New guy, Old T&C

Discussion in 'The Welcome Wagon' started by bredlo, May 1, 2012.

  1. Safari57

    Safari57 Well-Known Member

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    Projects have a way of growing in $$$$ it seems but it is all part of the game. In the end you have what you wanted so that is the upside, just takes more time.

    Nice to have the Airstream to fill in the project hole while you are in holding pattern on the wagon.

    Congrats on the new job.
     
  2. bill s preston esq

    bill s preston esq New Member

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    6 months since the last post here. Any updates?
     
  3. ModelT1

    ModelT1 Still Lost in the 50's

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    I've also wondered about that wagon. Great project.
     
  4. bredlo

    bredlo Active Member

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    Hey all~

    Thanks for checkin' in! I happened to meet with the guys from the shop last week, and they gave me a few suggestions for shortcuts so we can get the car safe, running, and finished, while leaving room for upgrades down the road that would theoretically backtrack as little as possible on the existing efforts (if that makes any sense).

    One suggestion is to keep the existing front subframe and suspension (foregoing IFS) and the existing rear axle (vs. a new 9") and instead just do the new steering box, disc brakes all around, and coil over air shocks in the rear for leveling out the ride.

    Another was to sell the Hemi, and go with a tried-and-true GM 350 small block and trans, which can be bought as a kit and even have a 36K mile warranty. This is a big philosophical and sentimental decision to wrestle with, but their point is that my motor is now 10 years old - has now been sitting for over a year, and is more difficult (mounting-wise and electrically) to make work than the classic SBC.

    So while I have some decisions to make, I'm tired of having the project on hold indefinitely - so they're picking back up this week and I'm easing back into the project with a 15-20 hour per month allotment, to see what gets accomplished next. Ideally undercoating, paint, glass, class V hitch and wiring, brakes and rear shocks can all be attacked while I make these bigger decisions.

    It would be wonderful to make our maiden voyage by my wife's 41st in October, so that's the tentative "finish line" I'm ascribing to things for now. At least that gives us a horizon to point the ship towards.

    Thanks again for the continued interest - I'll share updates as they happen!
     
  5. bredlo

    bredlo Active Member

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    With nothing to report on my wagon, I figured I'd show off another one that sold back in January of this year.

    RM Auctions holds the first big auction each year at the Arizona Biltmore, and this wagon garnered plenty of positive attention; when the hammer came down it went for $66,000. Not bad considering that one of the write-ups points out its "particularly boring styling" and lamenting that "nothing can offset the uninteresting design". I agree that Exner's makeover for '55 was strikingly different and more modern, but I'm not sure I agree it's better, given that I'm less enthusiastic about the advent of fins.
     

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  6. bredlo

    bredlo Active Member

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    On the subject of this particular wagon, I'd seen photos of it a year or so back when the restoration shop that owned it began circulating photos online. I just loved that Carter CarPac roof rack. The unique cast aluminum feet, and of course the fact it doesn't bolt though the roof are both positive things, in my opinion.

    Well, with the $400 invested in the original DeSoto roof rack so far... it's probably a drop in the bucket compared to what's left for that project: creating molds, new wax positives, adjusting to fit our roofline, and then recasting and chroming them.

    So when a CarPac like the one on the RM's auction wagon happened to show up 20 minutes from me back in December - and the second largest size they made (42 by 80) and the seller was willing to lower his asking price... I jumped on it. A week later I found an example of Carter's matching mahogany ladder on Santa Cruz's craigslist: they get propped on the tailgate to let you climb up and adjust those obligatory leather suitcases covered in stickers. :)

    Couldn't be happier, and the DeSoto rack will be going on eBay to hopefully cover some of the expenditures.
     

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  7. ModelT1

    ModelT1 Still Lost in the 50's

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    Thanks Brad for checking in and adding those interesting photos. Looks like some rare parts.
     
