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Ok time for the big reveal. Don't get too excited, it's not that big! Dodge Wayfarer Sportabout


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Crosley convertibles were indeed priced below the Dodge Wayfarer, perhaps Dodge should have added "full-sized convertible" to exclude the tiny Crosley from the comparison.  Quite frankly, most people didn't consider Crosley as much of a car, not the least bit comparable with any of the full-sized, mainstream models, regarded it as something of a toy.

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Hi, Randy!  Congratulations on your new ride!  When I first looked at the photo, I was a little confused by the hubcaps!  Although slightly out of focus, they looked to me like they had the Packard insignia.  Can you please post a close up of one of the caps?  Thanks!  Greg 

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

Somebody who is old enough to remember please confirm that Fuzzy dice was a real thing and not something we made up for American Graffiti?

 

I've always wondered the same thing.  You see the Voodoo Shrunken heads and stuff that you could get for the mirror,  but I don't recall in all my old hot rod books advertisements for fuzzy dice,  nor a display of them on ebay for sale,  which is where all the old unused stuff ends up as the back rooms of American garages and stores get emptied out. 

 

I agree they probably meant in class for cheapest conv't.  

 

A 6 cylinder Jeepster was $1530 in 1950.  I can't find a price for 1951 but it  Should be comparable. 

 

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1 minute ago, 63RedBrier said:

Hi, Randy!  Congratulations on your new ride!  When I first looked at the photo, I was a little confused by the hubcaps!  Although slightly out of focus, they looked to me like they had the Packard insignia.  Can you please post a close up of one of the caps?  Thanks!  Greg 

Will do when I get a chance.  I just started cleaning them up.  

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2 hours ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

There seems to be a lot of sedans of this vintage in really nice shape for next to nothing.  Could one save a lot by cannibalizing a lesser body in great shape? 

That was one of the reasons I wasn't afraid to grab an oddball without much catalog support.  NOS parts can still be had and cheap.  As you said for a car like the above,  one would be best to go out and find a $2000 sedan with decent bits.  There is alot of stainless but alot of chrome I wasn't aware of on these,  that if you had to plate would cost quite a bit of money,  where you could rob it off the sedan.  No it's nothing like a 58 Buick but when pieces that will fit in your hand can cost hundreds of dollars to replate, you will dump a bundle before you realize it.  Fortunately on mine all the conv't stuff was nicely replated.  I would say it's pretty much show quality for the top bits. 

Figure in a new top, a paint job, an interior,   though atleast you only have one seat, restoring the top frame,  rubber bits, gauges, glass,  etc.  You could probably spend nearly 20G restoring the one above and that's with you doing alot of the work. 

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4 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

Ever drive a jeepster?   It makes the subject car of this thread look like a Duesenberg.

Maybe that's why they didn't do well when new.  It said they were priced about the same as a ford deluxe convertible in 1948. 

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5 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

Maybe that's why they didn't do well when new.  It said they were priced about the same as a ford deluxe convertible in 1948. 

 

They have a cult following and seem like a cool beach car.   The reality is that the "Hurricane Four"  is named that way because at 40 mph you think there is a hurricane under the hood.

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Maybe a parts car?

 

leave it as is and get it running fine. much more interesting..............

 

blackwalls- the whitewalls take away from the excellent color combo of blue and tan!

 

if you are reselling, always consider how much you are going to spend, vs get back.............. very easy to over invest.

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

 

Ever drive a jeepster?   It makes the subject car of this thread look like a Duesenberg.

No sir.  My wife likes them and I do also from a styling perspective, but the 4 seems a tad small for even a lightweight of that size.  

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Tires and wheels are always a tough one if one thinks of resale.  They make or break a car.  You can take the biggest turd 4 door sedan and put 4 steel wheels with rust on it and a set of mismatched tires and it looks like an unkept get it by car.  You take the same car and put a clean set of even painted wheel with a nice matched set of tires all in real nice shape and it makes the whole car look a notch better at first impression. It can still be a turd but it's got much more curb appeal. 

