Build Thread for my 68 Coronet R/T Convertible

Member's Projects & Restorations

  1. 1 Wild R/T

    1 Wild R/T Well-Known Member

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    Your gonna have to bear with me, I've been working & gathering parts for this build for a long time & while I have allot of pictures quite a few are before I got a digital camera, never mind a phone that takes pictures... Those crazy new fangled gadgets...:realcrazy:

    Anyway I guess I'll start by explaining how I got the car...
    A buddy was building a 70 GTX & had been looking for parts, knowing that I happened to stop by a local machine shop where a young guy (18) who owned a 70 Charger was working... I was actually there checking on a 440 but I briefly talked with the kid & asked if he knew of any parts cars or such... He didn't have any leads for that but he told me he knew of a project that someone with serious resto skills needed to have a look at... A friend of a friends neighbor has an old Mopar convertible thats rusting away & his wife wants it gone.... Okay, I'm game... That night when he got off work I met him & we went & had a look...

    Sitting in a back yard with the top down is this 68 Coronet R/T Convertible... At first I figure someone just slapped badges on it, hell it has 69 side scoops & Vega buckets... It's not real... Accept the VIN is WS27L8G.... It is real.... So I start looking it over, he tells me how he'd bought it new from Fremont Dodge in the fall of 67 after coming home from Vietnam.... He street raced & took it out to Baylands.... It was "The Fastest Car in the Bay Area"... Well I'm sure he believed it... What I believe is the guys with seriously fast cars weren't gonna line up against him cause the guy was a little crazy.. He blew up the 727 doing a neutral drop at around 4500 RPM's, he bolted in a Dana 60 & a Hemi 4 spd... Didn't have a tranny mount so he chained the tranny down...

    Anyway it must have had some kind of power, it had the typical crack at the front of the drivers quarter just behind the door jamb, the main leaf on the passenger side leaf spring was bent down 90 degrees....

    Anyway it was pretty neglected but the real deal.. So what do you want for it? I didn't know what to expect... Well his wife wants it gone so how's $75.... Uhhh Okay!! He wants to keep the 4 speed, he wants a few other things that aren't real important but whatever...

    So we get him everything he wants & I arrange to get it towed the next day...

    Wait! There's something I forgot to mention... This all happened on September 10th 2001...
    So the next morning we have the biggest terrorist attack on the USA ever... I call him up & tell him it would probably be best we postpone this for a few days... He responds no, that won't work... His wife has made it very clear she wants it gone & if I don't come & get it he'll call a wrecking yard....... So I called my buddy & we jumped in his tow truck....

    When I got the car back to my shop I started cleaning it up to evaluate what I had & that's when I discovered the Scheduled Production Date.... 911... Yup ... 34 years to the day... Kinda weird... Anyway I kept after cleaning it up & told myself I'll just make it a little less ugly, maybe swap a few parts to make it more correct & throw it up on Ebay....

    Well I'm still waiting on Ebay....:rofl:

    Oh, I'd be more focused on getting it going if I didn't have a pretty cool Mopar to drive... But since I do this thing has been on the back burner for to long, it's time to get moving... 1016392-Untitled-1%20copy.jpg interior before.jpg fender tag.jpg GTX Paint 018rev.jpg

    Anyway there is allot more to the story but thats the intro.... A few photos cause we all like photos

    More later
     
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    • JB400

      JB400 69 Charger

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      • 1 Wild R/T

        1 Wild R/T Well-Known Member

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        So after driving & racing the car for about twelve years & nearly losing his license he parked the car on the side of the house & let the registration lapse...

        He left the top down & sanded off most of the original paint... Thankfully he pulled all the carpet out & pulled all the body plugs so most of the water just drained out....If this weren't a dry climate there wouldn't have been much left but strangely the only reason I had to replace the front floor was because of him converting to a 4 spd...

        I'm not sure if he used a hatchet or a hand grenade to create that hole but whatever he used it wasn't pretty...

        The exterior of the body on the other hand was a mess, the car never took a serious hit but it probably had four minor collisions & literally hundreds of minor dings & dents...

        After taking the car completely apart & mounting it on dollies I used chemical stripper to remove all the gray primer & remaining paint from the main shell, then I took the shell to a local shop that glass beads car bodies along with lots of other stuff.... I had them hit the engine compartment, interior, jambs & the bottom of the car but the I had them mostly stay away from the quarter panels...

        The car came back looking tremendously better... I didn't waste any money having the original unboltable sheetmetal stripped since it was all beat to death.

        First ya gotta realize this was still 2001 & California... These cars were still on the road & at Pick & Pull...
        I scored a beautiful hood & decklid from a buddy who'd sold his 68 Coronet 500, He'd picked these up years earlier & just wanted them out of his garage...

