Saturday, April 14, 2018

Cars in Yards: 1973 Mercury Comet

The Comet appears to be awaiting restoration although complete and not rusty, a tune-up, tires, brake job may be needed before its road worthy.

Move over, Maverick! The phrase “Ford Lincoln Mercury” did not accurately represent the pecking order of affordability. If it did, it would have read “Ford Mercury Lincoln” on the dealer signage. The Ford Maverick, introduced in 1971, was developed as a replacement for the Ford Falcon that traditionally offered the frugal motoring alternative to a used car. Maverick was an affordable means of transportation and served many families. Mercury offered a slightly nicer platform of what Ford had going on across the hall. Built on the same platform, the Comet was Mercury’s version of the Ford Maverick. Although the Mercury Comet nomenclature was nothing new, this body style was a compact car, no longer the mid-sized Comet of the 1966-1969 generation.


Gravity pulling at the headliner.
Cloth bench seat is in great condition on this 1973 Mercury Comet. Watch your head, gravity is pulling hard on the headliner. 

Comfy cruiser
   This 1973 Mercury Comet was a great example. Example of what? It was essentially a Maverick with a few nicer features for your money. Check out what you would get. Simple, yet a tad nicer. This one was optioned with cloth seats and air conditioning. It also had a 302-V8 with a C-4 automatic transmission and a moderately geared 3.0:1 ratio non-locking rear end. The color is awesome in the seldom seen code 5H Ginger. Rolling stock — predictable hub caps and 14-inch white walls. 


Nice, right? Just wait, these may be the hot rods of the future.
Close your eyes and imagine a 1973 muscle car. Now open them and check out the Comet. Nice, right? Just wait, these may be the hot rods of the future. 

Look deep
   Why is this a find? Well, it is if you are a Mercury enthusiast. Even if you are not you still have to appreciate the fact that this overlooked car is here at all. A lot can happen between 1973 and now. Consider this: For every three Mavericks built and sold in 1973, there was only one Comet sold. Also, how many times along the way has someone needed an unabused 302? Somehow this one was hidden from the engine hoist of potential swappers. 



Blue air cleaner lid denotes the 302-2 barrel carb on the 1973 Mercury Comet.

Details

   Our feature car was sold new in Tennessee. It was purchased by an older lady and was driven sparingly. (Editor’s note: Lets’ all watch and see how long Ron can keep this going without using the age old cliché “only driven to church and the grocery store.” We know he wants to.) Obviously, not a world traveler or a commuter, she managed to keep the miles low and stayed on top of all preventive maintenance. The car stayed with her until the late 1980’s when it was purchased by a gentleman in North Alabama. The current owner took possession of the Ginger brown Comet in the early 2000’s. He is only the third owner of this rare Mercury. 


Bling before bling was a thing.
Aluminum trim is hung all over the Comet. Bling! Economy compact car with class. 

Cheap, muscle car of the future
  Maverick/Comet owners we salute you and hope you continue to save and restore these cars. Many may not understand you or appreciate you, but we do! This generation of Comets and Mavericks are an affordable option to those who want a vintage American classic on the cheap. Rear wheel drive, V8 engine, easy to maintain, has chrome bumpers, 2-door. Check yes on all that! Undoubtedly these are a sure bet to increase in value as the bellybutton (everybody has one) Mustangs, Camaros, Tri-Fives become too costly to buy and too valuable to daily drive. 
  You can count on Junkyard Life to stop and take pictures when we see one on the street or in a yard. The fate of our feature car? To be brought back to life soon. The gentleman who owns this appreciates it and refuses to let it be a parts car. It is indeed in good hands.