Take my Beater diesel truck.  I put on the winter wheels with no rust but all greasy and dirty and it looks like every other 14 year old truck,  less the rust.  Summer comes ,  I bolt on the shiny 20 inch summer wheels with mud tires and the whole thing seems to sparkle and look customized.  Only tires and wheels,  nothing else.   Maybe it's just a mental thing.  Would be nice to score a year or two old set of bias ply whites a guy was trading out for radials for the same or less than a set of new cheap black walls.  Wouldn't take too much deciding then.  If the tires weren't 20 years old,  I probably wouldn't be thinking of changing them as though not correct they don't look terrible. 

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3 hours ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

No sir.  My wife likes them and I do also from a styling perspective, but the 4 seems a tad small for even a lightweight of that size.  

 

After finishing the restoration on mine I have driven it extensively.

The flat head four cyl. ''Go Devil"  it was called keeps up with traffic very well. Easily at 65 mph.

It doesn't pull the hills very well in overdrive but kick the throttle to the floor and it down shifts out of OD and will pull most hills at 55.

It drives just like one might think a 70 YO car would.

Its still for sale. Might swap for the right offer. Up or down, I aint skeerd.

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Don’t pick on the Jeepster........I have a friend who has a collection worth north of 40 BIG and his everyday toy is a Jeepster.........for his beach house. 

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Jack, next slower car I get will probably be an MG T but Jeepsters are cool.  Although it would balance wife's 18 Grand Cherokee and boy's (well he is 30 now..) '19 Jeep compass Trail Hawk.  It actually piqued his interest in vehicles, just not old ones yet... 😊

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7 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

Somebody who is old enough to remember please confirm that Fuzzy dice was a real thing and not something we made up for American Graffiti?

 

I think the rough car sold,  so maybe somebody is diving in.   They wanted 5k for it   I agree with your comments,   Randy is much better off even if he paid 4k as much.

My Stepdad Frank flew in B-24s during the war. I'd ask him, but he's gone, like so many of the World War II vets.

 

The oracle, well, roadkillcustoms.com says:

The common lore says that fuzzy dice spring from a pilots’ superstition in World War II. Before taking off for a sortie, pilots would put a pair of dice on their instrument panel, with seven pips showing, for good luck.

Another, perhaps grimmer variant on the story is that the dice on the panel were a reminder that every flight was a figurative “roll of the dice” as to whether the plane would return safely to base. Considering that by 1942 the United States was losing an average of 170 aircraft per day, pilots had a right to be cynical about their chances. Every flight was a gamble and only the lucky winners got to go home.

 

 

Nobody knows which street racer hung the first pair of plastic dice over his rearview mirror, invoking the old pilots’ superstition and cynicism. However, before long, plastic dice became part of a look that identified the alternative culture, like a pack of Lucky Strikes rolled up in a t-shirt sleeve. Displaying the dice meant the driver was ready and willing to be “dicing with death” in the dangerous and unregulated world of street racing.

However, even super cool hot rodders had to be practical. The cheesy plastic dice melted in the sunlight and were soon replaced with stuffed fuzzy dice. In the United Kingdom, they’re called fluffy dice or furry dice.

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Trying not to derail the thread but I had a ‘48 Jeepster with the flathead four in it for years. It kept up with traffic on two lane roads in the hills and hollers of Kentucky thank you very much. That being said, a working overdrive was a must. Nice Wayfarer by the way. Zeke

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Jeepster is there on the bucket list as well.  I have just never categorized it so I see where the cars rate on the list.  Of course an Auburn would be very near the top. Jeepster probably closer to the bottom but still on the list if the right one came along.  Wife liked the pink one at Hershey but it was very rough underneath. 

This little sportabout just kind of came together quick.  Must have been meant to be, with Ed's recommendation and a phone call, everything came together much easier and quicker than expected.  The transporter lives near by as did Andy who recommended the transporter so every one was able to swing right by and get things done. 

