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Cars > GoldenGirl’s Garage > Blog


GoldenGirl’s Profile Photo


F –61
Sterling, Virginia
United States


100 Years of Chevy! :-)

By GoldenGirl

Hey fellow Motortopians!

Just posted my August blog on Motortopia main page. Here's the direct link:

Which Chevy is your favorite from the past 100 years?

Muscle Cars vs Hybrids

By GoldenGirl

Hey friends,

If you haven't seen my latest post on Motortopia's Main Page, here's the link:

Feel free to comment!


For My Ford Friends :-)

By GoldenGirl

Spent last weekend at the amazing Spring 2009 Charlotte Auto Fair at Lowes Motor Speedway. It is one of my favorite shows all year with more show cars, cars for sale, car club displays, and vendors than you can imagine.

Took lots and lots of photos but not sure when I'll have time to post them. Meantime, I created a YouTube video of some of the awesome Fords that were at the show.

Muscle car prices are definitely still down. Check out some of the prices!

(DUH, this time I figured out how to add the video!)

Planning for the Spring/Summer Shows

By GoldenGirl

I love the new year! It means that winter has peaked and even though it will still hang around for a few months, the days are getting longer minute by minute. NASCAR and NHRA in just five weeks!

We're starting to plan out the schedule of car shows we'll go to this year. This is the first year we'll go to the Mecum Muscle Car Auction in Florida, January 22-24th. Sometimes in January we go to the DC Auto Show. Then in February we usually go to SC to celebrate the return of NASCAR and watch the Daytona race with our family in the warm temps there. (Yeah, we're just that car crazy, it's a family party event.) In March there's Mopars at the Rock (Rockingham NC) but we may pick something else this year. April is the Charlotte Auto Fair. Don't have anything planned for May yet but it will probably be down south somewhere. June starts the Carlisle shows in PA. In between all of these we go to various drag races too.

I usually pick all Mopar shows but we went to a Super Chevy show last year in Richmond that was great. The Myrtle Beach Rod Runs are a blast, too.

I'll keep checking out the Motortopia events list to see what everyone else is doing. Maybe I'll find some other awesome shows to go to this year. What's on your schedule?

Is it over already?

By GoldenGirl

I can't believe that summer is over and we're thinking about the work we will do in the garage while the winter winds blow! It seems like just yesterday we were heading down to Charlotte for the spring AutoFair or over to Valdosta for the Mopar show or to one of the Carlisle events.

It was a great summer. The Golden Girl was in her very first car show, the Chrysler Product Owners Club show in Leesburg, VA. We got our very own dash plaque and a window card with our name and info on it. She looked so awesome sitting there with her fellow Mopars. Wow! Considering last year at this time she still had the old 318, we've definitely come a long way.

For the winter we will replace the stock rear with an 8 3/4 (that we bought at Chryslers at Carlisle show) using axles that we bought at the Mopar Nats in Ohio. Hubby wants a posi-trac though so we still have to get that.

The stock a/c components are all there but the a/c doesn't work so that will need to be fixed. The factory radio is intact but doesn't work either. Neither one of those are important issues though.

The final expense will be the paint job. I'm going to stay with the factory gold with a flat black hood and a flat black tail stripe. Since we don't do any car stuff on credit, it will be some time before we have enough cash saved up to get the paint done. We're thinking maybe we'll at least do the hood decal. It's not too expensive and I can certainly drive her the way she is now.

Hope everyone had a great summer car show, racing and cruising year! I've enjoyed seeing your photo albums and your progress reports. Guess it's time to get out your jackets and start planning your winter project.

Ahhh Summertime!

By GoldenGirl

I realized I haven't posted since January and decided it was about time. Isn't it great that we can all get out and enjoy our cars again??? We've been to a small local Mopar Show in Pinellas Park FL, Mopar Madness in Valdosta GA, and the All Ford show at Carlisle PA so far. We'll be at the GM Nationals in Carlisle this weekend. Yay!! I'm so glad to get out.

The Golden Girl has had so much work done. The upholstery work we had done was awesome. The fabric we purchased from a place in Colorado was the factory original fabric. A local artisan did the work and it looks better than I dreamed. Meets my perfectionist standard and then some.

We found the kickdown linkage on eBay and I love being able to feel the whole four barrel :-) Hubby drove her to work one day and dropped her off with friends to get the front end aligned. Apparently my baby caused a lot of interest wherever she went. He says she chirped in 2nd and 3rd so he's decided to stay under the hood instead of behind the wheel. The 340 has less than 100 miles since the rebuild and I don't want to push it 'til it's at least a little broke in. Guess he wasn't so hesitant.

Right now we need to get the metal window trim back on and some wipers so I can drive her to work. I've driven her around a bit on weather-friendly days and it's a blast!

We also have a knock in the rear (original to the car and okay for a 318 but not the 340) and will replace it with a 8 1/4 or 8 3/4 if we can find one at a show this year.

