Last updated Sep 9, 2011
Here is the story of DABEEST. I purchased my first car from Valley Park Ford (then located on Roscoe Blvd. near Owensmouth in the San Fernando Valley) back in the summer of 1976. The car was black with a black vinyl top and turquoise color interior. I installed a Pioneer stereo system (which I bought before I bought my car) soon thereafter. I also installed dual exhaust and a Holly 600 carburetor. At this time, my car got its name (I got personalized plates). For the first 10 years, I was very diligent about keeping Dabeest clean and waxed. Then came my first accident. Someone made a left turn into me and hit the left front wheel. I had Dabeest fixed and repainted. After this, I started to get lazy and Dabeest started to look pretty “worn”. After 19 more years of cosmetic neglect, Dabeest looked awful. I did keep up on the mechanical maintenance, however, since it was my primary means of transportation. I had to rebuild the top part of the engine only once and the transmission 3 times (not bad for over 500,000 miles). During that time the only significant addition to Dabeest was a new stereo, which I bought around the beginning of May, 2006.
Then came that fateful day, May 26, 2006. It started as an okay day, the Friday before Memorial Day weekend and my birthday. I went to work like normal (ya, I had to work on my birthday, but who doesn’t now a days). On my way home while listening to my new stereo, I was stopped in the Topanga Canyon exit lane on the 118 freeway westbound at 4:30 in the afternoon waiting for traffic to clear. I then looked up in my rear view mirror just in time to see a utility truck hit me. I must have turned my wheel at that instant because there was only about 3 – 5 feet between me and the car in front of me and I did not hit it. The impact spun me around crossing 4 lanes of traffic, where I ended in the fast lane facing the wrong way. The officer who came to my aid stated that the approximate speed the truck that hit me was about 45 mph. And yes, this did cause a “SIG” alert on the 118 freeway. Fortunately for me, I did modify my exhaust system or there would have been a fire, since the old exhaust pipe ran up and over the back axle and next to the now ruptured gas tank which was half full at the time of the accident.
My insurance company, not to name names (21st Century), offered me a whopping $1,750.00 for Dabeest. After I woke up from the shock, I mentioned that I had just recently installed a $400.00 stereo system and provided them with a receipt to prove it. They then upped the offer to $2,250.00. Needless to say, I got an attorney to get a better settlement. The insurance company from the person who hit me paid me $4,750.00 for Dabeest. I did get my medical expenses and attorney fees paid also. Since this was the best I could do, I accepted the offer. They also sent me a letter dated February 18, 2007 that I need to file for a salvage certificate with in 10 days. I kind’a ignored that part for a while.
After almost a year and a half (after the accident) of trying to find someone to fix Dabeest (and get the remainder of the money necessary to do so), I came to the Valley Mustang Club (VMC) for some advice. They told me of Chino’Z Auto Body. He said he would be was able to fix Dabeest.
Initially, I just wanted Dabeest to be made drivable, so when Chino’Z started to work on Dabeest, I went to the DMV to get a salvage certificate. This was on June 18, 2007. When I made my request, the person at the DMV stated that no one has submitted any documentation stating that Dabeest was declared a total loss and that a salvage certificate was not needed. I then asked “then I can register it without a salvage against the title and all that it implies?”. Their response was “yes”. So, I registered Dabeest, got my tags and left. Thinking that Dabeest was NOT a salvaged vehicle, I cashed out one of my 401k plans (on Jan. 2, 2008 before the market “tanked”) to have the repairs done right. DABEEST is now my 401K.
On Feb. 18, 2008 I went to the AAA to register Dabeest again (the registration is due in February) but was told that Dabeest was declared a total loss and I needed to go to the DMV to get the necessary documentation. In a nutshell, the insurance company took over 6 months (in our computer savvy world) to notify the DMV that Dabeest was a total loss. So now I had to “jump through hoops” to get Dabeest registered as a salvaged vehicle. Now I have insured Dabeest for a more accurate value and can drive with pride.
Since I have gotten Dabeest back, I have entered in to numerous car shows and events and have won (2) 1st place, (3) 2nd place, (4) 3rd place trophies/awards and several honorable mentions.
The moral of the story;
How much you love your car is not based on how much you spend on it, rather,
How much you spend on it that you don’t really have.
289 ci engine with a C-4 transmission
Est. horsepower: 250
Torque: unknown at this time
¼ mile: 12 sec (maybe)
Top speed: 120 and that's pushing it!
Fast enough to keep me happy,
slow enough to keep me out of trouble.
Over 500,000 origional miles on the engine!
Factory air (that still works)
Holly 600 4 bbl carburator
Restored from bad accident
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