Project Delmae Update (2019-April 2020)

Walter Joy

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So it’s been another year (!!!) since I have made an update post on Delmae. Feel like it’s finally time to post what all has been done:

From where we left off, I had purchased a rusted out gas tank for far too much, and had put a damper on my mood. Luckily, that has been temporary resolved, with my uncle Glenn using some JB Weld to fill the holes in the original tank, and then painted the gas tank in some Rustoleum. The next problem to tackle was to figure out why none of the rear lights would work. I bought the turnsignal switch off of Wyatt's (@71Polara383) Wildcat and fixed the brake lights (original bulbs still in place), but still had no reverse lights and had to jump the NSS. Turns out the mice had chewed the wires on the plug almost to the connector, but we managed to splice two wires in and surprise! It works!

By this time it is March, and I give Delmae her first bath in 26 years, getting that beautiful GA4 Light Gunmetal Metallic to shine (and not blow it all off with the garden hose). It was also at this time that I discovered that the many times it had been sitting on blocks while working on it throughout 2018 had caused the subframe to crush in. Luckily through this wonderful site, I found one @mindshark13 had from a 1971 Newport in Tampa, and was able to get it purchased and shipped by a friend of mine for $250 total, in which it arrived in April. After that, there wasn't too much left to do. A radiator cap fixed an overheating problem and I also managed to find the original license plates to the car sitting in one of the shed.

The remainder of this lull from June 2019 to now has been mostly dedicated to purchasing parts to build the 383 in Delmae. At Carlisle I picked up a DP4B intake for $150 and a NIB Edelbrock air cleaner for $10 to go with the Carter AVS 6125S carb I had bought the year before. Upon returning from Carlisle, I found a gentleman selling a set of HP manifolds for $140. Unfortunately, I discovered that the driver side manifold (PN 2843247- 2.25 inch) had a smaller outlet diameter than the passenger side (PN 2806900- 2.5 inch. For sale if needed). Luckily, Joe Bonnette in Lakeland, Florida (do not know if he is on here) had a 1970-71 HP manifold for sale (2951216- 2.5 inch) and I managed to pick up for $160 (which is a steal). October was another swap meet in my area, and I picked up a barely used Comp Cam XE268H cam and lifter set for $75. February time frame came around and I had a few bucks in my pocket from my 21st birthday, and I found a set of 15x7 inch Cop Rally wheels for $100 local to me. It was a good thing I picked them up, as I made a deal with the owner to also purchase a blown up 451 Stroker for $100 as well. Reason for it? The engine had a pair of lightly ported and shaved 906 heads on it, built with new seals and seats, new valves, and an adjustable Crane valvetrain. I was supposed to pick the engine up in March after he returned from his other house in Tennessee, but this COVID-19 stuff has kept him there until further notice. And just this past week, I have managed to secure a deal on a 489 case 3.55 Suregrip that I hope to pick up in Carlisle.

So where do things look now? Last year I had wanted the car done by September 2019 just so I could show the Roadkill guys it when Drag Week came to my local track (the car obviously was not done, but I managed to have them sign the glovebox instead and had a fantastic time). The next goal was to have it done by Chryslers at Carlisle 2021 to celebrate Delmae's 50th birthday, but my current list of parts I still need to purchase is approaching $4,000, and even though my internship pays good money, it isn't that good to pay both for school and for car parts. My last goal was possibly enter it in the 1971 Invitational at the Wellborn Museum in Alabama, but like I mentioned before, I doubt the car will be ready and tested for that. As for what is left, I have a few more parts I am looking to pickup hopefully for cheap at Carlisle (M/T Valve covers, MP Electronic Ignition System, possibly a torque converter to better match the cam- I've heard the 360 torque converters are higher rated than the ones in the 383-2bbl like mine). I also will use a portion of my summer internship earnings this year to start purchasing front end parts, as the subframe is currently sitting under a tarp next to Delmae. However, when I swap subframes, I also want to start building the 383 and at the same time have a friend of mine tackle the rust repair (no engine in would let him see if and where there is cowl rot).

Long post, I know, but pictures will be coming later this afternoon. I know many people enjoy watching this project come together, and I am too.
 