She overheats a bit in traffic and we think we might get the original radiator re-cored and put it back in. We put a new aftermarket one in but hubby was skeptical of it from the beginning.

So ~ lots more work to do but I can drive her now and enjoy that lovely Mopar muscle rumble. Nothing on earth like it!

Update on Vendors/Reserved Brice Road Hotel

By GoldenGirl

Just wanted to give an update on an earlier post in reference to the vendors we are buying parts from to rebuild the Golden Girl. PST made good on the parts that weren't exactly right so we were very pleased with them. Year One continues to have what we need but the shipping cost is outrageous. Guess the deal is we should wait to buy stuff at car shows but this is our "winter" project meaning we can't get to any shows right now. Jack's Mopar provided everything we ordered with no issues at all.

Reserved our rooms for the Mopar Nationals. The hotels won't let you make reservations for the Nats until January (the show is in July) and the rooms get booked immediately. Luckily we have gone to the same hotel for several years so they let us know the date they will open the reservations for the Brice Road spectacular so we can be assured of a reservation.

Looked at the exhaust in hopes of being able to fix the issue with the chrome tippies. They are sticking out way too far. Previous owner welded them like mad so not sure how we'll address that. Darling hubby is still thinking on that.

We've only run about 3/4 tank of gas through the motor but he changed the oil anyway and found some floaties from rebuild break in. We'll change it again in a few hundred miles and hopefully that will be before Spring! More snow in the forecast. :-(

She Lives!

By GoldenGirl

It's been over a month since I've updated our progress but what can I say? once Christmas activities start there is not much spare time.

Hubby kept very busy in the garage while I took care of family stuff. Leaf springs and rear were installed. Parts for the front end were received and installed. Then FINALLY he and our son were able to put the 1969 340 in. That was a major milestone for sure. Next the rebuilt trans went back in. The upholstery expert loves our seats. He gave us the source for factory correct houndstooth fabric and we ordered three yards from Colorado. Also ordered an Edelbrock Performer carb.

In addition to installing the carb, much other work was done. I feel sorry that I can't capture and list all the hard work to give him proper credit. Guess people who've done this before will understand the huge amount of work that goes into it.

My early Christmas present was when he started it for me for the first time. He was waiting on a top radiator hose to be delivered so couldn't leave it running for long but it was awesome to hear the rumble I'd been waiting for.

On New Year's Day we took my baby out for her first spin! My daughter caught the fun on video and I've posted it in My Videos. Go have a look at Ken easing my baby on down the street. That engine hasn't been started in over 22 years! I've driven it a few times around the neighborhood but we had a rain/sleet event and don't want to take it out if there's a chance of picking up salt or calcium from the road.

We're still waiting on the hood scoop bolts which are on backorder from Year One. The rear has a light knock so we're thinking about replacing the one with an 8 3/4 but they are hard to find for an A body. He also needs some transmission kickdown linkage which has been discontinued. Year One has aftermarket but it is really expensive so we're going to see if we can find it from another vendor for less.

I'm going to post some more photos of the work in progress. And I'll try to update more often now that Christmas and New Years are gone and the winter boredome sets in.

Found Broadcast Sheet!

By GoldenGirl

Yesterday we pulled the front seat out to take it to the auto fabric guy and found the broadcast sheet tucked on the bottom under the springs! I was so excited.

The guy we bought the car from told us that the broadcast sheet wasn't with the car and of course when we got it home we took out the back seat looking for it. It wasn't there and I had more or less got over it so I was really happy to find it under the front seat. Looking online I discovered a few sites that said sometimes it was put under the front seat instead of the rear.

I'll post a scanned photo of it in the next day or so.

Putting Things Back Together - Parts Suppliers Good and Bad

By GoldenGirl

So much more work has been done since last post. I'm sure I can't even begin to list it all! Let's just say having four days off for Thanksgiving was very timely. Most of the parts that were ordered came in.

The brake lines and fuel lines are in place now. Finelines provided great service and a good product. The front end parts from PST were good and bad. The lower ball joint bolt hole is too small and we think it's because they sent us the product for drum brakes and we have disc brakes. Also the idler control arm seems to be defective, it has too much play. Spoke with their customer service today and they were very flexible and agreed to swap parts out with us so we'll see how that goes. Otherwise there were no problems with their front end kit. Jeg's provided quick, complete delivery with great parts. Year One has everything, of course, but we were really annoyed to get a 15% off coupon to use and on that order the shipping was outrageously expensive. The leaf springs from Jeg's which were three times heavier than the stuff we ordered from YO cost less than half the shipping cost. Still waiting on items ordered from Jack's Mopar but he did warn us it would take a couple weeks.

Since we had to stop doing the front end while we wait to swap parts, hubby took out the rear axle in prep for putting in the leaf springs. Painted the rear and lots of othe miscellaneous parts. Put the exhaust manifolds on the engine still sitting on the engine stand waiting to go in.

