Posts Tagged With: Rust

Super Rad Sheet Metal!

I’ve mentioned before that the Dodge lives in Joel’s garage instead of at my house. This is the perfect arrangement because Joel is the main person working on the Dodge plus he lives near our big brother, Don, who is a mechanic and stops by often to help out. Still, it’s kind of a bummer that I live 30 some miles away because I don’t get to work on the Dodge that often. But I don’t end up feeling that left out because Joel sends me text message updates on his progress several times a week.

Last Sunday evening, my iphone told me I had a text message from Joel. I looked and found a picture and this message:  “Super rad sheet metal.”


“From mom and dad?” I texted back. I figured the nice piece of sheet metal came from our parents – in part because I recognized our Mom’s shoes in the picture and our parent’s family room carpet but also because Dad knew that we desperately need some sheet metal to patch the Dodge’s rusted through floorboards. And Dad pretty much has one of everything in his garage so it only made sense that Dad would have found some sheet metal to send home with Joel. Dad is nice like that.

“Yep,” was Joel’s reply. What a great gift! And Dad sent Joel home not just with one shiny piece of sheet metal but two!

I found it interesting that Dad happened to give Joel sheet metal that day because the night before I dreamed that one of us found some sheet metal. In my dream the sheet metal fit in the front of the car perfectly with no cutting or bending required (Hmmm, interesting. I’m having Dodge related dreams now) and we were able to patch the rusted floor.

Well, these pieces of sheet metal are flat and it’s going to take some doing, and the proper tools which Joel does not have, to get the metal cut and shaped to fit. We’re a ways away from actually having a patched floor so that we can drive the Dodge and not see the street through the holes.

But having the sheet metal for the project is more than a good start.

Thanks, Dad!

Categories: 1947 Dodge Club Coupe | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Pretty Much a Perfect Afternoon

This afternoon my son, Ryan, and I headed up to Minneapolis to check out the car show at the Nokomis Block Party. We met up with Joel and his son, Liam, there.  I had hoped we’d find a Dodge similar to ours there. It would be ideal to see another one so we could see what a restored Dodge looks like and to find out more about resources for ours. But we didn’t find any Dodges at this show. There were many very cool cars, though, and several from about the same vintage as ours. We got to talk to a few of the owners and make some connections – AND see cool cars! – so the car show was well worth the trip. I took many pictures and will post them later on.

After the show we headed over to Joel’s house to hang out and see the Dodge. Joel has been hard at work, as usual, and updated us on all the work he’s done. He pulled out the front seat so he could rip out the carpeting and get a good look at the floor. The floor is rusty in the front but pretty solid in the back. He also pulled out the brake, clutch and accelerator pedals (but I honestly can’t remember why – Joel, you’ll have to comment and fill us in). There are some broken things to replace and I know Joel tracked down one of the parts and headed out to get it just a couple of hours ago.

So what else did we do? Well, we started up the Dodge, of course, and let her run for a bit. It was kinda a challenge to start her up without pedals or a front seat but Joel made due. Ryan and Liam sat in the back seat and had fun being part of the action. At one point, Liam pretending to step on the accelerator and “start” the Dodge on his own. I took a video of all three of them sitting in the Dodge and starting her up and will upload that soon. For now, I will post a picture. The “boys” sure look like they are having fun!


Liam, Ryan and Joel having fun in the Dodge

After starting the Dodge and hearing her engine idle (first time I’ve really heard her run for any length of time. It is loud. It sounds wonderful), I finally got a chance to polish some chrome. I chose a piece of interior trim to polish. I tell you, it’s the best thing to see how quickly the chrome shines up. See the before and after pictures below.


Door trim before polishing


Door trim after polishing

Ryan wanted to get involved, too, so he and I worked together on the front grill and bumper for awhile. Then I took Liam for a wagon ride and Ryan followed along on Liam’s little bike. Joel kept working on cleaning up the Dodge.