Walter Joy

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Delmae's original tank. Patched with JB Weld, and two-tone painted in Rustoleum.
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One of the only pieces of wiring the mice had affected. They left just enough in the plug to put a splice in.
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The first time the GA4 Light Gunmetal Grey has really shined. Also...HOSE!
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Took the opportunity to also get a picture of my two Mopars freshly washed and with their wheel covers on.
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Closer photo of Delmae wearing her original wheel covers.
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At one point in her life, Delmae was actually kept in a garage. My great grandfather Walter built it for my great grandmother Delmae to keep it in. When my uncle Jody inherited Delmae, that was the start of her no longer staying in a garage.
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Doesn't look like much, but that is a bit unnerving. Both side are like this, and led me to search for a subframe.
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Surprisingly only took about a month to find one and get it. I originally was going to have a guy ship it to me while on a cross country trip delivering Dodge truck parts, but a day after he was supposed to pick up a Macho Rollbar for my truck, everything turned sour and the guy left a whole trailer full of parts in a parking lot in Ohio. Luckily none of my stuff was on it (rollbar was worse than initially told, long long story) and I scrambled to find another shipper. A friend of mine that I went to school with (also a distant cousin) said he was delivering a tractor to Florida and could pick it up for the cost of a tank of diesel. So for $100 I had it delivered.
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Look's like Delmae is happy. Evening picture, all the original lights working, and the original license plates back on it (Maryland changed their plate design in 1975, which these are still stickered as).
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Dad bought a boat on Father's Day that was from Florida. This was the sticker on it. Decided to stick it on Delmae (because in Florida this probably would be on the road as is).
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Walter Joy

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Here’s some of the beauty going on the 383 in the near future. Something I find unique and never intended was all these parts could’ve been had on a 1969 or 1970 383. The Carter AVS 6125S is correct for a 1971 383 auto, DP4B intake was offered over the counter, and the HP manifolds are correct for a 1970 C Body 383 HP. What I don’t have pictured is the cam and lifters or the air cleaner. Also, what is the best way to get the driver side looking like the passenger? I'm probably going to be called many names for keeping the engine block blue and the manifold and heads orange (once I can get them), but at least I want the manifolds to be the same color.
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A little bit of graffiti on the glove box door. Only one missing is Steve Dulcich's, but I would want his seal of approval when everything is done.
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A little more proof on the authenticity of the signatures. Freiburger and Brian Lohnes were on their way to the airport so I couldn't grab their picture, but I stuck around for a little with Finnegan, Tony Angelo, and Cotten and Newbern from Finnegan's Garage and now Faster with Finnegan. When the car is done, I will definitely have Delmae in the photo with us.
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My $100 Cop Rally wheels. Patina even matches Delmae. Notice no holes for a center section. May spruce them up with 1971 Rally wheel center sections (after I drill holes) and possibly trim rings.
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Walter Joy

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Finally I end my pictures with this one. Delmae sitting in her corner under a tarp with my first first gen and my second first gen. Reason I chose this photo to include was it was the very first time since 1993 that all 3 vehicles were in the same place at the same time. And coincidentally, all 3 were driven by dad to college as well.
 

Imperialist67

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Great to have another update on Delmae - she is coming along nicely. Keep persevering with the project. In case people tell you there are "other" cars; NOTHING compares to driving the same car your great-grandmother did, especially when it's a Dodge Polara. One thing to remember at Carlisle, a lot of parts vendors don't bring "everything" with them like they used to. What works best is to order/pay for something in advance and pick up/pay for it at Carlisle, and you save on shipping, too. Have you tried Murray Park to find parts you're looking for? He has one of nearly everything with these cars, I often buy things from him during the year, then pick them up at Carlisle.
 

Walter Joy

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Great to have another update on Delmae - she is coming along nicely. Keep persevering with the project. In case people tell you there are "other" cars; NOTHING compares to driving the same car your great-grandmother did, especially when it's a Dodge Polara. One thing to remember at Carlisle, a lot of parts vendors don't bring "everything" with them like they used to. What works best is to order/pay for something in advance and pick up/pay for it at Carlisle, and you save on shipping, too. Have you tried Murray Park to find parts you're looking for? He has one of nearly everything with these cars, I often buy things from him during the year, then pick them up at Carlisle.
I have not talked to him yet about exact parts, but I have talked to him at Carlisle in the past. The main reason I have held off is because I am not at that point yet. If I really needed anything from him, it most likely would be trunk pan and rear frame rails, but alot of that can be found cheaper on here. I hope by this summer I will have all the swap meet parts I want and can actually start buying new parts using internship money. Very very slowly but surely.
 
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