My '63 Unibody (Integral Cab)

When I see the things you do to make sure everything lines up properly and has the correct setting position, The right finish and, oh, yeh, it needs new brake lines, but I gotta bend them myself, it makes me shudder to think of the thousands of customized vehicles that were put together in a way that, "Hey! Everything fits." One reason I never bought a customized vehicle. Now.............. this truck, when completed, is one that would be of interest 'cause ya know it was done and done right! Keep posting them there pitchers, Bobby!!
My doors and fenders getting bodyworked. These are really nice rust free, dent free 59 year old parts. 🙂

Nice solid doors and fenders. They never woulda lasted where I came from originally. New Jersey is generous with the use of salt.
I'm really looking forward to the finished product.
Nice work, Bobby. :) That is going to be one sharp-looking truck.
I hope so. I’m lucky to have my buddy Paul helping with the bodywork and paint.
I’ve never done one of my own cars this way but I’ve worked on cars that multiple people were involved in. My cars were always done a little bit at a time.
This one is being completely disassembled, complete new rewire, new engine and trans, powdercoated frame…I’ll probably wind up doing all new brake lines again. The front suspension has already been rebuilt. 😳
Dang, I’m glad someone took that pic. Great times at that shop.
Paul sent me that pic, that’s how long we’ve known each other.
Good times.
So I’ve been chasing that starter housing leak on my Harley after I got it back together. I put an aftermarket outer primary cover on it from Drag Specialties. Turns out that Chinese made primary cover had a fat spot in the casting around the compensating sprocket that made the cover hit the sprocket and cause the bendix starter shaft to be out of center. That shaft is sealed by a very thin o-ring; any offset will result in a leak. I bought a 45 year old outer primary cover from eBay to replace the Chinese junk. I paid $225 for the Drag Specialties junk. It will soon be in my recycling bin.
I hand-polished the 1977 OEM primary that I bought off of eBay. Mother’s Mag Polish…
I’m waiting for gaskets to arrive in the mailbox.

I paid $100 more for the used OEM cover. 😐
But it’s really nice. I tried to find NOS.
That’s a problem owning a 45 year old motorcycle.
Messed with the engine mounts on the 63 today. I think I’ve got the setup mocked that I’m going to use. I doubled up the frame brackets from the two sets that I bought. A little more massaging on these and they will be what I’ll use.

Tore this thing apart a g a i n. 😡
Threw that new $225 Chinese outer primary into my blue recycling bin.
I can’t believe how out of spec that casting was.
Installed the 45 year old OEM primary, relieved the tension on the starter shaft housing and cured the leak.
My luck. The next day the choke cable on my Mikuni carburetor broke. I ordered a new one.

This cable was poorly mounted to begin with, my fault. It used to route in front of the air filter and had a very tight bend in it. I made a bracket to relocate the choke button to the rear of the air filter.

I got back to the engine mounts on the 63 today.
So far I’ve bought 3 sets of motor mounts.

👆🏻The ones on the right are from Trans-Dapt and came with the frame brackets. These insulators are cheap junk with no metal bushings at all.
The ones on the left are from Speedway Motors, better rubber composite with a shouldered bolt.
I would use the Speedway mounts before I’d use the Trans-Dapt mounts. Both are designed to insulate a 1/4” thick frame bracket.

👆🏻 These are universal polyurethane insulators from Energy Suspension. These have metal bushings. These are the mounts that I’ll use.
Since I doubled the frame bracket thickness from 1/4” to 1/2”, I need longer metal bushings.
I had these made to my specifications 👇🏻

My brackets are stronger. From two bolt to four bolt. From 1/4” to 1/2”.
From cheap rubber to bushed polyurethane. I had to Dremel the bracket holes from 1” to 1-1/4”


I’ll test fit these in the truck this next week. I’ll trim the corners off the brackets and finish the welds.

That's some nice work. Those bushing and motor mounts you had made look substantial.
Truck is looking good and taking shape. Wish you'd hurry up!! I'll be 86 in a month and I'd like to see the finished product before my expiration date. 😁
That's some nice work. Those bushing and motor mounts you had made look substantial.
Truck is looking good and taking shape. Wish you'd hurry up!! I'll be 86 in a month and I'd like to see the finished product before my expiration date. 😁
Truth is, the reason I’m dragging my feet is because there really isn’t a spot for my truck at the shop yet.
The 57 Chevy has to leave first. I saw Paul today he said the car will be gone by the end of October.
I was at my buddy Bird’s house a few days ago. He’s got a couple of Schwarzenegger’s bikes over there. One of them is completely chromed; gas tank, fenders, etc. You prolly need sunblock to ride that thing. I didn’t have my phone or I would’ve got a few pics.
A lot of cool stuff over there, I’m gonna head back over there this weekend, I’ll bring my phone for some pics.
He’s got a show on the History channel called Fully Torqued.
Messed with the rust spot on the right front fender today.
This 👇🏻 is part of what was cut out.


