13 Oct 2013

Indecision sucks. Or perhaps it doesn't. I'm not sure.

Okay, so I've been OK with the questionable frame repair I performed.  With the bracing I intend to install it's probably going to be fine.

I've been relatively OK with the volume of rust repair that the El Camino needs (windshield channel (done), both cowls (done), front pass floor, front driver's floor, rear pass floor, package tray, smuggler's box area, wheelwell, inner rear fender, rear quarter (2 different ones, no pics), cab rear wall)

I've been OK with the knowledge that I need to pull the sunroof out to repaint because masking and painting around it really didn't go well.  In order to reinstall the sunroof, I'll need new weatherstrip for it as removal is destructive.  That's fine; I'd been told that it was a Cars and Concepts sunroof and those are relatively easy to find the parts for.  I emailed The Sunroof Doctor a couple of times asking about the weatherstrip (since their website says they have all the C&C inventory) but they couldn't be bothered to respond.

SunroofExpress, on the other hand, responded quickly to my inquiry but not with the answer I was hoping for:

 The sunroof in your vehicle is a Remove-A-Top sunroof and parts are no longer available for this roof panel.

Well, crap.

So options:

  1. Cut a bigger hole and put a bigger sunroof in.
  2. Replace the roof panel
  3. Don't paint, or don't remove the sunroof before painting
  4. Move all my fun parts over to the Chevelle and give up on the El Camino
  5. Purchase yet another project and move the parts over to that.

Option 1 sucks.  I hate the sunroof I have, I sure don't want a bigger one.

Option 2 sucks too; as much as I'd love to have a nice pristine roof I think replacing one may be a bit beyond my skill level.

Option 3 is also not good.

Option 4 got serious consideration, but I've realized that a convertible doesn't lend itself to the type of build I was going for.

On option 5, the steps would go like this:

  1. Sell the Chevelle (not a big deal, it's been on CL for better than a year now anyway)
  2. Use a portion of that money to get the tranny parts to fix the Trans Am, and sell that too
  3. Buy whatever project I was going to have as my project car (thinking 69 Chevelle SS hardtop)
  4. Move all the parts I want over from the El Camino
  5. Sell the El Camino

The wife has also suggested that steps 3-5 could be replaced with "buy a newish Corvette" but I'm thinking I'd miss having a project.

So this was the plan, until last week.  Last week on the way to lunch with a coworker, we drove past an antique car dealer who had a red 64 Chevelle convertible parked out front.  We stopped to look at it. 

From a distance, it looked pretty good.  As I looked closer, there was some stuff that was just wierd.  The fuel tank must not be the right one, it's hanging way too low and hitting the frame rails on both sides.  The console definitely isn't the right one - not sure what it was from though. The dash has been spray-painted black, and not well. There's extra trim on the car - it's got Malibu SS badges on the rear quarters in the right place, and then more Malibu (not-SS) badges on the front quarters.  Aftermarket AC doesn't look to be well installed.  Chrome is pitted and rusty and I saw some bubbles under the paint.  Seats aren't 64 Chevelle seats, either.  I'm not naming the dealership as I really don't have anything against the car, but it does strike me as a restoration that I wouldn't be comfortable calling mine... and if you've seen the quality of work I do, you know that's saying something.

No price was listed, so I foolishly called once I got back to the office.  They hadn't set a firm price yet, but they were expecting it to be in the range of 25k.

25k?!  I've had mine on CL for 5500 for a year, and I could get it in much better shape for much less than another 20k...

So: crap.  Under the guise of "making it more saleable", it's time to make mine run and drive, and then put paint on it, and put an interior in it... and then I've got a functional 65 Chevelle SS convertible.

The only real thing I've done so far is pull out the old headers I had for it:


I cleaned off the rust and coated them with a thick coating of POR-20:

I don't really like the aluminum color, but it's better than "rust". There are a couple of pinholes in one of the primaries; not sure how well the POR seals those (guessing not very well)

I also actually mounted the front bumper that has been on the ground in front of the car for 18 months:

Current plan:

Should be easy, right?

 Go back to the previous day (14 Jul 13)