Ron Kidd
— Junkyard Life

1973 Mercury Comet script sail panel emblem.


Junkyard Life’s Maverick/Comet Fun Facts

  • Hot Wheels gave Maverick fans a treat in the early 1970’s with a few variations of a Maverick with some custom touches such as hide-away headlights. It was called The Mighty Maverick and later The Street Snorter.
  • Then in 2012 Hot Wheels offered fans a Super Treasure Hunt 1971  Grabber and another custom Maverick in 2018. Represented!
  • Due to their light weight, low cost and the chassis ability to sustain a V8, many Mavericks and Comets ended up on the drag strip.
  • To level the playing field for the Pony car wars (then on the decline) Ford offered a performance oriented Grabber package on the Maverick and Mercury offered up the GT package on the Comet. The alternative Mustang?
  • The Mercury Comet buyer was a rare demographic. If essentially the same car was offered in the Maverick, how many buyers with a little more budget would have opted for another car? 
  • No 1970 Comet offered on any chassis in 1970 but the 1971 models started production in April of 1970.
  • The Falcon line, which was replaced by the Maverick/Comet line, was offered in several body styles including a station wagon. Maverick/Comet was not offered in a wagon. A four door sedan was as close as you could come.
  • Why so few Mercury Comets? Do the math ….according to forums they made 282,218 Mavericks in 1973, but only 82,716 Comets. They were not here to begin with!
  • Our feature car was purchased to be a parts car for a Maverick project the owner has going on. He got it home and deemed it too nice to be a parts car. Whew!

The giant bumper, push guards do detract from the overall clean lines of the Comet, but what is your safety worth to you?

Sleeper 1973 Comet with 14-inch wheels and a V8. These cars have been frowned upon and ridiculed for many years but we believe the “little old lady” cars will make a strong investment. Really. 

Original Comet decal for tires/air pressure in mint condition on the original paint.

You can still find an original 302-V8/210hp Mercury Comet in driver condition for a fraction of what 1964-1970 muscle car projects are commanding. Those projects need a full rebuild. You can grab a Comet and take off! 


Do you have a Comet story, a great classic or muscle car barn find story? Send us details and we’re on the way!  Send emails to Jody Potter at junkyardbull@gmail.com & Ron Kidd at Kidd403@bellsouth.net




Friday, February 23, 2018

24 Hours of LeMons returns to Barber Motorsports for the 2018 ’Shine Country Classic


$500 car for a million dollars worth of fun. The 24 Hours of LeMons series hit Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama to kick-off their new season on February 3-4 with the fifth annual ’Shine Country Classic. The circus of colorful, race-hungry, drivers and their makeshift pit crews brought race cars that looked as if they were built by clowns on steroids. The friendly, fun, action on the track in re-bodied, engine-contorted combos, made each worthy of up close inspection in the fan-friendly garage area. Let’s take a look.  

Deeznuts were taking a look at their Miata. On their hood, "No Goats, No Glory."


Randy Pobst, famed race car driver and Motor Trend journalist, hopped behind the wheel of the re-bodied Camaro/Cadillac Coupe SeVille at Barber Motorsports Track. Pobst was fast! The car won the Class A trophy.


The 2.48-mile course at Barber Motorsports Park is technically challenging with 17 turns and 80 feet of elevation change. Cars were often pushed passed their limits and kicking up the dirt along the edges of the 45 foot wide track.


Randy Pobst spent a couple of hours behind the wheel of the #37 Cadillac. The Camaro-based Caddy hugs the turns thanks to the super low stance of the 1984 Camaro that hides under the heavily massaged bodywork.


Big rear wing is good for spotting the car on the track. Not sure that the downforce is needed as much on the road course.


Kudos to the ’Shine Country Classic for celebrating their fifth year at Barber Motorsports Park. The LeMons series, noted for lowbrow humor and low-buck racing, is an odd pairing with the dignified, well-manicured grounds of the Barber facility. Imagine Talladega Superspeedway’s NASCAR fans allowed to race their own cars on the track. No dice, Bubba. That magic only happens at Barber.



Done Racing’s AMC AMX "Alabama Made Crapcan" spent some time working out bugs in the garage area. The car’s custom fiberglass AMX body rides on a BMW Z3 that was pulled from Copart’s online junkyard.


The Camaro-based Caddy was one of my favorite cars. At least four guys dedicated 600 hours to creating the 2-door masterpiece from a 4-door 1982 Seville.



