68 442 4 Speed Convertible

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allyolds68
Beginner
#1

I started with this in September of 2003. More to comeImage title

allyolds68
Beginner
#2

After waiting almost two months for thesellerto get me a clear title I had it hauled back to my house on a roll-back. The body wasn't attached to the frame, and the driver was worried about the body bouncing off, so he threw a strap across the body and attached it to each side of the truck. The car bounced all right......and caved the tops of the quarter panels in. The drivers side panel was worse than the passenger because it had a thinner repro panel hungImage title

allyolds68
Beginner
#3

The car came as a stripped shell. The kid I bought it from had taken it completely apart and nothing was labeled. It was missing the engine and trans and most of the trim. Over the next six months or so I started figuring just how much stuff was missing and set about trying to find it all. Ebay was a big help but there are rarely any deals. I had bought most of the trim, including the elusive rear 1/4 trim,when I got a call from a friend of a friend, who knew a guy, who had a complete 68 Cutlass S convertible sitting behind his shop rotting away. All the trim had been removed in the late 70's and stored in a barn. I got everythingfor $500 and a $150 tow. My wife just about killed me when it showed up in our two car driveway. ASaffron, rusty, POS. She made me keep a car cover on it because she was so embarrassed. I completely disassembled it and bagged and tagged all the parts in two weeks. I cut up the body and frame with a gas cut off saw, kept anything that was good, and tossed the rest in the scrap steel dumpster at work. I wish I have taken a full pic of the car. All I have are closeups of areas that I used for reference for putting the 442 back together. I also scavenged and sold enough parts from this car to fund much of the early restorationImage title

allyolds68
Beginner
#4

The kid I bought the car from had gotten as far as replacing the floors. The car came with the driver's 1/4 panel hung by a previous owner but it was a crappy job. It also came with a new uninstalled trunk pan, a new carpet, engine wiring harness, forward light harness, gas tank and a few other odds and ends. The original seat and interior were laying in the tub of the car along with the fenders and inner fenders. The trunk was pile with boxes of unlabeled parts. The kid I bought the car from had bought it a few years earlier from a friend. The two had a falling out but the kid I bought it from said the previous owner had a few parts that he never gave up. A passenger 1/4 panel, 4 speed console, and Edelbrock Performer intake. I tracked the guy down and bought everything for $100. Unfortunately the 4 speed console was only a top plate.


I only know the history of the car back to thelate eighties. The car was a mix of primer and a maroon repaint. The car was owed in the eighties by a guy whose wife wanted it painted maroon. Hehad it paintedand later theydivorced. She got the car. The last inspection sticker on the car was 1993 so I'm guessing it sat for a while. It was pretty rusty and eventually she sold it to a guy in theHydePark area of Jamaica Plain in Boston. He proceededto part the car out. He sold everything of value including the motor. I talked to him later and he said theoriginal 400G motor for the car is in a 75 Hurst Olds in the Boston area. He said the original heads were gone but it had B heads on it. He didn't remember what happened to the tranny. He couldn't remember the name of the guy or the wife than owned it. Her name was still on the title when I bought the car but the kid I bought the car from had signed the back of it so he had to get a new title issued in his name before he could sell it to me. He told me it cost him $1k to do that because of back excise taxes and penalties. I only paid $2k for the car. I should have had him make a copy of the original title but never thought to. The kid was living in an apartment and had the car at a friends father's shop. The father finally got sick of it in the corner of the shop so the kid had to sell it.


Here's a closer shot of the pile of crap in the tub when I first looked at the car at the shop:

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allyolds68
Beginner
#5

I started stripping the car almost immediately. The doors looked pretty nice. They were actually about 1/4" to 1/2" thick with bondo. The inside corners were pretty bad. The right rear 1/4 hadn't been replaced and showed some rust starting to poke through. Turns out the entire wheel lip was rebuilt with a couple beer cans and a lot of bondo. Rather than replace the whole panel I only replaced the areas that were bad. The outer wheel housing was junk but the inner was pretty decent so I ended up stripping the factory undercoating and doing metal work on the inner. I only replaced the area of the outer wheel housing that was rusted. I was able to pull out and straighten the dent from the aforementioned strap incident on this side.Image title

dnmfranco
Beginner
#6

wow, didn't realize you welded and did that yourself . That couldn't have been easy

allyolds68
Beginner
#7
dnmfranco wrote:

wow, didn't realize you welded and did that yourself . That couldn't have been easy

I could stick weldalreadysoMIG welding was fairly easy. I started in the trunk first. It came out like crap. I'm probably the only person that has all new metal and a 1/4" of bondo in their trunk....lol

Joffroi
Administrator
#8
dnmfranco wrote:

wow, didn't realize you welded and did that yourself . That couldn't have been easy

I should have sold you the 68 442 convertible I had for a brief while. Didn't have the money to fix all the rust (which it had about 50x more then you can actually see in the picture) and didn't have the skills you have.


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allyolds68
Beginner
#9

I was almost divorced over the first one, do you really think I could do it again. (I've actually got an 87 Mustang convertible that's next in line. It's getting a 5 liter, 5 speed swap, my wife just doesn't know it yet....lol)

allyolds68
Beginner
#10

After stripping the whole car I found that the doorswere soft in all four corners, trunk was shot, trunk lid was soft on the bottom lip, left rear 1/4 needed to be re-hung, right rear 1/4 needed to be replaced, left and right outer wheel houses required replacement, floors were not replaced high enough in the front so there was still rot there, bottoms of the cowl were shot, hood had a couple major dents that were bondo'd over, and the base of the windshieldwas rusted through. I spent about two years replacing everythingImage titleImage titleImage title

allyolds68
Beginner
#11

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allyolds68
Beginner
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allyolds68
Beginner
#13

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allyolds68
Beginner
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allyolds68
Beginner
#15

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allyolds68
Beginner
#16

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allyolds68
Beginner
#17

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allyolds68
Beginner
#18

And the fenders were junk too. I had to rebuild the inner braces as well


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allyolds68
Beginner
#19

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allyolds68
Beginner
#20

By summer of 2005 (2 years into it) I had most of the metal work done. I had cut out the bent area from behind the driver's door and welded the upper rear 1/4 panel from the parts car. I temporarily painted everything with rattle can etching primer as I went. My garage was very dry so I never had any issues withthe bare surface rusting anyway.The car still wasn't mounted to the frame yet. Image title

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