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Thread: "Miss Phillips" 1956 Ford Customline Victoria Hardtop

  1. #1
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    Default "Miss Phillips" 1956 Ford Customline Victoria Hardtop

    Back roughly 6-7 years ago, my wife and I took a trip up to Atlanta, Georgia to visit her grandparents. This was our first visit together out of our home state of Louisiana. Id met her grandparents before on previous holiday occasions but had never been to their home. "Pop" as we call him, Lindsay's grandfather, is a bit reserved until you get to meet him and build a relationship. Rightly so as I was just sone kid she went to school with who he was now having to accept into his home for the weekend. Pop knew I was into cars, knew what I did for work, knew what I currently owned at the time etc. And yet in the half dozen times id met him he had NEVER mentioned his two classic cars he owned back home. You can imagine my surprise upon arriving and walking through the garage to see 2 mid 50s era classics. To make a long story short,(DISCLAIMER : DONT WORRY NO ONE DIED) that initial first visit we discussed the cars, what they were etc. Over the years of subsequent trips to visit etc we'd piddle with them and discuss them and such. His original plan was to pass down "Miss Phillips" to Kelly, his daughter, Lindsay's Mom. The know NOTHING about cars. Thats a blue one, thats a red one, thats a big one and thats a small one. Yeah, that bad. Bout 2 years ago they purchased a 63 F100 from Pop's friend out of Atlanta. Decent condition, runs and drives. It just sits in the garage, neglected. Knowing all of this, I started to joke around with Pop when he was going to pass down the car to Lindsay and I. Kelly would always chime in and say "No, no, thats going to me". Kelly knew they couldnt keep up with it and maintain it like Pop would want it to be. And regardless it would be passed on to us after Kelly gets older in age. Well about 6 months ago Pop and Kelly discussed it and decided it would go straight to Lindsay and I, knowing I enjoy and love cars, and that it would eventually be ours anyway. Over the past month we were looking at dates and open weekends and such as to when we could take the 7.5 hour drive to bring it back down home.

    Don't forget that last trip length I just mentioned.

    Before I go any further im going to defer and give a few details on the car, as lets face it, thats why were on this forum.

    Its a 1956 Ford Customline Victoria. Its essentially Fords competitor to the tri-5 Chevy Belairs. Victoria is the top trim level they were also available in. Pop purchased the car back in the mid 90's in need of a rest. He purchased the car as it is what he drove in High School. He had his brother do an restoration on it to replicate what he used to own.White on black. v8. And a cop car steering wheel. One thing he did change was the engine. It now has a Ford 390 Big block. Supposedly has as mild cam in it. Was a reman engine at same time as resto was complete. Has roughly 5,000 miles on it since then.... Tells you how much he drove it. Ford C6 transmission, 3 speed auto for those that don't know. One of the neat features of the hardtop versions like this one is the absence of a B pillar. If you roll the front and rear windows down its straight through, no view obstruction. HORRIBLE in a rollover case, but fucking cool as hell to look at. And thats worth it, screw safety.

    Back to the story. We went up last weekend to pick her up. Borrowed my dads 2500HD to pulpit, co workers trailer and hit the road north. While hanging out, Pop presented me with a book that his brother had put together of pictures through out the restoration process that he had taken. I have yet to take some pictures but ill be sure to snap some and post them up. He also had a folder with EVERY receipt of all the work he had performed since he purchased it. Pop was the second owner, I the third. Other than the original owner it has stayed in the family and will as such that I force. Looking at the weather it called for some rain here and there on the Monday drive back. First time towing a long distance. First time towing with this truck. First time towing in rain. First time towing alone in the truck. What could possibly go wrong lol. All in it was an uneventful trip, no major issues. It. Just. SUCKED. it poured the entire way home. There was a cool front moving through the south, fronted by rain, and we drove through it all damn day. Luckily before we left he had the foresight to tape up the window edges, as the gaskets are worn and need replacing. It took us 12 hours to get home. I was beat.

    The cars got some minor issues.
    -NEEDS TIRES, idk how old these are, but they are old
    -As mentioned window seals are shot and leak
    -Both doors need adjusting, drivers side kicks out in one corner and sits in at the diagonal opposite, passenger side is hard to open/close
    - Something underneath is leaking, unsure what
    -Driver window bell crank is broken and currently operated by a vice grip on the stud
    -battery is held in place by bungee cords, no bueno

    Ive had very little time to dive in and take a deep look, but these are the issues im currently aware of. Im sure others will arise once I take a closer look. But she is solid, I took her for a trip around the neighborhood, no major thumps, clunks, did notice a bit of roar, couldnt locate form where in the short drive, but will investigate later.

