GERALD´S CADILLACS


WWW.ELDORADO-SEVILLE.COM

THE 1967 WATERPUMP PROJECT IS COMING TO AN END - DETAILING THE AC COMPRESSOR AND A LEAKING VALVE COVER

The engine in my 67 Deville is back together after the water pump replacement and engine bay detailing.
The project had a major delay as the reproduction radiator hoses were held by customs for 5 weeks. Its unbelievable…

I could now finally refill the cooling system and start the car again with the new water pump in place.
The car fired right up although I had also removed the distributor and forgot to mark how it was in. So I had to find TDC (top dead center) before I could install the distributor back into the car.
I also bought a cheap timing light and set the timing to 5 degrees.
You have to set idling to 480 rpm, disconnect the vacuum hose to the distributor and the parking brake and plug the hoses to set timing correctly

After the first few miles I am quite satisfied with my work. I hope that everything will stay like this and that no leaks will show up.
Only the right valve cover where I had replaced the gasket seemed to have a slight leak with oil dropping on the exhaust manifold... Looks like I will have to take the compressor out again to be able to take the valve cover off again and install another new gasket… But first I will have to find out why it is actually leaking. I hope that the cover itself is not warped as it was already leaking before on exactly the same spot. Often these covers get tightened down too much. All it needs is 28 INCH pounds of torque (3,1 NM) I will also make sure the screw holes have not become dished (usually due to over-tightening of the screws).  Use a small block of wood as an anvil and a small hammer to flatten the screw holes back out.

The engine somehow runs and idles better than before and has more power. It seems like the ignition was off before. I had the car tuned by a professional years ago - another thing they did not get right...

The new reproduction hoses I got from Fusik are also in place with the correct tower hose clamps. The hoses have the correct numbers stamped on, but compared to my original hoses the stamping looks different where the numbers are much smaller. The hoses fit very well, only the lower radiator hose had to be cut a little to fit.

I also detailed the replacement AC compressor I installed years ago. I bought a new reproduction decal which is a very good match to the original decal. In general I found out that all the reproduction decals available out there are not a 100% match. They look very similar but they all differ in size, spacing of the numbers, and most of the time the font used is very similar, but not exactly the same. I have no idea why the manufactures did not get it 100% right. Maybe I will have to produce my own decals in the future… Most of the AC compressor labels you can buy are incorrect for the year or model they are offered. If you want to get the correct one for the 67 Deville you will have to buy the one for the 67 Eldorado. Often these reproduction decals have the wrong colors, numbers and R12 capacity on them. So do your research to get the correct one.

Another challenge was to reproduce the O.K. inspection stamp. Years ago I found the stamp on ebay and experimented with different kinds of paint and never got any useable results.
Eventually I found a stamp kit set for Corvettes which included the correct yellow paint and a stamp felt and the Corvette stamp. I could not use the Corvette stamp of course, but the rest of the kit is perfect and finally I could apply the stamp to my AC compressor which now looks factory new again.

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The engine is back together
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The detailed AC compressor
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The O.K: final test stamp

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1974 HOOD ORNAMENT AND DASH TRIM REPLACEMENT

I did some more detailing work on the hood ornament, replaced a dash trim part and also detailed the rubber splash guards in the inner fenders.


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Some 1974 models like the "Cabriolet" Coupe DeVille version were equipped with see through hood ornaments. The one on my car was quite pitted so I got a new used one which looks much better.

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This is how Cadillac typically mounted its hood standup ornaments.
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The previous owner glued some emblem to the dash which came off and left some residue on the plastic wood. I got a good used part and replaced it. Here you can see the old part in the front and the "new" part already installed. As I had the dash cover still removed from my heater core replacement and radio/speaker repair it was only a matter of removing two screws.
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I removed all the rust from the splash guards in the inner fenders with rust remover gel and repainted them afterwards. Here you can see the applied gel.
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The original rubber splash guards got a very good cleaning and are still in very good condition. The rubber has white/grey fabric woven into the rubber - therefor it's not completely black and the white dots you see are not dirt.

