Back to the Roads once traveled: Day One

Having a three day weekend is always a plus, but in the middle of winter there is rarely anything to do except veg out and perhaps catch up on some reading. But for a automotive archaeologist, it is the near perfect time to go hunting. There is little to no plants in the way, the snow is compacting everything else. I knew of a bunch of cars sitting out near DeKalb I never followed up on or hadn't seen in years, so I thought, what the heck, packed up my gear and headed west.

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The first stop on my trip through memory lane was a 69 Charger 383 car I had visited years before. It was not far from DeKalb, and was on my route in. So I made my way over there to see if the car was still there, luckily it was. And it had some company.

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I knocked on the door of the home and talked to the owners I had years earlier. They remembered me and said I could go see the Charger again, and the rest of the cars. This was a good way to start off the weekend! The first car was a 69 Road Runner that is just outside for storage, the car does run and drive, as does the 68 Superbee in front of it. The Cutlass is a future project that they plan on working on this year.

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Outside of DeKalb, I got a call from my friends Mark and Kelly. They were just past DeKalb looking at a 69 AMX project. The timing was perfect, I had just left the 69 Charger and made it there in short order. Ironically, I had known the man who owns the AMX in the past when I worked in DeKalb at the NAPA Auto Parts.

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The man actually had more then the AMX, he had a Cutlass 442 that hadn't been running under its own power since 1969. Was heavy into drag racing, blown up and put away. It has been moved from barn to barn for years.

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There was also a Studebaker, another regular Cutlass Vert, Corvette and a Chevy S10 with 300 miles on it and a cool old Hot Rod that hadn't been together since the 60's he said.

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We were going to leave, and were just chatting cars with the owner and he told us about his neighbor having a 1969 Road Runner (turned out to be a Satellite) that he was turning into a GTX clone. I asked to see it, and after taking the owner for a little drive in the Challenger, his neighbor showed us the Road Runner.

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We parted company with our new friends and made out way out of town. Mark and Kelly told me of a 70 Dodge Superbee that was just down the road, it was the same one that I knew of sitting out next to a barn years ago! The car either got bought, or finally moved away from the barn, so that is a step in the right direction. On the same road is a old Chevrolet Impala Convertible that had been sitting atleast 8 years.

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Our day was not done yet though, there was still a Sun in the sky, and I knew of a few more finds out that way. So we headed North to see if an old friend of mine was still around.

We made our way down his ice and snow covered driveway, arriving at his house a bit before sunset. The big barn was gone, so I didn't know if I was at the right place. But my friend came out and he remembered me. I introduced him to Mark and Kelly, and he offered to show us his collection. Starting with the storage barn.

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Out front of the new barn was this awesome little track vehicle. He had gotten it from the East Coast, had it shipped to his home, used it about a month. Then an exhaust hose busted and he can't get a replacement. So it sits! Run by a little Chrysler Industrial engine.

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In the new barn he moved some of the bigger projects, the 68 Satellite, 70 Barracuda Convertible, 70 Charger R/T SE and new fun car, 68 Dart 4-door with 273. These cars are in excellent shape, and only need to be either put together or minor work to get going.

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We hung out for a bit, talked about Mopars for a while. But the sun had set and my cohorts had to get back to Rockford. So we grabbed a drink in Genoa and they headed back. I made my way to DeKalb to find a hotel and crash for the night, for tomorrow would be a day of more hunting.

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