Monthly Archives: September 2013

What’s been going on, anyways?


Where was I?  I don’t even remember.  So I guess I better recap on my progress

Dodge has

  • Engine is running
  • Brakes stop the car
  • Exterior lights are functional(aside from the fact that the headlights only work on high beam)
  • Interior half removed (mohair seats, door panels and 10 dollar IKEA rug make up the interior at this moment)
  • Carburetor rebuilt(although the Brother Don says he should rebuild it again, and I don’t disagree)
  • Dash lights operational
  • Turn Signal lights blink correctly
  • Radio removed, ready for servicing(but by who?!)
  • A lot of general clean up.  I’ve gone wild with the putty knife let me tell you

Dodge needs

  • Engine Gaskets, gaskets like crazy(water and oil exit the engine in all the wrong places)
  • Turn Signal assembly, the existing one literally crumbled in my hands, I salvaged the switch and improvised
  • Rebuild radio
  • Wiring, all the cloth wiring is crumbling like a dried out sand castle.
  • Brake shoes on the front and drums resurfaced
  • Rubber.  Every piece of rubber has dried up.
  • Interior
  • Paint(but that point is subjective)
  • License Plates

Today the Sister, Nephew, Son and I went down to Owatonna for a car show.  We parked the Passat and walked about 20 feet before I said “Oh, umm.. we have to go over there, there’s one here”

1948 Club Coupe, all original aside from exterior Paint and Dual Exhaust

1948 Club Coupe, all original aside from exterior Paint and Dual Exhaust

And there it was, the first similar car to ours I’ve seen in ‘like new’ condition.  And boy was it in like new condition.  It was all original, literally stored in a Dodge garage for half of its existence.  This car was a template for our car.  It even had a perfect paper tag in the trunk informing you how to operate the car jack.  Paper.  Original.

Myrna talked to the owner at length while I struggled with a wiggly four year old and listened to another gentleman who seemingly knew everything there was to know about 1940s Mopar.  I probably spent more time by that car all day than anything else.. and I learned a lot.

What a fantastic discovery.

The day went on and it only caused more inspiration for me, more goals and ideas.

Unlike a fine wine, aluminum does not improve with age.

Unlike a fine wine, aluminum does not improve with age.

I got home and tried to make the best of the turn signal mess, as I left the car last night with one hard to press switch extracted from a now shattered aluminum frame.  This single switch would allow one of four blinkers to blink.  That was great, but not great enough.

Tonight, I realized that the rear bulbs all operated, but that the signal assembly itself didn’t cause a blink effect.  I removed the bulbs and switched the dual contacted bulbs upside down.  I returned to my birds nest of a turn signal switch and what do you know?  A rear blinker now worked.

Another hour later and I had all four blinkers fully operational.

Another half an hour later I got the one non shattered Fog Light working(with a jumper wire, mind you)

Nearly all the electronics are in functional order now, minus a few bulbs and short circuits.  For example the fog

light switch turns on the tail lights.

Electricity?  Ha, you don’t scare me.

Maybe this winter I’ll buy a box of capacitors,  and try to fix the radio.

Then again, that could cause electricity to scare me again.

Scary radio insides

Scary radio insides


1948 Engine, dead center is a black bracket holding up the air filter and securing the throttle spring


sanded down, throttle spring / air cleaner bracket I found in the trunk

Anyways, that 1948 at the car show helped me realize what one of the miscellaneous parts found in the trunk of the car was actually very important.  So after a lot of wire wheeling and a little bit of sanding I got it looking pretty nice.  Once I get some black paint, it’s going to look great in there, plus it will eliminate a rope that I am using for the throttle now(a rope that my brother Don says reminded him of a repair my grandfather would have done, fitting I think)

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Making Connections

Joel’s been hard at work on the Dodge. He’s rebuilt  all four brakes (they work now!) and rebuilt the carburetor. He reports that our big brother, Don, stopped over last night and got the idle adjusted properly. After Don left for the evening, Joel replaced the points. Lots and lots of stuff going on with the Dodge. All of it good.

One thing that continues to amaze me is how many people are excited about the Dodge project. It makes sense to me that our family members, especially Uncle Marvin, are excited about the progress we are making with it. The thing that’s extra exciting, though, is how many other people are excited about the Dodge. People we know are excited and through this blog we’ve made connections with so many others. We’ve gotten so much positive support from so many people!

Case in point – through tweeting our blog posts I “met” a guy named Ivan who lives in the UK. I think Ivan heard about our Dodge project through my chef friend, Karl ( who lives in New York. Karl is excited about our Dodge project so retweeted one of my early Dodge blog tweets. Ivan saw my tweet and got excited about the project and has been sending me great advice via twitter even since. I just love how a community of people is forming around this old car!

Ivan suggested we pick up a copy of the  Dodge Passenger Car Shop Manual,  a reproduction of an original manual of how to fix things in our Dodge. Ivan even sent me a link to where I could buy the manual on eBay. So I bought it. And it arrived late last week.


It’s now in Joel’s garage and is a valuable resource for figuring out how to fix things. At quick glance, I found cool information on how to program the radio stations. That’s a minor thing, sure, but the manual is chock full of minor things like that and major things like Oil pumps and engine systems and more.

What else is fun about this? Well, now I keep checking out Ivan’s blog ( which is full of great recipes. I made one for dinner last night and plan to make more.

It’s not just on the web that we’re making connections. Since owning the Dodge, Joel has met several of his neighbors. The first night it arrived, one neighbor came over to check out the Dodge. Then, last week when I was over, Joel met another neighbor, the one we met on Thursday Dodge Work Day who likes Muscle Cars. And on Tuesday when I stopped over for my ride in the Dodge, another neighbor of Joel’s was driving her Mustang down the alley, saw the Dodge parked outside and stopped to chat. She said her dad and brothers loved cars, especially Chrysler products. She said the Dodge was wonderful. Beautiful, even. That restoring it was the most fabulous thing.

