These first pictures show the condition the car was in when I purchased the it, January 20, 2007.
The first step was to lift it with a crane and take it to my car & truck wash for high pressure cleaning.
The car was sitting in someone’s backyard between a few other abandoned cars. Windows were open and the interior is rotted. Water has rusted a lot of the floor. Most of the stainless belt trim is damaged or missing.
Several years of neglect and vandalism have taken their toll. People and animals have obviously stood on the roof. The windshield has a hole in it as if from a bullet.
The interior has rotted away from years of neglect, rain, sun, and animals. Closer inspection will show the floor pan has rusted out from water sitting in it. Here are the front seat, right front door panel and left rear door panel.
There is no telling yet what internal engine damage there is, but it may be considerable. The lack of anything covering the carburetors allowed a lot of dirt and rain to enter. The air filter and various parts are missing.
From the condition of the underside and rocker panels, this car has seen a lot of rough roads and rocks. The gas tank is full of holes, and the crossmember badly bent.
The exterior rust is not as much as it could have been in a more moist climate, but the paint has been worn down or burned by the sun at 6100 ft above sea level.
The mechanical parts are now out and I’m starting my parts list and work list for machine shops. Most of the suspension will end up being replaced, whether I find original parts or end up making them.
It looks like it was used a lot on unpaved roads, as the front crossmember is badly bent. I remember that the only paved roads were 3 blocks around the central plaza of town. Various rubber bushings have been replaced by pieces cut from tires. There is no sign of grease on any fitting.
The coil springs on the left of the car have been replaced with weaker ones with rubber spacers in between the coils. Tie rod end on right side has been welded and the left one is badly worn.
Now it is ready for the body shop. Just waiting for the crane to put lift it and put it on the truck. (We later found it was light enough to pick up and put on trailers.)
Looking at the empty engine compartment you can see that the lower body panel has been folded up where there once was a grill. Needs a complete set of turn signals and steering wheel bearings.
We are beginning to take the engine apart. We discover 4 mm of lateral play in the crankshaft, and obvious accumulation of dirt in the cylinder fins and oil cooler, as well as some rust from rain that got in during the years it was stored.
The gas tank has a few holes and will need re-fabricating. That is Jose Ortiz, my mechanic friend pulling it from the car.
There is a lot of carbon in the combustion chamber, grease and dirt in the heads and everywhere.