So, I just started this blog and already I feel like I'm slacking. Weather got cold here in Minnesota again, so it's been tough to want to be in the garage. But yesterday and this morning were pretty nice, and I had a couple days off so I was able to do some interior tear down on the '76.
As I mentioned in my first post, the car sat in a field in central Illinois for the better part of a decade. Mice and other creatures had been calling it home, and most of the interior was chewed through or rotten. Lots of mold and mildew, etc. So much of the items I pulled went straight into the trash. I did try to salvage a few things and have been doing my best to keep up on labeling hardware as I remove it.
This is NOT a strictly by-the-book restoration project. I have never been satisfied with stock anything, and while I find the 2002 beautiful, this one is going to be a mix of restoration and modification (I've coined the completely original and never-before-heard term Resto-Mod. Very chic, I know, feel free to adopt it to your vernacular, free of charge). With that in mind, much of the original equipment is up for grabs. PM me if you see anything you can't live without. Except for this pencil I found under the carpet on the passenger side. It's staying with me, so don't even ask.
I think this car was equipped with AC at the US dealership. But it is possible that it was installed after the fact. I know they didn't come from the factory that way, but some US dealers would install them. I don't have plans to reuse it, but I know that it is somewhat desirable for many. The hoses had been rubbing on the tire where they were routed through the fender and into the cab. So I cut those to get them out. And unfortunately time had not been kind to the plastic trim around the vent unit, as most of it was cracked and brittle. Still, if anyone wants the AC unit I'm happy to part with it.
After 6 or so hours between yesterday and this morning most of the interior is out. Only had to drill out 2 screws that were beyond rusted in place. Happy to say that most of the panels appear sound, save that nasty hole in the driver's side floor. I knew there had to be some full-on rust somewhere. Thankfully it's not too horrible (forever the optimist) and seems to be isolated to that panel. Everything that carries any sort of load seems ok (suspension mounting points). We'll see once I get the front fenders off if there's anything hiding. A lot of the sound deadening broke away pretty easily (no dry ice needed...yet) and underneath was mostly clean metal, so that's promising. I have a feeling there has to be more rust somewhere, being a sunroof car and all. Speaking of the sunroof, I was able to get that out, but the roof panel and sunroof-carrying sections are a bit out of sorts - I'm told neighborhood children used to play around on the car and likely jumped up and down on it more than once. I'm currently deciding how best to either repair/replace/retrofit the sunroof situation. But there's a whole lot to do before that.
On to the pictures!