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Last time you saw my ‘66 Dodge A100 project, the “new” 318 was installed and running. Today, after a couple of weeks of procrastination and slow-motion wrenching, the van took its first drive around the block.
I captured the moment with a camera perched on the recycle bin. Of course, I’d forgotten that the passenger seat was sitting on the roof, so I had to stop when the seat got scraped off by the garage door and crashed to the concrete floor. No real harm done, though— Chrysler made those seats good and strong!
The brakes work fine, the suspension is loose but functional, and I cleaned the fuel system well enough to keep the thing running for 15 minutes. The transmission slips pretty badly, but the fluid level is way low; I’ll be topping it off tomorrow and seeing if that helps. If not, I’ll be Torqueflite 727 shopping this weekend.

11 Responses to “Project Van Hell Milestone: It Drives!”

  1. TexanIdiot25

    Aw! It makes me smile, and reminds me of the CST/10. Same awkward “OH HAY THERE BRAKES” moment.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoEDLTx_WiI

  2. Igor Smash

    Awesome!!

  3. mechimike

    Correction: The brakes work as fine as 45 year old drum brakes can be expected to work.

  4. pk386

    Ahh the first ride around the block.

  5. ronman

    Ahh, the unmistakable sound of a Chrysler V8 (also /6) starter. How I’ve missed it…

  6. zrx1200rob

    Thanks for the inspiration. Good work on the PVH.
    Now back to the garage to the PMCH (project micro car hell).

  7. zeusnemesis

    I love the sound of that starter. I remember once, at a comedy club, an impressionist would call out “Richard Nixon” and then he would imitate Nixon perfectly. Imagine my surprise when he said “74 Dodge Dart” and then verbally nailed an exact impression of this very unmistakable sound.

  8. mechimike

    Every car make has its own unmistakable starter sound. I think they must patent it. Interestingly, my ‘64 Corvair has almost exactly the same starter sound as my g/f’s ‘68 Camaro.

  9. admin

    You can hear that Chrysler starter sound in the ZZ Top song “Manic Mechanic.”

  10. Jasper

    Did the Woodward Dream Cruise in one of those back in ‘98 or so. A turquoise and white 108 Sportsman with a pop top. Not perfect, not stock, but got more attention than just about anything around us. Drunken Detroiters with nothing to do are not to be toiled with.

  11. SLRSpeedshop

    God it’s good to see your still at it. (blogging that is) I wish I would have found out sooner.
    I agree with the infamous Chrysler starter…you still have your P71?

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