The Goldcar Story, cont.

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Well-known member
Oct 2, 2021
Eureka Springs, AR
The first pic was what our original vision looked like…subject to “change”!

I was visiting my dad and he needed space in his shop so he moved the Goldcar outside. Fortunately, my sister had bought a place nearby that had room to store it while I was trying to raise a family and make a living. And there it would sit for about 10 years. I sanded all of the rust spots and sprayed it with primer to help preserve the metal.

Spring/Summer 2000

In 2000 I did a refresh of the Goldcar. With a little bigger budget I was able to make several changes and improvements to our original project. First I decided to replace the drive train. I had traded for a sure grip 742 rear end out of a 1968 Plymouth Roadrunner Chris Hefner had wrecked and replaced the original stock rear ended. Next I purchased a 1979 Dodge that had a relatively new rebuilt 904 automatic transmission (which I later sold the remaining car for what I paid for it) and purchased a 318 cu. inch engine at a salvage yard in Tulsa from a wrecked 1989 Gran Fury Tulsa police car. With the increased budget, the bumpers, grill, windshield frame, headlights, hood and radiator supports all went to the chrome shop in Tulsa. My sister was working for a used car lot at the time and recommended a body shop her employer was using. I had seen some of his work and spoke with him about my project and we made a deal to have him make it “look pretty” for $2500. He in turn had a friend who did upholstery and interiors so I had him re-do the seats, carpet, add some trim and install running boards for an additional $500. Our original plan was to paint it back 1966 GTO Tiger Gold but couldn’t find the paint color. (at least that’s what they said) Why I have no idea, this was a special color for the 1966/67 GTO’s. They had a different shade of gold mixed and he called me to come look before painting. (Thank God! It looked terrible) My Dad and I went down to take a look. While standing at the back of the car, Dad said, “never in a million years did I think they could make the body look this slick. I’ll be damned if I wouldn’t paint it red.” At which the body shop boys said they already had a perfect red picked out. So we did! I believe they said it was a 1999 “Hot Red” Mustang color.

July 2008

In 2008 we moved to Eureka Springs. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a garage at the time and even though it was covered the weather would take its toll on the finish. Shortly there after the right front wheel locked up when I would apply the brakes. Never did figure out why but it was a problem I delt with on several occasions over the years. So I decided to try and convert to disc brakes. Well needless to say we were just a few years shy of finding a conversion out of the box that would fit. Finally saved enough money to build a garage. So back to working on how to fix the front brakes. If I was going to convert to disc brakes I was going to have to fabricating the adapter plates. In 2010 I was working on my boat with Dale King, who ran a marine service business. I shared what I was needing and he took me over to a friend of his who had the steel plate to make our adapter plates to mount the calipers and had his machinist fabricate the new mounting plates. Jackpot! As usual with nothing off the shelf available, my template for the spindle bolts were off about a half a hole. Fortunately, we were able to re-drill the holes so it would fit perfectly. Finally, everything was completed and I was able to mount the new disc brake rotor and caliper. Between work and other obligations...finally after about 9 years and several failed attempts at getting it to fit properly

January of 2019

The last time I refreshed the car I had to have it appraised for insurance purposes. The person who did the appraisal told me there is a new process of plating that could hide all of the weld marks around the windshield frame and grill. He seemed to think if I would invest in some plating work the value of the car could increase dramatically. So this time around I splurged and did it. I took the two pieces to Custom Polish Chrome in Houston. Their reviews were all 5*. Their estimates based on my pictures I sent were, let’s say were way off from the reality. Wow, those boys can lighten your pocket book. However, I will say they did a good job. Whether or not their work was worth the price is debatable. I never thought I would have more money tied up in chrome plating those two pieces than I do in the engine by more than double. I’ll leave it at that.


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Additional pics

Here are some additional pics. Still trying to get use to using this site. Seems to be a short between the operator and the keyboard.


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In a later post I’ll provide more information/pics on the 2000 rebuild. I don’t have my pics digitized currently.

