will add 20 years to james life. if it could do that i will find a project for me. i do know that these cars add a form of exercise and brain use. right now i have a rebuilt power brake booster and i am going back and forth about installing it. i got it rebuilt about a year ago and it is sitting in my garage. i have installed one of these in a 53 imperial about 15 years ago, so i am familiar with the work involved,which is alot of labor under the car but not difficult. less than what james is asking us about. i will also clean or rebuild the front wheel cylinders and get that properly adjusted now that i have a tool that i bought from keith B. to do that properly. i am all about keeping my one car running and driving well, but no new projects. actually, today i am going to install the carb. that i just had rebuilt. always something.    capt den 

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I decided to pass on the car. Just too much work! I still need to rebuild the '47 Desoto. I almost purchased a 1956 Windsor T&C this morning. She wanted $20K I offered $17.5K. The average of four price guides is $15K. A basic no deal. No counter.

 

I am still hunting for a 1958 or 1959 Desoto 4 door hard top. The only ones I have found were over priced junk.

 

James

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10 hours ago, James_Douglas said:

I decided to pass on the car. Just too much work! I still need to rebuild the '47 Desoto. I almost purchased a 1956 Windsor T&C this morning. She wanted $20K I offered $17.5K. The average of four price guides is $15K. A basic no deal. No counter.

 

I am still hunting for a 1958 or 1959 Desoto 4 door hard top. The only ones I have found were over priced junk.

 

James

After I'm finished with my 48 Dodge I still have my mother's 1958 Dodge Coronet to get running.  Floor rusted out, engine ran 40 years ago but needed guides.  A lot of interior work. Wife keeps me from selling it. Says it's not hurting anything sitting there in the garage.  The 48 is almost overwhelming but have to do things one step at a time.  If I bought another car I think it would almost have to be in very good shape with just minor things to correct, like a carb overhaul or starter.  On the 48 everything needs work.  $15-$17K would be the same range I'd be buying another car.

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