November 16, 2018

Mom's Thunderbird is Going Rogue! 1959 Thunderbird Sleeper Build


Flash back to 1961: "Pop's" is nervously deciding whether to purchase the highest priced car he's ever looked at, a 1959 Thunderbird, for his wife. It's not a new car, with a list price of about $3600 that is out of the question! But a 3 year old car is still a big investment.

It had low miles, was in good running condition and would be reliable for her and the kids to get around town, but still! That sticker price! 

It never would have occurred to him that some day the car will be worth MORE than what he paid. And why would he think that? After all, it's just a car! It get's you from point A to point B and the more you use them the more they cost you until they are worth less than the parts to fix them! Right? 

Luckily, Pop's found the gumption to make the purchase in 1961 becoming the 2nd owner of the Colonial White Ford powered by a 352 FE engine and C-6 transmission. He drove it home to give to his wife and thus, the '59 Thunderbird became "mom's car.

The family pictured in front of the '59 Thunderbird 
The kids are ready for Easter! circa 1965

Last tagged in Missouri in 1992, the car has been mostly summer driven and stored for the majority of it's life, which has saved most of the body of the car and made it into something of a time capsule. When removing the seats and carpet, some treasures from the past were found like Battleship  board game pieces in the back seat, a bouncy ball and a wrapper from M&M Lime Chewies (Curious? Here's more info at "in the 70's" these later became Starburst!). 


How did the car end up here at Driven?...

November 7, 2018

From Modest Driver to Mopar Dream Car: Building the 1970 Charger R/T 440

This 1970 Dodge Charger 500 parts car with a barely running 318 under the hood and a van seat for an interior, arrived at Driven Restorations to be re-born as a "Plum Crazy Purple" R/T 440-6

 October, 2014

1970 Mopar Charger
1970 Charger arrived at Driven Restorations LLC
✯The Dream✯
This project started as a harmless conversation after we met the owner at an unrelated networking event. We said "classic cars", they said "Plum Crazy 70 Charger" and before you could say "R/T" the wheels were spinning and a build plan was in the works.

It took months to locate a '70 Charger within a day's drive of WI, needless to say there weren't very many Plum Crazy 440-6 Mopar's on the market. So when the owner's found a Charger in Arkansas, they moved quickly to get their shot at starting a MAJOR Mopar transformation. 

How major? 

The highlights include 318c.i. to 440 6-pack. Column shift to floor shift. Bare interior (with a van cargo seat) to an original interior with Leather bucket seats, console, A/C, and tic tock tach. Flat black 500 SE to Plum Crazy R/T package complete with a Dana 60 rear axle and black vinyl top
1970 Charger grill
1970 Charger 500 with a 318

February 19, 2018

Rebuilding the 1949 Buick 248 Straight 8 Engine


1949 Buick 248 Straight 8 Rebuild

Most people have never seen inside a straight 8 engine. Although this isn't the first one we've re-built at Driven Restorations, we are the FIRST to dig into THIS particular ALL ORIGINAL Buick engine and the photos in this blog post let you see it first hand. 

It feels like opening a time capsule as we excavate to the depths of the engine, revealing parts that haven't seen open air since being pieced together on the assembly floor in 1948.  

The '49 Buick emerges from storage

Those very parts transported the Buick's family all over Oklahoma, coating her undercarriage in layers of clay and speckling her body with dings along the way. We've been told a few stories hinting that there may have been some shenanigans resulting in a couple of LARGER dings and one particular joy ride ended in her engine to running low on oil (was it low or empty?). The Buick's original 248 never ran the same again. It seemed her fate was to remain shoved, nose first, in the storage garage. 

Lucky for us, she was rescued.

 It's hard to believe, but members of the very same family who enjoyed this Buick for decades not only kept the car, but they've decided to honor her with a frame off restoration at our shop!

She will be GLORIOUS 

In the photos that follow, we take you from tear down through a fresh coat of paint as we meticulously re-constructed the heart of the '49 Buick, it's original 248 Straight 8.