  8. bredlo

    bredlo Active Member

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    Hey gang,
    Wow - nearly a year since my last post, but I'm happy to report the project is up and running again. Given how many great projects are abandoned due to finances, divorces, health issues... I'm grateful to be able to keep moving forward, and be as enthusiastic as when this began in 2012.

    We've drastically cut back on our goals in order to be on the road sooner - and spend less getting there. As often as possible, we're planning for future upgrades by trying not to do anything that would need to be undone later.

    - The factory front end will stay for now, perhaps with the exception of adding rack and pinion and a new column.

    - Rear end will be updated to a Ford 9", and we'll tweak the gearing to try and preserve good low-end torque... and low RPMs on the highway. Some sort of adjustable rear shocks or bags in back. Discs all around. stock wheels / ride height.

    - Power will likely come from a simple small block V8 with EFI and a 5-speed trans and a warranty. Yes, most likely Chevy in the interest of optimizing quick installation, cheap power and ease of service.

    Not thrilled about eschewing its Mopar soul, but I hope to keep it for decades... so perhaps we'll drop a little Cummins in there in the future. Pics to show progress, as well as the CarPac rack (being measured on the donor wagon for the missing hardware). Hope to have a roller within a month's time.

    We've also been chipping away at the Airstream, which has new insulation, wiring, walls and is ready for paint, flooring and cabinetry. All the best to you guys, and hope you're all well!

    wag.update4.jpg wag.update6.jpg wag.update1.jpg wag.update3.jpg
     
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  9. MotoMike

    MotoMike Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the update and fotos! Good luck on the rebuild.
     
  10. ModelT1

    ModelT1 Still Lost in the 50's

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    Sounds like a good plan. Still like the Mopar engine idea but sometimes simple is better and quicker. :thumbs2:
     
  11. 67 Sportwagon

    67 Sportwagon Member

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    If you are ever in the central NJ area, or plan on going to spring englishtown dragstrip swap, I can repair your radio. To see what goes on here - go to You Tube and search for "Radio wild". You got a great car!
     
  12. bredlo

    bredlo Active Member

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    Thanks for the offer to repair my radio, 67 Sportwagon ~ that would be a fun feature to have work.

    My shop sent a couple photos showing my firewall being filled and smoothing.

    As I've probably mentioned before, I love that our rear window rolls down into the tailgate, vs. the flip-up clamshell seen on most other wagons of this era. With our dogs usually riding along, it will give us another window to roll down and create a breeze. The downside, of course, is that the inside of both my wagons' tailgates - and all others I've been able to examine - suffer from significant rust.

    So, because we'll have to have some of that internal structure rebuilt anyhow, I may try and add a motorized regulator that I can control from the dashboard.
     

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  13. bredlo

    bredlo Active Member

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    Hey gang, just wanted to post a quick update.

    The good news: Our 54 T&C project is still very much alive... still in primer with no glass, but all the parts have more or less been collected. I sold the black '53 parts wagon to someone in New York for a grand -- he was able to get it running and driving the following day, so both these cars will eventually live again.

    The bad news: My station wagon street cred may take a bit of a dive: I bought a '53 Pontiac Chieftain last night off Craigslist. 2 doors... and yes, a trunk. It was restomodded with a Camaro engine/trans back in the early 1980s, has disk brakes, 12 volts, and runs great. We really want to get out and do a long road trip in the Airstream this fall, and this car -- which I'm considering a "Band-Aid" until the Chrysler is finished -- will not only be fun, but will perhaps hold its value rather than decrease as a modern SUV would.

    So that's where things stand. Hope to have the wagon completed within a year (the shop where it's at has gone through it's share of turnover and problems also) and then we'll have our true dream setup, wagon and trailer.

     
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  14. ModelT1

    ModelT1 Still Lost in the 50's

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    But------ but---it's not a station wagon!:mischeif: But I like it!
     
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  15. BlueVista

    BlueVista Well-Known Member Charter Member

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    Another one bites the dust.
     
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