I bought this car in 1989. It was a 383 2-bbl, four-speed transmission, AM radio, dealer-installed spotlight/mirror, power steering, manual brakes. Initially I was looking for parts for my other 1964 Dodge Polara 500 convertible and at the time I worked at a Mopar wrecking yard in Spring Valley California. We had a nationwide parts locating system and I regularly posted messages looking for parts. A wrecking yard in Farmington New Mexico eventually responded saying they had an entire car for sale and it was the car seen here.
They mailed me the four small black and white photos seen here and described the car. The said that the damage was mostly on the door and that the quarter panel just had a dent in it that was easy to pull out. As you can see in the photos below, this "dent" was much more serious but couldn't be seen accurately in the snapshots. Only upon arriving and seeing the car in person was the full damage apparent. Regardless, the car was otherwise in very good shape so I decided to go ahead and buy it. Fortunately, they had kept the car inside their garage for the 10 years they had it. They had lost the keys to the car as well as the title, before arriving they had acquired a new title for it. I brought an extra ignition switch in order to start the car, which it did after a little coaxing. The water pump was shot so there wasn't going to be any driving it. I had to pull the back seat and work through the opening to get the trunk open.
I had a fixture made before the trip to attach a tow bar to the front of the car. This required removing the front bumper. My boss' father went with me to get the car and we used his truck to flat tow it back to San Diego. Newer tires were mounted to the car for the long trip across the desert. In Arizona, we stopped overnight and I was out in the parking lot checking things out, the glove box was locked but these are notoriously easy to get into. I got the door open and was going through the contents, there was a small manila envelope in the glove box that contained the original window sticker, dealer invoice, owner's manual, warranty book and certicard. A great find. Once we continued on with our trip, we hit some serious rain storms and then while traveling through the Southern California desert, the car had a blowout on the front. I was driving the truck at the time and this caused both the truck and the car to go off the road and jackknife. Unfortunately, the perfect hood and right fender slammed into the side of the truck causing some damage. The tow bar had absorbed a lot of the impact and was severely bent. I had to take it apart and run it over with the truck to get it back to somewhat straight. Another tire was installed on the car and the rest of our trip was uneventful.
After getting the car home, I proceeded to do the maintenance required for a car that had been sitting for 10 years. The water pump was replaced, hoses checked and replaced, oil changed, fresh fuel, brakes checked, fluids topped off. The car actually ran and drove remarkably well. I couldn't drive it much with the passenger door tied shut with a rope so I contacted a body shop to do the repair to the quarter and to hang the new door. After getting that work done it was ready to drive. About the only other thing I did to it was to give it a good cleaning and have the plastic rear window replaced with a new one. The convertible top was still the original from 1964.
After enjoying the car for several years, I regrettably had to sell it due to financial hardship. I advertised it in the Mopar Collector's Guide and a gentleman from Ontario Canada contacted me about it and arranged to buy it. Over the years, I've kicked myself for selling this car. Probably one of the ones I regret selling the most. I haven't heard anything about the car since I sold it.
UPDATE: 7/12/08 - The car has been found! Click here for details.