March 2019

The next chapter of the Goldcar takes me to a mechanic in Eureka Springs, Jim Blair Auto Service, to take it a part and rebuild the front suspension, finish adding the disc brake conversion, new brake lines, master cylinder, rear wheel cylinders. This turned out to be a blessing and a curse. After disassembling the car while waiting on the rebuilds, the owner asked if I could load my car back on my trailer and keep it at my place so he could use the service bay. No problem which I readily complied. Picked up some of the parts to have powder coated and the engine taken to have it rebuilt by the local race car engine builder...Warren Camp. Spoke with Warren and decided to go back with the original set up with no new modifications since it did have some high performance mods already when it came out of a police car. From Warren’s investigation we discovered this particular engine was only made in 1987 and 1988 but was used in the 1989 Gran Fury police cars. It has 360 Chrysler heads with a roller chain and a bigger cam. To compensate for the larger combustion chambers from the 360 heads we learned that the pistons are slightly taller than a normal 318 piston to compensate for the change in compression ratio. So this particular engine is specially built by Chrysler in 87 and 88 specifically for law enforcement vehicles. Discovered that I’m going to have to rebuild the transmission. Robert at Mainshaft Transmission in Eureka Springs gets the job. Wasn’t planning on that but no way out. I guess it’s a good thing since it has been almost 20 years since it was rebuilt. A friend of Warren’s rebuilt the rear end which it really needed.

May 21....Blessing and the curse:
Still Waiting on space to get it back in the shop for reassembly. And waiting and waiting and waiting. Finally, told Jim I need it completed in a week. If not, I’ll come get my parts and I did. Here we are end of May. What a waste of precious time. If I would have known then what I know now I would have started on it sooner and have a better idea of where everything goes when putting the pieces back together plus I could have been done by now and in the body shop. End of the week and I have the front end back under it, with new steering linkage installed. Now for the blessing....Checked rear brakes not good. The left side seal has been leaking and ruined the brake shoes. Looks like new axel bearings, seals in the rear end, brake shoes and discovered the differential needed rebuilt. This led to the discovery that the thrust buttons which allow for axel adjustment were lost which was causing the seal to leak. In removing the rear end I discovered the spring shackle bushings needed replaced along with the parking brake cables as well. Found everything and was able to clean and paint everything. Probably wouldn’t have caught this if I had left it with someone else to do the work. Next discovery was the fuel tank. Warren suggested to make sure my fuel tank was free of sediment from ethanol fuel evaporating. Upon inspection my fuel tank was corroded and rusting inside and the fuel sending unit had lost the float and corroded with rust. The Ford fuel tank had rusted out so I had a custom one built. Investigation of my custom welded tank could be repaired but cost was about equal to a new after market replacement of a new 1956 Ford fuel tank complete with all new accessories and sending unit I found thanks to the Internet. Glad I was able to remember what part we used for the fuel tank!

Since getting the car back, I have realized, there is no way the repair shop could have discovered and corrected these issues. So what a blessing to be back in direct control of the restoration project! When completed all of the systems will have been rebuilt, repaired and/or replaced.


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Goldcar continued

July 6th
After 4 days off and on trying to get the brakes bled, finally chased down the problem. The bleeder screws in both new rear wheel cylinders were leaking severely due to sloppy threads on the cylinders and bleeder screws. Wrapped in Teflon tape and within 5 minutes all done. Wow another waste of time. Finally ready to go to the body shop. In the process of starting to load on the trailer the distributor advance broke had another delay but now I have a new distributor as well. Called body shop to let them know I was going to be delayed another day and they informed me their helper had an accident and to hold off bringing it over until they call in 2-3 weeks. Damn! Adjusted transmission linkage and made a few other adjustments including having a do over on my front transmission cooling line due to getting I cross threaded. Fixed it properly and on to finding out what is going on with the speedometer. Not getting anything from transmission with cable connected to the tranny.

