This was our first project as the business opened, and though quite a bit of work was done, it was pushed to the side as soon as customers started coming in. Eventually it moved to a storage unit where it resides now. I hope to get back to working on this beautiful car soon. It can really be a nice cruiser. If anyone is interested in buying it, please contact us.
Our first major project is this Dodge sedan. On the surface, it's a classic "gangster" style car from the days of Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. Our goal is a reliable runner that will be comfortable and ready to go on a moment's notice. We will be utilizing an engine to be determined, probably a Mopar 318, a modern Dodge rearend and new wiring throughout. Body modifications will be few, as this is a complete car with all the trimmings from a time when American automobiles were a sign that we were coming out of the Great Depression. Chrome strips will adorn the sides, the grill is heavy and imposing, and the car has a certain class inherent in pre-war American iron. Visit often to see the pictures as this wonderful old sedan becomes a clean and nice driving machine ready to take on the country with a daring pilot and a beautiful navigator.
1938 Dodge Sedan D8 from rear.
1938 Dodge sedan original dash. We will upgrade this to include A/C and probably hide the stereo in the glove box
1938 Dodge frame ready for paint. Upgraded with Mustang II type front suspension and a late model Dodge rearend.
Close up of frame with later Dodge rearend installed. Rear drum brakes have been rebuilt, as have the front disc brakes. Brake lines were run in the frame for protection.
This is the inside rear roll pan as I got the car. It has severe rust on each side and is being replaced. This is the before. The outer roll pan on the inside of the car came with the project. I don't know what it's meant for, but the body lines match up and I'll be using it. The original design had a space between the inner and outer panel that simply caught grime and dirt. I'm sure that's what led to this sort of rust.
Close up of the worst rust on the car. After I get this replaced, the rest of the car is amazingly rust free, so I'm assuming that collecting every bit of road grime on the inside of the panel led to this being so rusty. I'm going to put this one back together without the grime catching cavity to prevent rust buildup in the future.
This is a picture of the rear panel under the trunk mocked up. This is not the original style, as it has a deeper curve, but it looks better and it's what is available. I will have to modify the bottom of the trunk lid, but it will be a much better change anyway, and the metal will all be solid and look right. Sometimes a change is just for looks, but this one will serve that purpose along with repairing the horrible rust damage to the back to the car. The rest of the car is amazingly rust free.
Getting into the good stuff. This is the left rear where there had been some damage, presumably from a wreck. I am repairing inside and out, replacing with panels that were collected from another car, and sealing the inside parts before it goes back together to protect it from rust.
This is the replacement panel, made from two separate pieces as noted by the weld in the middle. The car is very complete and a previous owner had done a lot of work collecting parts from various cars to be used for patch panels. Getting them all lined up has been the major chore, but it's going to be worth it. Repairing the rust and sealing everything as I go gives me peace of mind that the next owner will be able to enjoy this car for many years to come. I don't think I'll be going to the metallic red that this patch panel is. Something more subdued and classy, unless a buyer comes along with his own ideas before the painting stage. Feel free to call if this car is going to fit your lifestyle and you want to get in on the planning as we head toward completion.
This is the inside of the trunk lid after I took it apart. There are tears at the top where the hinges attach and some dents and creases that need attention. Because the rear roll pan is a different curvature, the bottom of the trunk lid will also need to be modified.
This is the good side, only the one little tear.
The other side had some tears, a crease, and a couple of smaller holes, perhaps an old repair? Anyway, I straightened all of this out, cleaned the metal, and closed up the small holes and welded the tears.
This hole was evidence of some water leakage and retention in between the trunk panels. I had another inner trunk panel so I replaced this whole corner with the better metal from the other one.