BADASS of New England

An automobile club for the enthusiast who enjoys the last of the big GM cars. The rear wheel drive B and D bodys. Chevrolet Impala SS, Caprice, 9C1, Buick Roadmaster, Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, Cadillac Fleetwood
 
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 A vintage B-body project

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95brmw



Posts : 1431
Join date : 2009-11-10
Age : 32
Location : Connecticut

PostSubject: A vintage B-body project   Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:33 pm

I've taken on another project, but not completely by choice.  Loosing a garage for storage kinda pushes those "someday I'll fix it up" projects into "I guess I'll start working on it".
Anyways, here's my latest rolling New England rust bucket, a 1975 Impala Custom Coupe.  

Before I get the "That's a friggin demo derby car" let me give you a little background on why I'm fixing such a mess of a car.   My father bought this car new in 1975 and drove it pretty much daily until it was parked in my Grandmother's garage sometime in late 1999-early 2000.  In that time he racked up somewhere north of 225k on it, and yes the engine and trans are all original (2BBL 350 with a turbo 350 trans).  It was parked mostly due to the rust getting out of hand (hole in the frame among rotted panels) and it developed a bad vibration from the drive shaft.  At the time patch panels did not exist and it was parked as that someday project that him and I would work on.  Well, he passed away in September of 2003 and the car sat.  For whatever reason, this was the car that my Dad kept after owning much cooler cars such as a 1968 442 and his 68 Roadrunner.  I have every single receipt for this car including the dealer invoice and window sticker.
Growing up this is what I would help my Dad work on and I guess what got me into cars (especially yachts).
In 2009 my Grandmother passed away and my Aunt and Uncle inherited the house but were nice enough to let me use the garage.  I guess I overstayed my welcome as I was asked to do something with the car.

So here's what pics I took while waiting for the flat bed.  It's back at the house (which is now overstocked on cars again) and ready to be slowly fixed up.  My work actually gave us Friday off which worked perfectly for getting this thing home.  This thing will never be as nice as Matt's 74 Impala (and is probably closer to his green rust bucket he use to have), but I hope to get it safe enough to drive and not looking like a ghetto cruiser.

So now it's my turn to pickup where my Father left off.









And it's home:


Walk around of the car:
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: A vintage B-body project   Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:05 pm

My one gripe...what the hell! This is a B body! Not a s00bar00 or a G body!Put it in the right category! Hahaha

I'm so glad to see that something is happening with this car...I remember you saying something about you hadn't even looked at the car in a decade. I think the facts you outlined in your post are worthy reasons to patch that thing up and drive it. The frames are usually good save for sometimes getting rot in the rear rails or above the axle...you can probably plate it. Or...frame swap? Lol.

I just sold a set of those taillights a couple weeks ago...
They make quarter panels.. Rockers and lower rear front fender sections. They aren't great but you can chop up the quarters and use them for patching...they also make dash caps...anything you want to know feel free to ask!

My green one was worse depending on your trunk and front floors...lol.
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: A vintage B-body project   Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:13 pm

After watching the vid...it's rough but fixable as far as the body..most of the lower panels that rot are flat sheet metal. Even my yellow one had metal patches down low near the rear wheels at under 30k miles. The trunk and around the back window look good.. That car is definitely a fluid film candidate. I'm surprised at how good the engine looks!
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MancheSSterJake



Posts : 79
Join date : 2009-03-03
Age : 40
Location : Derry NH

PostSubject: get a donor   Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:18 am

Because of the strong family story I have a suggestion for you.

Get another one. Not for the sake of redoing the second one, but using it to cut up and make the patch panels for yours.

You could find a rust free one down south for probably cheap money and bring it back.

This would give you all the patch panels you would need.

Just my two Lincolns.
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95brmw



Posts : 1431
Join date : 2009-11-10
Age : 32
Location : Connecticut

PostSubject: Re: A vintage B-body project   Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:41 pm

Matt Trakker wrote:
My one gripe...what the hell! This is a B body! Not a s00bar00 or a G body!Put it in the right category! Hahaha

I'm so glad to see that something is happening with this car...I remember you saying something about you hadn't even looked at the car in a decade. I think the facts you outlined in your post are worthy reasons to patch that thing up and drive it.  The frames are usually good save for sometimes getting rot in the rear rails or above the axle...you can probably plate it. Or...frame swap? Lol.

