As previously reported, the Thug acquired a trailer rash, and I’d took it to my buddy (Randy Standsbury) in Louisiana. He was to fix the damage, redo the bumpers, paint the underside of the hood, and apply the door decals I had made.
So Wednesday I left at about 4 am and headed into the Louisiana swamps. I arrived at Randy’s at about 8:30 and looked over the car before loading. Randy did a great job.
I strapped the car in and headed back to SE Texas. I stopped 60 miles up the road for diesel and DEF, and checked the straps- they were loose and I gave them a couple of cranks to tighten. I stopped another 80 up the road, and again gave a couple of cranks. And yet when I got home, the car had moved over and acquired another little rash.
I ‘d just bought this trailer from Jim Bailey, and he’d towed a Drag Pak, which is far shorter. I’ve ordered a 3″ metal hole saw, 4 6,000# recessed D-Rings, new straps and I’m gonna fix this problem!
In the stacker, I bought new straps eliminating the short strap, and some 3-stud D Rings for the aircraft tracks. Twenty years of trailering cars, and I’ve never had the problems I’m having with this car!
All nuts and bolts under the car have been checked and tightened and the oil changed. Monday the slicks come off the car to get washed on both sides and polished and rotated to other side. I’ll polish the aluminum in the trunk and the Lexan before loading up for Indy.
In other shop news, the 81 Imperial has been taken out of a 12 year hibernation, had its gas drained, the carb rebuilt, the oil changed, and new master cylinder and wheel caliper installed. I’ve owned the car since the mid 80s, I restored it about 15 years ago with a high performance drive train (380hp 360ci/street-strip 904/8.75″ rear end with 355 gears), but its time to move on with a lot of these cars I never drive.
When I bought the Texas Thug in 2001, it was a street racer with 17″ street slicks, a solid lifter/aluminum head 383 that had just been rebuilt, and a V-Gate shifted 4-speed. When delivered I took for a quick ride, and it was scary fast for such a small displacement. I took the car to Mark Artis at Texas Thunder Performance. He needed the 4-speed pedals for Big Red Ram. He took the big brake pedal, engine and transmission that was in Big Red Ram and put into that car – and then back-halved with a 4-link. It was my bracket car, later getting a 540ci with tunnel ram and a pair of 1180 Dominators.
So the engine that was originally in the car has been wrapped and stored for nearly two decades. I’ve pulled the Leaning Tower of Power and Three on the Tree out of my 60 Plymouth (another of my keepers) and will put a bad V-8 and 5 or 6 speed in it. I had my engine guy disassemble the 383 (heads and oil pan) and verify that it had been a fresh rebuild. He says the bearings look new and you can see a cross hatch on the cylinder walls. So I cleaned, primered and painted the short block so that it can be reassembled.
Finally, for 40 years I’ve always had a Chrysler convertible. In the 80s a 67 Newport, in the early 90s a 64 300, and late 90’s a 65 300. Almost 20 years ago, I bought a 64 Imperial Crown Convertible (my Dream Car, besides a 65 300L 4-speed convertible) off a 90+ year old lady who had received it new as a gift for her 50th birthday. I drove if for years and then it developed a lifter noise about 15 years ago, so I parked it. These are fairly rare cars now. Only 900 were made and Haggerty estimates that less than 200 exist in any condition. The best ones sell for $80k+ and ones like mine $30k-$40k.
Well the gas was drained, carb rebuilt, lifter noise fixed, new brakes on all four corners, new wheel cylinders, new master cylinder, and new brake lines. The top pump fixed an levels topped off. Also the fuel sender was replaced as it read empty. Yesterday I took for a 50 mile shake down ride. below are the videos.
I order new carpet and an Electronic ignition conversion kit. After that will be new tires and wheels, and exhaust system. The interior is in great shape, but a little over due for leather conditioner. Some of the interior chrome could use a good polishing. The paint is good except for a little bleaching on the trunk lid. I might see if I can get that repaired and the rest of the car power buffed. I’ve also considered getting crazy and wrapping in the same shade of green, but with wood grain side panels. The AC is worthless, and I looking at my options, including maybe installing a serpentine bracket system with modern AC/Power steering/Alternator.
That about brings things up to date with the shop happening.