August 2019

Installed the hood and made a slight adjustment to the radiator support to align the radiator with the tilt of the engine. My new valve covers created a distractive mess! I kept getting oil down the right side every time I drove it. Took it over to Warren Camp to get his input on the issue. After some leak finding tricks we determined the new valve covers weren’t sealing properly and had to be milled just slightly due to a casting ridge on the intake that was not allowing them to seat properly. Warren was able to take his milling machine and correct this issue. I had to cut holes for adding a PCV valve and some vented oil filler caps to help alleviate the pressure and stop blowing oil out the dip tube. Once completed my oil leak problems went away.

We had an exciting day...

Went to the auto parts store to pick up some parts and was going to take one of the boys for a ride. Just as we pulled out of the parking lot onto the main road my rag joint for my steering broke! Things got exciting quickly. Don’t ask me how, Thank you! Grandpa must have been looking out for me. I was able to get control and onto the side of the road out of harms way without incident! Just so happened that the part store had a replacement, I couldn’t believe it! Borrowed some wrenches and was able to repair the broken rag joint with the new one, a perfect fit.

Two steps forward and three steps back. Body shop called to let me know his assistant had hurt himself and he would be out for several weeks. This accident has created a further delay in getting access to the body shop for repairs and paint.

October 2019

Finally my headlight buckets were finished. What started out at a cost of $400 turned into $800. Not very pleased with their work. I had to add some wiring and resistors for the new LED lighting. In the process of getting all of the new lighting completed discovered my parking light switch was defective. Installed the replacement with a fused link and the resistors for the LED lights. Everything went according to plan. All of the new lights are installed and working. Couldn’t be more pleased with my new lighting choices at this point. Still no word from the body shop. Starting to look for possible body shop alternatives.
Foiled again

Thought I had the pics downloaded…evidently not!


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Goldcar Story cont.

December 2019

Well the story continues with more delays. Still no word from the body shop. Looking like Spring of 2020 before we go to the body shop. Working on designing a new mounting set up for the stereo and speakers. Oh well in the meantime it is all back together except for the stereo and running good. Stopped by my body man’s shop last week and made an appointment for 2nd week of April 2020. Can’t wait!

February 2020

Purchased an extra speedometer head and sent to Bob’s Speedometer in Michigan to rebuild. Received It back completely rebuilt in early April 2020. Waiting to install until after body work and paint...maybe...?

June 4, 2020

Best day in awhile on the restoration! My body shop person continues to not be unavailable for anything. So I finally gave up and have been looking around to see what I could find. Jackpot, I was introduced to Ron Ruggles today. From all feedback I get body work, fabricator and painter extraordinaire. She goes to the body shop Monday June 15th. Back to back home runs. Stopped in at Channelview Woodworking today, June 12. Come to find out the owner use to restore antique and custom cars. Yes, he can make the wood molding for the trim around the hood and dash seam and this opens up the possibility of doing the dash with wood grain laminate which they expressed confidence they could do. If this works a new wood steering wheel is in her future. Will know soon but looking very real. Maybe I should buy a lotto ticket the way my luck has been lately. After lots of going back and forth and all around, I decided the new color will be Soul Red Crystal Metallic. A paint color from Mazda. Started the tear down today (12th) removing the bumper and setting up a temporary tail light and tag set up. Removing body material starts Monday for about a 2-3 month makeover. (Update: wishful thinking...2-3 month make over turns into complete rebuild of the car! I’m just praying we’re going to be finished in 2021.) Paint choice changed to Brandy Wine Kandy with gold metal flake base coat.


Goldcar went back into the body shop today. Little did Ron and I know the journey we were about to begin. What started out to be a 90 day refresh the paint turned into a complete rebuild of the Goldcar and what a journey it has turned into! The final product far exceeded anything my imagination could fathom.

Removed the old body material material from the right rear fender today to get an idea of what he’s dealing with. What needs to be done and how. New ideas came out today to be implemented in the make over. Hidden hinges for the trunk lid. I said yes! Plan is for me to pick it up Thursday or Friday to bring back home and do some grunt work here at the house. This could go on for a couple weeks before we have to disable it until finished. Completed removing all of the previous paint and body filler from the back half of the car.