    Enough talking here are some picks, majority on a trailer until I can find some time to take it to the back of the neighbor hood and get some beauties of her.


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  2. #2
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    Looks great, I spy a beaut of an engine there too. No stang though haha.
    2 328i e36's
    Saabaru linear 2.5na
    Various projects.

    Intro;
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  3. #3
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    Beautiful story and a beautiful car. Thanks for sharing. Cant wait to see what you do with it

  4. #4
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    Cant wait to watch you work on this one, great story as well. Glad to see it went to you guys and not your wifes mom.
    Insta Mintyhinrichs

  5. #5
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    Been waiting for this thread ever since you posted in the mustang thread.
    This car has found the best new home possible. Can't wait to see where it takes you!
    "You could roll an E30 in a BMW showroom today and people would think:
    Well, they finally got the 1 series right!"

    3.0 L e30 ground up build

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone! First order of business is getting it registered and insured in my name. Sadly its on the backburner for a bit. All my cars are. We are in the process of purchasing a new home so that takes precedent. Ill be updating the mustang thread shortly.

  7. #7
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    Merry Christmas everyone. As weird as it may sound tonight is the first night in several weeks I've ben able to relax and essentially, do nothing. Surfing thew web and reading build thread/forums etc relaxes me so I figured id post an update.

    2 weeks-ish ago we finally closed on our old home. We were suppose to close on our new home the same day, however there was an issue with the succession paperwork and it had to be pushed back a week to last Friday. Apparently one of the brothers in the succession is in a prison in Arizona and the papers had to be wet ink signed. So they were overnighted there, signed, not notarized, sent back to us, realized they were notarized, mailed, back signed AND notarized, then mailed back. It was a stupid, drawn out, dumb process. Anyway we closed on our new house a week late. In the mean time we had been staying with my in-laws. Ill just leave it at that. SO. Its Friday before Christmas, we have a house to paint, all our furniture to move in, unpack, and get it to a sense of normalcy for the kids come Christmas morning. Piece of cake right?

    As for Miss Phillips, about a week before our closing date I drove her over to a friends house (clear a non "car guy" given he has an empty garage lol) and stashed her in there till a later date once we are moved in and situated. She drover perfect the whole way there. Did about 40-45 on a 2 lane highway vs the interstate. She's noisy but drives well. Gave me some insight on some areas I want to improve on for A. Safety and B. enjoyment while driving. Anyway, I pill up in the street, kill the car, and go knock on the door. Go inside for a bit, chat etc. 15 minutes later I come out and we are going to back her into the garage. We get up ALL the way until the front wheels are about 1.5 from the threshold and she dies. I drove 20 miles, and you die 1.5 feet from the destination....

    Tried a few times to crank her over and no go. Noticed the electric priming pump I had installed month or so ago wasn't kicking on, so that may be part of the issue. That will eventually get replaced as ill be doing a drop on efi carb replacement. But for now, need to figure out the issue of the electric primer. Currently she is still sitting at my friends house and I'm hoping late this week or just after the first of the year driving her to her new home.

    Ive posted some pics of the updates and painting we did in the new house. That will be all im doing for the next several weeks, if you like what you see ill continue to post those in here until its time to start back up on the cars.

    IMG_2104 by lawrx, on Flickr

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by laextreme5 View Post
    Merry Christmas everyone. As weird as it may sound tonight is the first night in several weeks I've ben able to relax and essentially, do nothing. Surfing thew web and reading build thread/forums etc relaxes me so I figured id post an update.

    2 weeks-ish ago we finally closed on our old home. We were suppose to close on our new home the same day, however there was an issue with the succession paperwork and it had to be pushed back a week to last Friday. Apparently one of the brothers in the succession is in a prison in Arizona and the papers had to be wet ink signed. So they were overnighted there, signed, not notarized, sent back to us, realized they were notarized, mailed, back signed AND notarized, then mailed back. It was a stupid, drawn out, dumb process. Anyway we closed on our new house a week late. In the mean time we had been staying with my in-laws. Ill just leave it at that. SO. Its Friday before Christmas, we have a house to paint, all our furniture to move in, unpack, and get it to a sense of normalcy for the kids come Christmas morning. Piece of cake right?

