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Thread: "Peggy Sue" - 1958 Plymouth Savoy

  1. #1

    "Peggy Sue" - 1958 Plymouth Savoy

    Hi all.

    This is my project thread for my 1958 Plymouth Savoy - "Peggy Sue". Some of you will be aware of the car from her previous owner, Adam, who is also a member on here. She's a 318ci V8 in two-tone bluebonnet blue and iceberg white. She was imported from Folsom, California in 2008, and I am the second UK owner since this time. She currently has 123,000 miles on the clock (give or take) and is looking in fine shape for 54.

    I have wanted a 1958 Plymouth since I first saw "Christine", many years ago. But my love affair with American cars goes way back to when I was 2/3 and my Dad was running a 5.0L V8 Mustang. We used to go to all the US car shows and for a while he lived and breathed it before getting rid in the early 90's. By that time, the bug had bitten, and it was pretty much only a matter of time until I bought my own.

    As time went on, I always seemed to have other things to spend the money on; I finished my studies, got my degree, worked several jobs, bought a house, got married, had a baby. And through it all there was never really a 'good' time to buy the right car. But I was keeping my eye out for a '58 Belvedere 2-door pillarless coupe, with the intention of buying her, restoring her, and painting her toreador red..

    And then, a few weeks ago, I was browsing EBay and there she was, Peggy Sue. I watched the auction from start to finish, wishing I could have her but knowing that I couldn't afford her, and I watched the auction end without her meeting her starting price of 8k. And I started to wonder if there was any way at all that I could find the cash. So, I did a LOT of arranging, ringing around, etc, spoke with Adam, and started to put things into place. I sold my 2007 plate Ford Fiesta to pay off my old loan, then I took out a new loan for the Plymouth. Having done so, I sorted insurance and storage (no driveway or garage in my terraced house) and eventually (JUST) made it to Norwich in time to pick her up before she was sold to the next highest bidder.

    This is me in Norwich, having just taken the wheel for the first time:

    This was the first time I had driven anything as big as Peggy, The first time I had driven left hand drive, the first time I had driven anything vintage American.. But the 6 hour journey back from Norwich to Liverpool was long enough for me to not only get used to her quirks, but fall in love with her all over again. I'd also gotten used to being the centre of attention from everyone who passed, waved, and smiled; People love this car! By the time I got home, I'd already decided that despite not being my first choice (ie: A Belvedere), Peggy was ideal. I'd made a list of all the things I needed to find/buy to finish her off, and decided that I wanted to get her back to show standard (albeit that I still want to drive her when she's done).

    So, off she went to her new home; Safe, dry, and secure on a farm just outside Liverpool (that looks remarkably like Darnell's, inside and out..!):

    The next day, I took her out to her first show - A Classic Ford day on Blackpool promenade (on a very rainy Sunday). She got more attention from the Ford fans than any other car there, and by the end of the day she was appearing all over the web. Here are a few pics from the day (parked next to my dad's current ride, a 1968 Ford Cortina mk.2 Crayford):

    Then, the following weekend I washed and polished her, and started cleaning up her brightwork. Here are a few pics after she was cleaned (sans hubcaps, which I removed for polishing):

    The following day, we went to her first proper, judged show; She drew more attention than most cars there also, with lots of people stopping by to talk about her and discuss my plans for her. People love her, wherever she goes; She seems to draw people in, and I love it. She was one of four American cars there, and unexpectedly we took 2nd prize of the day for "Best USA Car"! Here she is at the show (my little boy is in the foreground on his ride-along Audi..), and here is our runner up plaque:

    And that brings us up to today, a very rainy day in late September; She is due to go off the road for the winter soon (one more show left next weekend), during which time I intend to start stripping her down a little bit and getting her looking fresh. My Dad is the director of a shotblasting and powdercoating company, so the wheels, air cleaner housing, rocker covers, inner wings, etc will be going to him for refurbishment. I'm also looking at sourcing some of the missing/broken interior parts (see my other thread) and looking into prices for rechroming (ouch) and bare-metal resprays (double ouch), which I can hopefully look into doing next year at some point.. Meanwhile, I have taken some pics of some of the areas that need attention (see continuation in next post below).

    Last edited by tehdrok; 09-30-2012 at 11:30 AM.

  2. #2
    Ok, so here are the pictures of the interior, engine bay, etc that could probably use new parts or a cleanup. At present she is leaking like a colander - Particularly in the trunk. I suspect this might be something to do with the rear windshield seal, as the trunk rubber seems new and in good shape. I am going to double check this next time I take the car out. The rear shelf has warped as a result, although the vinyl seems good. The rear doors are leaking, which I think is down to split door rubbers (all four in pretty bad shape). The sill plates/protectors have seen better days but two of them are salvageable. The seats are in fantastic condition, but the dash is warped/split and the paint in bad shape, so this will be getting a refurb in time - I need to find the correct colour 'dark blue' for the dash, windscreen strips, carpet, etc. The carpet has turned from turqoise to a dark green colour with time and there is a small hole near to the accelerator so will need a new carpet in due course. The two chrome strips that run over the doors are missing, but all other brightwork is present and correct. Front and rear bumpers need media blasting and rechroming, as do the bumper wings. The backup lens is there, but there is no bracket or light present, so either she has the wrong bumper on, or someone has removed it. There are a few screws and bolts missing here and there but everything is in working order. Headlining is new but needs cleaning, door cards are pretty much all shot so will eventually need replacing.

