Since getting the Ranch Wagon home, I have been carefully taking inventory of what needs to be replaced, what is missing, and what is reusable. I have also been running around soaking everything I can with a can of PB Blaster penetrating oil. The car has sat for so long that any time I try to move something on it, it refuses to budge or groans to the point that it sounds like it is going to break.
I Washed the back half of the car, removing 41 years of moss and pine needles from about every surface or crevice on it. After about 3 scrubbings with a stiff brush it has come fairly clean.
The rear tailgate is a complete loss. The rust on the bottom edge around the hinges is extreme. The area just below the tailgate is extremely rusty as well. The years of pine needles accumulating, and the moisture they absorbed acted like a wet sponge. It held all the water in these areas and rusted them out. The roof and roof rails are surprisingly in good condition. The rear lift gate window & frame are in good shape as well. However, I cannot get them open. The latches are stuck. I have sprayed penetration oil into the latch areas hoping they might loosen up.
I got the 2 sliding windows free and sliding. I stuck my head in and this is what I was met with:
No, those aren’t bats hanging from a cave (although they startled me as much as bats would have) those shreds of material are what is left of the original headliner from 1958! What did I get myself into?
Next I sprayed the hinges on folding back seat, as they were seized in place from sitting for 41 years. I worked them free and folded the seat down:
The floors in the back seat are very soft and non existent in places. The years of sitting water have taken their toll. Also, squirrels had taken up residence inside the Wagon at some time as there are tons of acorn shells and pine cones on the floors and under the folding back seat!:
I am losing daylight at this point, so I am going to spray a few more things in the car with penetrating oil and put the car cover back on.
So far my list of needs are:
Driver Door, Passenger Door, Front Floor pans, Rear Floor Pans, Both outer Rocker Panels (area beneath doors on outside of car) and both front fenders and a Hood, and a Tail Gate.
I think I might need a parts car. Hmmmmmm….. Don’t tell my wife.