Now if I can get a few moments I'll get better photos as I've made some progress cleaning it up in the wee hours of the morning.  If it wasn't for the big shop project I would have lots of spare time.  Worked until after dark Yesterday and today.  Still have my listings to get ready for tonight. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't had a chance to do too much to it as I have still been pecking away a little on the shop and getting the tractor ready, chains, Plow, Oil change grease job etc.  for the winter.  Fixed the snow blower today I bought this summer after the wife complained about having to shovel the driveway last week, since we have the tractor and a snow blower but neither one were ready for winter. Scored brownie points though and put the new tonneau cover on her truck so she doesn't have to shovel the bed out. 

 I often find myself wondering  why since I have a nice heated garage do I do all my work in the gravel floor unheated shop? 

I hope to maybe do a little more investigating this week. I did dig through the trunk and found a few nice rechromed trinkets that never got put on I was going to look for to finish it off. 

It definitely sits low though. Almost looks like it's sitting on the floor when you stand next to it in the garage.  A friend even said that. 

Maybe it's got air ride and i just haven't found the pump or switches. ;) 

I need to get you guys some more photos as I did a little cleaning on it last week so it doesn't look quite so neglected. 

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Ok had a chance to shoot a few bad pics in the garage.  Still needs alot more detailing but it's a start.  

I still plan on probably wet sanding and buffing most of the car.  Fortunately whoever did the body work got it pretty straight so it's more to et rid of some , somewhat minor orange peel and random scuffs and scratches. I did part of one rear fender and it really made it pop.  

The front coils look very short to me and it has some funky incorrect way too big  lower A arm bumpers it's sitting on so I will replace them with the right ones and see how it looks then,  but it won't sit higher that's for sure.  I'm thinking it has incorrect springs in the front. 

looks like the whole front end was out and replaced including the upper bumpers which look correct. 

The rear was out as well as it has all new spring bushings and hardware on the leaf springs.  GAs tank is zinc colored with no rust so is either new or refreshed. 

Dash looks nice as does the upholstery which I don't think is correct but acceptable.  

The window and top hardware have all been related. 

Looks like the gauges may have all been replaced as well.  I also found a nice NOS heater control in the trunk in a box and a few other chrome pieces that are needed to replace the tired originals. Looks like almost all the chrome was replaced or replated. I need to find a good LH front fender molding to replace the dinged up one.   It would be much easier than straightening and polishing the one on the car.  I need to get a little touch up paint as well to address a few chips here and there. 

I also need to do some adjusting as some things just aren't lined up well including the front bumper which is tipped down.  Door gaps and fender lines look pretty good though. 

I need to find new lenses for everything but the tail lights as the rest are cracked up from age.  

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Looks like time to do some cleaning (of the garage that is) if nothing else.  When you can't get a clear shot,  it's time to hoe out.  Of course winter stormed in on us early and hard this year,  so I wasn't able to pull her out for some good shots.  Maybe later in the winter,  i can get some good outside shots on a warm day. 

I already have the other garage started just 5 years in labor and 100G in materials from looking like this one.   (I don't mean all cluttered up either, though I'm well on my way there.  Time to have a bonfire and get rid of some scrap left over wood tomorrow. )

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2 hours ago, mercer09 said:

so Randy isnt a true AACA guy, but a rodder.............. shouldve known.

Wait , Wait I can explain, well sort of.  

I used to like hot rods,  then I saw the light and came over to the original side.  Problem is I can't afford the original versions , so I buy the stuff the previous guys screwed up "cheap" and try to bring them back to their original state.  Or something like that. ;) 

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  • 9 months later...

Finally the day came to get her out.  Well actually I have been working on getting it going for a week.  Drove right in,  should fire right up and drive out.  Well yes should ,but.  Seems while sitting over the winter the new fuel pump according to the box pretty new (within last 5-10 years) Napa pump crapped out.  The rubber fuel line to the engine was also very rough as in how did it not leak with it crumbling in my hand. 