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DETAILING THE 1974 CADILLAC DRIVESHAFT

While I am in the process of restoring the complete undercarriage of my 74 Coupe deVille for cosmetically reasons - I also had to decide what to do with the rusty driveshaft.
When the car was built, Cadillac and all other car companies did not bother to protect the bare metal driveshafts in any way, so they already had surface rust on them when they were delivered new…

My initial plan was to use a wire brush to knock of the rust and just paint it black like most people would do.
But I then decided that I wanted to go the extra mile, do it properly and put it back into the condition it was when it was built.

I wanted to remove the rust chemically in a rust dissolving fluid that is normally used for de-rusting fuel tanks, but I had no idea how I could soak such a long piece in this fluid.
I came up with the idea to just use a big tarp and put some wood to the sides, put the driveshaft in it and fill it with rust removing liquid. This worked out really well.

It took about 48 hours until all the rust was gone.
After a little of the rust was gone I discovered the remains of the 3 factory markings on the drive shaft. There were three rings painted onto the shaft - two in blue and one in black. I found some small traces of the paint during rust removal. I wanted to re-apply them once the shaft was finished.

When the shaft was fully de-rusted I found out that flash rust would come back literally after only a few minutes. Thats why I decided to paint the shaft to replicate the factory appearance.
I used Eastwood Detail Gray to mimic the original look of bare metal. Before applying the paint, I used self etching primer on the bare metal.
When all the paint was dry, I added the finishing touches with the three color rings.

I´m very happy how it turned out - it looks great. You can see more pictures of this project here.

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The driveshaft before…
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The location of the first two factory markings. I measured them to make sure that I could replicate them when I painted the driveshaft. The first two markings were (light) blue. edge
The location of the third factory marking. I measured it to make sure that I could replicate it once I painted the driveshaft. This marking seemed to be black once.

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I soaked the driveshaft for 48 hours in rust removing liquid and used these two brushes to agitate it into the rust.
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This is how it looked after soaking for 48 hours. All the rust was completely gone and only bare metal was left.edge
The finished drive shaft.
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The replicated factory markings on the drive shaft. The correct shade of blue color was only a good guess - I think it comes pretty close to the traces of paint I had found.
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Back in the car to be able to move it around.

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Detailing the paint of my 1978 Biarritz.

I continued to work on the 78 Biarritz during the last few weeks.
My goal is to make this mint car as good as it can get, while keeping everything as original as possible.
I´m really obsessed with cleanliness when it comes to cars... Everything has to be completely detailed and shining like new.
I completely cleaned the entire engine and gave it a good wash and afterwards applied some engine dressing.
I then removed some screws and small parts which were left unpainted by the factory, like some screws, the hood latch, some brackets and some other smaller parts. Of course these parts developed some slight surface rust during the last 36 years...
As I had no real rust dissolver at hand, I soaked the rusty parts in vinegar over night, which completely removed all the surface rust. I then gave these parts a coat of primer and painted them with Eastwood paint, which looks like bare metal.
With this method I can keep the rust away, while the parts still look original. Only if you look very closely you might see that these few parts are now painted...

I then started to bring the original single stage paint back to like new condition.
I used a couple of Meguiars compounds and polishes to make the paint as smooth as possible. I had to carefully wet sand some of the deeper scratches with 2000 grit paper. Be very careful when doing this as the single stage paint was applied in only VERY thin layers during the 70s.
The car now shows almost no more paint imperfections and the swirl marks are gone. The original paint looks like on a new car now and is extremely shiny. When the car is out in the sun its almost blinding.
I sealed the paint with Meguairs #16 wax.

I used a Meguiars DA polisher (G125) for the paint correction work - which is not really that good, but I would like to have a more powerful machine for the future like the Flex 3401 or the Rupes Bigfoot .

I used the procedure explained in the following video for my paint correction:


Download his description as PDF file here

This gentleman, Larry Kosilla, has a lot more awesome video tutorials for people who love detailing their cars. Check him out!

