Train Wreck !!

2001 started out looking like it would be a great year!

I had a local upholstery shop install the new top I had purchased through Reproduction Parts Marketing in Saskatoon. The material was a perfect match and the fit and finish was excellent.

By the end of October 2001, Doug had cleaned and restored the steering linkages, steering box and all the steel lines on the front clip. The front disc brakes were redone with new callipers and shoes. At the same time, Mid-Canada Suspension was able to source new Moog upper and lower ball joints. Doug also installed all the front sheet metal, hung fenders and aligned everything. He had sent the engine block out and expected it back early Dec at which point he’d build the engine and drop it in the car.

Sue and I were starting to get excited! Christmas arrived and Santa left a digital camera under our tree! Now I could go nuts and take pictures of everything! I phoned Doug with the news, but my call was bumped to voice mail. After a few more tries I figured he must have gone home to Saskatoon for Christmas. I decided to visit the Fury anyway to see if I could get some digital pictures. Mysteriously Doug’s rented garage was empty, no car, no parts, no tools and no Doug. I assumed he had lost yet another rental space and would soon reappear when he needed more money.

Where the heck is my car?

However, January 2002 passed with no Doug and no car. I phoned around to discover Doug had completely disappeared. I knew Doug really liked his booze and was dabbling in street drugs so it didn’t surprise me when word on the street suggested he had crossed one of the local drug gangs and they were after his hide. Doug apparently pulled off a mid-night move November 2001 to parts unknown. As far as I know, no one really knows exactly what happened. He could be in jail, in the ground or still running. Darn shame, that boy had a lot of talent.

This left me with a lot of time and money invested in a car that I couldn't find. I was totally and completely pissed at everything and everyone involved. After Bondo Man, The Pro and The Fury Nut I was totally disillusioned with the whole industry. I buried myself in my businesses and bitched a lot to anyone who would listen.

Found the block!

Late October 2002, a year after Doug bailed, I receive a phone call from the owner of a local machine shop who wants to know if the engine block he has under his bench might belong to me. He told me Doug had brought the block, crank, rods and pistons into his machine shop a year ago with instructions to boil the block and then wait for further instructions. So a year later the block sat under his bench collecting dust and dirt.

During our discussion, it quickly became apparent the shop wanted to get paid and strongly suggested they "put it together" if I wanted to be sure I got all my parts back. I just wanted my block with my VIN number stamped on it so I agreed with some trepidation. What I got was a $1,200 for a "taxi" job with 90 foot or 90 second warranty. I had the block delivered to my office where we put it on to a furniture dolly and rolled it into a corner where I could see it from my desk. I wasn't much happier; I just threw another bunch more bucks in the money pit and had nothing to show for it other than the butchered numbers matching block for a rare car I couldn't find.

Cruising contry roads!

I heard a whisper that Doug had a friend living east of Calgary on a small acreage. Not much to go on, but worth a look. Fortunately rural roads are laid out in a nice grid so I began cruising country roads asking lots of questions. I should point out that my daily driver at the time was a red 1995 Ford Crown Victoria that just happened to look identical to a well known RCMP unmarked cruiser. I later learned that I created quite a stir with the locals. I guess rolling through farm country driving what looks like a cop car made a few hobby farmers nervous.

Found the Fury!

After a month or so I found Doug's friend and my Fury sitting in a stubble field, half covered with tarp flapping in the wind. The property owner had it in his head I should pay to get my car so I made sure he got a good look at my "cop" car. He decided his life would be a lot less complicated if the Fury and all its parts were to go away. After searching a barn and couple of out buildings the Crown Vic trunk and backseat were full of parts and the Fury, also filled with parts, was on a flat bed heading for my garage. I had no idea if I had everything, but knew I had most of it. I considered myself lucky to see any of it again.

Now what?!

How about that, I found my engine, my car and most of the parts! To be fair, Doug had actually made pretty good progress and most of the really hard to find convertible specific parts were installed on the car and the rest I was able to find safely stored in the barn. I found my attitude towards Doug shifting in that I really think he tried his best to protect the Fury car before he left town. He was after all a "Fury Nut" My job now was to take inventory and determine if any damage was done during all the moving about and its time outdoors.

