Fixer Upper; 1955 Dodge Project Car Update

The old Dodge emerges into the sunlight for the first time in many years!

The old Dodge emerges into the sunlight for the first time in many years!

It has been awhile since we introduced you to our 1955 Dodge Project Car. It has been a very busy spring and summer so far and the time to work on it has been very limited. Most of our effort has been to look the car over and try to determine what it is we have to work with and what our first priorities should be.

Here is where most of the engine is! This is not supposed to be a rear engined car.

Here is where most of the engine is! This is not supposed to be a rear engined car.

Like many projects, our initial plans continue to change as we learn more about the car. First off we sorted through all the parts in the trunk and feel rather confident that we have 95% of what we need to put the car back together again. However, before we can start that we will need to pull the engine and send it out for machine work and a rebuild.

You can see the door is a little darker and richer color. We are not done only in step two of five.

You can see the door is a little darker and richer color. We are not done only in step two of five.

Secondly, we have been doing a lot of testing on the paint. Since there are three different colors on the car each requires a slightly different technique. All three have been determined to be original paint to the car and we are doing all we can to save as much of the original paint as possible. Due to a small amount of rust and a small previous touch up repaint we will need to apply some new paint to portions of the lower body color.

 

Step one (after a good car soap and wash) is a clay process. We like the Prolong Waterless Wash and Meguialrs Clay. We do a spray down of a small area, rub it smooth with the clay and then wipe it dry and polish.

Step one (after a good car soap and wash) is a clay process. We like the Prolong Waterless Wash and Meguialrs Clay. We do a spray down of a small area, rub it smooth with the clay and then wipe it dry and polish.

 

This is our second step and it consists of two rounds of buffing with Meguialrs #7 polishing compound. This is extremely gentle and not the least bit agressive.

This is our second step and it consists of two rounds of buffing with Meguialrs #7 Show Car Glaze. This is an extremely gentle polish and not a rubbing compound. I apply one very wet coat and let it sit for 24 hours. I then wipe it off and do a second wet coat and let it sit another 24 hours before rubbing it off. I use an orbital buffer at a very slow speed to apply and rub off and polish by hand using clean micro fiber cloths. The purpose of letting it sit 24 hours is to try and put a little moisture into the paint before doing any aggressive rubbing.

This is the rear passenger's side fender prior to any work. It is very dry, dull and full of marks and scratches.

This is the rear passenger’s side fender prior to any work. It is very dry, dull and full of marks and scratches.

This is the driver's side rear fender. It looked just like the passenger side before we started on it. This is only step two results.

This is the driver’s side rear fender. It looked just like the passenger side before we started on it. This is only step two results.

Here is the front passenger's side fender. All we have done at this point is was the car.

Here is the front passenger’s side fender. All we have done at this point is was the car.

Here is another photo of the portion of the hood, and fender that has just completed the first two steps.

Here is another photo of the portion of the hood, and fender that has just completed the first two steps.

Here is another photo of the portion of the hood, and fender that has just completed the first two steps.

Here is another photo of the portion of the hood, and fender that has just completed the first two steps.

In future updates we will show you what we find when we pull the engine, the engine rebuild, completing the exterior clean and buff as well as brakes and fuel system rebuilds.

See the first Post on this build.

See the next Post on this build.

Filed Under: Barn FindFeaturedProject Cars

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About the Author: I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California and now live in Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check our our www.TalladegaSpoilerRegistry.com page) As long as it has four wheels on it I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife Katriana is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out with our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.

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