Batavia Downs ‘73 Newport

Member's Projects & Restorations

  1. monaco75

    monaco75 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    over the last several months I’ve had a few inquiries about the Newport. Figured today was a good lazy Sunday to start a thread on her.

    My first car I bought was a ‘75 Coronet. Man I loved that car! (What a big pile of s#it it was though!!). I bought it from Wisconsin. My first Ebay buy. Bought it before I could drive. It was to be my first car. I had it for 2 years. It was a big block car (400). After dumping a ton of $$ in parts at it, finally found the front frame was shot..... son of a!! Ended up scrapping the car, leaving me with only the Monaco.

    I’m surprised I found these pics of it!! Photobucket, and old social networks came in handy again! LOL I still have the front header panel for the car. Made a wall hanger out of it. It’s up at the folks place. I also have the radiator out of this car. I through it in the Newport, and it is still there.

    I wish I hadn’t of scrapped it. Would have been a great parts source over the many years now..... but couldn’t leave it in the folks yard lol.

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    When I turned 18 I took out a little money to do up the Monaco. However with money in hand, it felt weird without 2 cars. I started searching for another car. I stumbled upon an add for a 1973 Chrysler Newport on racingjunk. There was a few pics, and a brief discription. It was down in Cincinnati OH (If I recall correctly) about 4 hours away. Advertised as a special order car with a sunroof, and had a bunch of go fast goodies added to it. Also had a 4.10 suregrip installed in the 8.75.

    I called the gentleman up, and spoke with him briefly on a Friday night. All sounded good while talking to him. My biggest concern I kept asking him was if the car would make a 4 hour long drive back up north. He said the car would do fine, but was worried about the rear gears on the highway. Said he had a 3.23 suregrip he would install Saturday morning for me if I were to come down for it.

    All sounded good on the phone, and told him I’d be there tomorrow (Saturday). The next morning my mom, and I jumped in her car, and drove down to get it. We met up with the guy that late morning/early afternoon. He was a nice guy. More of a motorcycle fan, then a car guy. He took me for a brief spin. He explained that he tried installing the 3.23’s however they wouldn’t work in this rear for some reason, so the 4.10s stayed. The car was still on jackstands when we showed up.

    After money changed hands, I took it around the block to get a feel for the manual valve body, and B&M shifter. Mom followed me to a gas station for a fill up, and we were to set sail home. I got half way down the on ramp to the highway, and mom called to inform I wasn’t putting on a smoke show! Pulled over to find one of the header bolts had not been sealed, and coolant was pissing out the threads.

    Feeling a little nervous about the long ways home, I called the guy back up. He was nice enough with help of a friend of his to tow the car back home for me, with help of his friend, and his trailer. Worked out good for me!

    It was dusk when we got the car back. Dad was not too happy about it at first! Lmao. That soon changed the next day or 2 afterwards when he snuck it out for a drive himself. He came back and informed me the car was “too much” for me lol.

    I had the original for sale ad pics, and other pics, but they are now gone as the old computer is toast unfortunately...

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    Whew that was a long post! LOL
     
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  2. monaco75

    monaco75 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    As obvious the car is a 2 door ‘73 newport. The story I got with the car is that it was originally ordered for Batavia downs horse racing track in New York. It was the horse racing pace car. Had the big gates with hydraulic arms in the trunk, and the announcer sat outside the sunroof announcing.

    I ended up calling Batavia downs, and the gentleman I spoke to remembered the car well! He said unfortunately they lost a lot of their archives to a fire in the late 80’s/early 90’s so had no paperwork, or pics of it. He remembered the car so well he was able to describe a lot of things about it that fit to a Tee.

    What happened to it after it’s pacing days is unknown, until it reached OH with the previous owner.

    The previous owner did seem to do a bit of work to it. The engine is the factory 400 it came with. He added a set of 915 heads, Lunati cam, and valve train. Eddy RPM intake with Holley 750 double pumper. Full msd ignition as well. Also rebuilt and beefed up the trans with many goodies, along with the 4.10s our back. The car can almost be a sleeper until you fire it up. Has a 2.5 dual H pipe system with some old school glass packs. Packing is all blown out Ofcoarse lol. She sounds pretty mean.

