Well, here we go again. I bit the bullet and bought me this.
It's still up at the lot right now, there will be a miniature Collection Thread embedded in this thread when I go fetch it. Hopefully if the weather's good, that'll be this weekend.
So, what is it?
As the title suggests, it's a 1951 Pontiac Chieftain.
It's got a flat-head straight eight hiding in the engine bay, 4.4 litres of it. It's bolted to a 4-speed Hydra-Matic Drive gearbox. No torque converter on this one, just a fluid coupling. 116 horses at a screaming 3700 RPM, 240lb/ft at 2000. It idles at 375 RPM. Redline just shy of 4k.
Did I mention it's quite big? Sixteen foot eight from end to end and it seats six people in comfort. Every door has a quarter-light, too. Comfort is provided by properly sized tyres and (quite surprisingly for the age of it) double independent wishbone front suspension. Steering is via worm/wheel steering box so is moderately direct and the brakes are hydraulic drums all round. Modern and scientific!
It's an honest example; looks to have had a "restoration" about 15-20 years back and the rust is coming through the seams and filler. The bottoms of the door skins have gone, the bottom of the A-pillars have gone (the front doors, on a single hinge a piece still open and close with one finger!) And it's got a couple holes and blebs in all the places you would expect.
Not much electrical works. It needs to be completely rewired because someone has "converted" it to 12V. Thankfully it was originally negative ground so that's a good start. Gauges and such can be driven from a 6V bucking converter.
Engine has had some work done on it- starts and runs nicely with very little greb coming out of the exhaust. It's got a few gaskets that need replacing and the tappets need some major adjustment, the gearbox engages gears correctly, the steering is okay but has a lot of slack in the center and the brakes work well, dont sink or feel spongy but need adjustment.
More to come. I'll post up more pictures when I get it home.
By Shirley Knott
After lurking here for a short while, frankly liking what I see and enjoying the various shite, the site has well and truly struck a chord with me. I'm a serial buyer of ropey sub £1k vehicles, don't have to but genuinely enjoy it.
I feel like I might (Just might) have found my 'spiritual' home here
I've been posting across the web on owner specific forums (Usually using either my JoeyEunos or RandomPrecion handles) for a while now, but from here-on-in I will pull my threads together and merge them here into one ghastly topic.
My current steeds...
Lupo 1.7 SDI
and the work/story so far...http://forums.clublupo.co.uk/index.php?/topic/102863-joeyeunoss-sdi-beater/
Golf Mk4 SDI
and the thread.... http://uk-mkivs.net/topic/597074-project-slow/
Early (1989) Mk1 Eunos (This one was recently sold)
Other shite I've owned and moved on in the last year include this ropey Passat...
and this legendary £300 Fiesta Finesse...
Cars I'd like to own/actively looking for in the forthcoming weeks/months/years...
Rover 75 (Dizzler)
Peugeot 405 (XUD)
Mk1 Octavia (Estate/dizzler, pre pd or SDI)
Honda CRV (Gen1)
Thought I'd start a thread about my old Capri since it's now reached it's turn in the que to receive a bit of attention.
I've actually had this since 2001, it's an early mk2, on an M reg 1974. Being an early car it's still got mk1 rear axle and single acting type rear brake set up aswell as a few other minor differences from later cars just to use up remaining mk1 parts.
It started life here in the Portsmouth area and doesn't seem to have ventured far since.
Originally a stardust silver 1.6 L poverty model, which means virtually sod all regarding luxuries. Basic 2 pod dash with black 'crackle' finish facia, no radio, no sun roof or vinyl roof, not even a centre console!
When I got to it unfortunately it had suffered severely from serious rust and latterly a vandal attack, having it's door and rear quarter panel booted in.
Over the next couple of years I got it sorted and a cheap re paint into roman bronze, which was a favourite colour of mine at the time. For the first year or two it seemed fine but since then things have deteriorated.
The respray wasn't good! It's thin in places and started to micro blister in various places, worst of which is all over the bonnet. The same bodyshop also did a bit of the bodywork I hadn't finished which was also pretty poor in some places.
It's always been a great driver and never struggles at mot time so I just kept on using it and doing nothing more than collecting parts now and again with a view to sort it one day.
It's also gained a few non original extras over the years like a higher spec wood effect 2 pod dash facia (which I like more than the original), a short console, brown interior instead of the utterly fucked black original, 'laser' 4 spoke alloys and a few other things.
Anyway, fast forward to last weekend, when I dusted it off after winter and noticed various areas of new rust coming through or older rust that's gotten worse. So the decision was made to go for a professional resto job now before I end up finding something else to distract me (like big american cars with knackered engines!).
1974 Ford Capri BBK244M by Dan Clark, on Flickr
Here it is as it currently stands. Looks ok from a distance but the reality is very rough around the edges and the paint is so bad in places it's becoming embarrassing!
IMG_0509 by Dan Clark, on Flickr
And the interior which I'll be re trimming into black leather at some point after the body works done.
It's been taken to the same place that did my Mercury's engine rebuild, since they did such a good job and they seem a good professional bunch.
I dropped it off Monday afternoon for a thorough check over to build up a list of work and get a rough quote.
Today I heard back from them.
Good news so far, I suppose. It is as solid where it counts as I thought it was. Chassis is fine, original strut tops fine, most of the back end is solid and just needs a few repairs here and there.
The worst is the bottom of the windscreen surround due to the wrong seal being used and then fitted badly causing leaks. Inner sill to A post bottom corner very scabby, front wings pretty crap, and various paint defects etc.
The engine is fine, compression all in tolerances. Suspension needs work, and some brake pipes are getting quite rusty. So far so good and no surprises!
There's still more checking to do over the next few days but it sounds alright so far.
This work should be made a bit easier by having a lot of panels and parts to fix things already. The big find being a new unused pair of front wings. Very hard to find mk2 items now, though I did have to pay for them!
The plan here is to make the car solid, reliable and good looking. I'm not making a show car or going too mad as that stuffs not my thing and if it was I'd start with a better more original car.
Some of the later add ons will be ditched like the mk3 boot spoiler that I hate! And return it to more standard looking mk2 as it should be. No go faster mods or anything like that.
The main priority is to get the body sorted and painted properly (engine out job and everything) then maybe a bit of mechanical work as needed.
The original idea was to re paint back into original stardust silver, but having thought about it I'm leaning more towards another favourite Ford colour of the era, Miami blue metallic, which is a lovely colour! Any opinions?
This will be another expensive project but not one I think I could do at home on the drive and do justice to, so I'd prefer to farm it out and get it right this time. It also means I can carry on working on my Transit and Granada at home without another distraction!
For anyone whose interested I'll try to update this now and then as things progress. I'll also try to get the old pics of the car from when I got it so you can see how rusty it was! Bear in mind though that I paid Â£100 for this car in 2001 with MOT and tax! Try doing that now.
I'm sure this is going to be worth the expense, not that I'm even considering selling it of course but I've had it so long I kind of feel obligated to do right by the car in a weird way!