I couldn’t get enough of the 1972 Datsun 240Z built by Nerdie Racing. I envision the 240Z project I once owned in a new light. These cars look fast sitting still.



Eagle Talon much? Don’t see these on the road... ever. I’ll say this car did eclipse all the Mitsubishi Eclipses on the track.



Walking through the pits, I chatted up up the driver/owner of the #47 TredWear Ford Pinto. The man chewing on the cigar said, "My name is Mike Hunt." Come again, I said. I thought he was kidding. He wasn’t. Mike Hunt races LeMons.



Sharp turn, watch out for the Nissan 300ZX cockroach, or the Mercedes with giant wing. Yellow 1995 Ford Probe (center) was the Class B winner.


Plymouth Valiant with patina in spades, gets some fuel. 


The Porsche 944 team was spotted in the penalty area.


These guys had a missile on the roof, Donald Trump, and Kim Jong Un references all over their camo race car. 




1983 Porsche 911 powered by a VW TDI turbodiesel engine was the Class C winner. 


In desert sand paint.
This Fox Body Mustang pulls off a great rendition of the tank theme.


Look close and you can see that it’s Randy Pobst in the seat of the VW, ready for some hot laps.

Winners
Class A: 1982 Cadillac Seville #37 (maroon/silver)
Class B: 1995 Ford Probe #116 (yellow)
Class C: 1983 Porsche 911 #911 (light blue)

Good times, but I need a car to race
You can bet that I will be back to Barber to watch their next LeMons race. I can pay the $30 ticket price but an even better option would be if I watched the race on the track. It looks like such a blast racing on a world-class track with a bunch of crazies. I should put in some effort and build a $500-or-less race car with a lot of help from my friends. Stay posted.

Jody Potter
— Junkyard Life


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TALK TO US
Do you have a LeMons race story? Know of a unique junkyard? Sound off to junkyardbull@gmail.com

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Rebuilding the 1934 Ford race car found in the woods, Part I

Joe Massey poses with car.


Holding onto history. Hunting down the owner of a 1934 Ford, found in the woods can be tricky. It took me five years to locate the owner of the property and convince them that I could, and should remove the "junk" car with the name ‘MASSEY’ painted on the roof. That was just half the battle. After fighting trees, a three-legged dog, and a small mountain, the car was finally mine. A few months later it would be gone, but that’s not a bad thing. The battered old Ford is now back in the hands of a man who plans on restoring the car to its round track glory days. Mike Massey, the son of one of the car’s trio of former drivers, is well on his way to reviving the ’34 Ford found in the woods.


Joe, Sam, and Jack Massey raced cars in the late 1940s and into the 1950s.
1934 Ford race car shows more than a few battle scars after decades in the woods. 

Massey Auto Parts
  After tracking a link to a possible former owner, I decided to contact Massey Auto Parts in Locust Fork, Alabama. The lady on the phone gasped when I told her I had found an old race car with the name Massey on the roof. 
  “Mike you’re gonna want to take this call,” she said. 
  Mike Massey, 68, is the son of Sam Massey, one of the Massey brothers trio who took turns wheeling the 1934 Ford "J-2" race car around dirt bullrings in the Deep South during the 1950s. It wasn’t long before the pieces came together. 
  I relayed my story. It was a jaw-dropper to them, because the family believed all the old Massey race cars were dead and gone. This one had slipped through the cracks or the trees, as it were. 


Joe, Sam, and Jack Massey took turns racing the ’34 Ford in the late 1940s and into the 1950s. Sam’s name is visible over passenger side door, Jack’s name over the driver’s door.

Quick trip
  The three Massey brothers, Jack, Sam, and Joe, are members of the Alabama Auto Racing Pioneers Hall of Fame. The extended Massey family, all aware of the historical significance and sentimental value of the ’34, wanted to see Mike get the car back. 
  It didn’t take long to decide that I couldn’t keep a piece of history from a family who wanted to restore it. I was happy to play a small part, and let it go back to the rightful ownership.

Mike Massey check out the work done to reinforce the body.

