Yankee Express

1967 Coronet 500 resto mod

About this Mopar:

For those who don't already know, the Yankee Express is a 1967 Coronet 500 that I bought in October of 2014 for $3700 bucks up in Massena, NY from the wife of a man who left it with her and ran out on her. She advertised it on CL and I answered the ad 8 minutes after it went live and told her I was on my way with cash and a trailer and to not sell it before I could get there. She didn't and I brought it home. I drove it from my pals house up the road a few miles to my garage where it has sat ever since. It rolled out of the garage for the first time in the fall of last year. 2019. It was a complete car, missing nothing. Running and driving.

My aim for this build was to create a car that would turn heads but not because it's gaudy or overdone but because it's sublime in it's overall appearance. So close to factory that it all flows together and is difficult to realize offhand just exactly all that has been changed. I wanted onlookers to say to themselves, upon seeing it, " Wait...what? That doesn't look stock but what is different?"
I'm going symmetry and flow through of design. Like, for instance, the hood has the depression running up the center that's about 15" wide. The trunk lid has the same. " Flow through" is achieved by the Roadster panels center depression that is exactly as wide and aligns with those front front to back, all the way through the car. It may seem overkill but it's a detail that brings it all together. Another is cutting the angles off of the fender front noses. One, I never liked them, two it's a subtle change that could very well go unnoticed by 95 % of people unless someone pointed it out. It was part and parcel with the changes to the front bumper. In order to have that bumper flow straight across the front the ends had to be re positioned, so, then the fender noses had to be swept back. I thought about it for weeks. How they would look together once done. Whether they would be an abomination or a sublime detail that goes in noticed. I took cues from the 2015 Ridler award winner, the Chip Foose built 65 " Imposter"Impala. Unless you had the stock car sitting next to it you almost couldn't tell what all had been done, BUT, something had clearly been changed and it looked "Right". MASSIVE cutting and moving of key body parts. But the finished car looked like it could have been factory built. It looked right, not out of whack. That has been my goal as well.


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The car as it was the day I drove it into the garage. With my pals hood scoops he gave me sitting on the hood. As If, lol...

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With the 1970 Road runner rear bumper mocked up.

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After cutting the fake scoops open initially.

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Right inner cleaned up and primed.

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1966 Thunderbird tail lights first draft, that I later changed because I didn't like the way I had done it.

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The 2004 Audi A6 dash and console mocked up in the Coronet shell on the Audi aluminum dash frame suspended between A pillars.

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1974 motorhome 440 block and heads.
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Smoothed firewall.
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8 3/4 stock rear cleaned up and brakes replaced and refreshed.
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gas cap smoothed over
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Body in black epoxy primer
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beginning to fill the dents and dings
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T bird Tail Lights 1st draft
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the remaining lines after removing the outer verticals that caught my interest as a possible final scheme for accent stripes..
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Audi steering wheel mounted for the first time in order to work out shaft placement and attachments mechanics
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Left and right inner fender close out panels first draft mock up for fit and changes
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440 with single plane M1 intake, and Holley 750 CFM, Mallory elec dizzy and 8mm racing plug wires..
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The Express sitting on it's own tires for the first time and backed out of the Garage for the first time so I could get a look at my results in a full side view from more than 2 feet away. Just checking,,lol.

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Left side Rullo Motorcycle pop up gas cap and filler neck installed on top of the quarter.
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Front bumper end view after slicing and dicing it to pull it in and shorten it up to hug the fender indents.
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New 727 'car' length tail shaft for the truck 727 I had.
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New dual chamber master mounted in mock up to the smooth firewall in the stock position in order to see how much needed to be trimmed from the corners on one side to clear the inner and the cowl edge.
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Gas filler pop up primered and filled around the installation area.
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Inside trunk rear face of tail light area that I became unhappy with and changed.
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Right side Rullo motorcycle pop up gas cap and filler neck installed on top of the right quarter for symmetry. lol.