I also started detailing the interior of the car. I treated the leather with Gliptone Leather Conditioner - which is the best conditioner I have tried so far. It really makes the leather very soft.
I´ll have to steam clean the carpet once its really warm outside so that it can dry fast afterwards.

I also cleaned the undercarriage a little and removed some of the factory applied undercoating from components where it does not belong to, on which they sprayed it on very carelessly at the factory. Looks much better now.

The car really looks spectacular already - I´ll continue with the chrome and stainless steel trim now. It should be shining in fully glory for the 2014 season beginning in May and also be ready for various car shows, especially the Cadillac BIG Meet in August.

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My weapons of choice came from the Meguiars dealer...
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before and after cleaning
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rusty bolts before and after cleaning
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Soaking rusty parts in vinegar
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Cleaning more rusty parts
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with the rust removed
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The Hood latch cleaned and painted with Eastwood Silver Cad Paint
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The cleaned engine bay

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The car after polishing the paint

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the polished paint
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very shiny
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Besides the carpet - the interior is already perfectly clean. The original floor mat is under the aftermarket mats.
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Cleaning the Vogue tires.
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Clean paint and tires
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Clean tires and perfect hubcaps
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Before waxing
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I really like this Meguiars wax. Its one of their cheapest but best waxes. A gentleman from Meguiars once told me that it is one of their oldest waxes, but contains a lot of carnauba wax, which makes it so good! Its also offering the best protection of their product range.


Here are some links to Meguiars products I like to use (link to german Amazon Shop):




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Preparations for the Cadillac BIG Meet 2012

My friend Tayfun came to visit to prepare our Cadillacs for next weekends Cadillac BIG Meet in Kremsmünster. It´s the biggest and best Cadillac Meeting in Europe and I´m a proud member of the organization team. My friend and I will spend the rest of the week in the garage detailing our cars for the big show. I usually take a week of from work a week before the Cadillac BIG Meet to have a good time in the garage. Tayfun is here with his newly acquired 1990 Brougham D`Elegance which needs some detailing and I will take my 67 DeVille to this years show. Both our cars will get full attention to the last detail.

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In the garage with the Brougham and the 1967´s
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Detailing the grille of the Brougham
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Detailing work

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Front wheel bearings replacement on my 1967 Cadillac DeVille

When my 67 Deville had to pass its annual technical inspection last fall the inspector complained that one of the front wheel bearings made a little humming noise. The car passed nevertheless, but he asked me to replace the bearings before the next inspection.
As we had the first really warm and sunny days this weekend, I took the car out of storage and put it into my old garage to do the work. It's a pretty easy job on the 1967 Deville - you do not even need any special tools or presses.
I got a set of inner and outer wheel bearings for both front axles from Rockauto.com - I got a set made by “Moog“ as I have heard good things about their quality.
You just have to remove the tires, remove the pin at the axle, remove the big nut and pull off the brake drum. The outer bearings can just be pulled out - the inner bearings have to be tapped out with a long screwdriver, as they are held in place by a dust cap. A very slight tap is all it needs to get it out. I cleaned everything and put the greased new wheel bearings in and put everything back together. I also readjusted the front brakes and also found that one of the new brake hoses was a little loose and loosing a little brake fluid, so I tightened it.
As I had the front wheel tires off the car - I also cleaned the entire front suspension and detailed it. Everything is squeaky clean now again. No more noise is coming from the wheel bearings now…

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The old inner wheel bearing is out
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The new inner bearing
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There is a dust cap which you have to tap out
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the front axle
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Back together - before detailing the wheel housing and front suspension

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Preparing the Mark III for the Cadillac BIG Meet

This years Cadillac BIG Meet had the special theme „Cadillac meets Lincoln“ and so I wanted to take my newly acquired Continental Mark III along with my 58 Cadillac Eldorado Seville to the show. As the car return from the technical inspection on Wednesday night I only had 2 short days to detail the car for the show.
Luckily my buddy Tayfun volunteered to come to my garage for 2 full days to help me getting the car show worthy. Without his help I would not have been able to get the car ready in time. Thanks Tayfun!!!!
As I ran out of garage space my other great friend Richard helped me out and lets me store my 1967 Eldorado at his cool garage for a while - thanks Rick!!

