OK, so you've probably been wondering what "Donor #2" and "Donor #4" and so on is all about. These are cars that I purchased most of with the idea of restoring & driving only to find out that they were just too far gone to do anything with. Some were actually purchased, however, with the idea of donating parts in mind. So let's take a tour of these fine examples of GM rolling iron that gave their lives for others to live on......
This is Donor #1, a 1979 Caprice Classic Landau Aerocoupe. I saw this car a LONG time ago, before I found Vinny, and as you can see it looked strikingly similar to Abigail. This of course drove me to buy it right away, and I only paid $150 for it. Yes, I was still young & naive and didn't think at the time that there might be something wrong for such a low price. I discovered later that the entire underside was rotted beyond repair. This car was what I like to call a "Cadillac Caprice", it just had everything, including a factory AM/FM/CB stereo and a trash container mounted to the right side kick panel. How badly rotted was it? Let's put it this way, when I removed the rear bumper during the stripping of this car at Pete's house, I stepped on the left frame rail & it immediately went to the ground! I was really surprised that it made the trip to Pete's without breaking in half, and I took everything out of it I could, including the rear window.
And this was Donor #2, a 1981 Caprice Classic Landau Coupe. Due to some frame rot & bad brakes all around this ended up being a $200 parts car. Anabelle would end up with the motor, snappy Hurst modified TH350 tranny & posi rear end. This was yet ANOTHER car my friend Pete allowed me to strip at His place, and in fact He pulled the rear end for me. So you can see why I value His friendship so much.
Here's Donor #3, a 1979 Impala Sedan. For a mere $50 a wonderful gentleman named Ed Mercier allowed me to strip everything I needed from this car right in his yard! I then arranged for a local junkyard to pick up what was left. The 86 Caprice Estate in these pics was, at the time, His daily driver. Mr. Mercier, if you're out there & see this, PLEASE e-mail me! I'd love to see what you're driving now, or if you still miraculously have that 86.
This was donor #4, a 1985 Caprice Classic Estate. I bought this car from C&G Auto in Milford, MA. I paid $200, which is the most I'll pay for a parts car unless it's REALLY special or rare. This car had a recently rebuilt 305 and 700R4 tranny, both of which are mint and will be test-run in Bessie for now until installation in Talula someday. The only thing that was wrong with either component was that whoever rebuilt the motor used a very cheap, soft camshaft. I've already replaced the cam & lifters with a Crane Energizer kit.
This was my sister's first car, a 1985 Caprice Classic Sedan named Edgar. He was purchased from a dealership for $200 and went many miles with a kinked frame and a 700-R4 tranny that was already in trouble. His trans finally croaked & I parted Him out & junked Him. Rest In Peace, Edgar!
The coupe next to Edgar was my 1980 Caprice Classic Landau. I payed the most I've payed for a used car yet, $900, to Frank Ferrera of Waltham, MA. I hope he sees this somehow, because he SCREWED me! VERY shortly after this pic was taken next to Edgar the rear end and engine croaked at about the same time. The windshield channel leaked no matter what I did to it, I even pulled the windshield & vinyl off the roof and installed a new windshield after repairing the track. The roof on this car was just lunch. Once it died completely I parted it out & sent this one to the boneyard, too.
This is that same 80 Landau Coupe next to Anabelle right after one of the nastiest blizzards I've ever seen. Of course the Caprice wouldn't go ANYWHERE, while Anabelle saved the day and went out to get supplies, plowing through the snow with Her posi.
And last but not least here is my 1984 Impala 9C1. I had really hoped to drive this car, but it's pretty rusted and has at least a million miles on it, being an ex-county sheriff's car from New Hampshire. The engine was replaced somewhere along the line with a 350 Goodwrench and I'm pretty sure the tranny was rebuilt at that time. This motor & trans combination will eventually be rebuilt to exacting specifications for Bessie. She will inherit this car's nose, as well.
So that's all the donors for now. Once the cruiser has been stripped of everything useful and junked I may just start hunting down more. I'm looking in particular for 77-85 Impalas, but I'm also interested in parting out a few Monte Carlo SS's for their posis and rubber noses and such. Stop back in sometime later this year to this page, I'm sure that I'll have added at least a couple brave donors by then!
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