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Pop pop's 1949 Chrysler Windsor


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Inspired by @Landman '34 Coupe restoration thread I'm hoping to create the early beginning of the history of my own restoration as well as a start to my introduction post. Today I received my grandfather's 1949 Chrysler Windsor. All I remember about this vehicle was that as a young boy I used to go into my grandparent's garage where this car was already permanently parked and play inside. The last road registration date for it is 1976 so I know at the very least it has been garaged for at least 45 years. She is in much better shape than I thought. The body is almost entire devoid of any rust other than some minor surface rust so I am hoping my restoration is not 10 years in the making. I hope to get to know a bunch of you here and start to gain the knowledge I need to finally fulfill my dream of showing off my pop pop's car.

 

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2 minutes ago, keiser31 said:

Nice car! Do you have the wheel covers?

 

Yes, they are in the back seat. My only issues are that it is missing the keys and the rear passenger tail light lens.

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I would start with a good clean up and detailing.  To me it looks like it's too good to restore.  Yes it won't be perfect but to restore a car like this to perfect even with such a good example to start with will cost alot of money, where as a mechanical rehab and good detailing may make it a very usable good looking car in much less time and avoid some of the pitfalls that full restorations bring.

 There is alot to be said for originality and if it's original paint even with some issues will be even better received than a restored car. 

Post more photos when you get a chance. Here is a car that I just cleaned.  Unfortunately I don't have a front shot handy but I did have one of it half done and the difference was amazing how good it cleaned up.   We can give you pointers on how and what we use to bring back finishes on Chrome and paint.

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1 hour ago, auburnseeker said:

I would start with a good clean up and detailing.  To me it looks like it's too good to restore.  Yes it won't be perfect but to restore a car like this to perfect even with such a good example to start with will cost alot of money, where as a mechanical rehab and good detailing may make it a very usable good looking car in much less time and avoid some of the pitfalls that full restorations bring.

 

Thanks for the input. For me it is probably just a bit of ignorance on the proper term. My intention is to do just what it takes to get it running and looking nice so perhaps "restoration" isn't the right term. I'll replace what needs to be replace and shine up everything else. 😁

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1 hour ago, auburnseeker said:

We can give you pointers on how and what we use to bring back finishes on Chrome and paint.

Oh and thank you so much. I am eagerly wanting to learn the ins and outs from knowledgable people from this board. I can't imagine a better hobby and the fact I get to learn it on my grandfather's old car is an extra treat.

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Great looking car. These vintage Chrysler products are superbly engineered and reliable as the day is long. 

 

Agree fully with auburnseeker - clean/detail the car, take car of the mechanical items to bring it up to a reliable driving car, and have fun with it. Then do small upgrades that will improve the car without disassembling the whole thing. 

 

How is the interior?

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5 minutes ago, r1lark said:

How is the interior?

 

The interior is in decent shape. I don't think that the interior is original though. Still trying to get the details from relatives.

 

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That's not too bad.  The chrome inside will definitely clean up nicely. The upholstery looks very servicable.  I wouldn't change them as again upholstery gets expensive and they look pretty good  but does anyone know if the seats would have been Blue or the same color as the door panels?  I'm not familiar with this year Chryslers to know.  More of a curiosity than anything. 

 

You will want to be careful cleaning the fabric with anything as it tends to get fragile over time, but I would bet you could clean the door panels up some though for their age they are actually pretty good. 

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Just now, auburnseeker said:

does anyone know if the seats would have been Blue or the same color as the door panels?  I'm not familiar with this year Chryslers to know.  More of a curiosity than anything. 

 

I do not think the seat upholstery nor the door panel upholstery is original.

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I thought the hub caps in the back seat were the originals but apparently they were purchased but never put on the car. I think I found the originals in the trunk.

 

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Lot of sentimental value there. You will do it honors. Here's one of my friends' car. It was also his grandfather's. It is completely original save for the paint which had turned chalky.

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Ralsker3, welcome to the forum. Nice solid Chrysler you have there. I would start by picking up a shop manual, and owners manual for your car. Auburnseeker may help you out there. Good luck.

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Welcome!!  That's a wonderful car and will make a great project!  I think your idea of getting it mechanically sound and cleaning/shining the rest is a fantastic idea.   If the paint was falling off or a later repaint that was failing, then a respray would be appropriate.

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22 hours ago, r1lark said:

These vintage Chrysler products are superbly engineered and reliable as the day is long.

 

This statement is so true!  You have a great car there, Rlasker3, and the family connection just makes it better.

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You are a lucky man, i wanted my grandfather's 52 Pontiac when he stopped driving it in 1971.  But i was only 14 and Dad said we had no place to park it.  Grampa sold it to some kids down the street for $150.  We lost track of it after a couple years.

 

Mark

 

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Since I don't have a garage ATM, one of the first orders of business was to make sure the car was protected from the weather. Before I arranged to get the car I first ordered an Anti-Rust Zip Up Car Storage Bag from the California Car Cover Company. I admit that I was nervous about the fit but it fit no problem. After an interior vacuuming (in which I found the keys!), UVC light sanitation she is all zippered up snug as a bug. Once the weather is a little nicer she'll get a proper bath. In the mean time I will look into a car port (any suggestions?) and get some new tires. I'll need to formulate a plan on starting to assess the engine. Got to admit I'm not sure where to start so there are some good mysteries to solve.

 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, M1842 said:

You are a lucky man, i wanted my grandfather's 52 Pontiac when he stopped driving it in 1971.  But i was only 14 and Dad said we had no place to park it.  Grampa sold it to some kids down the street for $150.  We lost track of it after a couple years.

