October 15, 2006
After checking Craiglist and seeing an ad with the four pictures below, I talked to the seller and thought this car had the potential to be a decent project car that could be driven while the minor things were being fixed.
So George and I jumped in my truck and took a drive to Davenport, WA. We got there late in the morning and checked it out. The paint and vinyl top was pretty rough as this car sat in a barn for roughly 10 to 15 years. There was also a heavy smell of mice in the car. Looking over the rest of the car, it was pretty straight and the interior was in good shape. The front tire was split pretty bad, so he took the spare tire (studded) and put that in its place. The exhaust was in very bad shape from the catalytic convertors back to the rear of the car. He had fiiled the gas tank up before we arrived, but he was afraid to put the locking gas cap back on as he did not have the keys. So we did the poor mans routine and stuck a rag in its place. We took it for a drive and felt it would be OK once we got it cleaned up. So we negotiated a price and started toward home.
I drove the Ghia and George drove the truck. We used our ham radios to keep in contact. As we headed out of town, it started to rain. Ritsville was just down the road and we were told that the auto parts store might be open - it wasn't. We stopped in a diner and grabbed a late lunch. We were there for over than an hour before we headed out - country life is pretty slow paced and I miss that. So we got on Interstate 90 and headed for home. The front tires were out of balance and the car shook badly at 60 MPH. The wipers, which have not seen rain in many years, tried to tackle keeping the window clean, but it was having some difficulty. I was hoping that we could get through the mountain pass before nightfall, but that didn't happen either. We got caught in a traffic jam at the exit for Roslyn and was stuck there for a while. The smell of the mice and the exhaust made me lightheaded, so I had to open the window. We got to the eastern exit of Easton when nature called, so we stopped. It was dark by the time we headed out and traffic had cleared a bit and was moving. The Ghia still had the original mirror with no switch for day/night, and I was getting blinded by the headlights behind me. The wipers made it hard to see what was going on. The back window was fogging up, so I had to open the window to keep it clear.
When we got back home, I checked the trip meter in the truck. I had driven 567 miles that day. All in all, the car made it to Tacoma without any problems. Needless to say, the car got new wipers, gas cap, and a day/night mirror the next day.
We found a huge mouse nest in the trunk behind the panel that allows access to the right rear side marker. We cleaned that out as best we could. The interior was stripped out, cleaned and reinstalled the following weekend. October 23, the car got new tires and that following Friday a new exhaust. The smell is still there, but not nearly as bad as before. So there will be more cleaning and looking for any more dead mice. But for now, it is a running car and what I like to call a rolling project. I am hoping by next summer, it will be worthy enough to hit a few car shows with me and my 75 Mustang II 2+2.
The car still has the original AM/FM/8 Track tape player in it.
After looking at the vinyl top it had on it, I saw that the top used to be silver before it was dyed to match the grey paint. There was no indication that it ever had a red top.
October 28, 2006