1962 Dodge Polara 500 Cowl Repair
Tom Over writes:
The photos below show the rusted out sections of the cowl on our '62 Polara 500. (Thanks to my daughter Lauren for scanning in these pictures for me!)
The 500 is now back on the road and I hope these photos inspire others not to condemn a car with similar rust problems.
Unfortunately, I forgot to get pictures of the patches I welded into the holes I cut out of the inner cowl panel. Anyway, they were all filled in with new pieces of sheet metal and the welds ground down and covered with seam sealer and painted. Then the outer panels were repaired and welded back on as you can see.
All I had for tools were a Dremel Moto Tool Set with a cut off wheel attachment, sheet metal tin snips, a cheap ($200) flux core mig welder and a $20 disc grinder both bought from Harbor Freight! I also used a spot weld cutting bit for drilling out those sneaky little factory spot welds that are hard to see sometimes. You sure know they're there when you can't figure out
why those two sections of metal just refuse to come apart! I bought that tool from the Eastwood Company. A hood was used to cut patch pieces out of: I obtained the donor hood from a salvage yard for free!
The last ingredient added was a ton of patience mixed with a bunch of frustration and joy added in over the course of a couple years.
Driving to work in this 500 now gives a great feeling of satisfaction and more than a few curious stares from fellow motorists who are probably thinking: what the heck kind of car is that, anyway?
Great job on the repair. I too hope your effort inspires others to "press on" with their restoration!
As you well know, the rewards are many and varied for the hard work!
September 2, 2002; Revised page and Tom's e-mail address December 3, 2003.
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