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About CaptainGTX

  • Birthday 01/02/1948

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  1. Thanks for the lead, Commodore. SMS was able to provide enough for part of the front seat. Anyone else know of another supplier for classic car upholstery? Am still unable to post photos of the upholstery. Anyone else have this problem?
  2. I used tubes because the rims are constructed with rivets, so was concerned about leakage. I suppose I could have used a sealant of some type, but tubes (radial-type) seemed more of a fail-safe solution.
  3. Jim, I went with the tires described in my June 2010 entry. Used the original wheels, along with radial tubes. Have had no problem with them. My car still has its original style brakes, steering & suspension. Regarding the comment on bias tire size, the 7.10 x 15 tire I purchased as a spare was too tall to fit in the trunk wheel well, eventhough the car came originally with that size. I returned that tire and bought another P215/75R15 for the spare. The width was all the well could handle, but at least the trunk lid would close. So, for whatever reason or whatever method, that size bias tire is larger than they were originally.
  4. Would anyone know of a possible source for black & gray striped cloth upholstery for my car, which would be the same for any similarly colored 53 Dodge Coronet? The original 61 year old seat material on my survivor finally let go, thanks to a mechanic wearing a Carhart jacket. I know there are (were) a few stockpiles of NOS material around, but can't track any down now. Will post a couple photos soon, as the website seems to be resisting attachments right now. Thanks for any leads.
  5. Thanks, guys, for the input. Sometimes when things start to fall apart (I'm talking about the car), it helps to hear some words of encouragement. Especially, rick60, I think you nailed what needs to be done. There appear to be very few of these cars in existence. Mine is the only one listed in the ~10,000 car WPC roster. That, and my only finding seven other examples in five years of searching means nothing, except they're still pretty scarce. My first car was a 53 Coronet sedan and I'd never seen a convertible until I stumbled on this one. By the way, it still has its original top and interior. It was only eleven years old when it was put away in storage and I have records & receipts for all the major work that was done during its life. The original owner was a nuclear physicist and kept detail records. He was also not above working on the car himself.
  6. I should apologize. I thought the earlier posting about this car was made several years ago, only to find out it was but 15 months ago. What has, however, changed in the intervening time is the top has further deteriorated (partly from being flatbedded backwards at 60 mph after one of several fuel delivery failures) and the driver seat back & bottom now have major rips. I suppose those things can be expected in a 60 year old car that spent 45 years out of operation. It's just that putting on a new top & fixing the seat covering (even if I could find matching material - which I haven't been able to do) would just look wierd and out of character compared to the rest of the car. As with any car (and most people), the photos make it look better than it is.I should mention (or you might remember from my previous thread) that this is a early production, first year Red Ram hemi car with the optional Gyro-Torque transmission. I gather from the concensus so far that, in spite of the recent problems, the majority opinion is the car should continue be preserved & not restored.
  7. I’m the current owner of an unrestored 1953 Dodge Coronet convertible that I bought locally five years ago from the family of the original owners. The car had been in storage 45 years before I bought it. All systems had to be gone through to make it operable. My intention when I first bought it was to restore it. However, I decided to preserve it as best I could, as they’re only original once. After five years of car cruises and shows, I feel I’m reaching another decision point. When I bought it the car had some rust in one quarter and the front floorboards had a couple weak spots. The passenger front fender had been pushed back a little, in the process opening a gap behind the driver’s door. None of these issues have yet been addressed, nor have they healed themselves. Now the original top is getting a little rattier and the driver’s side original seat covering fabric, which was pretty thin when I got it, has a couple tears, thanks to my mechanic. I don’t want to start replacing such items without a clear stopping point. The paint, which is still 90% original, has a number of blemishes, some noticeable at 20 plus feet, and the grill is pretty dented. I know it sounds like I’m making excuses as to why the car needs restored. I’ve done two other complete restorations, but they started in rougher condition, so it was easier to make that decision. Consequently, I am under no illusions as to the work, cost & dedication of setting forth on that journey. Also, my first car was a well-used 53 Dodge & I’d really like to have a nice one. It’s not like I can sell this car and buy one already restored, although there is one that’s been on the market for quite a while. I’ve had offers for my car, but everyone wants to turn it into a custom – which I can’t let happen. Dodge made only 4,001 of these, and in five years of research I’ve only located eight surviving examples. There were half as many 54’s (which share the same body) made, but over twice as many still seem to exist, undoubtedly because most were Indianapolis 500 pace cars. So, the question is would I really be making a big mistake to restore this car? I’d like some opinions pro & con.
