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Saturday 1/17/04

 3.5 hours



I had the most incredible and enjoyable experience Saturday afternoon.

I was looking for a trunk lid as you know and was directed to call a guy about an hour away that may have the part I needed.

The phone call was made and Charles told me he could help me out and I should drive down and meet him about 1 o'clock Saturday afternoon.  Sounds good and he had a fair price on the deck lid.


WOW, I had no idea what I was to experience! 

I was so shocked at what I saw I forgot to take any pic's until the end of my visit.

First off and most importantly this was one of the nicest people I've met, Charles met me in his huge shop and then took me into an adjoining room that housed at least 50 immaculately restored antique gas pumps.  They all looked like brand new!

The next building was every 2 door hardtop Chevy built in the 50's, all were perfect, then on to the building housing all the years of 2 door Impala SS's!  This kept on for several buildings!  I'm so Chevy shocked by now I'm just a drooling puddle of mud!

I finally got my knees back and went to my truck for the camera.  The below pic's were of the last building.  All these cars are original and for sale.  I was trying to look, comprehend, touch, listen and take pic's at the same time!


I honestly don't remember half of what I saw!







Remember this is only a tenth of what I saw and these were the cars he wanted to sell!

We then went to the building Charles thought he would have a good trunk lid. It was filled with parts for about any classic Chevy you can imagine. 


He was in a bit of a hurry to get to see his grandchild and I was trying to be contentious.  Therefore I didn't take time to take any pic's.


We couldn't find a good deck lid here so he suggested we go up to "the hill".


This is "the hill"....



There has to be 150 classic Chevy cars on "the hill".


All are organized by year and body style.  It reminded me of a flight line.  All were perfectly lined up.


I asked Charles if he'd adopt me....he said no.  He also said several people had asked him that before and wondered why!!  Yeah right!




OK, I'm still grinning ear to ear but I have enough sense to remember barely why I'm here.  The trunk lid.


We found a beautiful one on a 56.


Only very minor surface rust on the outside and the drivers front corner ever so slightly tweaked up.


Charles unbolted it and loaded it up into the truck. 

A check and a handshake later I was back on the road home trying to come to terms with the incredible sights and person I had met.


I can't wait to go back.  I'll find an excuse soon!



Sunday 1/18/04

 4.0+ hours


I 'm still grinning 24 hours later.



I was reinvigorated to get my project going.  I was lucky to have some very experienced help with me.


 This is Matt, my nephew.  Turns out he's an incredible 1957 hinge installer!  Who knew?


My goal was to reinstall the doors and adjust everything up on the newly straightened frame.

Matt installed the hinges into the cowl loosely.



We then installed the doors on the hinges and expected them to line up perfectly like they had before....



We adjusted the door to meet the cowl, A pillar and roof perfectly.


It lined right up with the scribe marks I had made previously while getting the doors and body straight.






This is what the rear of the door looked like....It's hard to see but it's ugly!

The door is hitting the rocker panel at the rear and a good 1/4 inch below where it should be.

The gap at the top is really wide and touching the rear quarter at the bottom.

I tried for along time to convince myself I could adjust this out to work.

I tried putting quarter inch washers in the body mounts behind the rear seat to rotate the right quarter down.



Well that brought the door closer to alignment, but it raised the rear of the car way too much.

At this point I'm still trying to convince myself  it's salvageable..

This is the drivers rear of the car.  Those two parts should be touching each other.  There is a good 1 1/2 to 2 inch gap between them.

This isn't right.  I can't leave it like this.


I'm going to have to back and figure out where I miscalculated.


This part of the rear quarter must come down about a quarter inch.  It basically pivots near the backglass area and will close the gap at the top and open up and lower the rocker area.

I think screwed up when I welded it all in place before having it all sitting on a straight frame.




I'm going to have to cut the welds in these areas and "rotate" the passenger rear quarter down about a quarter inch.

This will leave the floor where it is and the floor braces will remain in line with the frame.  The quarter is the only part that will move to come in line with the door.

This is my theory anyway.

Another lesson learned the hard way.  I will NEVER ever weld any sheet metal in permanently until everything is lined up.

I know this all sounds confusing, it's really confusing for me!



I did put the new trunk lid on to make myself feel better....a little bit anyway.


At least something fits. 


My next project will be something that involves soft music and wine.



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