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Long post warning ... sorry if the length is inappropriate, but I thought fans of the car like yourselves would prefer more detail than less. I’ve interspersed the pics with the text to help tell the story more completely.

If you read my post in the Welcome section, you’ll know that in dealing with an estate I uncovered what appeared to be a 57 Chevy literally buried beneath a pile of trash in a garage in downtown Toronto. I couldn’t open the main garage door and through the smaller rear access door I could sort of see the grille and a portion of the hood. I was pretty sure that the spear ornament on the hood meant it was a 57 Chevy and growing up in that era (YOB: 1952) I am well aware of the iconic nature of that car.

The deceased owner, a German immigrant and a former life-long employee of GM was unmarried and had no kids and in fact had no living relatives in Canada ... he apparently had a very difficult last 10 years and the state of the house and the garage reflected this sad fact. This is what I found when I first opened the back door of the garage a couple of days ago.



So with the encouragement of the members on here I dedicated this morning to digging into the garage and uncovering as much of the car as I could: job one was to find away to open the main garage door – so I literally crawled over three and four feet of garbage from the back of the garage to the front and cut and disconnected what I needed to ... voila – garage door open. This is what I saw.



Much of what was piled on and around the car was contaminated with racoon scat (two of them living in the garage, apparently for some time) ... so I couldn’t just start flinging stuff around; so I concentrated first on getting into the trunk ... with no keys I was forced to drill out the lock, which proved to be quite easy.

What we have here is a 57 Bel Air 4-door (auto I think) ... and if I understood another member correctly the V emblem means it has a V-8 – although I haven’t yet been able to open the hood to confirm.

THE GOOD: the exterior: the trunk lid, including all around the edge and even where the trim is affixed appears to be very solid – no rust at all - and the hinges too. No rust around the windscreen or backlight, all trim appears to be intact although some of it suffers from small pits. All exterior panels are rust-free except the front left fender which is slightly damaged.

The LH sills are solid and rust free, as are the doors. The doors don’t sag and the edges and bottoms are solid. All glass is intact and the LH windows operate with no problem ... I didn’t try the RH windows. The dash seems to be solid as is the glove box which opens and closes properly ... I didn’t get in far enough to read the mileage or the VIN as I began to run out of time.

THE BAD: holes in the spare tire well, left side of trunk, over the wheel well and all along the left weld seam in the trunk. The soft materials of the interior are basically shredded and on the floor of the car ... if I had to guess I’d say mouse damage, although surprisingly there is only a faint musty odour inside.

THE UGLY: the stuff that remains on top of the roof and hood and along the RH side of the car ... I ran out of time before I could uncover the rest of the car so I can’t describe what’s there ... and frankly, given the nature of the work involved I will only do so if it is apparent that it will make a big difference to the perceived value of the car.

Thanks in advance for all your comments, suggestion and recommendations ... my thinking is that I will offer the car for sale “as is” and “where is” if there’s a consensus that enough value remains to make it worthwhile ... otherwise I guess I will have no choice but to have it towed away.

Here's the rest of the pics



























 

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Thanks.

ZTW, thanks for taking the time to post the pics. Must have been fun/sad/interesting/frustrating/exciting and dirty all at the same time. Thanks again! :) JIM. (dang raccoon skat).
 

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looks like a great car. I know the rust/damage looks bad but some of these guys have done a lot more with a lot less, she looks like a keeper to me.
 

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57

wow!!!!!:happy0030:
 

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Would really like to see it out in the daylight all cleaned up !
What a find :tu
 

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:eek: Looks like the coons and rats had a field day with her. But plenty of members here have done wonders with less then that. She can be saved.
 

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Would make an awesome project for someone. I'd grab it if the finance manager would approve. But then I'd have 2 projects going and REALLY don't like my chances of that happening.
 

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Get that thing up on Ebay with provisos that the buyer has to haul it off. Sweeten the deal by throwing in the 80's Malibu!
 

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thanks for pics and sharring. nice project for someone. put it in the classifieds here and maybe ebay. :anim_25:
 

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Check you PM here, I bet you may have a dew offers already. If not put it on ebay, you'll be surprised ...It'll sell. DON'T TOW IT AWAy...please!!
 

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I may have missed it and it's none of my business but is there a benefit for you you in all this?
I say that because worse cars have been totally restored, what you see there is all replaceable with new panels and upholstery.
The color looks non standard, so it's been worked on before?
It's surprising that there is so much rust for being stored for so long under cover, is the Toronto climate moist? I also saw dirt for the floor, maybe that had a factor in that as well.
In any case, I am interested in what you find out, particularly the engine etc, who knows it may have a dual quad engine lurking under there!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I may have missed it and it's none of my business but is there a benefit for you you in all this?
I say that because worse cars have been totally restored, what you see there is all replaceable with new panels and upholstery.
The color looks non standard, so it's been worked on before?
It's surprising that there is so much rust for being stored for so long under cover, is the Toronto climate moist? I also saw dirt for the floor, maybe that had a factor in that as well.
In any case, I am interested in what you find out, particularly the engine etc, who knows it may have a dual quad engine lurking under there!
Indirectly yes ... I am getting paid to help the law firm deal with a whole range of issues associated with the estate - the property itself, the deceased personal effects and computers ... my job essentially is to maximize the realization of any value and minimize the cost of getting the property in condition suitable for closing (August 24th) ... without getting into detail, it's frankly a huge job (two houses side by side and the garage - all pretty much the same condition).

Although I am a life-long car buff I have no personal interest in this one ... my track car is a supercharged 2003 Focus ZX5 and that takes all my time and energy; after hearbreaking attempts to resurrect a 64 Malibu SS and my 73 Camaro, my interest changed to driving as fast as I can on the track.

I will have to determine the VIN in order to acquire a replacement ownership ... will that help identify the exact engine, or will I have to open the hood for that.

The garage is in poor shape and very much open to the elements ... having said that, compared to my 64 Malibu this car is amazingly rust free - I have no way of knowing how many winters of salt-filled roads that this car may have endured, but probably not many ... I too am surprised by its condition - I was expecting much worse in terms of the body.

Thanks for all the advice and the enouragement ... I think I will indeed offer it for sale - I just have to figure out an asking price as a starting point for taking offers - happy to take suggestions if anyone's willing to go out on a limb.
 

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If it's a true Canadian built car, there will be two tags in the center of the firewall and should say GM of Canada. I believe that if it was a US built car, there will be one tag on the firewall and a second on the door opening on the driver's side, toward the hinges.

Dave
:wavey:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
If it's a true Canadian built car, there will be two tags in the center of the firewall and should say GM of Canada. I believe that if it was a US built car, there will be one tag on the firewall and a second on the door opening on the driver's side, toward the hinges.

Dave
:wavey:
The hood and drivers side of the car still looks like this ... I have a lot of work to do before I can see the engine or any tags.

In this case the law of diminishing return applies ... the more time and effort I put into this the more it costs the estate ... to be fair to the heirs I have to decide whether or not there is a likely return on investing more to unveil the engine or look for tags.

So ... is there something of value to be gained by knowing for sure what engine?

As to being a Canadian car ... the deceased was an employee of GM Canada and undoubtedly bought the car in Canada ... what are the odds it was made elsewhere?


 
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