We're also pulling out the front bench seat tomorrow to take it to a local upholstery guy who says he can get the houndstooth fabric and re-do the seats for us. Legendary has the front seat fabric (but not the underlying seat material) for over $500. Hopefully the local guy can help us out for a lot less.

Soon I hope to update the blog with photos. We've taken tons but they are on another computer and I never remember to use that one when updating.

Stay tuned - more fun to come!

Engine Compartment Painted, Lots of Parts Ordered!

By GoldenGirl

Tons of labor done this week. Took off the front passenger fender since it was a replacement one and seemed to have rust right where it attaches to the engine bay. Luckily once it was off we could see there was just one small spot that could be sanded out. Hubby and his brother did mega amounts of sanding to prep for paint. Then the entire engine compartment was painted with some nasty acetone/chemical mix rust preventer stuff. Gag! Found out we should have had respirators for that.

While that was drying, took out the K frame and some calipers and spindles (I think, not sure since I'm not the mechanic!). Cleaned them up real good and went on a hunt for paint spray cans in Y8 gold. Had a recommendation from garyfish340 of a place in PA but they didn't stock the color. The local shop is a House of Kolor and they were able to mix it for us based on the original factory PPG code.

Today the engine compartment got sprayed and it looks great! The color matches perfectly; was very worried about that. We left the back firewall in the original paint. The K frame and spindles were also painted black.

No work planned for the next several days as Hubby has ASE recertification exams but he ordered almost $1000 in parts for the front end, brake lines, trans lines, and more!! Thank goodness we don't have to pay for labor. :-)

Miscellaneous and Prep Work

By GoldenGirl

This week the power steering pump got rebuilt. We got a rebuilt alternator but hubby didn't like the look of the case so he took the guts out of it and put them in the alternator case that came on the car.

Then we pushed it out of the garage so we could clean out the engine compartment really well in anticipation of painting it. That part was kind of tricky since we are on water restrictions and you can't water the lawn or wash a car unless you just do it from a bucket! Got it done though and pushed it back in the garage. Took digital photos of where all the wiring is to help in putting it all back after we paint. Hubby is going to remove the front end and the K frame so he can stand inside the engine compartment and sand it and clean it more.

The more he sees of the underneath and insides of this car the more amazed he is at the condition of the metal. We decided to keep the engine compartment the same FY8 gold as the rest of the car and will only spray the areas that have to be done leaving as much original paint as possible. It will be nice to pop the hood and say "this is original paint" since we are going to have the exterior repainted at some point in this effort.

Next week he'll try to get the engine compartment totally cleaned and prepped for paint. We also have to make sure we can get a spray can or two of paint that matches Mopar FY8. We've seen vendors at shows selling this stuff but of course can't find anyone in the magazines now or on the Internet. We heard a rumor that a guy at a parts store in the next town is an expert and can mix it for us if I give him the factory number. Hoping he does a good job!

Transmission's Rebuilt!

By GoldenGirl

We took at break last weekend and went to Myrtle Beach for the Year One Cruise to the Beach meet. Lots of fun, saw awesome cars, the weather was perfect, plus we got to see sunrises over the ocean and walk on the beach.

Hubby got back to work this week though and attacked the 904. He cleaned the case so that it now looks like new. Then he rebuilt it and put in a shift kit for me. :-) It's now sitting in the trunk of my Dart while he does other stuff...we have a huge list of to-dos. He is rebuilding the power steering pump at the moment.

I have to get busy and find that FY8 spray paint for the engine compartment. We decided to stay with the original paint there and will only spray the area near the battery tray where there is a tiny bit of rust.

Great progress happening.

The Engine's Out

By GoldenGirl

The 318 came out today! The past few days lots of miscellaneous work has been done like painting the valve covers to match the 340 and taking off the carburetor and ordering parts we'll need for the next steps. I'm just happy for now to see the empty engine compartment waiting for the 340.

Speaking of the engine compartment, we're trying to decide if we should paint it or not while the engine is out. Believe it or not, the original paint is in excellent condition with the exception of a small area right around the battery tray. I kind of like the idea of the original paint remaining but I've seen some cars that have painted all black under the hood and it does look nice...anyway, we have a few days to figure that out.

The Work Begins!

By GoldenGirl

The Work Begins! The new life for my Dart is beginning. My darling husband and chief mechanic took the transmission out yesterday since he had the Columbus Day holiday and nothing else lined up in the garage.

We already have the rebuild kit for the trans (904) but found out that we'll need a new torque converter. The factory original was in there but had obviously had a crack or something as there was a large weld mark around one half of it. He says the undercarriage of the Dart is in excellent condition for 35 years old.

Next steps include taking off the hood and pulling out the original 318. The 340 is waiting on the engine stand.

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