Steel body transformation
  To say the ’34 Ford needed help is an understatement. Massey found a $250 replacement frame, courtesy of his friend Bobby Varnon, to start the rebuild of the race car. Major metal work was needed to stabilize and strengthen the rusty shell on top of the new, sturdier frame. 
  Massey contacted Road Rage Hot Rod Restorations, located in Blount County, Alabama, who specialize in rat rods. The owner, Kendall W., is an expert in crafting something good out of something bad. Kendall reinforced the doors and body shell with electrical conduit. A new firewall, roof skin, and grafting a 1935 Ford center-section to the back panel of the body went along with the tons of patchwork that was needed. A new roll bar was also welded in place. 
  Road Rage worked on the car off-and-on over the course of six months as Massey’s funds allowed. An acid treatment was applied before the ’34 was sent off to the body shop for paint. 


Restoring the ’34 as it was raced in the 1950s. Note the push bar.

Paint, future plans

  Smoothing out the bumps and bruises on the ’34’s body was not a high priority. Massey wants to maintain the original, rugged looks of the round tracker. He plans to have it painted the same colors it ran in the 1950s. All black paint and lettered with "SAM MASSEY ‘THE DUDE’ of the SPEEDWAY” across the roof. Period-correct seat, wheels, and powertrain are in the works. I can almost hear the sweet sound of a flathead V8. 
  Never thought this old race car would be gone this fast. Stay tuned to Junkyard Life for updates.

Jody Potter
— Junkyard Life 


Sam Massey, Mike Massey’s dad, holds a victory trophy in 1950s.

Before photo of the rotted firewall and flimsy sheetmetal. The body shell survived being hauled out of the "holler," barely.

Bracing and electrical conduit reinforces the body around the perimeter. 

A roll bar and sturdier frame were the basis to build the ’34. Doors have new metal and bracing.


Shiny new sheetmetal firewall.

Another shot to compare the "before" beauty, patina, or rot.

New 1935 center rear window section used to replace back window.

This is what it looked like before the new metal work.

After shot of rear metal fabrication.

Lines of the ’34 were blended into the single ridge ’35 model Ford.


Mike Massey looks over the progress on his dad’s old race car.


Daredevil is not a strong enough word for the drivers who braved tracks using angle iron for roll bars.

She looks almost ready to roll from this angle.





Know details about an old race car? Have a find of your own?  Send us the word and we’re on the way!  Send emails to Jody Potter at junkyardbull@gmail.com and Ron Kidd at Kidd403@bellsouth.net.


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Saturday, January 20, 2018

“The Prospector” 1955 Chevy Project Barn Find Gold: Episode 1 Custom Paint Video


Going for the gold. Junkyard Life’s Ron Kidd finds his dream car, a 1955 Chevy in a barn. During his budget restoration, Kidd decided to pay homage to the gold 1955 Chevy that GM built to commemorate their 50 millionth vehicle. With his team of friends and a vision to recapture bygone glory days of the 1960s and 1970s, he goes “old school” on the black, 4-speed, shoebox Chevy. 
  Watch as he enlists artist Michael Swann to customize the hot rod with retro graphics. The timelapse portion of the video shows Swann at work painting “The Prospector,” lettering, and pinstriping the ’55 over a 2 hour period.
  Kidd’s gold ’55 will be sure to make a splash when it hits the scene. Stay tuned for more!

Jody Potter
— Junkyard Life


Do you have a classic or muscle car barn find? Send us details and we’re on the way!  Send emails to Jody Potter at junkyardbull@gmail.com or Ron Kidd at Kidd403@bellsouth.net.


Saturday, January 13, 2018

1955 Chevy Project turns into Barn Find Gold: Episode 1

Before and After photo collage of moss-covered 1955 Chevy on rollback, gold-painted shell, detail of cartoon retro “Prospector” on trunk lid.

Prospects are high for our 1955 Chevy Bel Air hot rod. “Whatever became of the black ’55 Chevy that Junkyard Life rescued from a pole barn seven years ago?” That question usually gets directed to me (Ron). Life, not the cool Junkyard Life, just gets in the way sometimes. Hold on, before I show you where we are now - let me give you a brief history. You may not even remember this car. 
  When I brought it home, I was only kind of sure it was black. With our hot rod hearts fluttering, we began the adventure. But first, what is this?