    I enjoyed the car a lot. Took it to several shows, ect..

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  3. monaco75

    monaco75 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    The Monaco, and the Newport got to go out together once in a while.

    I always like the plain Jain caps. Stole the cop wheels from the Monaco once. It looked good, but the caps had more of the sleeper look lol.

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  4. monaco75

    monaco75 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Fast forward to late 2011/early 2012 I moved down her to FL. I came back for the Monaco the following year, but the Newport has to wait 2 years to come down.

    I did finally take a trip back to get her one summer. I cleaned her up, and drove her to a couple shows up north one last time before coming back down. She only died on me one time for unknown reasons. Something electrical, but she fired back up after sitting for 10 mins, and never a problem again. I borrowed a tow bar from a friend, and was gonna tow her down.

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    Sabrina was with me, and the truck was loaded down with a bunch of stuff to move down. We left late at night, and headed south. The setup pulled great! We were making great time. We got through Kentucky, and pulled over at the first exit into Tennessee for fuel. Fueled the truck up, and back on the interstate. The on ramp on for the next 5 miles it seemed was straight up hill. We made it 3/4 the way up, and the truck was pegging hot. We pulled over to let it cool for a bit. This is around 4am. Well the truck was broke. She never cooled down. We drove through all of Tennessee, and northern Georgia this way. We’d drive up the mountain, shut her down and coast the other side.

    We finally hit flat ground, and that wasn’t gonna work anymore. Was now in northern GA in the middle of summer on flat ground. The truck was done..... A local friend new a guy up there, who was able to take the truck, and hold it for someone to come get it. Was a very very weird feeling watching your truck leave you in a different state on a flatbed. We turned to the Newport, now loaded down with all my stuff. It was a seen straight out of Beverly hillbillies. Front end removed for towing, trunk open with a mountain of stuff, and stuff sticking out the windows lol.

    Also was nervous as, as mentioned before the car had died the week earlier once on me. Plus it hadn’t been driven in alsmost 2 years. We pilled in, and set out. The car amazingly didn’t skip a beat!! Took forever being able to only go 55 on the freeway with the 4.10s. But that SOB got us home! I was very proud of her.

    First couple shots are right after the trip putting the front end back on. She was reunited with the Monaco again.

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  5. monaco75

    monaco75 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    So the car got us home luckily. A couple weeks later my buddy set up a shipment for the truck through Uship. And the truck was towed home. I ended up driving the Newport that whole summer as the truck was down. She did good, but was killing me on fuel, and I needed my modern truck back.... ohhh the irony of all this....

    I needed money to get the truck fixed. I ended up selling the Newport to get the truck fixed (what a dumbass!).

    I got a call one Friday night from quite the backwoods personality type guy. Said he was from Grand Rapids MI, and he was interested in the Newport. After talking with him, he said he would be here in the morning. I thought yea right.. ok..

    Sure as s#it a few guys met with me the next day, and drove away with my Newport. That was hard as hell to see. Told the guy, if he were to sell, to call me. Couldn’t believe my car was going back up to Michigan!

    Here we are saying goodbye. Rainy day and all!!

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  6. monaco75

    monaco75 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    I did just find the original for sale ad pics, and a couple other misc pics with the Newport in em.

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  7. monaco75

    monaco75 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Well the car was gone. Truck got fixed, and life carried on. A year or so later I ended up picking up the Córdoba I’m sure most of y’all are familiar with.

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    I always had the lookout feeling in the back of my head. I would occasionally look up the Grand Rapids craigslist just for shits and giggles, but never saw anything. I gave up after a while and that was that.

    3/4 years had passed and all was good. One night while BS’ing on the phone, I looked up Craigslist again. I about shit my pants! I thought no, it can’t be! OMG there’s my car!! And it was! Jesus what has he done to it!!