 

Mark, sorry you weren't able to get your grandfather's car. My wife and I have wanted to fix up a classic car for a longtime now but we were never motivated to go fit and purchase one. I didn't originally inherit the car but the person who did just left it in my grandparent's garage. My cousin had bought the house but let them keep it there. After over 20 years he finally said it had to go and I stepped up and agreed to take it. I'm ecstatic about it. I've already had several friends say they want to come help fix it up so it will be a community effort over lots of beers and laughs hopefully. After all this COVID nonsense it's great to have something to help bring people together. I'll post every step along the way!  

Edited by Rlasker3 (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, M1842 said:

A familiar song. I loved my uncle’s ‘52  Super Convertible. The tranny went and I had no voice for its future as I was only 6 years old. 😢 You are a lucky man, i wanted my grandfather's 52 Pontiac when he stopped driving it in 1971.  But i was only 14 and Dad said we had no place to park it.  Grampa sold it to some kids down the street for $150.  We lost track of it after a couple years.

 

Mark

 

 

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@Rlasker3 Great score there. Nice little car. Simple, easy little car to work on.

Someone had money to burn. They ordered a radio, and the clock!

 

I'm happy to help with questions or any advise wanted. I own a 38 and a 53, both Mopars. 

There is plenty of help here on this forum. Many experienced members who helped me along as well when I was new to old Mopars.

 

Keith

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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Get a notebook and record when you do things - you think you will remember and then time goes by and the puzzle is " was that replaced 2 years ago or 5?"  Make sure you inspect everything - wheel bearings need to be repacked, steering box cleaned and refilled, all hoses need to be replaced ( brake, water, fan belts) fuel system from engine to gas tank blown clear and some cleaner used to get rid of any crusty sludge etc. . You have a lot of things to do but best if done prior to you thinking " I'll take it for a ride and then get to it later".

So happy for you!  to see a really great car going to be preserved but most of all USED.

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Walt's advice is excellent. You seem to be going about this in a logical and careful manner - which is both good and quite rare. Before you run it the most important job is to drop the pan and clean it out. After standing 20 years it's virtually certain to be full of sludge. A few hours (more like 30 0r 40) spent on carefully cleaning and replacing all of the parts that deteriorate with age will save you countless hours in the future - not to mention a lot of money.

 

Take a look at Edinmass's thread on his 1917 White and ow he went about preparing it to be started. Yes, your car is much newer but the process is the same. 

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5 hours ago, Walt G said:

Get a notebook and record when you do things

 

I'm a little new school in that regard. I started a OneNote to start tracking and putting things in for planning. I made a link to view what I have so far, let me know if it works.

 

Windsor Restoration Notebook

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3 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

Walt's advice is excellent. You seem to be going about this in a logical and careful manner - which is both good and quite rare. Before you run it the most important job is to drop the pan and clean it out. After standing 20 years it's virtually certain to be full of sludge. A few hours (more like 30 0r 40) spent on carefully cleaning and replacing all of the parts that deteriorate with age will save you countless hours in the future - not to mention a lot of money.

 

Take a look at Edinmass's thread on his 1917 White and ow he went about preparing it to be started. Yes, your car is much newer but the process is the same. 

 

Thanks for the advice! I am def walking into this eyes wide open. I'm determined to get this completed so I'm trying to first make sure I have my ducks in a row.

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These last two days I learned a few things about this car family. It turns out this is NOT the car i used to play in when I was little. That was apparently a 1950 Ford that my Pop Pop restored and later sold unbeknownst to me. This Chrysler was a second project that he took on in his later years. He bought it around 93, had the engine and transmission rebuilt and the interior fixed up. He only got to drive it a brief time before passing away in '97. I started to question things when I found an oil change sticker on the side of the door from '94, a mere 24 miles from the final odometer of 01008. 

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46 minutes ago, Rlasker3 said:

These last two days I learned a few things about this car family. It turns out this is NOT the car i used to play in when I was little. That was apparently a 1950 Ford that my Pop Pop restored and later sold unbeknownst to me. This Chrysler was a second project that he took on in his later years. He bought it around 93, had the engine and transmission rebuilt and the interior fixed up. He only got to drive it a brief time before passing away in '97. I started to question things when I found an oil change sticker on the side of the door from '94, a mere 24 miles from the final odometer of 01008. 

 

But it was your grandfather's car that he chose to buy and fix up, and you can finish the job for him! (Besides, a lot of people including me would take a '49 Chrysler over a similar vintage Ford any day. :) )

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Be sure when you cover it, to make sure the cover doesn't quite touch the ground and seal it in,  as if the car sweats,  which it very likely will,  the moisture will be trapped.   As soon as Possible I would try to get a tent shelter for it. Best investment you will make in the old car world is storage area,  which allows you to work on it much easier as well and work time becomes much less dictated by weather.  Uncover it atleast once a week to dry it out if possible.  Even if you do cover it as I suggested.  I would also get to the cleaning of the chrome and paint as soon as possible, since all the dirt and crud hold moisture much more than a freshly polished, cleaned waxed surface.  Besides,  even if it's not running you will want to get it running even more, once you get it looking good. 

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46 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

Be sure when you cover it, to make sure the cover doesn't quite touch the ground and seal it in,  as if the car sweats,  which it very likely will,  the moisture will be trapped.   As soon as Possible I would try to get a tent shelter for it. Best investment you will make in the old car world is storage area,  which allows you to work on it much easier as well and work time becomes much less dictated by weather.  Uncover it atleast once a week to dry it out if possible.  Even if you do cover it as I suggested.  I would also get to the cleaning of the chrome and paint as soon as possible, since all the dirt and crud hold moisture much more than a freshly polished, cleaned waxed surface.  Besides,  even if it's not running you will want to get it running even more, once you get it looking good. 

 

Good advice, thank you. Yes, one of my first orders of business is a good cleaning.

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