    The engine is in perfect working order, but could use sprucing up. The block is rusted and she is showing her age under there, so that's where the resto will begin. The wiring has been messed around with so I am going to try and find some original coloured wiring to put it back to original. Everything that can be powdercoated will be done, anything else will be painted and/or taken back to bare metal. The exhausts are non-standard and finish halfway down the car (no tailpipes at the rear), so I will be looking at getting a full OEM+ stainless system in time.

    Here are the pics so you can make up your own minds:

    The paintwork also needs work; The car is actually two different colours, thanks to a bad match, so it needs taking back really and starting again. I already have the colour chart chips to get the paint mixed up, but not the cash to get it done. And not one for doing things by half, I want to ensure that it is done properly so I am going to get it done professionally and rust-treated before going back to metal. Obviously, this isn't going to be cheap so I'm going to get some other things sorted out first. Also, the roof has started to rust in places, the paint has thinned out, and the inserts at the rear appear to have been filled (old filler) so the paint is cracked and split. Again, this will need to be taken back and either new ones welded in or (more likely) re-filled. I'll see how bad it is when the paint is stripped back.

    I hope you have enjoyed reading about Peggy Sue so far, anyway; I will keep you all updated with any further work undertaken on the car in due course

    Thanks for reading!

    I'm no mechanic; I've tinkered before but nothing like to this extent.. But I think I've got a pretty good base to start with so hopefully I can learn as I go along.

  3. #3
    Man, it's always raining over there. No wonder my ancestors jumped on the Mayflower. I had wondered if I was seeing 2 different shades of BBB on that car.

  4. #4
    Nice that you got that Plymouth.
    Beavis & Butthead 2011.

  5. #5
    I see dead people! Doobster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    It's not always raining Larry...... it's just always grey...... cloud cover 9 months of the year.

    During the 3 months we might be lucky enough to get sun, everyone is neighbourly and has a big smile on teir faces.

    Ryan, Adam loved that car.... it's good to see you'll enjoy looking after her as much as he did.

    Adam..... make sure you keep calling by mate!!!

    Everything's good!

  6. #6
    Well, am in the North and you're right, it pretty much is always raining, lol. Not many happy, friendly, neighbourly types in my neck of the woods either, I'm ..

    I'd be on the first ship to the US if I could!

    I know Adam loved her, and it shows. I'm sure his Belvedere project will be amazing, too. I'll be sure not to let him down on this one.

  7. #7
    I'm a Brick Mason and I see a lot of fantastic Masonry work in ol Blighty but when the hell can you lay it up?? LOL

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry57Savoy View Post
    I'm a Brick Mason and I see a lot of fantastic Masonry work in ol Blighty but when the hell can you lay it up?? LOL
    I think most of it was laid up in about 1750, lol. I live in a house that was built in 1891 and that's usual for the area where I live.

    Some of the scenery is nice in the more rural parts of the country, but living in the slums isn't fun no matter where you are in the world, I guess!

  9. #9

    This would be Ozzy Steve if he lived in a trailer park!!

  10. #10
    That trailer park looks a lot nicer than where I live, lol.

  11. #11
    Nice to see some pics of peggy in her new home. I'm sure Adam misses her already!! I think (I maybe wrong) peggy is the only 58 over here with the power pack 318 (4 barrel carb etc). The twin 4 barrel setup is more common than a single I'm sure!!

  12. #12
    I did not know that.. Haven't even started looking at the engine yet, but that's good to know Where can i find more information about the Power Pack 318? Is that what was known as the Super-Pak?
    Last edited by tehdrok; 10-01-2012 at 02:31 AM.

  13. #13
    From the look of those engine shots you need to do some serious moss killing on that driveway, then sand/cement your joints before it all grows back again.

    See....this is a great club for all kinds of advice!!!

    Look at my thread - Mark's currently sandblocking his naughty bits.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by billy whizz View Post
    From the look of those engine shots you need to do some serious moss killing on that driveway, then sand/cement your joints before it all grows back again.

    See....this is a great club for all kinds of advice!!!

    Look at my thread - Mark's currently sandblocking his naughty bits.
    Aha, it's ok, it's not my driveway . I don't even have a driveway; it's my folks' house.

  15. #15
    Quick update - Major thanks to Dean and bigm, clock delete and new temp gauge are en route, and for a fantastic price. Thanks guys

    Meanwhile, got a pretty beat up day/night mirror coming in from the US. Hopefully it'll arrive in one piece and I can get it painted up.

    Anyone have any idea what the dark blue colour for the interior is called? I need to get it matched up and uniform for when I paint the mirror and/or dash.. I was tempted to go Bluebonnet Blue right the way through, but the steering wheel will stick out like a sore thumb..

  16. #16

    Found this when I got to the unit this morning.. Minus a spare wheel/tyre and a jack.. D'oh! Turned out to be the valve seat.. Cost to repair: 0!

    Got my wiring issues sorted out.. Got the radio display working (but not the radio).. Got rid of the aftermarket temp gauge, ready for the blank when it arrives.. Polished up the steering wheel and some of the interior chrome, radio housing, etc.. Scraped some of the crud of the windscreen.. Starting to look a lot better

  17. #17
    Looking very good!!

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry57Savoy View Post
    Looking very good!!
    Apart from the flat, lol. Got it sorted after a few trips to and from the storage unit and tyre place, though..

  19. #19
    And here's the (improved) dash..

    Just needs the blank, which should be arriving any day

  20. #20
    Moderator Imperial King's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    United States of America
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