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Works in Progress

1962 Dodge Lancer GT

Dave Huff writes:

I have a car that I think you might be interested in. It is a 1962 Dodge Lancer GT 2 door HT.

1962 Dodge Lancer GT

A little history. In 1962 I was a senior in High School and I bought a 62 Lancer GT. It was a stick on the tree which I converted to a Hurst floor shifter. I began racing the car locally at Green Valley strip (and others) in the stock class and won the majority of my races. I really didn't have any competition even against other Lancers and Valiant because for some reason I was much quicker than the rest. My best et was a 16:32 with a mph of over 80 for the quarter. Remember that this was totally stock. In 1964 the car won its class at the AHRA National Championships. Shortly after that, I put in a hyper-pack and eventually ran in the low 13's with upper 90's but being a college guy with low bucks forced me to give up racing and revert back to stock. In '67 I found out why my Lancer was so much faster then everyone else. I found that the block had rotted out where the upper radiator hose fits to the block. Turns out the block was aluminum and therefore much lighter. I was told at the time that this block had been installed on different cars unknown to the owners to check the reliability. Anyway Chrysler would not do anything so I had to put in an iron block and soon after traded it in on a brand new '67 Dodge R/T with the 440 motor. What a beast.

1962 Dodge Lancer GT engine

Anyway not too many years after that I began a search for another Lancer but never did find one until late 1999 when I spotted one under a tree in someone's front yard. I did an immediate U and asked if the car was for sale. It was and $500 later it was mine. The seller said that the car was running when he parked it in 1990 but that the brakes were bad. Three days later I put in a battery did a quick brake job and started it on 10 year old gas!

This is my first restoration and not really knowing what to do first, I decided to go and repair/replace the front end, shocks, etc. Then I worked on the engine. No real problems there. Then, not being a paint and body guy, I took it to a local professional Chevy restoration shop...(Big Mistake!) where they took the body all the way to the bare metal, primered it, and painted it the way you see it now. Turns out that the job was pretty sorry and it looks like it will have to be done over, probably in a different color. Any one in the Fort Worth, Texas area have any suggestions?

1962 Dodge Lancer GT interior

Now I am working on the electrical system. Thank God that this car is pretty simple because I am having a bear of a time. However, I will get it done soon and then on to the interior. I had originally planned to do the car up in original stock trim but because these cars were not really popular, parts are really hard to come by. So, I may do a tuck and roll or something else. I haven't decided yet.

I'll keep you up on what's going on as I get closer to the finish. I'll tell you this tho, every time I drive it, I sure do get a lot of thumbs up.

Enclosed are a couple of photos of the car as it is at this time. If I can find some pix of "before" I'll send them later.

1962 Dodge Lancer GT trunk

Update April 2011

The Lancer GT was sold several years ago and shipped to the east coast. At the time it was sold, it had the seats recovered in “stock” trim, had new carpeting on hand but not installed because of the need to completely re-wire all the electronics. The original wiring was completely shot and was having to be replaced. At that point, with two new granddaughters to play with, my priorities changed and I put the car on E-bay and a week later, it sold.

I’m sorry the story doesn’t have a happy ending from my side, but the guy I sold it to sure seemed excitied to have it and it was at about 85% complete so hopefully, he has completed it by now.

Thanks, Dave!

Certainly these are among the rarest of the early pre-A body Mopars, even if it was not a GT!

That GT for sale so close to your home was a great find! U-turn indeed!

Keep up the good job on the restoration!

RE: Thanks for the April 2011 update. Well, “life happens” and that’s okay. Anyway, it is hard to top grandchildren, even for cool Mopars!   smile!  The Lancer found a new loving home so perhaps the new owner will send in an update someday.

Gary H.

May 24, 2001. Updated April 10, 2011

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