September 2017 - Orban's 1956 Customline Victoria
In 2009 five-years away from retirement I bought a 1956 Customline Victoria from one of my street rodder friends.
I figured this car would be a nice retirement project, plus I still had five years to gather parts and get everything else I needed bought and paid for.
Now for some of the car’s history . . . a many in a near by town started fixing it up, the engine and brakes were rebuilt but sadly he passed away before he got any further, after that the car sat outside for a while.
The mans widow gave the car to one of his friends, there to it sat outside. My friend bought it from him with thoughts of building it into a street machine with a blown small block Chevy, but he was too busy with other car projects, so he sold it to me, now its sitting in my show where it is nice and dry.
I started a frame off restoration in 2010, replacing quarter panels, inner and outer rocker panels, floors, rear trunk floor, tail pan and door bottoms.
By 2013 the body was solid again so I started the finish work, smoothing and black sanding the body.
March 2014 rolled around, I retired and the body was ready for paint. I painted the car in July 2015. I wanted to have a numbers matching car.
It has a 272 engine with 3-speed stick, Fiesta Red and Colonial White exterior, but the interior was an ugly two-tone gray!! That had to go!!
So I installed a Lebaron Bonney red and white interior kit. The car was finished late 2015.
We started driving it in 2016. Now let's talk about working out the buds and other horror stories, after we started driving her she developed an oil leak, I thought it was the value covers, but it turned out to be the New oil sending unit. I replaced it and the leak stopped.
When I pulled the pan to fix this I found out the “rebuilt” engine probably wasn’t done right, the oil pan had about 1/2 inch of sludge in it, the bottoms of the pistons looked like they had been sprayed with chocolate syrup. There were however new rod and main bearings. I fixed the seal and that leak stopped.
We cruised with her a couple of weeks with no problems. But, I had doubts about that engine, as it later developed a vibration, this got worse coming back from a car show and as we neared home it had a faint knocking when we got home I put her in the garage disgusted!
That next week I pulled the engine and tore it down what a mess. All the journals on the crank and rods were grooved and out of round. The engine wasn’t rebuilt correctly just new bearings on an out of round crankshaft, new rings on old pistons and a fresh coat of paint on the engine. I had the motor rebuilt at a near by machine shop, she runs great now.
Later I worked out a few more bugs, rebuilt the carbs and a new fuel pump.
Now we’ve finally started enjoying this car.
Tom and Ann Orban