  8. I'm going to float this back in front of the group to see if anyone has additional thoughts. Survivor cars seem to be even more highly thought of than three years ago when I last posted. As much as I'd like to restore this and make the question moot, so far I've resisted.
  9. Hi and sounds like a nice car. I also have a 53 Coronet, but don't have the bolts you need. According to my parts book, any Mopars from at least 1946 thru 1954, and in some cases earlier, use the same bolts as your car. If you haven't done so, next thing I'd do is buy a shop manual and parts book. Both are available on ebay and other online sources, either original or reproductions. Both have come in handy for me. Coincidently, my dodge was in storage 45 years (1964 - 2009) when I bought it from the original owners' family. It's one of 4,100 convertibles built that year and is in complete, unrestored condition. Had to go through everything, as I'm sure you're doing. Would like to see some photos. Good luck, the bolts shouldn't be too hard to find. Rich
  10. I have the same problem with my 12 volt Mopar vintage reproduction battery in my 69 Plymouth GTX. The battery came with the red screw-on caps sealed, but I broke them open when the battery wouldn't take a charge. I added water & was able to charge it up. That happened two years ago and the battery still works fine, but water (or very diluted acid) still leaks past the gaskets under the caps. Since I live in a dry climate, I don't believe it could be atmospheric water, plus it only happens when the battery is charging, especially on a tender. I was thinking about using some kind of sealant that could be broken into again to address the problem. But then I wouldn't want to take a chance on blowing up the battery!
  11. Like yours, mine also sit in a garage for 45 years (1964-2009). I'll grant that yours is in better shape than mine, which was put away very "wet", including 1/2" of mud on the underside. My first car was a 53 Coronet 4 dr with Red Ram, so I have a soft spot for any 53. Good luck & have fun with it, because you don't see them at every car show.
  12. I did obtain a copy of the build card from Chrysler Historical some time ago. Like I said in an earlier post, they don't have the decode sheet for 1953, so it's left me guessing at a few things. The car still has not been restored and I have no plans to do so. The most puzzling issue is the top color, and I'm hoping someone might have a decode sheet for an early to mid 50's Mopar that would give me a lead. The convertible top color is coded "1", which I would have guessed is black. The color of the top 60 years later is kind of a gray, as seen in an earlier photo. The same grayish color exists down into the rear quarters, where it wouldn't have been exposed to the sun. It does have an innerliner (headliner) which is tan. The car itself it Shoreham Ivory (code 565) and the interior is black vinyl with gray & white stripped cloth inserts - and as with the top, all is original. The original convertible cover (boot) is black vinyl. So far as I know, Dodge didn;t offer a gray convertible top. Can anyone definitively tell me the top color? The card also has a column labeled "Airfoam", which i presume has to do with the seating. It's coded "3". Anyone know exactly what this refers too? Any replies appreciated. Rich
  13. I started this thread by noting that this is the only 53 Dodge convertible in the WPC's roster. They made fewer 54 convertibles, yet at last count I believe there were six of that year in the roster (probably due to the fact some of the 54's were Indianapolis 500 pace car replicas, hence were collectible from the start). Since my original post two years ago one more 53 has surfaced, although I understand it's basically a shell. So far as I know, mine's the earliest build surviving, so might still be the oldest Dodge hemi convertible existing. Many here have acknowledged this is an uncommon car. Does anyone reading this know of any others? I'm aware of the ones that can be found doing an internet search. The easiest way to distinguish between 53's and 54's is that in 54 they flipped the side trim side to side, revised the grille to include a vertical post in the middle and added a small chrome fin to the top of each rear fender. And (more trivia)very early 53's had a different taillight lens and bezel that did not include two visable screws to hold the lenses in place.
  14. Thanks for the positive reinforcement, guys. Attached are some more photos taken last summer. I don't think any are repeats.
  15. It's been a couple years since the last post to this thread, so I thought I'd update the status of my 53 convertible. I have decided not to restore it, or do anything that takes away from its originality, other than possibly installing seatbelts. I was able to find an experienced mechanic to repair the transmission, so have been attending local cruises and shows on a fairly regular basis. In fact, last season the Dodge saw more action than did my restored 69 GTX. Last summer it won the Best Survivor award at the local Mopars on Thunder Mountain, the Rocky Mountain area's largest Mopar car show. There are a few items I intend to take care of this summer, including the seat belts, straightening some SS trim, and a few repair items. Haven't found anyone yet who wants to tackle the minor rust issues, but want to do some of that as well, just to keep it from getting worse. In the end I should still have around 90% of the original paint left. Thought I might also show a few more detail shots of the car. Some day I intend to do a better job putting together a complete photo documentation of all the original details of the car.
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