So a week later the new pump came in and I replaced that and the line as well as blew the line back through to the tank to make sure there were no obstructions.   I also pulled the gas tank sending unit as I couldn't get the gauge to work.  Several problems.  The tank has been coated with such a heavy almost porcelain coating it has no ground.  Also seems the new unit (probably less than 10 years old as well) with a plastic float had a hole in it and someone opened it up and messed with the windings so it's pretty much trashed.  The probably never realized the float had a hole in it or that the tank wasn't grounded.   I ordered a new one in.  But while i was in there i was able to get a good look in the tank to gauge how much gas I have and how clean the tank is,  which is very clean of course with that coating inside.

Finally after priming her to death and she fired up.  Appears the exhaust manifold has a very large crack in it.  Anyways I did drive it out for pictures.  

Seems to run OK and still needs a little tinkering but I have scratched a few things off the list to make it right,  but just added one big job to it.  So I'm now looking for an exhaust manifold.  Seems 1949-1954 Dodge and Plymouth 6 all are the same part number. I just put an add on craigslist.  

Hard to see all the work I did,  as it looked good from 20 feet in the garage but the finish was badly scratched all over, so I wet sanded and buffed the whole car out with 2000 grit. 

I spent a bunch of time as well,  fixing the cowl ventilator that was missing the hardware and the few pieces there were seized really bad.  I pulled the front fender molding and straightened and buffed them.  I tore into the doors and replaced the check arms which is why the moldings were crushed. While in there I realigned the windows and made new stops as the originals were missing, replaced one of the fuzzies that got trashed when it got caught in the door. 

I also replaced the weatherstripping on the header and removed and cleaned all the hardware,  plus bushed and aligned the top frame which was really screwed up and missing a bunch of washers and bushings. 

 

While I had them off I wet sanded and buffed the interior door garnish moldings.  I scored an NOS heater control and center dash grille which I put in.  I also removed and fixed the radio which had a button that fell out.  Lots of little stuff under the dash was ver finished up so I addressed that wile I was under there. Of course I couldn't leave the dash alone so I wet sanded and buffed that. 

 

I gave it all new brakes with silicone fluid and new tires.  I wet sanded and buffed out the rims as well.  I got lucky and scored an NOS horn ring and button so those got replaced.

The front center grille pan had a nasty dent in it someone pounded out with a hammer and made a mess of it,  so I removed and straightened / polished that realigning the front bumper which took alot of screwing around as it was way off and probably assembled that way when they "restored" the car.  

Just so many little things you would never think could be screwed up or not finished were. 

Well here are some fresh shots I took today. 

So now I need to fix that manifold before i can drive it.  I hope that heater works good as it looks like November if we don't get salt at this rate. 

 

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Great to see and read about your progress, the satisfaction of driving it and knowing that you were the one responsible to make it "live" again will be great .

thanks so much for sharing this with us.

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Just because of your proximity to the border - Canadian built cars used a longer block than the US built cars so you'll want to make sure if you find a manifold locally that it came from the same country as your car.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

Car looks great.............the manifold shouldn’t be too hard to come up with.....do they make new ones?

From what I could find they don't make a a new one,  probably because there are so many of these engines still out there.  A member is checking on one for me that they think they have.  Of course a 1950 Desoto won't fit,  as I have one of those at my Dad's.  I've never seen one crack there.  It was very noticable when I started it.  I wished the guy I had look at it would have caught it.  I didn't catch it when it showed up because it showed up late fall and all I did was back it from the trailer to the garage and never had it running with the hood up.  It was a quick in and shut it off as the heat was on. We even had the trailer backed so the door was just about in the garage.

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  • Peter Gariepy changed the title to Ok time for the big reveal. Don't get too excited, it's not that big! Dodge Wayfarer Sportabout

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