MrMopar's 1969 California Highway Patrol restoration

Fuselage Years

  1. MrMoparCHP

    MrMoparCHP Senior Member

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    I’m going to start a build thread to catch everybody up although I have this all in great detail on my website, some might just want the cliff notes version.

    The idea of doing a Police car restoration probably goes back about 20 years and it was always about doing a CHP patrol car. I quickly settled in on the 1969 and soon found out it was the holy grail of CHP cars, great?

    This is unit 4870 owned by Ron Hurwitz and for the last 3 years I have been going to shows throughout the state with him.

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    I'll add another update daily till I'm cought up.

    Enjoy!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
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  2. monaco75

    monaco75 Senior Member

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    Looking forward to this! Your car looks great on your website! Post plenty of pics!
     
  3. Fratzog

    Fratzog Old Man with a Hat

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    I`ll be watching this one.
     
  4. MrMoparCHP

    MrMoparCHP Senior Member

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    Initially I was good with doing a clone and in April 2009 I started looking and soon found a worthy candidate in Montana. I flew up to Butte and drove the car the 1400 miles home.


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    A parts car was acquired and repairs were started. Both lower quarters inside and out needed to be replaced along with the bottom of both fenders. Most of the way through this and I learn of a true CHP 1969 Polara that might be available, put this project on hold.

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    Ron initially went and looked at the car and then reported back to me where I then made the trip to Tulare to see the car and talk with the owner (don’t even think about asking about the other vehicles).

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    My first impressions were that yes it has some rust issues but it was solid and unmolested. I asked what he was looking to get for it and with no response I had to throw out a number. I followed up with that I didn’t have it on me and I’d check back in a few months when I did. Two and a half months later I called him up and asked him where we were on this, he simply said when you want to pick it up. Trailer and help we made our way to Tulare (4 hour drive) and right away went to work getting to ready to tow out of the field. After putting some air in the tires a chain was hooked up and it was pull out. After close to 30 years it was dug in pretty good, needless to say it was out and on its way to the trailer.

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    Before it was unloaded I wanted to try and clean it, to the self serve wash.

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    Ten hours after we left it was in the garage.

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  5. MrMoparCHP

    MrMoparCHP Senior Member

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    There was a time at the start that I thought I might try and get it running but I soon found out the engine was seized. I then moved my attention to cleaning it out of all the parts, trash and disintegrating bits of metal. In the trunk were the NOS trim for the front doors, packaging was rotten but they were still there.

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    Two weeks into it and I make the call to do a full teardown. In one weekend the car was pretty much completely apart leaving the engine, trans and frame attached. This is when I got my first real look at the floors.

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    Over the next month I continued to pull off the remaining parts and was finally left with the frame and engine assembly. A wood dolly was put together that would carry the full assembly and a set of wheels attached to the front of the body.

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    The next updates will focus on a section of the repair and may not be in date order. I have learned alot working on this and still learning, this project was a far more major project than my Barracuda and it isnt done yet. Feel free to chime in.
     
  6. polara71

    polara71 Old Man with a Hat

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    He had two on the lot.....? Is that what I am seeing?
     
  7. MrMoparCHP

    MrMoparCHP Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    Yes, there was another 1969 CHP package Polara there. As part of my deal also got it. Although it was a CHP package car it was never used by the CHP, it was sold to another agency. This car was in real bad shape, the rust was very bad, pretty much no floors, trunk floor, rusted lower quarters, lower fenders, hood, trunk lid and rear window frame. There wasn't much worth saving on it but we took as much as we could and scrapped the rest. It already was missing the motor and trans. Other than it being a CHP package car (that was never used by them) it had very little going for it.

    Alan
     
  8. polara71

    polara71 Old Man with a Hat

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    Damn shame to see it let go like that.
     
  9. polara71

    polara71 Old Man with a Hat

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    Is there a number on how many sold to the California Highway patrol
     
  10. MrMoparCHP

    MrMoparCHP Senior Member

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    We tried for six months to sell it but the rust was overwhelming. This car sat in the field close to 30 years as well but there was never any effort to protect it, it was always seen as a parts car for the other one.

    He still has a couple 69 Monaco one is a HP 440 sedan in rough shape that maybe is restorable, never really looked that close at it. The other is a 69 4-door hardtop with a 360, again never really looked at it.

    Alan
     
  11. MrMoparCHP

    MrMoparCHP Senior Member

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    All the records that I have copies of indicate that there were 1564 purchased, we know of about 12

    Alan
     
  12. Fratzog

    Fratzog Old Man with a Hat

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    The survival rate is a lot lower than 70 Polara ragtops (842 built). You've got a rare one. Assume you regularly in touch with other owners of these to consult on your build?
     