Just as John said that night he delivered the Dodge to Joel’s house, people love old cars and we can expect a lot of visitors from here on out. What he said is holding true. People are stopping by virtually and in person. People are excited. Offering good advice. Sharing in our excitement. And it’s all pretty cool.

Thanks for going on this wild ride with us. You’re all making this project even more fun that we could have imagined.

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First Ride – the Video

As promised in the Quality Time – Family Times and my First Ride post, here is the video of my first ride in the Dodge where we oh-so-funnily ran out of gas.

Thankfully, we ran out of gas just a few houses away from Joel’s garage. And, thankfully, the alleyway we had just driven had a slight uphill slope to it. So when it came time to get the out-of-gas Dodge back to Joel’s garage we simply had to coast backwards and stop by his garage.

Well, it wasn’t quite that simple. At one point I thought Joel was going to hit some trash cans (he didn’t). And we did have to get out and push the Dodge out of the alley and into Joel’s drive. No biggie. Actually, the whole process was kind of fun as you will no doubt figure out when you hear me laughing through most of the video.

By the way, due to my excellent videography (ha!) when you watch this video you will see a lot of footage of the Dodge’s dash. Instead of getting bored with the lack of scenery, be sure to check out how shiny the chrome is on the dash. Joel spent some more time cleaning it up with WD-40 of all things. It sure does shine!

You will also notice a fair amount of footage of my shoes, the floor and a nifty heater above my feet. Although the heater is worth noticing (it sort of works, by the way), my shoes and the floor are,  quite simply, not that exciting. I’ll do better with my video taking next time. Promise.

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Quality Time – Family Times and my First Ride

I haven’t been out to spend any time with the Dodge since Sunday the 8th but I got out there today and made up for my time away! More on that in just a moment…

Why has it been so long since I ventured up to my little brother’s garage for some Dodge time? Well, first I got so sick with a cold that I spent days in bed. Then I was busy, along with my brothers, putting on a 50th Wedding Anniversary party for our parents. Yep, Doug and Char celebrated 50 years of marriage on September 14th. Congratulations Mom and Dad!

My brothers and I are all pretty glad Mom and Dad got married because, well, we’re here having fun with our family and the Dodge because of it.


The Family with Mom and Dad at the center.

There’s been a fair amount of Dodge excitement in our family as of late so it’s no surprise that the Dodge came up in conversation many times at the anniversary party. So here are a few Dodge-related anniversary party moments:

  • Uncle Marvin, our uncle who sold the Dodge to us, was there along with our Aunt Elaine. Uncle Marvin is now following the 1947 Dodge Blog and seems pretty happy with the fact that Joel has the Dodge running.
  • Our 92-year-old Great Uncle Myrl, our Grandpa Anderson’s only living sibling, was there in fine form. If I understand the story correctly, Uncle Myrl is the one who suggested that our Grandpa buy the Dodge from their brother, Elmer.
  • Mom’s Cousin Renny was there. Cousin Renny is the son of Uncle Elmer, the first owner of the Dodge. Renny actually drove the Dodge a few times way back when. Joel and Renny had fun talking Dodge at the party.

Okay, back to today. Why was today so special? Well, Joel took me for a ride in the Dodge! It’s my first ever ride in it and only the third time Joel has driven her around.

The ride was exceptionally funny because, well, we got going down the alley and the Dodge stalled. Joel tried to restart her and it wouldn’t go. Turns out we were out of gas. We laughed a lot then put her in neutral and coasted back to Joel’s driveway (thankfully, we’d driven up a slight hill  or we would have been pushing a lot) then we pushed her up a slight rise into the drive. (I plan to post a video of this most memorable ride – stay tuned!)


Joel putting gas in the Dodge. I think we’ll need to actually fill her up someday. Two gallons at a time won’t get us very far.

Then we drove Joel’s Passat to the gas station for 2 gallons of gas. Then back to Joel’s to pour the gas in the Dodge. And we tried again.

And we had fun! We drove around Joel’s neighborhood for awhile. The Dodge is loud!The Dodge is awesomely huge! The Dodge motors along like it owns the road! I’d be surprised if we went as far as a mile but that one ride has to be the happiest car ride of my life. Part of it was just the sheer joy of riding along in this old, wonderful, car. And part of the happiness was looking over at my brother at the wheel. He looked so much at home there driving the Dodge. So proud. So happy.

As for me, I felt pretty at home in the role of big sister going along for my first ride in the  Dodge and pretty proud of my little brother.

Because if it wasn’t for all of Joel’s hard work, the old dear wouldn’t be running at all.


Joel, my little brother, at the wheel of the 1947 Dodge

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It lives


(not pictured, the grease in my hair)

I officially have brakes. But the kind of brakes where you say ‘this doesn’t stop very well, I should do a brake job.’

But that’s not the point. The Dodge stops when you press a pedal, the pedal compresses eight individual shoes grabbing four drums and in synchronous harmony the car slows down to a stop.

This is a good feeling.

Thanks to a lot of awesome people who got this car this far. Let it be known that without your assistance the old Dodge would probably still just be sitting idly by in the garage.

Thank you Don, Myrna, Mom, Dad, Owen, Wes, Uncle Marvin, Young Ed, and so many other people.

Thank you!

Tomorrow I hope that Myrna can stop by and we can go for a joyride around the neighborhood!!!

And I hope to continue to update you all throughout the week on any new exciting changes.

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