        I tracked down a pair of very nice doors & I bought a 69 Roadrunner with a 68 Coronet front clip on it.... The fenders were off a wagon with woodgrain on it... They were original paint & didn't have a single dent in either panel....

        So that left the quarters which are the originals... They took some work & in the end they are skimmed with filler and the lower areas were cut off & new repo metal was welded in... This was probably 2003 or 2004 so AMD hadn't brought out their stuff yet... The stuff that was available took a good bit of work but in the end it looks really good.... interior after jpeg.jpg ds.jpg DSCN2976.jpg
         
        Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
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        • 1 Wild R/T

          1 Wild R/T Well-Known Member

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          While I was getting the body ready I also was working on either gathering the best replacement parts I could find or massaging what I had to make it the best I could....

          I took a truckload of parts to my powdercoater...

          I took assorted buckets bins & boxes to my plater... I use to have friend who would do small quantities of bolts & parts when ever I needed but being California the environmental police made running a small plating operation impossible so when he closed he gave me contact info for a plater that does good work but this company won't do small quantities... So when I was ready to plate stuff they had a 40 lb minimum whether you bring them 2 lbs or 40 the price is the same.... And if you want more than one color it's a separate charge.... I took the challenge... I brought them about 40 lbs for clear zinc, 40 lbs for yellow zinc & probably 75 lbs of black oxide.....

          I don't have photos of everything but here's a sample..

          Powder coated parts 020.jpg Powder coated parts 024.jpg powdercoated parts 4web 05.jpg powdercoated parts 4web 02.jpg Powder coated parts 015.jpg Powder coated parts 016.jpg Powder coated parts 013.jpg temp 024.jpg temp 044.jpg temp 059.jpg
           
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          • 1 Wild R/T

            1 Wild R/T Well-Known Member

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            I tracked down a beautiful set of tail lights, & a nice straight rear trim panel... My original rear R/T emblem was badly pitted... I bought a repo R/T badge but it didn't fit the rear panel at all, the cutout areas didn't line up with the ribs on the tail panel.... I started working on my original but I've done enough work with pot metal to know as bad as it was it was gonna blow up when I had it stripped so I either had to polish what I had as best I could & accept it or find another solution.... I'd been searching Ebay regularly (remember this was 2001-2002) and I'd found a number of cool parts well guess what popped up... A real deal NOS in the package tail panel R/T emblem... Woo Hoo!!
            Anyway, the search continued for other parts....

            My original Wiper Motor went to Jules
            My original steering wheel (the original wheel had been removed early on & he put it in the attic) went to Doug Lepak, wish I could find a better photo..
            The gauges went to Palo Alto Speedometer, full rebuild, calibrate, silk screened faces...

            R tail light.jpg L tail light.jpg wiper motor.jpg stuff 001.jpg parts 013.jpg
             
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            • moparedtn

              moparedtn FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              This is going to be one sweetheart of a ride once done. Following...
               
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              • moparnation74

                moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                Great pictures and information! This will be one sweet vert.....

                Love the parts laid out on the floor and the box of bolts.....

                Keep the pictures coming....That’s great you can take them and post them! I know the time and effort involved in a build thread and thanks for starting this thread!
                 
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                • 91r/t

                  91r/t FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  :thumbsup::popcorn::popcorn:
                   
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                  • The Rebel

                    The Rebel Well-Known Member

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                    Love the story your telling as well as the pic's. Looking forward to your updates.
                     
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                    • hunt2elk

                      hunt2elk FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                      Awesome story and car. Your side scoops are worth more than what you paid for the car, lol. This will be a great one to see come together.
                       
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                      • BeepBeepRR

                        BeepBeepRR Well-Known Member

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                        The way its laid out looks like a big ass model kit..
                         
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                        • 1 Wild R/T

                          1 Wild R/T Well-Known Member

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                          The thing is I'm capable of doing a fair amount of work myself, I've done enough cars I know people who provide most of the services I need like the powder coating & plating... The forums have provided guys who specialize it certain components so this car has the potential to be the best detailed car I've ever done...

                          Unfortunately I'm not the guy that can do it all & my weakness is body & paint... I can do allot of the heavy, roughing in but nowhere near finish work.. I've had a guy who does great body work & this was likely the last car he'll ever do... And he didn't finish it... But I've found a new guy that's very good, faster & completely up on current methods... Costs more but he works harder so it works out...

                          In the past I've had disappointing work from painters even though the bodywork is done to a very high standard.... Painters sniff to much paint...

                          Anyway my Challenger got painted three times to get it right & an awful lot of expensive paint wound up getting sanded back off... In the end my bodyman who insists he's not a painter painted the Challenger...