  13. MrMoparCHP

    MrMoparCHP Senior Member

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    Mine is only the second one to go through a full restoration, I am good friends with the owner of the only fully restored unit. I'm probably closer to being the person someone will go to for information than I am to one tracking it down. Of the other units a few of them have no interest in restoring it to CHP specs. One was scrapped as well (way beyond restoration) a couple sitting waiting to be done someday one just now starting restoration and the others are 20' parade cars.

    People are quite secrative about these cars and are hard to get out of hiding. Between people taking motors and scraping them, derbies and the movies there probably isn't that many left. I'd guess there may even be a few out there that people do not realize were former CHP cars because they were painted over and resold.

    Alan
     
  14. MrMoparCHP

    MrMoparCHP Senior Member

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    Over the next couple months I needed to get together some tools and compressor to get ready to start on the bodywork. By then I had a real good idea what I was up against.

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    Before I could get started I needed to remove the rear glass and I was shocked by the degree of decay that this car had. That wasn’t really a problem as the way I had planned to fix this would take care of it.

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    Cutoff wheel in hand I cleared the rear window rust and what an instant transformation but at the same time exposed more issues. With the slug out of the way I found the upper part of the wheel wells rusted along with the hinge support pieces. From the beginning I had planned on trying to replace the full frame the dutchman panel along with some of the inside of the c-pillar. At a glance one might see this as an impossible task but I saw the potential.

    2011-02-05_004.jpg

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    Now six months into the project I have worked the rear window slug into place or at least enough for proof of concept, keep in mind there is portions of the inside of the c-pillar and package tray attached to this piece. Basically it was dropped into the trunk and lifted in place. Still much work to get it full in place and ready to weld in.

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    Additional fitting has been done of the rear window frame and it is almost ready, some final trimming and flanging it will be set.

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    I screwed it in place and proceeded to weld it in. Still some spots to finish up but for the most part it is done.
    Already the car is looking far better than when I first got it.

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    This will get cleaned up along with the bodywork later at this point I just want to take care of the rust repair.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  15. fc7_plumcrazy

    fc7_plumcrazy Old Man with a Hat

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    Alan, do you know how many of the 12 known to exist are currently on the road? I know Rons restored car and a driver that I saw at MATS (pretty waivy)
    Mine has just returned even though it is not cosmetically restored. Still has nearly completly original paint.

    Carsten
     
  16. MrMoparCHP

    MrMoparCHP Senior Member

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    1-3644-Unknown Status
    2-3645-Under Restoration
    3-4685-Carsten (Driver)
    4-4690-Needing Restoration (not driveable)
    5-4808-Driver
    6-4870-RON's
    7-4948-ALAN
    8-5081-Driver (recently painted all black)
    9-Driver
    10-Needing Restoration (not driveable, same owner as 4)
    11-Unknown Status
    12-Unknown Status

    13-4551-Assumed scrapped, I have a hood from this unit
    14-4889-Scrapped

    I have more details on some of these but try to limit what I share with the world

    Alan
     
  17. polarus

    polarus Senior Member

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    Hey Alan, thanks for posting this thread, do you plan to do all the work yourself? I have some photo's of an original 1973 C.H.P. car that I'll post as soon as I get my computer back.
     
  18. MrMoparCHP

    MrMoparCHP Senior Member

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    As much as I can, I did most of the major rust repair and I brought in help to finish up some tricky areas and then prep and paint the car (being black I didn't want to do it myself). The only thing I see still needing help on will be the engine, I'll be having a friend help me with the assembly after I get it back from the machine shop (still to be sent out). Some things will be farmed out like the transmission and interior (seats have been done already), I'll need to have someone do the headliner.

    But when it gets down to all the nuts and bolts stuff it's all me. I'll detail everything as it is needed and put it on.

    Alan
     
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  19. polara71

    polara71 Old Man with a Hat

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    Wow, that is incredible........... you've got guts to tackle that......


    I always wanted a 71 Police car, doesnt have to be a CHP but something I want.
     
  20. 71TC440

    71TC440 Member

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    Alan, kudos to you for taking this project on. It amazes me how the CA cars are still subject to this amount of rust, rubber floor mats certainly don't help.
    Though not as popular, I have seen about the same number of '70 Fury lll and '71 Polara Custom WSP's over the years, all in varying degrees of condition. The WSP cars are not as desireable as CHP cars, but the fact they did have the upgraded interiors with carpet really saved the floors. When I pulled the carpet on my '71 Polara Custom, the floors were still bright white and next to perfect. I am posting a few '69 Polara CHP cars I have seen over the years. I am sure you know of them.
    Car4.jpg Car5.jpg DSC00527.jpg Motor1.jpg DSC00523.jpg DSC00525.jpg DSC00522.jpg

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    Motor1.jpg

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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013