A few big items were missing, rear bumper, gas tank and drive shaft. The car seemed to have survived it’s year in the field without much more than some wear marks from the tarp. Sue's hours spent under the car painting everything with POR-15 paid off big time, absolutely no rust underneath. More good news, the new top and interior were clean and mouse free. Over time I discovered a few more things missing but I was able to find replacements.

I should point out the internet sites, Google, eBay and C-Body DryDock were literally my life line. The hundreds of friends I have found around the world on the C-Body DryDock are completely responsible for my continued interest in the hobby and convinced me to hang on to the Fury. Without these internet friends, my story would have ended here and I would have either sold the Fury or parted it out. To my DryDock friends, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

The car lived in my garage and I spend my spare time searching for parts. In the beginning I had visions of completing the mechanical restoration myself, I know little about body work and paint, but I could wrench with the best of them. With this in mind my little two car garage acquired a furnace, a ton of lighting, a huge compressor, an industrial sized sand blaster cabinet and enough tools to build an ark. Unfortunately I was diagnosed with diabetes and after spending too much time behind a desk my poor body was in crappy shape.

Ten years slid by, its 2012, I've become a septuagenarian, married off my son, one of my daughters, buried my father and accumulated three beautiful grand children. Unfortunately I also seem to have morphed into an over weight old grouch no longer able to do crawl under a car like I used to. Decision time, what to do with the Fury. My son has no interest right now and no place to work even if he did. I could search for someone who would finish the project, but I'd have to walk away from all the memories. My only real option is to find someone to complete my restoration, to my picky satisfaction. This will end up vastly increasing the width and depth of the money pit, but screw it, I want the damn car done and done properly. I began my search.

New beginning!

September 2012 I read a thread on the Drydock posted by member "Hadtobringithome". He had purchased a 66 Chrysler Windsor 2 door hard top and decided to do a full restoration with a few modifications. He said after talking to his "extremely creative and talented car builder friend Paul" they struck a deal. As the work progressed, he posted pictures showing the results at each stage.

I couldn't believe what I was seeing; the pictures were like eye candy.
The Windsor as Gary bought it.
In primer after Paul did his magic.
Final color, color sand, clear coat and buffed to perfection.

I watched this thread for a couple of months before I decided I need to meet this Paul guy. So early December I emailed "Hadtobringithome" and met Gary Scheifele the proud owner of the 66 Windsor. Gary wanted to see my Fury so I invited him to my home to see the Fury and to hear about its crazy history. After hearing the story he believed my car would be an ideal "Paul project" and he would talk to Paul and setup an introduction if I was interested. Gary cautioned that Paul wouldn't work for just anyone so I should expect an "interview" type call from Paul if he was interested in the project. Well after being burned way too many times I was willing to listen, but I wasn’t going to be an easy sell.

Paul!

Paul called a couple days later and we burned up a lot of long distance time. Paul loved my Fury's back story and was willing to look at the Fury project. After an hour or so of chatting we decided we liked the sound of each other. Before the final deal could be made Paul wanted to see the car and I wanted some face to face time. I've always believed the best measure of a craftsman is reflected in his work place and his tools. So I agreed to drag the Fury to his shop and continue our mutual evaluation. Gary was planning to trailer his Windsor home after the May 2013 car show and since his trailer would be empty going down, he agreed to haul my Fury down to Paul if I covered his expenses down and back. I now had only 4 months to get everything ready.



For those wondering what happened next with Gary's Windsor, here are a few pictures ahead of the current time line. Not too shabby at all!

Dec 2013 - Back on it's wheels.
May 2013 - Ready just in time for the May 18 Sandpoint Idaho, Lost in the Fifty's car show.
Would you believe First Place!
Gary and Paul are very happy campers!. Behind Paul, sits Gary's 1973 Dodge Challenger, RT Clone, also sporting a Paul paint job. Note Paul is holding it's Second Place trophy.

If you have a sharp eye and have read this story from the beginning, you will see what happened to the RT hood badges I bought by mistake. I suggested my litte gift was key to his 1st Place award, but for some reason neither Gary or Paul would agree!




Back in Dec 2012, however, I felt good to see the hint of a light at the end of the tunnel!
I just hoped it wasn't a GD train!

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