This area is actually behind the grill but part of the front fascia of the fender was rusted and thin.
Now I’ll take the fender to Freddie for sandblasting. 🙂
Unibody doors are unique in that the mid body line is straight. Non-unibody trucks during the same 3 years had a scalloped mid-line at the front, near the fender.
Below is a pic of the body line on a non-Uni door 👇🏻
There used to be a very active Plymouth Club in the NY/NJ/PA areas when I lived there. I recall those Plymouths very well. They were not the fastest car but they were dependable and took a lot of punishment.

One of my high school class mates had a Dodge and another chap a slope back Plymouth like the one in the picture. My father was partial to Ford Coupes for business and Pontiac sedans for pleasure. He bought his first car that was not black in 1963, a forest green Pontiac which I managed to crash into a power pole within a week or so of getting my driver license. He had it repaired and traded it on a 1955 Pontiac, tutone light blue and creme. Car had standard transmission and V8. Was pretty quick until the '57 Chevys came into being and by that time I had worn out the transmission in the Pontiac.

After that it was up to me to have my own transportation and my first automobile was a 1942 Ford business coupe, V8, 59 A-B, 100 hp. Paid $100.00 for that car and think I was making $1.00 an hour as a glaziers apprentice. Gas was about 25 cents a gallon at the time. That old Ford was thirteen years old when I bought it and was already worn out. I recall it had two snow tires on the front when I bought it so the first investment, after buying insurance, was tires. It wasn't long before it began to knock so a friend and I decided we could rebuild the engine ourselves and save some money and rather than remove the heads and mess with the rings we just replaced the rod bearings. Put it all back together and tried to start it but it wouldn't budge so we hooked it up to his Case farm tractor and pulled it up the road, dragging the rear wheels. Decided we needed weight and placed full cow feed bags in the trunk and tried to pull it again and when I slowly let the clutch out it turned over and ran pretty good. I wondered why it was locked up and Jack said, we forgot to put oil on the bearings before tightening the rods. Never had another problem with that old Ford and the engine ran fine as long as I owned it. I took some long trips in it and ventured into uncharted territory for a country lad and the car never let me down despite the abuse I gave it.

I see Jack now and then, we communicate on a regular basis and see each other during the winter months when he comes to Florida. He never fails to mention that episode and we both laugh about it even though the story has been told between us hundreds of times. Good times. ( Hope no one is bored with my tales from long ago. )
A friend of Paul’s passed away recently. Not long ago he had a 53 Studebaker at Paul’s for some bodywork and paint. Over the years I saw many of his cars at Paul’s.
Turns out the man was quite a car guy.
RIP, Jim.
Saw a photo of cars lined up waiting for the grand opening of the Sunshine Bridge in Tampa, Florida. I believe the date was 1950 and the cars in the first two or three rows were a Nash, CHevvy, Ford, Studebaker and Plymouth. Quite a diversification of American manufactured autos before the far east invasion. I'll have to see if it can be found as it was pretty interesting and made me wonder how many of the posters here would know which brand of car was which.
In my yout - shades of My Cousin Vinnie - I could identify every car and truck by year make and model. It was a big deal to wait for early autumn when the new cars came out and manufacturers changed body styles every few years.

The Chevvy dealer had a garage that was longer than wide and when the new cars came in, especially if there was a major body style change, they might be covered or arrive in the middle of the night. The dealer put them all the way in the rear of the garage in a place where it was unlikely to go without being told to leave and if someone were lucky enough to see the new models before anyone else, they were king, or queen, for the day and very much in demand.

Now, every car looks the same and styling changes vary little or are so far off the wall they are insignificant. ( sigh )
I remember when that car was first introduced with the Rocket 88 motor. The nearest Oldsmobile dealer was in Franklin, NJ, a town about eight to ten miles away and a full carload of us drove there one evening to look at it through the plate glass window.
Funny how styles change isn't it? The cars of a bygone era were tutoned in various shades of coordinating colors like the one in the above photo of the old Chevvy. My 1955 Ford Faitlane Club Sedan was Seafoam Green on the bottom and Forest Green on top. It was the prettiest car I ever owned. At the time it was popular to have a doll dressed in a Civil War era dress, the floor length gowns that spread out in a wide circle at the feet, narrowing to the waist, and in a compatible color to the car. I had one of them on the rear window shelf in that car.
Then cars were lowered in the rear, then in both front and rear, changes that took place over several years, and today, cars painted in a tutone color are rare and when seen, almost look ........old?!
Styles among the those liked cars lowered to the ground, a trend popular in years past, went in the other direction and began raising them until they look like a pickup body on an elevated chassis and sorta stupid going down the highway. Meantime the old guard is going back to the lowered vehicles. Sorta like clothing and how what matter of dress for both male and female, was popular at one time became old school and now is coming back into fashion.
I wonder .............will cars ever become as popular as they were and will youngsters ever again know the thrill of being one of the first to ever see the new model body style changes for the upcoming model year before they are officially released ? Most likely not but I think more than anything, the young people of today have no idea what they are missing. So many of the simple things that made the life a pre-teen interesting have gone by the wayside.

Forgive the old man who rambles. It is almost as if one of the few things is to remind those who choose to read my drivel might long for a different time when the things experienced by a lad growing up in the post war days and following decade considered enjoyable in recollection.
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