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My 67 Eldorado is temporarily stored at my friend Richards garage until I find a solution for my storage problems - thanks Rick!


The Mark III needed the full treatment as it was very dirty from its long journey from the United States to Europe. It needed a complete interior treatment along with lots of paint detailing to look great again. So we worked until 1am in the morning each day. During these few days we had the highest August temperatures ever recorded, so a lot of sweat was produced...

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My friend Tayfun in the garage polishing the paint - around midnight...

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In the middle of the night - we set up some film light...

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Tayfun wet - cleaning the interior

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Tayfun cleaning the interior


wet-cleaning the interior


the hubcaps were cleaned in the dish washer - my wife was not very happy about this...

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Good morning Cadillacs!

Spring is around the corner and so it was time to go down to the garage and wake up the Cadillacs from winter hibernation. I put them into storage in October last year over the winter. In May I will get my license plates again and I can start driving them for this season.
Before the season actually starts I started to prepare the cars. I checked all fluids, checked the tire pressure, reconnected the freshly charges batteries, pushed the cars out of the garage, pumped the pedal a couple of times and then cranked the engine. One after the other came back to life. Great! I took them for a quick drive around the house and checked all systems.
I´m now starting to clean each one and give them a thick coat of fresh Meguiars wax. The leather seats will also get another treatment with Gliptone leather conditioner. I thoroughly cleaned the cars before I put them into storage and also changed the oil before I tucked them away, so there is not that much to do at the beginning of the new season. I have two more weeks now before I can officially drive the cars again - this should be enough time to make them look absolutely pristine.

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Good morning Cadillacs - welcome to the 2011 season.

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Detailing the paint of the 1967 Eldorado

My buddy Tayfun was in town for a visit and we spent quite some time in the garage detailing the paint of my 1967 Eldorado. We used a lot of Meguiars products for a mirror smooth surface. The original paint is much shinier and glossier now and looks pretty good. Thanks for your help Tayfun !!!!

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My friend Tayfun polishing the paint
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it took 7 steps for a smooth surface...

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Cleaning the 1967 Eldorado´s Engine Bay

I spent quite some time during the last weeks in the engine bay of the 67 Eldorado. I tried to clean everything in there as good as possible. After cleaning and degreasing everything I also gave all the metal parts a fresh coat of wax. I also cleaned all the rubber parts and cables and applied some vinyl and rubber conditioner. Everything is sparkling clean now. I´m now thinking about painting some of the parts where the paint has some imperfections or is worn off. I will have to find the right correct paint first. The engine looks quite presentable now. What will get a new paintjob first will be the airfilter housing, which looks pretty worn. It will be stripped to bare metal before painting of course.
Below you can find some pictures of the now clean engine bay.

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As seen from the passenger side

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From the front
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From the left

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1967 Eldorado detailing

My buddy Tayfun came to visit me for three days to help me with detailing my 1967 Eldorado and to exchange the brake booster and master cylinder of my 67 DeVille.
The Eldorado got a wet cleaning treatment of the carpet and trunk and a full detailing of the interior - which looks like from a new car now. We also started to clean and polish the original paint but ran out of time. We only finished the hood - but the before and after difference is amazing. More work will be done soon.




The Eldorado is lurking out of the garage

washing and brushing the original rubber floormats...

...they turned out as if they just left the factory - awesome - this Meguiars rubber treatment is more than fantastic!

Tayfun - wet cleaning the carpet and trunk - looks like new now as well - the low miles are showing on the interior pretty well

My buddy Tayfun polishing the hood

Tayfun at work

The hood´s paint came out really fine and smooth - unfortunately we ran out of time and could not finish the rest of the paint

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Detailed seats are finally back in the 67

Last weekend I finally found the time to reinstall the detailed leather seats into the 67 DeVille. They look like new now and the interior is one step closer to perfection.
If you compare the new pictures to the “before” pictures below - you can clearly see the difference.