    As for Miss Phillips, about a week before our closing date I drove her over to a friends house (clear a non "car guy" given he has an empty garage lol) and stashed her in there till a later date once we are moved in and situated. She drover perfect the whole way there. Did about 40-45 on a 2 lane highway vs the interstate. She's noisy but drives well. Gave me some insight on some areas I want to improve on for A. Safety and B. enjoyment while driving. Anyway, I pill up in the street, kill the car, and go knock on the door. Go inside for a bit, chat etc. 15 minutes later I come out and we are going to back her into the garage. We get up ALL the way until the front wheels are about 1.5 from the threshold and she dies. I drove 20 miles, and you die 1.5 feet from the destination....

    Tried a few times to crank her over and no go. Noticed the electric priming pump I had installed month or so ago wasn't kicking on, so that may be part of the issue. That will eventually get replaced as ill be doing a drop on efi carb replacement. But for now, need to figure out the issue of the electric primer. Currently she is still sitting at my friends house and I'm hoping late this week or just after the first of the year driving her to her new home.

    Ive posted some pics of the updates and painting we did in the new house. That will be all im doing for the next several weeks, if you like what you see ill continue to post those in here until its time to start back up on the cars.

    IMG_2104 by lawrx, on Flickr

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    IMG_1966 by lawrx, on Flickr

    IMG_1964 by lawrx, on Flickr
    Cars bed is mexistanced wicked. I for one enjoy backstory so I like these posts, better than a dead thread, imo.
    2 328i e36's
    Saabaru linear 2.5na
    Various projects.

    Intro;
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  9. #9
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    Going through one of our last boxes last night, i came across some pictures and receipts Pop had given me when we went to pick up the car. The first was a folder full of receipts. Of EVERY piece of work performed on the car beginning when he took ownership in late 95'. Gaskets, trim, interior pieces, hardware, labor for exhaust. You name it, there is a receipt for it. I also have the original title form when Pop purchased it from the original owner. That makes me the third owner of the car.



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    The other, is a book of photos taken during the restoration in 96'. It was restored by Harold, Pops brother in-law in Sylvania, Georgia. They aren't the most detailed pics, but still somewhat show the major steps of the process. Harold restores cars on the side for people, or used to. As Pop put it "Hes getting up there in age now and his eyesight isnt so good, so there are a few waves and runs in the paint". The pictured blue car is what the original 390 came out of. After finishing the car they hasd several issues with that motor. It was pulled and replaced with the current motor in the car, a refurbed 390 from a parts store (have to find the receipt to find out which store specifically, out of genuine curiosity).


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    And lastly a small update on the house. We started (i, actually, wife just sat and watched) took the doors off the cabinets to clean and scuff them to get ready for paint. They are going a cream/off white color. All the colors came off the Sherwin williams historic pallet. Our house is located in the Historic District in our city and any exterior changes must be approved by the historic commision. We opted to use the historic colors on the inside as well. They seem to have a more subdued, toned down saturation to them that we liked regardless. Also started taking down the wall paper. Its been up there since the 80s. It. Fucking. Sucks.



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  10. #10
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    I feel your pain with the wallpaper, Literally every single room in my house had it on the walls...I am still not done totally striping it in a room.
    Insta Mintyhinrichs

  11. #11
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    Update on the car and house. Went over to my buddies house to drive her back to her new home. Was a little nervous about it as when I drove it over initially it killed on me right as I was pulling it into the garage. She cranked over fine, idled well, and we pulled out and left. Decided to go a different way as it was foggy, roads were wet and this alternative route was slower speeds giving less chance of an accident. (Keep in mind I'm driving on 15+ year old tires, they will be going away asap soon as house is in order) We get to an red light of a main intersection, come to a stop waiting for traffic so I can turn right, wife behind me following after dropping me off. Sit for a second or two, then idle states dropping. Lower.Lower, and then clunk, she killed. Tried a few times to turn her over and nothing. Same issue I had when I dropped her off at my buddies. Had to push her 30 ft backwards alone (wife had the two kids in the car) out the road, and call my dad for a tow. We were maybe 1.5-2 miles from the house. We just threw a ratchet strap to the frame and just tugged me the rest of the way. Precursor, I know nothing about carbs and their adjustment. Never worked on them, never owned one etc. Once back to the house and out the road Dad and I investigated a bit. Initially we thought it was a spark issue as A it was getting air and B when pumping the throttle while not running we had gas. Dad went to start it, based on a hunch eh held peddle to the floor and cranked her. She started right up. Looking into the carb you could see the fuel just dripping in by large drops while at idle. WAY to rich. Simple Bowl float adjustment and she was good as new. The float was simply allowing too much fuel in the bowl at idle causing it to literally pour out at idle. Anyway, she's back running good, pulled her in front the house, got a few pics and pulled her under the garage and put the new car cover on. Cant wait to get her all in my name and go for some cruises.