Ryan had fun polishing the bumper and grill

Wagon ride done, we spent some time looking at the interior trim  and the door panels.  All of the metal appears to be painted a warm brown with faux woodgrain. The interior fabric is a warm tan in two different fabrics – one striped  and the other not. I believe all of the tan fabric is mohair and the trim fabric is faux leather in a rich brown. Once my schedule settles down a bit, I’m planning to paint some practice panels to see if I can replicate the woodgrain to our satisfaction. If so, maybe this winter I’ll start to tackle the interior window trim. We’ll see. As for recovering the seats, I think that project will wait awhile. The rear seat is oh so perfect even though it’s really worn. It’s hard to think of ripping it apart and redoing it just now. And, frankly, we don’t have enough cash sitting around to start that  project.


Interior shot showing both kinds of fabric and the faux wood trim around the window. Also note the little switch near the door – we think this is for the interior light near the rear window but are not sure.

Interior inspection complete, we polished and cleaned a bit more, hung out and talked Dodge project a bit, and then it was time to for Ryan and I to head on home.

All in all, it was pretty much a perfect afternoon.

Categories: 1947 Dodge Club Coupe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The car isn’t going anywhere and that’s ok.


Under the dash, who knows, maybe my spark is down here…

I started out with every intention of creating spark today.  And I created lots of little sparks here and there, indicating that life does indeed live in this car.  Just not where I want it to exist.  I have nearly zero experience with distributors or their simple but surprisingly elaborate design.  I’m reminded just how far electronics have gone throughout the years, and also suddenly amazed that anybody ever thought ‘gosh, I’ll ignite compressed flammable gas in a metal cube with tiny electric sparks created by magnets and wheels….’  What?

Anyhow.  I finally reached a point where I closed the hood.  The first time I’ve physically closed the hood in about a week.  I then took a step back and just admired the lines and curves of this car.  It didn’t matter that the Dodge wasn’t sputtering fuel and smoke throughout my garage.  It didn’t matter that the second I do get it running I’ll find another serious issue which needs immediate attention.  What mattered right then and there was that it was right there.  It was sitting right there looking fanfreakingtastic.

I remembered how this isn’t about getting the car started so I can drive off to get groceries.  Or to park it in a hot parking lot while I go about my day.  This is a project.  And it’ll be a long project.  And that’s not just ok, that’s great!

I continued looking at it, and I decided that I may not have the mechanical abilities to make antique electronics spring to life, but there’s plenty more to do.

I cleaned up the work bench and wiped it down.  Then I pulled out my arsenal of microfiber towels, polishing pads and assorted cleaning compounds, polishes and waxes.  Tonight I would make the driver door look as glossy and spectacular as the passenger door.

A lot of people talk about the patina of older cars.  I respect that concept.  That a classic automobile has been around the block more than a few times and that you can celebrate its age by leaving it as is.  I respect that, but don’t think this car needs that.  This car has the richest and most fantastic black paint I have ever seen on a car.  And I want that to pop and shine.

A complete repainting of the car will no doubt eventually happen.  The surface rust is widespread and without some sort of care it will eventually spread.  But in the mean time I do agree that the rust does bring out a certain amount of personality to the car.  Especially when the rust is showcased by mirror like painted surfaces.  This contrast, to me, makes it so fantastic.


driver side after a short amount of sanding/paint correction and wax/polish.

I proceeded to lightly wet sand a section, which did work wonders, but I get very concerned about removing too much of the thin paint and opening up semi sealed up rust wounds, so I used the paper sparingly.

Not bad, but it was getting late, and I needed to do one more thing while I let some wax dry.  So I approached the dashboard chrome.  The dash retains a lot of shine and sparkle, but has a lot of pitting that I am going to research more before I try to remove.  For now removal of dust between the lines and a light polishing is where I’ll leave it.  I realized that it was even later yet, and I need to return with a short bristled toothbrush next time.


slowly the dash will take shape, for now I have only worked randomly at single sections.

Categories: 1947 Dodge Club Coupe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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