    The craigslist ad was brief, with only 2 crappy pics. The crappy pics told enough though. This jackass really did a number on her....

    I hemmed and hawed over it for a day or so. Even posted a thread here about it. Finally I called the guy. I played dumb at first, then let it all out, and let him know who I was. We talked for a little bit, and ended with a promise of more pics. He sent em a couple days later.

    Turns out he tore most the car apart for paint, but didn’t get any further due to having a baby on the way. The car got set aside, and sat out in an abandoned yard left to rot. I couldn’t stand it. After thinking about it, I ended up saying I can’t let her go this way. We struck a deal. I owned my car again. What in the hell have I gotten myself into!!
     
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  8. monaco75

    monaco75 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Here are the craigslist shots, along with the other pics he sent....

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  9. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    Batavia Downs is near where @ayilar bought his latest car.

    They use a truck now...

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  10. DocMcNeedy

    DocMcNeedy "Iggy my McBumFuk" FCBO Gold Member

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    This is fantastic! I have been admiring it for 2 years with what you had shared before. This is a treat to see more about it.
     
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  11. monaco75

    monaco75 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    I sold the Cordoba off to find the return shipment of the Newport. 2 friends of mine went and grabbed the car for me, and towed it back to my folks place. It sat there for a month or so waiting to come back down. My family sent me pics and video of it while there.

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  12. monaco75

    monaco75 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    I forgot to mention.. when my friend went to go pick the car up to take to my folks place, the jackass forgot to mention he had torn the sunroof all apart as well, and had just the roof sheet metal sitting in place. Half way down the freeway, the roof flew off. Ofcoarse it had to go right in the middle of the freeway, and not the side. It got run over atleast twice.... grrrrr....

    Anyway. A shipment was set up, and the car was picked up. My folks got her loaded, and she was on her way. What a sight!!! The hauler was loaded down with big $$ cars, and there was this ratty old shitty Newport on the back!! Lmao!!

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    She made the trip down! The homemade cover over the sunroof didn’t make it, not that it mattered much, but she was here!

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  13. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    From 1980. Bet that's the gate that was on your car.

     
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  14. monaco75

    monaco75 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    That was a few years ago now. We bought the new place, and she finally has a real home to sleep in. She has been slumbering waiting to be played with again.



    I went out, and moved some stuff off her today. I really need to get my ass in gear, and do something with her! She is not looking good.

    Thanks to Jeff @cantflip he found me a set of road wheels for her at Carlisle back in ‘17.

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  15. monaco75

    monaco75 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Here you can see how bad the sunroof panel is. Need to find a good sheet metal guy! Way over my head on this one lol

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    Can see the remnants of where the machine was welded in the trunk.

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  16. monaco75

    monaco75 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    The car originally didn’t have a trunk lid (hence the brown one). It had a cover with snaps that were riveted around the trunk opening. I bondo’d over em many years ago to keep water out.

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    The car has had one repaint. It is an original spinnikar white car though. Same as the white I sprayed on the Monaco.

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  17. monaco75

    monaco75 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    I need to visit there just to say I’ve been there now!

    Thank you!

    That’s exactly it! The guy I spoke to years ago at the track remembers this car so much due to that same horse. Apparently that horse broke a world record pacing behind this car at one time. He was very enthusiastic about it.
     
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  18. monaco75

    monaco75 Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    The car itself is in pretty good shape considering the life it’s led (metal wise). Apparently the hydraulic machine in the trunk sprung a leak from one of the hoses, and for hydraulic fluid everywhere. The paint is all gone now, however it preserved the trunk pretty nicely.

    There was a quick patch over job with a piece of sheet metal in the drivers side rear floor pan. It needs to be replaced for a more proper repair. I’m sure I’ll find more stuff when I get into it. Worst is the couple spots around the rear wheels in the quarter/inner wheel well.
     
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  19. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    It's nice around there. Hit Niagara Falls while you're in the area.
     
  20. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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