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The Bluebird from Japan

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Oh man I was pretty excited for sure. After hearing we had just a few hours (on Valentines day) to go pick the car up, Carter and I agreed it made sense to have it towed to his house. Neither of us were in a place to drop everything at work and take off.


I did get the first photo of the car in the US hiding in the shipping container. How did they do that? 2 cars elevated on some kind of platform with a row of motorcycles underneath. I am glad I didnt have to figure out how to unpack that without damaging anything.




The pictures Carter sent me were very interesting as they show some flaws on the car. Did I care if the tires were flat? Exhaust hanging down? Not a bit. I was mentally making a list of things that needed to be done to get it on the road. Yeah I was hooked for sure. Carter verified for me the bones of the car are still good. Soooo... my awesome wife Jackie and I set up a time on Saturday to come look at the car.

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When I got home from work that evening, the rain hadn't started yet so I made the most of it and took a bunch of photos.  It really is an amazing car.  Paul will no doubt give it a breath of new life!















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I think my '69 bluebird coupe has the same sticker on its heater box.  Interesting...



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No frame rot at all




Fenders and rockers are a different story







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Except for the rockers, everything else under the car looks fantastic!

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Did I read that correctly? #763 built?! Super cool!

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Last but not least - Winnie The Pooh keychain




Tedman suggested "Poohbird" as a car name.  :thumbup:

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I somehow convinced my awesome wife that we needed to go check this car out in person.  Carter hands me this and said "Test drive a Bluebird and get a free Hot Wheel". Sounds good to me!




Only I cant test drive it really, it does not run yet Ha Ha. I did however sit in the driver seat so close enough. It was everything I thought it would be in person. Carter and I made a deal and it was time to come back and pick it up.


Borrowed a trailer from my buddy Jeff and...




Loaded it up.




We hit a snag (literally) while loading the car on the trailer. Turns out the exhaust was caught on the rear edge.  More on that later.  At this point, the driver door would not close for some reason and the driver window would not roll down all the way. "i can fix that no problem". We wrapped the door closed like a bandage for the trip home





Look what is following me!



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Home safe. Time to unload and put it in the shop for some overdue TLC




This is where it will be during rehab. My 2 door is at the body shop right now, so I have a good space to work




Time to figure out why the driver door will not stay shut. Cant have it flying open or anything like that. One thing we noticed about the car from the auction listing was what appeared to be plastic covering the interior door panels. I thought it was a good sign. In person, it looked like the plastic had shrunk quite a bit over time. Looks like some warping of the panels here




Took the panel off to see whats up inside




The vapor barrier is in pretty good shape for being 50 years old




So this is how they install the plastic covering on the door panels. Kind of like your grandmothers slip covers on her couch




Looks like I found the problem inside the door! The push rod from the outer door handle fell off and got hooked by the window on the way down Ha Ha




This is what it is supposed to look like compared to a spare I had




Door works now!


I had hopes that the door panels would have been protected by the plastic covers over the years. I took my time pulling the staples and found that I was right. The panel flattened out just fine. Not bad!



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So now that I have it home, its time to see just what kind of shape the engine is in. I would really like to put put around in this car without going crazy swapping in another power source. At least for a little while anyway. How many veerrry rare L13 race car engines with 3 on the tree have you seen? This is my first.




Pulled the plugs and did not find anything that scared me. Thats good




A peek at the radiator shows that it has been bone dry for some time. I have no idea how long this car sat as a non runner over there. Some dried up chunks in there. Yuk!




There was oil on the dipstick that seemed pretty normal looking. No milk shake under the oil cap. I could see a cam lobe through the valve cover with no scoring, It seemed pretty dry looking, so lets try to get some oil pressure.




Put the battery on the charger and cranked it with no plugs after oiling the cylinders through the plug holes




It appears that the oil made it to the camshaft ok. That is a good sign. Why not try to start this thing?



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yes!  I like where this is going

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Wow the door panel came out great!  such a great interior color combo.  

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I had hopes that the door panels would have been protected by the plastic covers over the years. I took my time pulling the staples and found that I was right. The panel flattened out just fine. Not bad!




Wow... those door panels!!! 

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Daaaaaaamn.... Someone was determined to roll that window down...  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:

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If at all possible, save that little plastic adjuster nut at the end. I had one strip out once, luckily I had a spare...

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Oh don't worry I won't throw it out. I still have another car to put together.

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