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Goldcar story cont.

Drove it back to the body shop where Ron began the metal work. Started cutting out the old welds and replacing with new sheet metal to reduce the amount of body plastic filler.

Scheduled appointment to take to the sandblasted to sand blast the rear of car. Finished up and headed back to the shop before the rain comes.


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I'm curious about the windshield.
Did you buy it, did you make it if so, what was it from or did you make it from scratch?????
Last edited:
Goldcar story cont.

Sprayed in etch primer to prevent rust and starting to re work the fenders by repositioning and widening the rear fenders to cover the entire rear tires.

Ethan, my grandsons came with me to check on our progress! One day he’ll be looking for the keys!

I can remember drilling and installing each screw to hold the fenders in place. Grampa believed if 10:would hold it 30:would be better. The part you don’t see is the 1 1/4x1/4” strap iron braces underneath welded to the fender and bolted to the frame. Hahaha!


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New work looks much better.[cl :D [;) :cool:
Looks like you found the right body person.:cool: :cool: :cool:
[P [P [P

Yes, I definitely did find the right guy! This becomes even more evident as we get further into the rebuild. New tools, techniques and Ron’s experience are allowing us to make serious refinements to the car. As I mentioned in the beginning Ron and I had no idea the road we were about to embark down.
Goldcar story cont.

Sprayed in etch primer to prevent rust and starting to re work the fenders by repositioning and widening the rear fenders to cover the entire rear tires.

Rule number seven...Ron reserves the right to change something!

I’m pleased he does share his detailed tips to improve the look and functionality of the car’s appearance and durability. This week we discussed correcting the alignment of the hood locks. The problem is the alignment of the grill bars where it needs to be bolted. So I challenged Ron to find an alternative method for locking the hood. One move them to the side since we will be adding the loovered panels on each side of the hood. The other add a leather strap similar to the European look. I chose side mounting. We’re plugging the grill holes with stainless plugs should be almost unnoticeable. We’re reshaping/fitting the hood to make a cleaner look and better fit. Ron is a metal artist. He uses as little filler as possible.
We set the 4” blocks raising the rear axel housing. We think it’s a little too much and not enough clearance. I’ll update the final decision later along with remounting and widening the rear fenders. The curved angle piece in the pic we made using the shrinker and stretcher. We plan to attach to the inner fender as part of the mounting system for the rebuilt fenders. l’ll have more details and pics as we get deeper into the build.


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Goldcar story cont.

August 20, 2020

We removed the hood and brought it home to strip then back to the sand blaster and primer. Back at the shop we sprayed an etch primer to treat for rust prevention and better adhesion later. Trimmed the inside hood edge to clean up the edges and my first project at mig welding. Good thing it will be hidden. Acceptable for my first project and most importantly, stop any vibration.

August 28, 2020

Getting ready to remove the old material on the left front fender. Decided to remove the right front as well, which will require some fabrication since it is hard welded to the frame. No problem for Ron, he wanted a better design and to take out some of the bulky look.


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Goldcar story cont.

Completed the removal of old paint and material from both front fenders. Decided to re make the extensions for all fenders in addition to widening the rear fender width for coverage of the rear tires. Remaking the new front fender extensions will allow better mounting and a place to attach side panels to cover the engine and relocate fasteners for the hood as we move forward. (Pics to come as we get there.)

Working on hood to prepare for primer. The master at work on the hood doing some metal work and showing me what and how he wants the body filler applied and sanded.

Things are moving slower than planned as we continue with rule number 7 Ron reserves the right to change his mind! Originally planned to be getting close to finished. However, we are still a long way away from a final product with new ideas and additions being made as we go. We did do a mock fitting of the windshield and I believe we can move forward as is with just a slight adjustment to the passenger side. I just happen to see this 1946 Buick. The hood on this car is what we made our hood from. I thought it would be a good comparison from its original design.


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