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Thread: '57 Plaza [like my father's old one]

  1. #1
    ICC MEMBER big m's Avatar
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    '57 Plaza [like my father's old one]

    I bought this car last week in Redwood city, south of San Francisco. The original owner ordered the car new from Chrysler, and drove to Detroit to pick it up. Having lived outside of Detroit in the early '60's, I remember relatives flying in and staying with us, while their new car was being readied. These were called driveaways, and this practice was pretty much discontinued by the later sixties.
    The transmission went out on the car in the seventies when the odometer read just 40,000 miles,and a used one was sourced from a salvage yard, but never installed. Unfortunately, the original owner passed on in 1980. From that time on, the car patiently rested in the sloped driveway, and the nephew of the original owner took the property over. By the mid eighties, the neighborhood became rather ritzy, and the neighbors complained to the police about the 'old car in the driveway. Not wanting to change things, the nephew simply got the car re-registered, and the police were powerless to do anything.
    Times change, and with new abatement laws starting about five years ago, the police said the car would be towed away from the property, so the nephew listed the car on Craigslist on November 4th.
    I saw the ad, but didn't call as the big party here was coming up in a few days. Several days after the party was over, just out of curiosity, I sent the person listing the ad a message asking if it was still available, and was told Yes!

    I had to winch the car backwards up his steep driveway with all four tires flat, and the front wheels had locked up as well, and kept wanting to turn sideways. The nephew tried to help by holding the steering wheel, but cut his thumb pretty good on the edge of the horn ring. Finally got it loaded and chained down for the fateful trip back over the Bay bridge.
    Photos of the car to follow.

    ---John

  2. #2
    ICC MEMBER big m's Avatar
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    Here are photos of the Plaza after unloading her. All four bias ply tires [from the sixties] aired right up and held air. 35 years outside did the paint and interior little good though.





  3. #3
    ICC MEMBER big m's Avatar
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    Just over 40,000 miles on the clock-


    The radiator still has the green antifreeze tag hanging on it. Also, this car, being from the Detroit plant, has the silver hood hinges with red springs. LA cars were red oxide with red springs in '57, which is what we get the most of here.
    Rubber floor mat has crystallized from heat and age.

    These parts were in the trunk-
    Last edited by big m; 11-17-2010 at 08:50 PM.

  4. #4
    ICC MEMBER big m's Avatar
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    These tags were still attached to the bottoms of the rear seat cushions-

    These items were beneath the seats, I found them when removing the brittle floor mats, even the radio delete plate. A radio was added at a later date.

    Trunk floor after removing the pieces of rubber mat-

    JC Penney Pinto Poly tires. I remember JC Penney selling tires, but not this brand-

    Wiped the exterior down with some light oil to remove oxidation. Looks a bit better now!



  5. #5
    Damn John, that'll make somebody a fine ride! That shit'll buff out!!

  6. #6
    ICC MEMBER big m's Avatar
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    I checked the oil in the engine, and it appears brand new. After inventorying the contents of the trunk, I found some parts missing-Namely the clutch disc, throwout bearing, clutch fork, and all the hardware to reinstall everything. This means pulling a trans from another car to get all the correct parts and hardware. Updates will follow.

    ---John

  7. #7
    Sounds like you might keep it.

  8. #8
    ICC MEMBER big m's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure I'll sell it, Larry. I just wanted to get it running to see how the mechanicals are. A running car will generally bring more than a ded or unknown one.

    ---John

  9. #9
    Moderator DVJohn's Avatar
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    She looks straight, bumpers too. I remember those rear view mirror extenders, they were cool.

  10. #10
    How cool is that?
    You must be a magnet for this stuff John.Great to see another one saved.
    "It aint no fun waitin' round to be a millionaire...." - Ronald Bon Scott.

  11. #11
    ICC MEMBER phurious's Avatar
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    John, I don't know how you do it, but you do it well my friend!

  12. #12
    I love it! Nice color combo as well. Would be cool to make a dependable daily driver out of it, but with keeping all the patina...

  13. #13
    ICC MEMBER SavoyPlaza's Avatar
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    Mucho DE LA Goodo!!! (She is e-special!)
    That there is my kinda ride-- hardly any options, although heater and it looks like a jiffy jet.
    Too kool, and a great story, too!

    Man-o-man, she's perfect! Terrific score!!
    Gotta love the JC Penney tires, and let me know if you've ever bought a car that did NOT have a church key in it!

    I wonder why the wires are out of the taillights? Doesn't have a hitch, besides I'm not certain a flat 6 would be a good tow car.

    Good stuff, I wonder if this one and your Dad's Plaza met each other in the factory?
    Pete

  14. #14
    Moderator Imperial King's Avatar
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    I'll be awaiting for the next installment John. What a fine story this car is telling you and the rest of us.
    Go outside and enjoy life.

  15. #15
    Connoisseur of Gnome's, concrete pigs and Pink Flamingo's jockdoc's Avatar
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    Well done John. Love the plastic ice scrapper. I remember those as a kid in the sixties. Love to see that baby run.

  16. #16
    ICC MEMBER big m's Avatar
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    Well, I gathered up all the clutch and trans hardware and parts that were missing, finished assembling everything this weekend, and got the engine started. After setting all these years, I just had to put a fresh battery in, and file the ignition points, and she started right up. Luckily the previous owner had drained all the fuel, so there was no work needed on the fuel system. The transmission seemed to work smoothly in all gears as well. i went ahead and ran a buffer over the old, dead paint, and got a portion of the shine back, even where the paint was worn to primer. The grill and glass cleaned up exceptionally well, which would coincide with the mere 40,000 miles on the clock.
    I poured fluid in the master cylinder, and got a fairly decent brake pedal just by pumping the pedal. I took her for a short drive around the property, and everything mechanically ran like a swiss watch. Never have seen a six cylinder run this smooth and quiet.

    ---John

  17. #17
    ICC MEMBER big m's Avatar
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  18. #18
    Wow I don't know how I missed this thread, car is nice and a nice 6 too.
    Beavis & Butthead 2011.

  19. #19
    She's back to life, looks great as is...just tag and drive her!

  20. #20
    ICC MEMBER SavoyPlaza's Avatar
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    She sure is a sweetheart! Does her torsions need some turns?
    Pete


    Willpower, Pete, willpower. No money, no car. Must enjoy cars I have. Don't need too kool '57 Plaza from buddy John. Y get real angry if I buy another car. Must resist temptation of time capsule.

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