Ed on the Ridge
FBBO Gold Member
- Local time
- 9:59 AM
- May 14, 2011
- Reaction score
- On the Ridge, TN
Mercy, you're playing in some rarified air there.Baby Blue had trim in similar condition to the pieces that were removed from the Demonstrator, and I kept it all in place. In both cases, it was NOS installed in the early '80s. As those of you with stock GTXs know all too well, exhaust fumes from factory exhaust tips leave residue that pits the pot metal, if it isn't cleaned off. So the original tail bezels have a few small pits that can't be seen from five feet away, the trunk finish panel has a few freckles on the upper edge that can be seen three feet away. The stuff from the front is perfect, other than some stains and corrosion were it was anchored to the mounting hardware.
The restoration on the Demonstrator was totally nuts for a 440 automatic - All NOS parts, and I would guess over 2000 hours in labor. I would have kept the original pieces in place, but the previous owner was more of a perfectionist than myself. He also drove the car just a little over 1000 miles in 28 years.
Fred was (and is) much more low-rent...
I have the original wheelwell moldings, but they've long lost any shine or finish (anodizing pretty much gone).
The rocker trim is in similar condition - and has dents; the exhaust tips non-existent as well.
The tail panel is a topic all its' own - those were pock-marked potmetal even in the best of times and when I got
Fred 13 years ago, NOS ones were well over a couple grand (and the occasionally-available repro was $900).
That tail panel was also how I came to be friends with a gentleman down in Texas, though.
I have a thread on here on "Bob's" refinishing of Fred's tail panel that still breaks my heart - yet makes me proud to
display his work - right here on FBBO. It's well worth the read...
When Fred was dragged out of the farm field in SW Virginia in 2006, he was just another rusted old car time forgot.
His original rescuer "John" then got cancer and passed; then John's best friend (and Fred's body/paint savior) got
the car and then promptly had his world fall down on him, too - forced him to sell the car to save his home, marriage,
Fate would bring Fred to my wife and I from there - found by chance through of all things, eBarf - and although I
couldn't afford a proper NOS anything for Fred, I did have enough left in my own tank to give him my best effort.
What the car has meant to me cannot be overstated; there's a lot of me in Fred, for better or worse.
Fred desperately needed saved, not only because of what he is (original GTX) but because of all the efforts and
stories of those who came before me, should they not have been in vain.
That the car then became my own mechanical salvation as I went through a dozen years of my own cancers
and such just adds to Fred's story.
He's got two shiny bumpers, but not much other adornment - sans any of those pretty decorations you describe.
Bob's tail panel is faithfully displayed on the back and Fred's original, less than stellar grille still remains and
he has a pair of repro door handles and that's it.
About every part of that car has a story to it - and I think that's fitting for Fred.