Here's George and Marcia's vehicles. George is another Mopar guy as you can tell by his choice of classic rides.
1973 Plymouth Barracuda "Big Blue"
I found Big Blue in the process of looking for an A body to use as a daily driver to replace the Dodge Dart that was rusting out. I wasn't looking for a muscle car like the '73 Barracuda, but the ad was intriguing, as was a phone call to the seller. When I went to look at it, it was gorgeous - Petty blue with matching seats on the sporty Chrysler E body. The seller called it restored, but it was really just painted and upholstered. But it was beautiful!
Once I got it home, I found that it would need a lot of work, even though it looked
beautiful.Just about every functional part needed to be replaced - brakes, radiator,
wiring, suspension bushings etc. etc. I came to be a best customer at Year One and the
local car parts store. I even thought about selling it, but $2,000 worth of parts and a
lot of work turned it into a nice, reliable daily driver. It was used as such and set
outside for two years until we moved from Abingdon, VA to New Market, AL where we had a
Muscle car prices were skyrocketing at that time, and I realized it was too good a car to use it for everyday driving. So I began driving the Barracuda only in fair weather, and continued driving the old '76 Dart in bad weather. Still, I have put over 100,000 fun-filled miles on it.
1968 Plymouth Barracuda
As I came to realize that the '73 Cuda was too nice to drive to work everyday and that the '76 Dodge Dart was continuing to rust away, I went looking again for a nice daily driver. I wasn't in a big hurry and by this time (the late '90's) the internet was everywhere. I would occasionally watch for cars on trader-on-line among other websites.
After about two years of casual looking, the irresistible deal showed up. It was a '68
Barracuda, rust-free and priced extra cheap because it wouldn't run. The internet ad
included a bunch of photos indicating that the car indeed was in good shape and
remarkably original. It was in Atlanta. On a Wednesday I called the seller, told him I
wanted it, and would he hold it until Friday when I could take a day off work, drive
to Atlanta, and get it. I offered him $100 earnest money sight unseen, but he said that
that wouldn't be necessary because he wasn't getting many calls about the car. So on
Friday, I took a tow dolly to Atlanta, found the car to be as advertised, transferred
the agreed-upon number of $100 bills and towed the car home. Once home, I found that
the car wouldn't run because the fuel pick up in the tank was clogged. After cleaning
out the gas tank and some minor tweaking, it ran fine.
Restoration was easy. I basically unbolted everything off the exterior of the car, had it painted, and bolted everything back on. With a few more mechanical repairs (like rebuilding the front end and cleaning out the radiator etc.) I had a fine classy driver. There was considerable debate about what color to paint the car. It was a drab shade of green with a similar color vinyl top. Ugh! I was going to change it to a brighter shade of green, but Marcia didn't like my color of green and my body man didn't want to change it to any color than the original. So I decided it would be good enough t contrast the original green with a black side stripe and a black vinyl top. The final result was a sporty good- looking '68 Barracuda!
I have put about 45,000 miles on it since I bought it in 1999. It has been a fun and dependable driver. We had a blast taking it on a 3,200 mile trip through Canada, Detroit, and a lot of other places. But, like the '73 Barracuda, it seems like too nice a car to subject it to the rigors and hazards of everyday driving. So, You can expect a sequel...
1972 Plymouth Satellite Sebring
When I first went to the Mopar Nats in 2001, I traveled with a group of Mopar enthusiasts who had left out of Atlanta heading for the Nats in Columbus, OH. One of my traveling companions drove a white '72 Roadrunner. I took a liking to the shape and the looks of that body style, and thought that someday I might like to have one. I had always thought of B bodies as big cars and wasn't really anxious to own a big car, but the 71-74 B bodies (Chargers, Roadrunners, Satellites) were unusually sleek and aerodynamic looking. Besides, I already had the '73 and '68 Barracudas and wasn't in a hurry to buy any more cars.
Fast forward to '05. Our son, Tom's Camaro was becoming economically unmaintainable and Tom kept inviting me to go and look at cars with him. He was drooling over a Corvette. To entice me to come and look at the 'Vette, he told me there was a '72 Satellite that I ought to see. So I went to look even though it seemed like a wild goose chase. I convinced Tom that he didn't want to maintain a vintage Corvette, but the Satellite didn't look too bad. It had previously been painted and had new interior installed, but it had set outside for a number of years. It had started to deteriorate, but it had no serious rust through. The asking price was at the upward end of what I would consider rational. So I called the owner and we took it for a drive. It was driveable, but I still wasn't certain that I wanted it. I made an offer way below his asking price and we negotiated a deal much closer to my price than his.
At this time, I have it running good, which didn't take a whole lot of work. It is going to be a great car to drive. It will take some work to get it ready to paint and finish off a respectable restoration.
1970 Dodge Dart
In December '05, Marcia was driving on Meridian Street in Huntsville on her way to a party at the Tut Fann home, when she spotted a nice Dart parked in a flea market lot where people often park vehicles for sale. She did what any NAR member would do. She turned around and drove up to the car. After a quick look-see, she called me at work and suggested that I come and take a look for myself. I left shortly after and checked it out. Marcia was right. It was a '70 Dart, four-door sedan in excellent shape.
The next day we met the owner and drove the car. I know what you're thinking, but it really was owned by a little old lady who drove it only to the store and to church. The rest of the time it was kept in an enclosed garage. Honest! The car looked almost new and it was original, unrestored. The asking price was reasonable, so I asked the seller what he really wanted to have for the car. His number was less than what I was thinking of offering, so we had a deal.
It was a frosty morning when we test drove it, so the little valve clatter I noticed didn't seem unusual, especially for a slant six with solid lifters. After I drove it home, the valve clatter was more noticeable, so I pulled off the rocker cover to adjust the valves. Hmmmm...there's no oil in the top end! After some extensive tinkering with the rockers, rocker shaft and oil passageways, I got a trace of oil flowing to each rocker. Still, the engine is noisy and has low oil pressure, even with a new oil pump. So, I'm pondering whether to overhaul the engine or replace it. I plan for the Dart to be an all weather driver when I get the engine and a few other problems fixed.