Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hemi in a Lancer story

 East Bay Salvage placed the wreck of a ’67 Coronet Hemi RT that had gone end-over-end outside their fence. The story I got was this guy returned from Vietnam, got the car out of storage, got loaded celebrating and left a curved embankment east of Brandon at some fantastic speed and the car went airborne, then came down on it’s nose and continued to roll.

I finally made a deal for the engine “as-is” for $600.  A buddy had some dealings with Garlits, so we loaded it up and took it over to his home and shop in Seffner. The air cleaner and one valve cover were crushed, both exhaust manifolds were broken and on the drivers side, a small hole had been poked in the block into a water jacket.

 Pat Garlits met us in the circular driveway of their home telling us Don had just gotten back from the west coast and had gone to bed. My friend Art started telling her this was an engine he’d talked to Don about a week ago and surprise, up walks Don. He really looked like he hadn’t slept in a week but the moment he saw the engine, he had all kinds of energy. I was introduced and he looked it over, then told us to back the trailer into one of the shop stalls, it was cleaner than a hospital, but his office looked like those hoarders shows on TV, full of memorabilia and magazines and books.

They spent time pulling it down and magna-fluxing it which showed up the hole which was easily welded. He called me at work and told me it would be”about” $400 to go through it and of course, I agreed. I picked up new mounts and when I put it in, it actually bolted up. Don hooked me up with a place out in CA called S and S Headers and they fabricated a set for me. I got a radiator from a 59 Imperial we had at the junk yard I worked at part time and it did the trick. I went to hook up the shift cable and realized it wouldn’t work with the ’57’s pushbuttons and ended up buying a Mustang shifter which worked fine.

The first week on the road I gernaded the stock rear end and realized the brakes were going to kill me. I went and bought the rear end from the Coronet. With their size and a single pot master cylinder, if I hit the brakes hard, they locked right up, so I got the spindles and brakes from the Imperial and put them on with new Grey-Rock linings.

Thanks Bob!

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