The Restoration From Hell Part Six



Another break-the guy that owned the 59 Dodge was more than happy to see it leave-for free. In fact, he was thrilled that somebody wasn’t charging him to haul it away. The car itself turned to be a typical bush find-rough, rusty but all there. The biggest surprise was that it was a very rare Canadian model of the Custom Royal-a Viscount. Typically fin car guys go crazy over these oddball foreign versions of U.S. iron and this was no exception.


It had a Dodge front end, was a Plymouth from the doors back and it had this trim that looked like it came from Mars. Under the hood was some kind of weird cross-ram intake sitting on a 361 cubic inch motor.

Crank volunteered to drag the old relic out-no mean feat since the car had been sitting there since the Beatles were still touring so it was glued to the ground with no wheels and only 2 hubs.

No problem-Crank was a local legend when it came to ripping old iron out of hibernation. To be honest he wasnn’t being Mother Theresa and working for charity because the other car was a restorable 1955 Dodge convertible. Cars like that are as rare as honesty in politics consequently Crank had it sold in days-he probably ended up working for about $300.00 an hour that day.

I was shocked because everybody, including me, the human football in car world came out ahead in this deal.

The car offered many more clues about the crossword puzzle of reassembly but Crank didn’t want to look out the window in his golden years and see the old fin car. In fact he didn‚Äôt even want to see it later that day so he phoned me on a Saturday to tell me that I had 2 hours to pick what I could for parts and then the car had a date with a future as a new stove.

The crusher was beckoning and Crank was listening.

The former dream car had a date with destiny and it sure wasn‚Äôt a 100-point restoration.Crank had a hard-line policy about cars-they were either useful, worth selling or gone.As you can guess, Crank’s deadline didn’t leave a lot of time to analyze the old Dodge so I took what I could including some trim that was in great shape but utterly useless to everybody except the 3 guys that still own 1959 Viscount 2 door hardtops and said goodbye to the old classic.

Within 3 hours that legendary, rare old fin car was so flat an 85-year-old guy with 2 bad hips and a walker could have stepped over it.I learned the hard way you can’t save them all-it was like pulling the trigger on Old Yeller.