Our Project 1966 Oldsmobile Torodado Fixer Upper arrived recently but it would not start. It had to be pushed off of the multi-car hauler. However, as soon as we got it in the driveway, shot a spray of raw gas into the carb and hooked up a jumper battery it fired right up. It ran poorly but did start and did drive up the road and into our garage.
It was very dirty from sitting outside for what appeared to be a rather long time. It also appears that the previous owner had done some work on the car to get it to run. The fluids all looked fresh and the carb looked as if it had been cleaned and gone through. The plug wires and distributor cap also looked clean and fresh. We did not pull and spark plugs or remove the distributor cap. However, the radiator was dry, not a good sign. It is also an expensive sign.
This was a concern so I filled it with water only even with the cold temperatures; no sense wasting good antifreeze. I wanted to see if there was a leak and sure enough, immediately there was a puddle under the radiator. A few choice words from me and I shut the hood and moved on.
When I cooled down, I came back with a screw driver and tightened the lower radiator hose clamp a quarter turn and the leak stopped. It never returned! Now, if the rest of the repairs will be that easy this will be fun.
Here is a list of what else I found:
- The hood latch handle under the front bumper is a vice grip!
- Of the four wheels only one has a hub cap and trim ring and they are in an unusable condition.
- The windshield wipers are unacceptable with no rubber on them.
- The door and trunk seals are terrible.
- Chrome on the rear bumper is very poor and the front bumper is marginal.
- The exhaust has some minor leaks.
- The rear seat back will need repairs.
- The headliner will need to be replaced.
- The carpet will need to be replaced.
- Steering Wheel has a crack but the horn works!
- The body though sound does have some minor rust in:
- driver door lower corner
- LR quarter around wheel well lip
- RR quarter around wheel well lip
- rear lip of trunk
- small area under the back seat in the floor
- The opening headlights don’t open or close.
- RR power quarter window does not work.
- Dash pad is cracked.
- Gas gauge is broken, no needle.
- None of the rear lights work and other electrical issues appear to be a problem.
- The exterior paint is fair but will need lots of touch up.
- The tires are acceptable.
- The brakes are terrible making the car unsafe to drive.
- The air conditioning system will need attention.
In Part 3 we will take on some of the repairs. First things first, we have to be able to drive the car and be safe. Once it is safe and fun to drive we will move on to cosmetics and dressing her up.