Covered in mold, moss, dirt and dreams, the black hot rod Tri-Five was a beauty to behold.
The ’55 Chevy landed with all the barn find goodies in place. Rust, rodents and some minor floorpan rot.


Decoding trim tag
  A little Junkyard Life number decoding revealed this as a 1955 (we knew that!) 2-door Bel Air Post Sedan. Factory born in solid white (India Ivory) paint and powered by a six cylinder engine backed by a manual 3-speed transmission.
  Purchased new in Birmingham, Alabama, the car changed hands by the mid-1960’s. Sometime around 1969, it also has a change of personality and received a flat black paint job, a hot-headed 327, and a 4-speed. 
  It raced around local haunts and drag strips until sidelined in the mid-1970s due to a balancer bolt on the crankshaft that gave the owner fits. For three decades it was parked under a homebuilt shed until I declared, “Your coming with me!” and pulled it up on a flatbed to embark on a new life. I bought it!


After a date with the pressure washer, the ’55 Chevy is shiny and clean.

Now, for a trip back in time
  Under the green paint was indeed a black sedan. How cool! The body was in considerably good condition with just a few things to worry about. I wish I would have left it like this. Oh no, not me. I must tear it down a little. That couldn’t go wrong, could it? Ask me again in 2018.


4-speed, V8 1955 Chevy.
Turquoise and white interior is original 1955 issue but not original to this car according to trim tag.

Aerial view of Ron Kidd and some of the Junkyard Life crew.

Time to yank the 327 and 4-speed 
Dare we? It was locked up tighter than a tennis racket, so, yes. Lets do.


Ron Kidd outmuscles the 327 Vette engine.

Done! Dr. Yank’em wins again!
  Somewhere around this point was where I had the bright idea to redo the suspension and brakes. I do want the car to roll again and stop safely. Well, the only way to do that is to remove the body and work it from the frame up! Well, that was our thought process at the time.



A hot 283-V8 engine awaits delivery into the engine bay.

Calling all engines
  I could not find a useable 327-cu. inch engine to replace the one found in the car. I wanted (actually purchased) a 454 big block, only to realize my other fellow hot rodders with ’55 Chevys and big blocks must have a shoehorn and a degree in Chinese jigsaw. I knew it would fit, but please... To save myself from removing the brake booster just to change a valve cover gasket, I hunted and found a 283-V8 from a 1966 Impala with Powerpack heads and a decent cam. A high-revving 283 seemed appropriate for our hot rod.





Pans needed
  Before the body came off, I sent it half-naked (Editor’s Note: the CAR was half-naked, not Ron himself. See Fun Facts) to have floor pans installed. Why before? Well, for those of you inclined to do a frame-off on a car, it is wise to do the pans before the body comes off. Thus, helping insure the darn thing will fit back on. So, off it went!



With the front end removed, the ’55’s original white paint is visible on firewall.


355 geared rearend ready to roll under the 1955 Chevy frame.

Out back
  My sincere rear that will always follow me (unless something goes horribly wrong) is kind of a funny story. I was going to order the brakes (disc all around) and they asked me which carrier I had. Hmmm... I hadn’t shopped for that yet and had a few in mind. That is not specific enough to tell an aftermarket brake salesman. They had to know now! So I answered with the only rear I had for it... the original 1955 unit. Eaton provided a 3:55 posi and new internals. 
  This came after a failed lesson on “planetary gears.” What are those? Ask your granddaddy. We certainly didn’t know. Now, I may be the only guy in town with a ’55 rear carrier with four-wheel disc brakes!



Holding the 1955 Chevy replacement heavy duty coil springs.
Ron Kidd, left, and Michael Clay get ready to spring into action.

Who needs a spring compressor when you have Ron and Mikey? 
(editor’s note: The answer to that question is “They did.” They needed one bad. Those are a lot stronger than you think and can be somewhat dangerous)

Time to work and clean-up the frame for paint and new components.
’55 Chevy frame is a dirty, rusty mess. Time to work and clean-up the frame for paint and new components.


