After driving it as it was for two years, it was time to start restoring and bringing it back to almost original condition. Due to the cost, I decided to do it in two stages. First the engine and engine compartment, then the body and other areas later.

Step one (winter 2006/2007):
Here's how it looked before I startet:

After removing the hood, fenders, bumper, and other parts, the engine and transmission were pulled and the area was sand blasted. All the metal was solid, except for the battery tray area. Not a huge surprise, as that's just what happens, when batteries leak. The bad metal was cut out, and a fresh panel welded in. A new battery tray was added and the car went off to the painter. The next step was to clean the C6 transmission and then to get rid of all the red paint on the engine and to paint it blue instead:


Hood hinges and latch parts were cleaned and the strange colors were removed and replaced with original parts when available, or new parts when they weren’t. After getting the car back from the painter, the work putting everything back in place commenced and this is the result:

After all that, I drove the car for two more years, while getting ready for step two. I had promised my daughter, I would have it ready for her Confirmation, in the spring of 2010, so I couldn't wait any longer.
 Some hard to get parts were missing, so during the two years after stage one, I collected as many parts as I could find, in either NOS, or mint condition. Finally it was time to start installing them. This step would end up with the car having:
  • An exterior repaint in Candy Apple Red and an interior repaint in Parchment.
  • New upholstery in the original Parchment color.
  • New maroon dash pad.
  • Camera case dash parts, instead of the present stick-on fake wood.
  • An original AM/FM Radio.
  • The return of trunk and under hood lights, as it came with.
  • An original rear seat courtesy light kit.
  • New maroon carpet.
  • Original Parchment seat belts.
  • A huge pile of other new parts (NPD & UPS were very busy that winter/spring :-).

Stage two was launched in the winter of 2009/2010:  

Over a weekend the car was stripped of all interior and exterior parts. 

I had thought the car was solid, but knew the front passenger side floor pan had issues. So it was quite a surprise to find out, all four floor pans were that thin.


No short-cuts. All bad areas were removed and replaced with fresh metal:


Then the car and parts went off to the painter, so he could start sanding it down to the metal. Although a magnet stuck everywhere on the car, I feared the rear fenders were filled with bondo. Sure enough, here's what turned up under half an inch of bondo:



There was no rust, so it must have been the result of an accident. It was recommended to replace both quarters with new ones, but after a little thinking, I decided to try to save the original metal. I contacted a local "metal guy" with a good reputation, who said he’d try to save them. The results were good and back to the paint shop it went.



While the painter had the car body and body parts, the other parts were cleaned and checked for damage or other issues. Parts were repaired or replaced with new parts. The work included:

  • All the wiring harnesses were re-taped with black electrical tape (all visible harnesses had blue tape).
  •  Upholstering the seats.
  • Moving the instruments to a NOS instrument cluster.
  • Converting the clock to quartz movement.
  • Adding camera case finish to the A/C parts.
  • Cleaning and polishing lots of parts.

When the car finally came back from the painter, the fun part of reassembling it started:


A month later and just two weeks before my daughter’s Confirmation, the car was ready for the big day:



Step three will be a rebuild of the Equa-Lock Differentional. As it is, only one wheel spinns during a burnout, and who can live with that :-)




Step three, an upgrade to the undercarriage, was launched in the winter of 2010/2011:

The car was placed on my two post lift and all suspension and power steering parts were removed. The plan was to save as many of the original parts as possible. All the parts went to a sandblaster/painter, where they were checked out. The parts that were salvageable were cleaned and painted and the rest tossed. Here are some before images:

before 3

before 1


before 4

And some after pics:

After 8

After 7

After 6

After 4

After 3

After 2

After 1


As mentioned earlier, the Equa-Lock did not work properly, so it got a full rebuild with a new Ring & Pinion Set and a Clutch Kit. Now, it does work and I will eventually upload a video demonstrating the results :-)


© · Paul - 2020