Works in Progress
1965 Plymouth Belvedere
Greg Casden wrote:
Here are some pictures of my '65 Belvedere. Hopefully you can use the
pictures. As you can see, I've got a lot of work to do.
So far I've acquired a new gas tank (from Frank Mitchell), a set of black NOS A-100 van seats, (really!), a 1973 440 engine and a 727 trans that I got for free. (needs rebuilt).
Since this is the first car I've attempted to restore, I've also
had to acquire lots of new tools. A friend of mine that used to be a mechanic sold me a good deal of his tools (brand new IR impact, two DA sanders, etc.) cheap, so I kinda lucked out in that regard.
I bought the car in California and had it shipped back east. The car is pretty much rust-free. There are a few dents here and there as evidenced by the primer spots and it's got a really poor coat of paint, but otherwise, it's OK.
The car came with a still-in-the-box fiberglass Hemi-style hood scoop and 'glass fenders, a big block K-frame, and a 3-core radiator. The frames have been tied together with two inch box tubing.
Someone had obviously started making this one into a clone before I got it but it seems like they lost interest and let it sit for a while.
I have plans to make this into a bracket car but not to cut it
up (tubs, tube frame, lowered). I don't think I want to run faster than 11's anyway, so I don't think it will be too necessary to do any major surgery. Probably just a roll bar, removed back seat, maybe some lexan window glass.
I don't have a set schedule, but I hope to have a good deal of the bodywork/paint and chassis set up done by the end of the year.
Update February 13, 2002
Here is an update on the restoration of my '65 Belvedere I, along with some pictures of the car in it's present state.
As you can see, the car has been stripped of everything. I welded in the trim holes with lead filler. All the old paint has been removed with chemical stripper, scraped, cleaned, gone over with a D.A. sander, coated with metal etch and shot with PPG epoxy primer.
It's taken longer than I expected to get to this point, but I guess that's how these things go.
Presently, I'm looking around for a shop to do the body work and paint. This in itself has been a difficult step. All the resto shops I've talked to have been extraordinarily expensive and usually have a waiting period of 6 months to 2 years. The regular body shops in my immediate area don't seem to want anything but collision work. It's been frustrating to say the least. I've
considered doing the work myself if I can't find someone to do it in a reasonable time frame for a fair price.
Yeah, I guess I want it all - a fast car that looks good.
The best thing about this project is the knowledge I have gained from getting into it and doing the work. The worst thing is not being able to drive the car for 2 + years and as it looks now, probably not for at least another year before I get it on the road. I feel like I'm well on my way though and haven't lost sight of my goal, which is to make it into an 11 second car. Getting the next phase completed will obviously be a huge step forward. Anyone can take something apart, but putting it back together is a
different story. I'll keep you updated as things progress further.
Well, I guess that's all for now. Keep up the good work on what's still my favorite Web site!
You'll learn a lot doing this restoration!
Sounds to me like you found a good candidate.
Keep us posted as to your progress, please!
Re update: Wow Greg, you've really gotten into it! Good job!
Yup, these things always take more time (and money) than first expected.
But the "hands on" experience you have gained is priceless, plus you get the satiaction of knowing the job is done they way you want it! :-)
Page created May 10, 2000; updated February 13, 2002