Metal work on the 68!

Isaiah Estrada

Active Member
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
393
Reaction score
663
Location
Santa Maria, CA
You know, people always talk about CALIFORNIA CARS being the rust free ones. Unfortunately mine (which has always been a CA car from what we know) had some pretty bad rust in multiple areas. Granted, sitting outside for 40 years in the desert did it no good. When I say desert, I don’t mean a populated city either. Literally in the middle of NOWHERE.

For those familiar with CA, you may know the 166. For me at least, it’s the route that will take you from Santa Maria to Bakersfield. Along the way just past New Cuyama (an awesome little town btw) is the exit for the 33 down to Ventura. Down the way is an area known as Ventucopa and that’s where this car sat, on a vast hillside property with over 1,000 other cars just rotting in their so-called graves. Here’s an idea of what this place was like!

B9BB50E4-9B86-4202-8A7D-9AE2FCD07ACC.jpeg

72BEDE49-7197-4EC2-8756-45C92C630373.jpeg

C8DB0405-9AB0-48E7-904C-680C6B165A2C.jpeg


I’d say my girl didn’t do so bad if I say so myself. The car body wise didn’t have any rust. No rocker rust, but the floors. That’s where they were bad, and the rear window too. These cars I believe were moved around with forklifts. I think someone tried to move this one with a forklift and pierced the passenger floor pan. It had no tranny or driveline so maybe he thought the driveline would’ve prevented the forks piercing through? Have no idea, but it really messed up the floor. Not only that, but somehow water got inside the car, like a lot of it and from what it looks like - it was sitting on a slant because only the passenger floors were badly rotted. The combo of rat pee and poop from probably hundreds of the dang things didn’t help either. It took me days to clean everything out, and to this day as we dig deeper and deeper I occasionally still find some specimens… gross

1D436673-FE47-4CD3-8CF6-ED8A361BB34B.jpeg


Oh silly me, sure - the guy said “Just add a tranny and I bet she’ll start.” Not like we could have easily put a socket on the crank because the clutch fan and shroud were in the way. I had no idea what lay in store.

68F5A638-1635-49B8-835A-2738394C384B.jpeg


This guy’s been here a long time!


968CACED-23EE-4325-A4E3-A443255AF530.jpeg

FCFD2657-21E5-4B1B-849A-4AD4A66F3DB1.jpeg

Bad floors… Front passenger floor pan was bad as well as the rear. I don’t believe I got any pics of that one.

5297B902-31BE-4A5A-BDE4-CDFCC9C50C50.jpeg


You may also remember when I cut out the rusty trunk!


256C86D6-06B1-4F9D-9CBA-79AC021460CE.jpeg
 

Isaiah Estrada

Active Member
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
393
Reaction score
663
Location
Santa Maria, CA
Luckily my dad works at the local metal / steel supplier. I was able to get a large 18 gauge sheet to use for the work needed. Our latest task at hand has been the roof. It was a bad combo of the vinyl trapping moisture, crud stuffed between the headliner and roof and the notorious rust on the fast top rear window.

The rear window was the worst…

9F7E3EDF-3160-442D-AFCF-2FCF9825F1E3.jpeg

573CA190-D720-4792-B3F0-BEF6856CF339.jpeg


If I was doing this by myself, I think I would’ve been too scared and ran off from this car. Thankfully that’s NOT the case. I’m extremely humbled and grateful to have the helping hands of my TALENTED friends. Mark, and his dad Arnold have been a tremendous help throughout this whole build. Mark, having taught me most of what I now know about working on cars, and Arnold schooling me on metal work. At this young age, I’ve already known for a while that there ain’t NO school like old school!

Arnold means business. He took a look at my car and said “Ha! That’s easy.”

Both him and Mark have constructed these new pieces to weld into the window frame and replace the other rotted metal.

92083579-DA1E-4550-9A5C-608D334F829B.jpeg

2B6857D2-A6C3-4E6C-BC4C-7575C15C9261.jpeg

DA57423D-680D-4805-9710-83243A0D1EDD.jpeg

17BB9F03-C1AB-4114-9209-45E38735FF34.jpeg


and so the (seemingly) never ending saga continues on this car. Next step is to get everything welded up so we can prepare for bodywork on the roof!

16B255DA-7160-4CB2-A976-19DA6848FC37.jpeg

BF1607D4-9140-4F3D-AD6C-2E4BCF740B12.jpeg


The goal is to paint the roof and add a cool flake and keep the body original and preserve the original PP1 paint by wet sanding, buffing and clear coating it. It will come back around really nice!

Similar story with this Newport which also sat for decades (this one about 30 years IIRC.) Guy bought it, buffed and cleared the exterior, put a new interior and rebuilt the engine and brakes.

473B156D-523F-4423-88A1-556EF925AF41.jpeg

7A7E82DE-8885-4DC3-B52B-0B363E05B65C.jpeg


Hoping to post more progress soon! At this point I think I can say the engine and trans are READY to go back in.
 

volksworld

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2020
Messages
198
Reaction score
153
Location
n.c.
the reason california cars got the rot free reputation is that our stuff in the northeast looked like this when it was 5 or 10 years old....
 

LocuMob

Fluid Technician with a hat
Joined
Oct 31, 2013
Messages
14,157
Reaction score
16,357
Location
Winnebago Mn
Nice progress Isaiah! Once that metal work is done, the rest will fall into place.
 

mrfury68

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Messages
1,472
Reaction score
1,778
Location
Bethel Park PA
That is some heavy duty metal work you have going on. That is what makes this hobby great, when friends and family get involved to help see it through. Thanks for posting the pics of your progress. I'm from SW Pennsylvania, the road salt claimed my dad's '68 Fury III sedan in 1977. So you can see where us "rust belt" guys are coming from. Keep up the good work.
 
Top