    Wife also got a short clip on her phone of me passing her by. Ill be sure to get a few more vids of her before I make some changes. Its something I want to do a bot more of, incorporating few videos into my build threads.





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    We also made some massive progress on the kitchen. Wallpaper was fully removed, patch the damage from the removal, and put some new texture up. Had a mini paint party with some family members and got it painted with the exception of some trimming in. All last week I've week working on the cabinets as well. Removing the doors, sanding, cleaning and prepping them all for paint. Wife and I over two nights got everything for the most part painted. We missed a few spots and few others need a another coat but they are 90% done. I never want to do that again. Ever.

    We also gutted the front flower beds and put some new flowers in them. Its been raining here for 2 weeks and the yard is a lake Welcome to Louisiana) and several times I stepped in the garden and went up to my knee in mud....





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  12. #12
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    What a cool car and even cooler story, awesome that it's staying in the family. I always enjoy your story telling. Keep it all coming

    2001 BMW 560i 6.0 LSx/T56 SOLD


    2000 Corvette Hardtop FRC

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsogiba View Post
    What a cool car and even cooler story, awesome that it's staying in the family. I always enjoy your story telling. Keep it all coming
    Thank you!

    Hoping in the next few weeks ill get her registered and insured in my name finally. Plan on taking her for a few drives ASAP once its taken care of.

  14. #14

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    The car is cool but I am amazed at how you turned that kitchen from "old granny spec" to actually looking modern just by painting it white haha

    FB: @DumbassCarCrew - IG: @fruttolo_dumbasscrew

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fruttolo View Post
    The car is cool but I am amazed at how you turned that kitchen from "old granny spec" to actually looking modern just by painting it white haha
    Thank you. I cant take credit for that, that's all my wife's doing. I just did the manual labor lol.

  16. #16

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    Great story and nice car.
    But also great house and beautiful family.
    Man you're live the perfect life!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DawsonLiri View Post
    Great story and nice car.
    But also great house and beautiful family.
    Man you're live the perfect life!
    Thank you, im very fortunate. Sometimes get caught in wanting more more more more and i forget so. Thank you for reminding me.

  18. #18
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    Made some progress on the garage over the last week or so. Made some brackets to hang the kayaks out of the way for now. Brought my toolboxes our the shed over into the back wall of the garage. Found some lovely memorabilia from the last owner in the back corner of the garage. gave me a good laugh when I found it. I did take some measurements for width of the mustang, its going to be kinda tight on the left side for a while until I can raise the roof and eliminate the center post, but ill make do. Also got in some LED lights ill be starting to wire in this weekend, they are SUPER bright. Light should not be an issue moving forward. Lighting is mediocre at best right now. This should solve that easily. Lastly I built a shelf to house some of my material right now to get it off the ground and give me some space to work on the mustang. Hoping I'm able to bring the mustang home this weekend, but not too sure if it will happen or not.



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  19. #19
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    Brought her up to the shop this weekend to put her up on the left and check out under her skirt.

    Im a little surprised, if I'm honest. And slightly disappointed.

    But we will get to that. First as I was pulling her out I decided to take a quick video of idling and some revving. Full Disclosure. Im an idiot. The picture I took before the video I had switched to manual mode for focus. I did not switch back nor refocus for the video. Soooo its out of focus. Luckily that's not important as its mainly for sound.

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    Up on the lift and started inspecting. Overall she is a solid car. I did find some rust issues.

    Firstly the rear floorboard directly under the rear seat. Driver side is worse but passenger side still has some cancer.

    The rockers as well have some stuff going on. Again, driver side is worse than the passenger side. Driver side is more the vertical inner rocker, where as the passenger side a body mount or two has definitely weakened and will need to be addressed.

    The front wheel wells also have some rust up directly above the wheels, not hugely problematic but again will need to be addressed.

