Bredlo

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About Bredlo

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  1. Wanted to chime in and say hello. Picked up this '53 Chieftain this past autumn. It was hot-rodded in the early 1980s with a '69 Chevelle drivetrain (350, 3-speed auto) and he'd added front disk brakes and rear coil over suspension. I'm currently adding an aftermarket fuel injection kit (which meant new tank, in-tank pump, elec. ignition, etc.). We've also refreshed the brakes and upgraded the rear suspension to handle towing our 1957 Airstream camper. No other updates planned at this time. Hope to use this as a cross-country road trip tow vehicle for the foreseeable future.
  2. Timing is everything - if StillOutThere is now involved in something else: other projects, different passions... this may be one of those things that no longer sits at the top of his wish list. I agree that transport is something we need to keep in perspective, and not let ruin a great project if the cost can be kept down. If I were interested (and halfway across the country, as this one is) - I would try to sell off the extra car and loose Hemi where it sits (the seller mentioned LOTS of interest in that other Hemi). If they theoretically agreed to hold them for me until they sell... I might get $800 or a thousand bucks for the Hemi... and could scrap the donor sedan for another $700 to 800. Could be $1600 or more to offset transport costs for just the wagon, which would be awesome. I hope whoever winds up with it wants to restore it, vs. chop the top or hot rod it. At 251 copies, it's too cool to alter by very much. Heck, I've lost enough sleep in modernizing our '54 Chrysler wagon - and heck, there were plenty of those... 1,100!
  3. I do hope it finds a good home soon -- sorry to hear you can't swing it at this time, StillOutThere. Timing is everything with these passion projects, isn't it? It's a very unique car, with the production numbers to back it up... however the differences are so slight, it seems the buyer pool is small, too. Not to mention that it's a MOPAR, whereas wagons from GM and Ford of this period seem to have a much bigger following. I'll never understand that: these are the finest looking estate wagons ever produced, in my opinion.
  4. StillOutThere, just emailed you with the contact info. Talked to the son, Dad will be home later, and as far as anybody knows... it's still available! :cool: Jack M, that's a nice offer - I know I'd take you up on that, if it were for me - these projects always look good and then you climb underneath. Our '53 was a freak show, to the point I had to find another car for our project and combine parts from the two. ~Brad
  5. If I had my choice, I'd add it there too: in the cabin. The front bench has hardly any front-to-back adjustment, and I'd really like more leg room. However, we also leave the bed in the "down" position most of the time, for our dogs. Can't move back without immediately touching the rear bench bottom. I could re-engineer the rear seat bottoms to be removable, I suppose, but am not really interested in that either. Oh well.
  6. That's odd, the link is still working for me! I called the number listed and left a voice mail, making it clear I have a friend who's very interested. As soon as I hear anything back, I'll let you know right away. To summarize, it sounds like he feels it's in the $5K-$8K range, but would prefer a trade for something he could jump in and enjoy (health issues). That's a toughie... hopefully he'll take the cash. How strange about the 51's front clip being the longer section: I can't imagine why they'd need extra room up there when it's the same Hemi as the rest of 'em. No surprise they changed their minds after 250 copies, that's a lot of extra work! ~~~~~~~ Speaking of extended noses, check this out: I believe it's a pair of '53 New Yorker sedans, turned into a crew car, also called railway inspection cars. With the way they moved both axles up front, I'm not sure where the HEMIs are now located (possibly in the center section with the exhaust coming from those portholes?) Regardless, it's amazing, huh? Used on a narrow-gauge railway for a gypsum company out in the California desert. Ran between the mines and the factory - this way they could drive forward from whichever end of the track they were at. I'm doing a little research... and believe the car might still exist out in Plaster City, CA.
  7. I'd remembered reading your post several months back, StillOutThere. Found this one on the Portland, OR Craigslist... and it looks like a great candidate for restoration. If you wind up buying it, please let us know. I'd love to know if I helped put it back on the road to recovery. Out of curiosity, I have both a '53 and '54 Chrysler wagon. I can't see where they put an extra 6 full inches of wheelbase on the 51s - care to fill us in on where the extra length is? Hood? Cabin? Cargo bed? http://portland.craigslist.org/clc/cto/4234400649.html
  8. Thanks to everyone for their input and opinions -- including those I'd secretly hoped would be wrong about the difficulty of saving this rusty '53. I took the car to a restoration shop and we looked at it on a lift over the weekend. Using flashlights, magnets and a screwdriver to probe every inch we could access to determine the extent of the damage - we discovered all four fenders are heavily fiberglassed, only two body mounts remain, the rocker panels have been replaced... and sadly the list went on. The lovely exterior covers a true disaster from a structural point of view. So, rather than spend the time and money to mate this body to the other wagon's solid frame... we will now (as some suggested all along) use the extremely clean, nearly identical '54 wagon as our project: outfitting with all modern mechanicals, and using as a daily driver, long distance cruiser, and tow vehicle. As for the '53: given the safety issues and limited audience who will want to taken on the task of repairing it... the '53 will donate its nearly perfect interior, glass, wheels, all trim and whatever else I can utilize. I'll likely keep the doors, tailgate and other wagon-only parts that are still in great shape, and sell the strong running flat 6 to anyone who can use it. I have over $5500 wrapped up in the '53, so I have no guilt about utilizing whatever parts I can. Thanks again for weighing in.