                          Well having him paint the Coronet isn't an option... So I've been looking for a painter & to be honest a few good guys have probably been available but I've had allot of other stuff going on that has distracted progress..

                          Home restoration, selling a house, buying a house, other car projects, work, life in general.... I'm sure everyone's got their version of the story...LOL

                          Well I'm back focused on the car & hope to see some color soon... coronet 004.jpg DSCN2984.jpg Floor coating 0051.jpg inner fender.jpg
                           
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                          • 1 Wild R/T

                            1 Wild R/T Well-Known Member

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                            So in amongst the powder coating you may have noticed the seat frames got glass beaded & powder coated... Well Christmas of 06 Dante had a 20% off sale on all Legendary products... I ordered my complete interior, door panels, seat covers, seat foam, convertible top, back glass, top pads, well liner, carpet... Everything.... And soon after that I had a buddy who's a very good upholstery guy who needed a clutch in his old truck.... I like swaps, he likes swaps... My seats are beautiful... :D

                            I picked up a cherry console body, nice seat belts.. My interior door R/T badges were pretty nice but one had a few pits.... I scored a cherry single badge on Ebay...

                            I bought new armrest pads & bases for the front, the rear armrest pads are pretty nice, back when I was gathering parts there were no repo's.. Now that there are I may have to re-evalute mine but they are pretty nice & while I haven't had my hands on these repo parts I have seen enough other stuff that I don't know that the repo's are better than what I have...

                            Stainless... This car has allot of stainless.... And amazingly most of it was very very nice.... I had to find one piece, the trim on top of the passenger door, found a perfect piece it a $5 pile at the Nationals in 04... And I sent it all off to be polished.... And I waited.... And I waited..... And I waited.... Oh, did I mention that I waited.... Shit, I think the man was sniffing paint fumes...

                            Anyway I wasn't in a hurry & while I did check with him from time to time I tried not to bug him & figured he'd get to it....

                            Four or five years into waiting I decided it was time to get my parts back... Well he had moved & while he was sure he had my parts he wasn't sure where... AAAArgh....

                            I'm starting to wonder if this project just isn't meant to be....

                            A year & a half later I get an Email, he's found my trim :bananadance::bananadance:
                            I drive up to Grass Valley the next day & retrieve my trim...
                            There's a local guy who does pretty nice work, not quite a nice as the first guy but since the first guy never actually got to it anything the local guy does is better than the first guy....

                            I dropped everything off & he tells me he's backlogged & it'll be 3-4 months... & he needs a deposit so he knows I'm not gonna leave him hanging... I pay the man & go wait at the bar.... Ok, no bar but you get the idea... After all this I need a drink..

                            Six weeks he calls me.... My stuff is done... And to be honest it looks great.... IMG_4274.JPG


                            Since doing this trim I've used the local guy a few more times and I found another guy that's very good & very prompt.... I guess the buffer fumes aren't as bad a paint fumes...
                             
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                            • Ironbuilt

                              Ironbuilt FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                              WOW!!! Love your preparation. This is going to be a good one!!!! Following.
                               
                            • 69L48Z27

                              69L48Z27 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                              Nice build, subscribed!
                               
                            • 1 Wild R/T

                              1 Wild R/T Well-Known Member

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                              DDF73F61-454C-410F-B5CB-20D4A2EB1020.jpeg C70D2225-A446-4D4C-96CF-699437B0781B.jpeg F0EBD947-F43E-4747-81F7-200910AF052E.jpeg 5172537A-11E7-4F69-8E99-BBC6CDC0E02D.jpeg 11EAD549-A505-4F94-A722-CE8BF8B1D923.jpeg 25D9F887-A0A0-492D-8BB8-40C0B83693B4.jpeg AFDF001D-F757-4062-9FD5-C62220C95EA5.jpeg Well time for a minor update...

                              The car is in it’s final primer before paint... Well the hood might need another coat we’ll see...
                               
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                              • Kern Dog

                                Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                I have found that many painters are F L A K E S so when you find a reliable one, their price usually reflects that.
                                Great storytelling. That really adds to the whole thing.
                                9-11. That is a spooky thing, especially with the anniversary coming tomorrow.
                                I know it is a '68 but is the shade of red similar to R4 ?
                                 
                              • 1 Wild R/T

                                1 Wild R/T Well-Known Member

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                                R4 Performance Red is allot more orange..
                                68 color code PP1 is a very deep blood red..
                                Closer to R6 Scorch Red
                                 
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                                • The Rebel

                                  The Rebel Well-Known Member

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                                  Love PP1, course I'm biased, lol.
                                  20190406_171620.jpg
                                   
                                  Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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                                  • Kern Dog

                                    Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                    Sooooo, 51 years ago today, the car was scheduled tom be built?
                                     
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