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The 1966 Charger hidden headlights and grill mock up after all of the work fabricating the electric motor mounting and alignment for both sides. Sweet.
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1973 727 trans rebuilt. It's a 440 six pac trans that has had the addition of a list of beef up parts and racing parts added to it, it's sitting after being painted on the case.
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Door panel build pics. Adding elements of the Audi door panels to the 67 door & the finished view of how they line up with the dash elements. They will be covered in Leather later on.
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The installation of the 2nd draft of the rear face including the new replacement gutters and cross piece rail and the new tail light in trunk rear face covering and trunk latch fabrication.
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First draft finished fabrication of rear face and tail lights. With rear bumper fabrication as well, in primer.
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1973 452 heads ported and polished, port matched and cleaned up. Fresh valve job.
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Fuel cell mock up to figure out angles and fitment of gas lines and filler hoses. Mock up of trunk close out panels all around with carpet attached for mock up of finished trunk.
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Spray out of final choice for foundation color of paint for the Express. PPG Chestnut brown metallic pearl. Love the flop in the sunshine! Will add a couple of coats of good clear coat. Very similar to 'Turbine Bronze' stock Dodge color..
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Final mock up of trunk latch and lock.
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Final mock up of inner trunk rear face close out panel
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First scoop hole cleaned up and filler applied and shaped to the final shape of opening with SS wire mesh held up against the inside by a sponge placed between the scoop and the rear window inner panel. This will have black painted steel behind it when done to close them off from the inside of the car.
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Audi dash shell out of the car.
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scoops in primer initially.
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Left & right gas filler pop ups in primer & total rear section look in final draft.

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Fabrication of 2nd draft tail light end quarter extensions. This draft has the tail light base panel mounting from the INSIDE of the trunk.
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Roadster style panels behind the front seats and the 67 Satellite rear seat topper fabrication final length and placement just behind the front buckets. SWEET!
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right side of car showing the fabrication of the rear lower quarter panel

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Mock up of new disc brakes and front suspension
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440 again..lol
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Adding the second filler neck to the fuel cell for the right side filler cap.
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Fabrication of quarter tail extensions tail light enclosures using industrial strength expanding foam and body filler.
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Latest updates

Got a good bit more done since the last update. The car is now painted and striped. The engine is ready to go in the car. Assembly is ongoing. Window trim and windshields are next so I can put the last coat of Rat Rod Satin black on all of that. The hood scoop is on the hood and about half finished getting glazing to smooth out the hammer work. That will then get a final coat of Rat Rod Satin black as well. The bumpers are on the car and repainted in the satin black. Taillights are on the car with black trim/ new lenses.

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I have got a few more things done this summer. I got it painted, but, the panels were different shades so I sanded it down and am ready to shoot a copper color as soon as the weather cooperates. I installed heat/sound shield on the floors and truck, roof and inside doors and quarter window cavities. Installed the right side quarter window and mechanism. Working on the left. Have some broken and missing parts on that side. Got tires mounted and on the car. New brake shoes on the rear. ordered $2500 bucks worth of parts. Waiting on headliner and the intermediate brake line to come in still. Put on valve cover gaskets and figured out the plug wire looms. Installed the custom coil bracket, new ignition module in the Unilite, the Power Master alternator got installed as did the fuel line from pump to carb feed. Realigned the power steering pump pulley with the crank pulley. Bolted down the intake and test fit the exhaust manifolds. Installed the door latches and adjusted the doors for gaps, and fenders too. Painted the bumpers. Should be running and drivable by spring hopefully!
Budnicks
Budnicks
Looking good Randy

nice color & nice work/craftsmanship too
Herre's how the paint flops in the light...plus I forgot the dual filler pipes in the trunk.

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Budnicks
Budnicks
I like it Randy...