    In the past, someone had decided it would be easier to cut out the trans cross member for trans removal. The proceeded to make some brackets to support it back when out together. Dunno why, can't see why. But it happened. Ill be fixing their "fix" in the future.

    They also used several bolts and rivets to what appears to be a patched hole where possibly it was once a manual trans car? idk, but there is at least a dozen rivets coming through the floor in the shifter area.

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    With inspecting everything out of the way I proceeded onto investigations for future plans. First up. Bags

    Rears, there is plenty of room just inside the rear Frame rails to mount a bracket and the bag. This would take up the space currently occupied by the exhaust, but there are a few options for re-routing. Worst case I could go under the rear axle, at a passing glance there seemed to be room. Shock will stay in the current location. Overall rear is pretty straight forward.

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    The front is a little more involved. My goal is as little alteration to the chassis as possible. Don't want to go hacking this thing up and what not. Currently have a few ideas for the front. Goals are obv. convert to air. Convert to power steering, and lastly reduce the 3'' of inset the wheels currently have. The current front suspension is a double a-arm design. The lower is MASSIVE. Easily twice the length of the upper. The spring sits on the lower, with the shock in the middle, with both mounted/suspended by a large bucket made into the main front rails. The upper is your conventional old school upper a arm that mounts in a way that takes up absurd amounts of space.

    My gameplay is to fab up some new upper and lower arms, 3'' wider or whatever the exact width difference I will need to push the wheels out close to flush. Make a mount for the bag to sit in the springs current location, and make a mount for the shock to sit just outside the bag, still in the middle of the arms and mount up top of a new bracket which the space for will be made via the new fabbed upper a arms. Will have to draw it up to better depict as I didn't take enough pics to properly show the idea. As for the power steering ill be getting rid of the steering box and steering linkage in favor of a rack and pinion, likely from a mustang, and utilizing a electric remote mount power steering pump, likely from an MR2. Taking all this into account, visually from the engine it will all look normal and "factory" for the 50s, but be able to lay out at the push of the button. Thats kind of the entire goal behind this car. Keep and retain the old school look, feel, smell, but with modern touches.


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  20. #20
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    Oh man, it's always fun finding modifications that have taken place over the past 60 years.
    lamborfuckinghini

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by white out View Post
    Oh man, it's always fun finding modifications that have taken place over the past 60 years.
    Yeah, we saw the trans mount first, then saw the plethora of rivets in the background and gave each other (my dad and i) a puzzled look. Was quite amusing to find.

  22. #22

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    I don't know what is worst, the trans cross member or that patch job!

    Who was the butcher that did that job? Such a shame, cars it's no too bad for be 60 years old.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DawsonLiri View Post
    I don't know what is worst, the trans cross member or that patch job!

    Who was the butcher that did that job? Such a shame, cars it's no too bad for be 60 years old.
    Im honestly not too sure. Harold, Pop's brother in law is the one who did the restoration. And Pop is only the second owner, and I know they put the 390 into it. Leads me to believe Harold did it, and Pop likely never knew it lol

  24. #24
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    Been a while since I updated here. Not too much has changed lately, been buys with work, the house, and kids. Ever since moving into the new house I hadn't had too much time to piddle with the 56. One thing I did want to do was rebuild the carb, as it was full of varnish from sitting, and getting rid of the points ignition system distributor. Sadly I did not take any pictures through the process.

    I finally had some time to finish the swap and getting it up and running. Had my dad come over and help me reset the float levels, still need to set timing as its not quote where it needs to be. There are also some tic items that need to be taken care of before she is fully road worthy and ready for a good cruise.







    The car currently has a mechanical fan, and an electric fan that is on a switch that doesn't work. I pulled out the switch and the wiring, which was speaker wire..... For now I will be wiring it in with a relay, and the current switch. Before cruising the coast later this year I intend to put in a triple pass radiator and remove the mechanical fan, and install 2 new electric fans. I don't want overheating to even be considered.

    IMG_6964 by lawrx, on Flickr


    IMG_6965 by lawrx, on Flickr



    I also was able to get this picture today. We are a certified Tesla repair facility, and one of our customers parked next to me. Quite the stark difference, a 1956 v8 barg, and a new electric sedan. Crazy how far we have come.

    IMG_6962 by lawrx, on Flickr


    Also if you want any updates on my garage, check out my mustang build, I will be updating in there.

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    That last pic makes me think about the "we have to go back" meme from back to the future

    FB: @DumbassCarCrew - IG: @fruttolo_dumbasscrew

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