Dirty work
  Off comes the body and now time, attention, and a boat load of money go into the frame. New suspension, new brakes, new bushings, a relocated rear shock brace mounted in the frame rails, new leaf springs, new coil springs, modern motor mount install, power steering box install and much more. Including sandblasting and new coating!




I have been framed! 
  That just doesn’t stop being funny. Here it is shown with 15-inch steelies wearing 1949 Bel Air hub caps. They look plain from here, but are actually quite unique. On the trailer with the rear end mounted, the brakes and suspension in place and the 700R4 transmission. I have yet to pick a converter. I am actually looking forward to what they come up with for a high-revving 283-V8 with 3:55 gears.  


1955 Chevy body stripped of paint as it sits on homebuilt wood stand ready for  a coat of primer. Notice the remnants of turquoise paint?


Unoriginal paint under the paint
  Meanwhile, back at the ranch the body work begins. But hark! The Junkyard Life Automotive Archeology Department uncovers evidence of yet another life! It seems this Bel Air spent some time cleverly disguised in a turquoise and white two-tone. When was this? We knew the ’55 was purchased new by an older lady in solid white paint and by the late 1960’s, it wore a flat black during its street racer/street machine days. So, which owner painted it this very popular color combination? Whoever did, also went to the trouble of installing a matching interior. We knew the seat was for a 1955 Chevrolet, but according to the trim codes, not THIS 1955 Chevrolet. What else is this car not telling us?


A team of Junkyard Life friends and family lift the ’55 body back onto the refinished frame.

Body ON!
  After endless chemical stripping, sanding, primering, patching, augmentation, sneezing, swearing, asking myself, “why?,” body filler, more sanding, the time finally came to put the body back on. So, I called everyone I knew and we heaved that Bel Air back onto the frame where it should have been the entire time. My entourage included Ford guys, computer car guys, old school hot rod guys, drag racers, and most other genres of the hobby. Thank you all so much!


Primered body on and new floor pans shine.

Back where you belong! 
  Welcome home! Now the next stumbling block was me. I always felt the car was not ready for paint. I was never completely happy with my amateur body work. That was the confusing part, because I never wanted to it be perfect. I just wanted it to be ready. And was it ready for paint?  

Color chosen 
  During my research for the perfect hot rod hue. I fell in love with the matte finishes and the wonderful things people were doing with flat finishes. I am a hardcore Pontiac guy and I have always loved every hue of gold that Pontiac ever used. I chose 1966 Pontiac Tiger Gold. All that glitters...




Spray time
  This was not a natural progression in the resurrection of this Bel Air. If not for longtime gear head friends, Gavin Parks and Jason Trammell, this wouldn’t have happened. We marked-off time, bought spray guns and went to town. By “town” I mean the driveway — and by the painter vested in me — we painted it!


Door jambs, firewall, trunk painted.
First, the firewall and jams are painted. Under the fenders, under the deck lid, behind the ears and everywhere.



Underside of front clip painted while off the car.

Keith Lively and I bolted the front clip back on and the ’55 Chevy and it looked like a car again!


The 1955 Chevy was rolled into Junkyard Life’s outdoor paint booth.


Kidd and Trammell are determined to lay some paint on the ’55.

Now to paint the outside
We decided to do a Hot Rod two-tone with a flat black roof. 


Jason Trammell sprays the roof of the ’55 Chevy.


My “One Lane Black Top. Now to go for the gold (pun intended! High-five to self).


Painting the hot rod 1955 Chevy Junkyard Life style.


Junkyard Life is all about budget-friendly hot rods. 


Layer after layer was applied. Then the matte finish clear coat again. Layer after layer until finally Junkyard Life had a two-tone black and gold ’55 Bel Air hot rod, circa 1965. Just as it would have looked as a hand-me-down street machine, like you would find in a high school parking lot! 



Tiger Gold paint dried and tape removed.

The 1955 Chevy in newly painted Tiger Gold with a black roof.