Comments

Yes, it has been in the garage since 2014. It's nearing the end though. I hate sanding filler so have been procrastinating...
 
wow that's a lot of customization
lots of little details, 1 off stuff

won't be anything like it at any show or the track

:thumbsup::thumbsup:
 
I have skipped over a bunch of stuff too. I'm at the point where I need to finish the minor bodywork issues and get paint on it.
 
yeah the paint & color is a huge hurdle/accomplishment

seems like it goes better after, it has color on it
less procrastination (in my case anyway)
hopefully your paint job comes out better than mine

I had mine in temp. paint for a long time like 12 years
after I did body work
(I started my car in 2005, didn't get the real paint on till 10/2017)
I had it temporally in Ultra Flat Black paint, hides/hid all the flaws
easy to touch up, until I finally put/got
the OE LL1 Surf Turquoise metallic 2 stage base/clear-coat paint
not the best paint job, but at least it got color

made me a bit more motivated too, with color on it

good luck
 
this paint is single stage urethane and isn't supposed to need a clear coat but i'm going to put one on anyway after I color sand it first to smooth out the surface. I have black epoxy primer for the gun but wish I had gotten gray. Easier to see the imperfections that need attention. I have two, possibly three colors to apply first though. The chesnut mettallic and then black stripes and possibly a bit of lapis blue.
 
Wow!! That's an insane amount of fabrication and, an excellent job! Can't wait to see the finished work of art!!
 
This is so cool. I love the 440 based engine. Lots of things that work nicely on this custom coronet. Keep it going!
 
This is so cool. I love the 440 based engine. Lots of things that work nicely on this custom coronet. Keep it going!
No worries, it will get finished. Working on the underside of the hood today, the tail ends of the rear corners have some rot. Around the hood hinge mounts. Typical.
 
I can see the determination of getting the car rite. Good job. Yes putting on filler is one thing but making it look like is suppose to is something else. You have a good eye. :thumbsup:
 
Fancy dash mod's going on their. Know that radio did not come in the car. That is only what we can think up. Look's good. :thumbsup:
 
I can see the determination of getting the car rite. Good job. Yes putting on filler is one thing but making it look like is suppose to is something else. You have a good eye. :thumbsup:
Thank you! I spent many hours, over a long time, sitting on a bucket, a chair, a stool just looking at sections of the car and imagineering them. Kinda a , " What if I did...." sort of thing, how that mod would work with others I had dreamed up already. I was cognizant of NOT ending up with pig with a bow on it. TOO many mods that didn't complement each other, that didn't add to the overall style and design/look. I didn't want to have people look at it and whisper, " WTF was he thinking there?"
 
So think you did a dam good job buddy. Yes I had to fab pieces of metal for my runner that where no longer their. Lot of the inner metal was gone where the sail panel was near the back window. Had to get pics just to fab it back. Had to replace the outer inner frame rail over the door from the front A pillar to the wheel tub. It was all rusted out. Like I said Think you have done a grate job and putting those tail light's in is fantastic.
 
So think you did a dam good job buddy. Yes I had to fab pieces of metal for my runner that where no longer their. Lot of the inner metal was gone where the sail panel was near the back window. Had to get pics just to fab it back. Had to replace the outer inner frame rail over the door from the front A pillar to the wheel tub. It was all rusted out. Like I said Think you have done a grate job and putting those tail light's in is fantastic.
Sounds like you have some metal work time in on your car too. Rust! Ugh, hate it. I took a measurement of the space between the A pillars and the space between each end of the stock tail lights. i then went to several large salvage yards with tape measure in hand. I must have measured 600 cars and trucks. Seriously. Months I was stomping around in high grass and brush. The 2004 Audi A6 & the 66 Thunderbird measured up for dash and tail lights. Pretty much. I had a 'look' in mind.
 
So think you did a dam good job buddy. Yes I had to fab pieces of metal for my runner that where no longer their. Lot of the inner metal was gone where the sail panel was near the back window. Had to get pics just to fab it back. Had to replace the outer inner frame rail over the door from the front A pillar to the wheel tub. It was all rusted out. Like I said Think you have done a grate job and putting those tail light's in is fantastic.
I can see that for sure. After putting the car together my deck lid did not fit at the top corners. Did not know if it was the after market parts. But cut the corners and rounded them down to fit like it should. Now it fit's fine. People just don't know what has to happen to make thing work. I took away all the lines around the tail light buckets and where the filler panel met the quarter's. Good job on your car.
 

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