I just sold a set of those taillights a couple weeks ago...
They make quarter panels.. Rockers and lower rear front fender sections. They aren't great but you can chop up the quarters and use them for patching...they also make dash caps...anything you want to know feel free to ask!

My green one was worse depending on your trunk and front floors...lol.


I have to keep reminding myself that it's a B-body LOL.  
Trunk at least has a floor, but anything in there will roll out the quarter panels. Floor is remarkably solid with most of its undercoating intact. I found some small rot holes above the CAT and on a body seam, all fixable without patch panels.
As far as the frame, I spoke to my coworker who is a welder by trade, he saw the pics of it and said no problem.  He patched Lynol's Roadmaster's frame when he bought it and did a great job.  He mentioned some 3/8" steel plates will "fix that bitch right up".  I saw the patch panels and was surprised that Rockauto actually sells them (and the windshield!).
I have a used dash I bought MANY years ago off ebay that I have to dig out now, no clue what shape its in but I guess it's better than this one.  Good to know there's a 71-76 expert on here, I'll be bugging you no doubt  Smile
No worries on the tail light, mine is intact Smile

MancheSSterJake wrote:
Because of the strong family story I have a suggestion for you.

Get another one.   Not for the sake of redoing the second one, but using it to cut up and make the patch panels for yours.

You could find a rust free one down south for probably cheap money and bring it back.

This would give you all the patch panels you would need.

Just my two Lincolns.

Funny thing is years ago before it was even parked my Dad went and looked at a parts car that was clean but wrecked (I think).  For whatever reason he didn't buy it but bought a bunch of the trim parts which helps.  The problem with finding parts or whole cars now is these things are super popular with the derby guys.  I posted it on facebook and got a lot of those guys hitting me up to sell it to them  Crying or Very sad
Obviously original sheet metal would be a plus but I don't see that happening.


Last edited by 95brmw on Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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95brmw



Posts : 1431
Join date : 2009-11-10
Age : 32
Location : Connecticut

PostSubject: Re: A vintage B-body project   Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:48 pm

Another video to come later once I edit the crap out of it, but the car does run and drive! Lynol came up last weekend and we spent the 4th drinking American beers and working on this big ol' American yacht.
Before I even keyed it over I changed the trans fluid and oil to be on the safe side. The tank was near empty and surprisingly only smelled stale and not really bad. Even the sample pulled with a piece of hose was clear! There's something to be said about pre-ethanal gas. We dilluted it with a bunch of fresh gas, cranked it over until the oil light went out and hooked up the distrubutor. This tired ol' 350 fired right up and besides the plumes of smoke ran pretty good for sitting as long as it did. The car actually moves too. The brakes were shot but a $20 master cylinder took care of that.
I found out too what major mechanical problem put this car out of commission, the U-joints on the drive shaft have a shit ton of play in them, rattles like crazy. So once that's fixed and the carb is cleaned/tuned this thing can actually drive.
Side not, I washed the car when I brought it home and found the seal on the rear glass is shot. So this car will live under a cover to prevent flooding.
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: A vintage B-body project   Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:35 pm

The market for these is really odd. Depending on the area. .if you're in the middle of nowhere  derby guys have a chance with them if people selling don't know any better, but you really can't find one with no rot under five grand unless it needs resto in some way. In this day and age you'd really have to be a clown to demo derby one...that's kind of like taking a dump in your refrigerator and wiping your ass with dead leaves. Down south they're snapped up as soon as they pop up for sale and they're expensive. The hardtop coupes are with even more than "glasshouse" 2 doors but the lowrider crowd seems to prefer them. I think the best place to find them is the PNW...no rust and no sun damage. You can occasionally find them here fo' sell but they're usually a cruise night car someone's trying to flip for twice what they paid after they grabbed it from a driveway in Sturbridge or some place.
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toomanytoyz
Club President


Posts : 6870
Join date : 2009-01-20
Age : 40
Location : East Hampstead, NH USA

PostSubject: Re: A vintage B-body project   Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:35 pm

That's a great story, Dave! And awesome to see it up and running so quickly! Can't wait to see it on the road!

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PostSubject: Re: A vintage B-body project   Today at 6:08 pm

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