The Prospector
  This is the point where I lost focus somewhat. I got obsessed with 1960’s gassers. Jody and I could not come up with a “gold” theme that has not been done several times over. It needed something that would have a cool Junkyard Life representation. Then came the idea for “The Prospector.” We finally came up with a character that was not gonna cause a copyright infringement lawsuit. All we needed was a professional painter that could pull it off and would stripe the car like they did in the sixties. 
  In steps Michael Swann of Swann Graphics. We all hit it off right away and may have gotten a bit carried away with the prospector theme. (Video coming soon of the art.)

Ron Kidd
— Junkyard Life



Painted by Micheal Swann.
Artist Micheal Swann delivered “The Prospector” artwork. We dig the sixties and old school hot rod art. 


Junkyard Life’s 1955 Bel Air Restoration Fun Facts:
  • Everyone who worked on the car signed their name under the deck lid.
  • The “half-naked” editor’s note earlier in the story is a reference to this incident: Ron got expelled from an auto-body class when the instructor said to “strip the car.” Ron thought he said “strip in the car.” 
  • The Prospector character on the deck lid was originally going to be about one-quarter size of what it actually became.
  • After we painted the roof, we covered it with newspaper to protect it when we painted the body gold. Unfortunately the paper settled into the black. Leaving us with 1990’s funny pages and department store ads melded into the paint. We thought about clearing over it and keeping it that way.
  • The relocated shock tower brace changes the location of where the top shock bolts and bushings live. Originally, they actually went into the body of the car. The harsh bumps were actually softened by the body of the car. Bad idea. Your friends in the back seat better hope the road is smooth or they use stadium cushions. 
  • In the quest for unique hub caps several interesting things happened:
A: The first one was found on Anthony’s garage wall and I wanted it.
B: Jason solved the mystery of what they were. 1949-1952 Bel-Air fully dressed hub caps when equipped with rare 15-inch wheels.
C: I bought two more for $50 EACH from a collector who knew what he had and how bad I wanted them. I have no poker face.
D: A dealer in Charlotte had a set, but refused to sell them to me because they “didn’t need to be wasted on a 55.” He was a purist.
E: I finally bought an entire set to complete the ¾ set I had acquired. That whole set was $20.00. I now have three spares hub caps.
  • The headers were installed several times. Interestingly, they were special ordered for a ’55 Chevy with power steering, which I added. They fit awesome on the side with the power steering box. It was the passenger side that gave us tantrums and things had to be cut, trimmed, bent, and compromised. Jody Potter/Ron Kidd/Cutting Wheel/Big Hammer Solutions Inc!
  • Going with the gasser theme paint accents, we researched what class this full-bodied sedan would have raced in back in the day and came up with "B" class stock. Only we didn’t want to put “B/S” on the side of the car, so we went with “B/GS.” The only thing is we don’t know what that means. Hopefully not “big girls” or “bacon grease salad.” 
  • The body of the car was significantly lighter than what we anticipated. The night we initially took it off, we had about five guys per side and on the count of “three!” we almost tossed it into the rafters.
  • After sandblasting the frame and before the new stuff was installed. I wanted to coat the frame. However, we are Junkyard Life and on a budget so we did it with with spray on bed liner. Spray on and brush on. Again, ventilation is important. Just ask the giant talking bunny that helped us. 

Ron Kidd’s 1955 Chevy in primer, view from the rafters.


Project cars can take on a life of their own. What else would we do if we weren’t working on cars? 

Not the safest method to paint the roof of a ’55 Chevy? How would you do it?


The 1955 Chevey hasn’t run since the 1970s but will soon return to the streets.
This was the beginning of what has become a seven-year journey with a barn find ’55 Chevy. Stay tuned as “The Prospector” continues its road to gold!


Flashback!
Look back at original story of when we found the Barn Find 1955 Chevy.



Do you have a great classic or muscle car barn find story? Send us details and we’re on the way!  Send emails to Jody Potter at junkyardbull@gmail.com & Ron Kidd at Kidd403@bellsouth.net