Retirement Resurrection Belvedere

Thunderlugs

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Better late than never applies here. I started the transformation of this 65 bel 6 years ago and completed it last year 2021, Obviously Procrastination comes into play here since it is completed. So bear with this presentation.
65 Belvedere II California car found its way to Wisconsin in 1996 and sat in dry storage until 2016, when I was lucky to find it. 273/ auto on the column, with ice. Truly a rust free car ,Still wearing its Factory paint
So Here Goes.
Thunder


This is the first view of the vehicle. As you can see in good company a real Hemi Roadrunner along side.
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Looks like he wasn't expecting us.
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Clean floors
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Not using this dash

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This motor was short for this world. However, started up in 15 minutes after getting it home.
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Going with red interior. No floor pans required in this car.
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Boring, we can make this look better.
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64BEL

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Great pics, Tom! Looking forward to seeing more as you post them!
 

440Coronet500

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Nice car, seldom seen in that condition with original paint! 440'
 

Thunderlugs

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I felt that the original finish on the car was a keeper, so my first move was to clean it up. This was not going to be a restoration, and paint was just not in the budget! There were a few substantial scratches, and many nicks, so I researched the paint code, and had a quart of enamel mixed up. Now the fun begins.

Started by cleaning then wet sanding with 2000 grit. Compound with a buffer and then swirl remover. Then on to the next panel.

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The same process continues.

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Chips and nicks everywhere cleaned out touched up with enamel. Hours spent on each panel. Tedious work as you can well imagine.

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The results were better than I expected.

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Rear quarter completed. Notice the contrast between quarter panel and door which is yet to be done.

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Clean up completed. The next step is to get the mechanics removed from the vehicle.

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Thunderlugs

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Now it's time to begin the heart transplant, and remove pretty much everything that makes this car move on its own, and replace it with something Better.

First out is the cable shift 904 Torque flite.
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273 on it's way out never to return.
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Lets find a home for this gently used 273.
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Take a look because it won't look like this when it's done. Change is in the wind.
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Thank God for pressure washers. That's the next step here.
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Power steering, cable shift mechanism, jelly jar master cylinder not coming back. Same goes for AC.
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Cranky

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Wish I had never sold the factory AC off of my 66!! Dang man, what a find!
 

oldbee

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Gotta change the master cyl.!
 

Thunderlugs

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Along the same theme of out with the old, in with the new. The engine bay was stripped of trinkets and all wiring, to remove all traces of a shitty rattle can paint job. All air conditioning equipment was stripped from under the dash, and all corresponding openings were closed up to imitate a non A/C firewall. Also one small hole under the battery tray needed to be patched up.


The first thing was to close up the five holes in the firewall from the air conditioning.
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Sheet metal welding skills needed some tune up but didn't burn through at least.
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Little bit of grinding, rub a little dirt on it and it'll look fine with the help of some bondo.
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See I told ya bondo makes it look better. No screen and newspaper here.
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Ok rust free was a lie. This appeared under the battery tray when I removed it.
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My buddy Joe decided to take matters in his hand and make a beautiful repair.
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A little more grinding was all it took to look good and to take out my 40 yr old air compressor I paid $30 for in 1974. So a halt in progress while new compressor is ordered.

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Once again bondo is your friend.
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Some clean up and scuffing and we start prepping for epoxy primer.
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One last look at the ugly and this will all be a distant memory. Excuse me while I grab a Kleenex!
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ckessel

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I did my firewall like that too. Left just the brake, steering, e-brake and throttle cable holes. I also welded up the accumulated other ones up too. Still going to run a/c on mine, just re-routed the plumbing so it goes between the inner and outer fender. Wiring will be routed like that but on the left side.
 

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