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THE PARTS CAR BLUES

hree years ago, I bought this '66 Plymouth Belvedere II for $1200. It was dented up, partially disassembled and the light blue metallic paint was almost gone. We could have made it run in an afternoon -- it came with a freshly installed 360 and everything else was there but for some reason I got the crazy idea to paint it black and make it a Stock eliminator drag car. Since I had very limited funds for the project I had to trade and use a lot of junk to bring it the stage you see here. I pulled a straight fender, lower valance, grill, and dashboard from a '66 parts wagon and we were ready to begin the body work.

We peaked inside the dusty 360 and decided it looked good enough to sell to a friend for $400. The trim was miraculously perfect and sold for over $400 on ebay! That gave us enough money to buy floors, a roll bar, and enough sandpaper and beer for a couple of months of manual labor. Now it's so straight and shiny that I could shave with it. I still can't lift my arms above my head but it didn't cost me anything, thanks to hard work and a couple of parts cars in my yard.

They don't make old Mopars anymore so, of course, you just can't get certain parts at the auto parts store for any price. Old school boneyards are disappearing as we knew and loved them, like drive-in movie theaters. Sigh. The good old stuff has to be purchased from someone who has old Mopar parts and cars in the yard. That could very well be me. I collect, buy, and sell running and non-running Mopars from the sixties and seventies. Do you need a back window for a '65 Dodge wagon? Let's talk. Looking for a slant six exhaust manifold? I'll go rifle through that van over there. I won't gouge you. Bring a six-pack and I might not even charge you at all. Once in a while we'll "turn" something and make some decent money but most of the time it's a non-profit service that I like to provide for my Mopar brothers and sisters. I know a few other people who do the same thing. It's a way for us people who aren't stinking rich to appreciate cool old cars and sometimes get lucky.

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