Post Number: 1
|Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 9:32 pm |
|This is my first post. I inherited my brothers ride apon his untimely passing We were building the car together as a cruiser/drag car. He put up car, $, and parts and I did the rest. Don't get me wrong he most definatly got his hand in on every part of the build, until he passed. Through this car we became very close! Not that we were not close before but a project that consumes all of your "free" time brings about a special bond that can not be described. Matt passed several years ago and despite several attempts to dig in and get some stuff done, it is still far form done. |
Enough sob story, on to the car. My brother traded a early bronco for this car. When he got it, it was hemi orange, with several layers of various colors under that. It already had a 340 T/A block with mildly ported X heads, to big of cam and dual 650 edelbrock carbs on a weiand high rise intake. BFG 235/75s on rally rims, 7 3/4" rear end with possie(at least I think it was), a 727 tranny w/ratchet shifter that was a pain to manually shift.
I remember one night he brought it by my house and when he left he said he was gunna get on it. At that time I had been drinking...to me it sounded like it was cutting out, bad! The next day he came back and said "sounded bad a$$ huh?"
I told him "really it sounded like crap. Cutting out and all."
He got pissed " get in the car!" Is all he said. I quickly found out why it sounded like that! He punched it...saw orchard on left side...let off...punched it...saw orchard in right...let off...punched it, back to left...this happened about 5 times before tranny finally shifted into third gear, at which point it still spun but was manageable. I was utterly impressed and eating my words. He looked at me with THAT grin and sai "wait till we get on xxxx road(very corse road). He was right. It ate some tire off but WOW!
Shortly after we tried the aircraft stripper trick. Probably won't do that again! What a mess. We eventually D/A'ed and elbow greased it to bare metal! What we found had u wishing we hadn't started down that road! The passenger door had been replaced but it must have been smashed. The rear 1/4 was destroyed. Just below, 1/2 way up, body line, it was narly! The door jamb was pushed an inch in and several inches back! It had torn holes on the jamb corner and somebody welded pieces of braising rod over hole(about the side of my thumb), in hopes that the bondo would stick. We (brother, Big Cat, and I) beat on it with a BFH and couldn't do much to make it better. We had started looking for cars to cut a 1/4 off of and Matt finaly found one in Michigan, decided we would face that later...
The motor was way over carbed an had some distributor issues, so Matt made he call and ordered a Holley 650 double pumper and a new mopar performance electronic ignition. After installing both it ran much better.
Matt told me he wanted to install larger tires so we move the springs inboard to the frame rails and installed tubs. That was a fun project to say the least! The trunk floor was rotted out so it got a flat treatment. Read no spare tire dip. He had me bend and weld up a roll caged based on his "picture" in his mind. I must say it turned out much cooler that I had expected with all lines complementing each other. Most importantly he said "I want an X in the back window, to show off what you can do!" I honest didn't dig it in my mind but what it ended up bein was awesome!
Another cool mod we did was to ditch front bumper and fill the gaping hole in he lower valance. It kinda looks like a 69 camero part now. Much cooler that the big hole!
He also decided to axe the front innerfenders, and tie he cage into the shock mount(yet to be done). All "unnecessary" weight was removed, ie. entire heater system, stereo, bench seat, rear seat ect. At that point he took it to his house and during a rain storm covered open carb with heavy plastic...unfortunately some water got in and in a necessary move it got fired with water in the motor. It still ran but had low compression in 2 of 8 cyls.
He managed to score a 360 with flat top pistons. He bought several good parts for it before he left this world including windage tray, Mildon deep sump pan, Mildon gear drive, chefs manual valve body, an 8 3/4" rear w/4:10s and a spool and a few other doodads.
On the 4th of July,2009, he wrapped his 5.0 stang around a rock and then an oak tree. It took him instantly.
While cleaning out his house I found a summi magazine with all the parts he wanted highlited so I have a very specific plan to follow. Shortly after we had several sanding party's getting he body straitened up. During one of these our friend Mattie Greer said " I can fix that 1/5 if u want" told him he was crazy. He is 120 wet and I had Big Cat (big dude dont even start to explain, 6' 3" 350-400 lbs) banging on it with a BIG sledge, but what he heck, "go for it!" He had me run a torch on it while he bumped the sheet metal from high and behind dent down to the big hole, then he quenched it and the huge dent POPed out! It blew my mind!!! Anyhow we were able to weld up jamb using only factory metal. Matt would have been blown away!!!
After moving my shop into a bigger facility, I got busy making the rent and it got put on the back burner until my mom n step dad got a body shop. From there we got it primed and jambed, again it sits...
I'm starting a new job in hopes of funding the project again.
I have lots of pics of the car ill try to post soon!
Post Number: 2
|Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 10:13 pm |
Post Number: 511
|Monday, March 10, 2014 - 12:03 am |
|Wow, what a story! Sorry your bro isn't around to help, but doing it in his memory is cool too. And you do have some good folks to work with. Thanks for the pics as well. |
Good luck on the job search! The search and then the work often gets in the way of our real vocations!
|"I have gone faster, backwards upside down and on fire than most people have gone at all" Don Garlits|
Post Number: 366
|Monday, March 10, 2014 - 6:35 am |
|It's cool to hear the history behind a car that's been in the family for so long. Keep us updated as you go along and of course lots of pics. |
Post Number: 206
|Monday, March 10, 2014 - 8:31 am |
|Great story, thanks for sharing it and the pic's. keep the project going will to be a great tribute to your brother and also your connection with him. Will be a great family heirloom and story. Please keep us post on your progress and good luck with it.|