A Car Barn without a Car? Part One

While searching through Craig list the other day for a new daily driver, I discovered a Dodge Dart project car sitting up in Rockford. This really peaked my interest, as I had a blue 68 Dart post car just a few years back. So I emailed the guy who was putting the listing up and arranged a meet up the following weekend.

The timing was perfect, the weather cleared up and the temperature went up just in time for Saturday. I prepared the RamCharger for the long journey; it had not been on a drive that long in a while. So I did the usual routine before a long adventure, check the fluids and top off what needed it, check the air in the tires, make sure that they are all where they are suppose to be.

All lights were green for an adventure, and so I set out to Rockford. It was a beautiful day for a drive and I loved every moment. I take such pleasure in a nice drive, even if most of it was highway driving. I was going somewhere I had not been before (or so I thought) and it just filled me with excitement.

I was nearing the exit to get off the highway and I thought some things had looked familiar. Therefore, I make my way off the highway, and it dawned on me, I HAD been there before, a year before. I was in the same area last year just doing some random exploration in this blog.
A Nice Long Day.

Driving through the run down part of Rockford again was depressing, seeing all the dilapidated buildings, closed factories and junk lying around. Nevertheless, I made my way to the owner’s home.

Once there I called him up to tell him I arrived and asked if I was a the correct place, he said I was, but that he was a few blocks away and that he's on his way over, and so I waited.

This old beat up Chevrolet Celebrity pulls up, and these two guys tell me to follow them, that the Dart is somewhere else, and so I follow them. Through the streets of Rockford, I follow, finally ending up at a friend’s house, where the Dart is.

We pull up to the house and I can see the Dart. It is in the driveway, just in front of the old garage. The guys said that they pushed the Dart out because they had motorcycles now and needed to store them inside.

I start looking over the Dart, and oh boy is it bad. It was a true 1967 Dodge Dart GT. 273 automatic on the floor. Bucket seats, vinyl top... at one time. Now this thing was a wreck. There wasn't a panel on the car that was straight. It was seriously rusted. The Dart needed quarters, fenders, inner fenders, rockers, floor, and roof work. It had a 318 in there that hadn't run ever in the car they said. But it was a real Dart GT. I got down on the ground, basic 7 1/4 rear from the looks of it.

I get to the other side and I hear a "Quack", apparently, they have and attack duck! This duck is the guard of the house, and doesn't like people sniffing around the guys said. I of course wanted to see the duck, and it then tried to bite me. So I left the duck alone after that.

I chatted with the guys about the Dart, trying to learn the history. Apparently, the father got it in trade for some money a person owed him. He began working on the car 15 years ago, then quit and it sat in the garage ever since.

They told me to make them an offer, and I told them that this is a serious project, and I would need some time to think it over properly. I will get back to them that evening.

I left there thinking about the viability of that project and if I could actually handle it. I knew I couldn't, so I called a friend of mine who is into A-body Mopars and let him have first crack at it.

While this might seem to be the end of the adventure, this is only the FIRST HALF... next week, Part Two.


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