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1971 Lemans T-37

Restoration

Overview

This was my first car.  Being eager to get out and buy a car, I really did not shop around very much.  I knew I wanted a '68-'72 GM A-Body and I liked the Lemans look.  I also did not have a lot of money.  When I bought the car there was a lot to do it right away.  The pictures below show it the way it was when I bought it.

As purchased

 

As you can see it had some nasty body modifications made to it at some point in its history.  The flares on the rear wheels were made by bending some copper plumbing pipe into the right shape, Spot brazing sheet metal from the quarter panel over to the pipe and then putting the Bondo to it to make it smooth.  The eventual cracking triggered the body restoration.  The car also had a vinyl roof and a 6 cylinder engine when it was built.  Someone before me swapped in the 350 and the 12 bolt rear end.  

 

As purchased

 

The car also had rusted out headers and dual exhaust with cheesy tips on it.  The Cragar rear rims were 14"x10" with the 2 of the biggest and cheapest tires I have ever seen.  The front rims were 14"x6" and the chrome was hanging off like birch bark.  The front tires were taller than the rear tires.  The front right spring had a broken coil so it was sagging at that corner.  For some reason a spoiler from a 1969 GTO had been put on.  The idiot who installed it ignored the factory mount locations to install it such that it did not sit properly and it was about 2" too far forward.  Of course no one bothered to adjust the trunk springs so the lid would barely stay up.

The Cragar wheels did not have any centering pieces so the wheel went up and down by a quarter inch or so.  Apparently 5 studs per wheel is only an suggestion.  The throttle cable was mounted so low that the throttle required stomping on to get the car moving.  The resulting burn-out at each intersection was a real highlight.

I owned this car for 10 years and when I sold it, it looked quite a bit nicer as you can see.

 

 

Fixed and Painted