She needs a headliner, a master cylinder, and the area around the tailgate hinges needs some work. Also, there's surface rust around the driprail, but overall the body looks solid. I'll get new tires for her, too. And she's got overdrive! It was about half my budget, so I've got some money to spend on fixing her up. Yeah, it's a flathead! But the '54 230ci came in at 110 bhp, 20 bhp more than the '53 218ci. I'll take it.
Now, to get her from Redwood City (south of San Fran) to Philly. Can anyone recommend a hauler? I've put the question to John Fowlie.
Looks like we'll have something to haul parts back from Carlisle
Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:57 pm
THAT IS AWESOME!!!! and a 2dr wagon!!!
Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:07 pm
Thanks Will! "Martha" (Paul McCartney's sheepdog is her namesake) is on the trailer in your home state tomorrow, en route to me. I guess at some point she'll be cruising by Carlisle And, she will be back...
Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:23 pm
The dash glass either needs cleaning, or replacement; but, I assumed the odometer had rolled over...
But, is it possible those are the original miles?!? The body and interior seem to be in exceptional condition. And tonight, I stumbled on these VINs from this site:
Here's Martha's VIN:
So, Martha was built in San Leandro, about an hour away from where she currently sits! Is it possible she has little more than 17K miles on her?
Maybe, she is a real diamond in the rust... I can't wait to see her in my driveway!
Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:20 am
by big m
Congrats on your find, Dan!!
Looks to be in nice shape!!!
Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:51 pm
by Mark Merritt
Dan; I like it !!!! My uncle in Florida had A model "A" and his daily driver was A 58 Chevy Apache pick-up. The mileage might be 17,000 you never know. Check door hinge wear, brake pedal wear etc. Some early titles had the engine serial # on the title as well, could be the original engine. My 55 Buick is that way. Looks like A winner to me, I love it. Mark
Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:02 am
As you can see from the dash pic in the initial post, there are two radio delete plates - one for the dial, and one for the buttons. They removed the upper dial delete plate and stuck a radio in there, leaving the lower. I hope they didn't cut the dash to fit it, it doesn't look like they did - I scored this '54 radio for 15 bucks on eBay:
I won't restore it, probably just stick a bluetooth receiver/amplifier in it.
(*sigh*...) Meanwhile, Martha continues to languish on the Left Coast. I can't get a trucker with a winch up there to bring her home. I'm on my second broker now...
Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:51 pm
Our family used one of these utilitarian vehicle to tour the western United States summer of 59 towing a 16 foot long Aljo travel trailer. several thousand problem free miles. I remember Yellowstone park and Crater lake as my favorite places to visit.
Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:50 pm
I contacted John Fowlie today, regarding Martha and the way she has been languishing for two weeks in Redwood City, CA. No trucker in sight; and heading into the holidays. (*Sigh*...) Doncha know, John placed some calls - in two hours, I was calling a friend of a friend. And Martha will be picked up by the end of the week!
I told John, he got done in two hours what I could not get done in two weeks. And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why John Fowlie is the friend of automotive enthusiasts both far and wide.
Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:46 pm
by Dick Koch
Damn, dont know how this got past me but good on you Dan. How did you find it. My dad had a 54 sedan. He and his fishing buddies had a few to many one time and rolled it pulling his boat. No one hurt, they rolled it over started it up and drove 45 miles home looking thru a 8 inch slit where the windshield used to be. Next day they went back for the boat. It was in the bushes, still on the trailer. Not a scratch on it. One week later he bought another one identical to the wrecked one, even the same color because now he had a parts car. Im glad for you.
Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:00 pm
Dick, I'd love to see a pic of your dad's car if you have it!
I had been trolling websites for a good while, looking for a 53/54 Plymouth/Dodge Suburban. There's a website that crawls craigslist sites all over the country, and that's how I found it - 11 hours after it had been posted.
...but dealing with transport is a bear! The pool of available trailers is reduced because 1) Martha's brake pedal goes straight to the floor, and only a fraction of trailers have a winch to load an inoperable car; and 2) you want to load an inoperable car near the front, so you don't have to keep unloading/reloading it to get operable cars off - meaning, the stars have to align, and a trailer with a winch has to be unloading in the San Fran area. But, the stars have aligned! Or, so I thought... Maybe, still. It was to be a Thursday afternoon pickup, then Friday morning, then afternoon, then... The broker went incommunicado. But then I finally heard from him - he claims the driver couldn't unload his final car to a warehouse due to traffic, and will have to wait until Monday to deliver before he picks Martha up. Fingers crossed!
Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:39 am
by Dick Koch
Don't have a picture, wish l did. My Convertible was shipped from California with a outfit based here in south Florida about 60 miles from me. Lucky they were close to the car and on the way back. I remember the car in the front on the bottom level, they just pushed it off the trailer. Don't remember a winch, they must have pushed it on the trailer. The differential was one they used to get it out of the field and on the truck, l still have it and no one recognises it.
Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:29 pm
Ostensibly, the one last car on the trailer to be unloaded had to wait for today, for the warehouse to open. Then, in order to avoid having to move an inoperable car on and off the trailer, placing it towards the front, Martha was to be picked up first.
Didn't happen. The broker claims, the trucker is not responding to his texts. Will the trailer leave California, without picking up Martha? I don't know. This is beyond ridiculous. I'm giving it one more day, and then I am going to cut bait.
Will wrote:haulers kept flaking on me so much and for so long i wound up just taking leave, bought a plane ticket and then rented a uhaul and trailer to get a car home.
Tell me more about this, Will. Mary Kay has flown to Ecuador to visit her daughter, and won't be back until after Christmas. I'm off between Saturday and New Years. I'm half-tempted, to do the same thing you did. I figure, I can make San Fran to Philly in four days.
Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:13 pm
OMG! Over $3K, plus hotels/meals/gas and four days wasted:
That isn't going to cut it. I just don't know what I'm going to do...
Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:33 pm
Dan, I feel your frustration. I did this was years ago when my 63 Mercury was still at my childhood home in Nebraska. So I had a reason to fly in and visit family for a day then haul it back. The cost of the U-Haul was if I remember about 1500 + gas. so it was not a cheep trip, but I also loaded the truck with a ton of stuff to make through trip worth my while. I cannon balled all the way straight a little over 25 hrs of driving, worst part was getting all the way N to S through LA traffic at rush hour after being awake 24 hrs......worst idea ever doing it in one shot but I had a time line I had to stick to.
NE to San Diego is about half the distance you are looking at going. CA to PA would be an awesome drive If it were summer time. I would say make a road trip/vacation out of it, but seeing how its the dead of winter that journey sounds more like torture then a pleasure trip.
Who are you using as a carrier? Have you tried U-ship? A friend of mine used them with great success. You post your shipment then the truckers make bids on it and you can pick from them. The site gives you a lot of reviews on the various truckers bidding so you can pick who you think is the best with the best reviews or pick based off the price they quote you. Hopefully you get it all sorted out. Is it close enough that John can run and grab it and store it at his place till you get your shipping figured out?