Thats the area which showed the most wear - looking perfect now!


the same area before detailing


the interior is back together and now waiting for the cruising season

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Leather seats are back from detailing!

The leather seats of the 1967 Cadillac are back from detailing. I will reinstall them into the car soon. Everything looks like new-- I hope it will stay like this for a very long time. The detailer had some problems with the vinyl area at first, as the dye started to peel off right after the first detailing attempt, so I had to bring the seats back to his shop once again two weeks ago. He redid the whole vinyl area and I hope it will last this time.
They look like brand new leather seats now!



the front seat before

the front seat now - before installation


the rear bench before the repair

after the repair - all the tears and cracks are gone!

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The 67s interior is going to the detailer.

Today my wife and I removed the front bench and the back seat from the 67. The leather still is in excellent original condition with no real cracks or tears but it is showing its age on some areas. I found a shop which is specialized in leather repairs and detailing which will do some work to bring the interior back to like new condition. I have seen some of their work and the results were absolutely spectacular. I will deliver the seats to them sometimes next week. It will take them about 2 weeks to do the detailing. Looking forward to it!



this is one of the areas which will be restored - its showing some surface age cracks.

my wife Afra helped me removing the seats

the removed seats

I had to drive the car back into the garage sitting on the floor...

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Happy New Year! - Roadmaster detailing

As my buddy Tayfun was in town for a new years party, we decided to start detailing our new Buick Roadmaster. The temperatures were way below freezing outside and only slightly warmer inside my old garage, so we really had to work hard to feel comfortably.
The paint on this 1996 Buick Roadmaster was pretty much neglected and a lot of cleaning, buffing, polishing and waxing was necessary to bring it up to like new condition.
It took us 2 days to just do the paint properly. We worked more than 20 hours in reviving the paint job and the exterior chrome.
We´ll do some more detailing work on the car later - it is now in winter storage anyway.
The car looks really good now - the white paint job is very bright. I have the impression that the shade actually changed...
Next up: Interior, engine and engine bay, rims and everything else...

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My buddy Tayfun with the buffing machine...
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more polishing....
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and more...

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Cleaning the 67´s front suspension

Today I disassembled the rest of the front suspension and cleaned all the parts before they will be sandblasted. Tomorrow I will finish them and give them to my buddy Richard for sandblasting.


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The brakes before I disassembled them - I hope I can clean the small metal parts with an ultrasonic cleaner

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All these parts will be sandblasted and painted afterwards

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Preparations for the Cadillac BIG Meet

I´m on vacation this week and I´m using my time to prepare my Cadillac for the Cadillac BIG Meet which is coming up this weekend. I´ve repaired the AC on my 67 and cleaned and detailed both cars for the show. My friend Tayfun is also in town and we´ll do the same with his 81 Pimperado as well. We´ve spent around 14 hours in the garage each day so far.

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working on the AC
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installing the new backup lenses - which had to be custom fitted...

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Interior cleaning and Cruisenight

Today it was time to do some interior cleaning on both of my cars. My friend Tayfun was in town once again and brought one of these wet cleaners with him to do all of our cars. It really worked wonders and the cars turned out great. I could not believe how much dirt I could extract from the carpets and floor mats.

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cleaning the trunk of the 58

Cruising night!

After cleaning we had a nice cruising trip around the lake with friends and our ladies.

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Tayfun
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on a hill
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the ladies
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Alex
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Tayfun
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Richard
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I took the 67

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Preparing the 67 for the 2007 season

Today I started to clean up the 67 for the new summer season. The car is in storage since the end of August 2006 and is eagerly waiting to see some daylight soon.
I started to clean the car and gave it a new coat of wax. In about 2 weeks I will bring it back to live and hopefully drive it a little bit more than last year when I only did about 300 miles.
















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