  9. Great point - yeah, I don't need to be towing a 3500 lb. trailer with a wet bag!
  10. Thanks for the suggestion and link, Dwight. I agree that patience is important here. We'll proceed with caution!
  11. A valid suggestion - I'll take it into consideration. I'm sure you're right that the other one would make a better blank canvas, particularly if money were no object.
  12. Of course I hope you're wrong... but I suspect you speak from experience! I'll have to do some disassembly for the work we're doing, unfortunately. But I'll try and keep it as intact as possible, and baby it for its next 60 years. Thanks for the tip!
  13. Trimacar, thanks for weighing in on that. I know this kind of thing is a touchy subject, especially on a board like this. I have all the admiration in the world for people with the knowledge and energy to keep their classic cars authentic. I've restored many pieces of antique furniture, a Vespa scooter, and even cast iron printing presses and it's not easy. That said, yes: we will be replacing the flathead 6 with a 5.7 Hemi, a 5 spd automatic, 12v wiring, disc brakes all around, a larger radiator and a custom heavy duty tow hitch. I really wanted to keep the essence of the car's DNA intact, which is why I went with the Hemi. No, it's not an old 331 Hemi but I can hold my head high that I didn't wimp out with a Chevy crate motor, either. That was unacceptable in my opinion. That may seem like splitting hairs to some, but because we plan on using this wagon to pull our 1954 Airstream all over the country (and for months at a time,) we wanted a safe and reliable car for modern highways, western deserts, mountain passes and even L.A. traffic. My goal certainly isn't to have a hot rod, but a well-mannered highway cruiser with oomph when we need it. And we intend to keep it completely original from the exterior: from a factory ride height and non-tinted glass... to the skinny 15" wheels and hubcaps it was born with. No noisy mufflers, no painted flames, no louvered hood. I hope the authenticity that we lose by replacing the mechanicals... will be made up for by the joy it brings us (and others?) for years to come. I'm trying to respect it - by my definition, anyhow - by using it for the same purpose for which it was designed.
  14. All great advice, thanks guys! And I appreciate the additional anecdote, Taylormade... even if it's a bit depressing in my current circumstance. I should add I have a second entire wagon - a '54 New Yorker - that I sourced for the cleaner, better frame. That whole body is straight and has far less rust than my '53, but it has no paint, no interior, a broken windshield and even though I could theoretically move my interior and windshield over and into this better car... I'd then be stuck with an 8-10 thousand dollar paint job, which is something I don't have to worry about with the '53. I may stick with this '53 for now, and see if we can get a little further into the frame swap before calling it quits. Also wondering, though I'm sure it's quite unorthodox - if anybody has ever decided to forego replacing thinned, rusty areas by cutting them out and instead encapsulating the rust - and following up with fiberglass and epoxy to reintroduce strength into that area. Just thinking out loud.
  15. Hey all, Hoping someone will have advice on saving the original factory paint on our '53 Chrysler.. and more specifically, the steel underneath. Doors open and close solidly, interior is perfect, engine runs strong... but 60 years as a funeral home floral vehicle in upstate New York has taken its toll on the undercarriage, wheel wells, and the inside of the tailgate is filled with leaves and water every time it rains from lack of weatherstripping. I love its weathered, semi-survivor exterior; it looks great from 10 feet away, but the belt buckle scratches on the front fender and hazy swirls make it usable, something you don't need to be afraid of. I am afraid, however, of the backsides of these body panels: particularly the insides of the doors, tail gate, and especially fenders where it looks like rust is coming off in giant flakes. Has anybody here ever tried to stop further deterioration with a rust encapsulation product (i.e. Por-15) applied to the insides of rusty panels? We're upgrading the engine / trans / brakes / electrical to use the wagon as a long-distance tow vehicle and daily driver. It will be sitting on a donor frame (of the same model) in far better shape for improved strength, so that's not a concern. Obviously I'd like to prolong this car's lifespan... and I'm hoping if I get inside all these areas, that there's a solution that doesn't require stripping the whole thing bare. Grateful for advice.