Hows this for a before...
Hows this for a before photo? This is the treasure that awaited Boyd when he found the nice 33 Dodge body in an Oklahoma barn. Dont expect to see it riding on a trailer these days.
With nothing but an abused...
With nothing but an abused shell to start with, Boyd turned to sheetmetal magician Bob Brueggeman of Custom Auto Body, who beat every square inch of this 33 Dodge into submission, as Boyd puts it. By the time he was done, Brueggeman had transformed the original body into this laser-straight steel beauty. Dave Phillips at Phillips Auto Body in Columbus, Nebraska, shot the deep-blue and black two-tone paint scheme, using DuPont basecoats and clearcoats.
The original dash was kept...
The original dash was kept stock with 33 Dodge instruments restored to working order. The electrical system was upgraded with a Haywire wiring system.
The 15-inch Kelsey Hayes wire-spoke...
The 15-inch Kelsey Hayes wire-spoke wheels were originally chromed. Boyd decided to paint them to match the interior, setting them off with chrome aftermarket beauty rings and original spinner caps. Front 15x51/2 and rear 15x6 rims roll with Cooper radials measuring P185/65R15 and P225/75R15 in the front and back. The rear axle was moved back an inch to center the rear tires in the fenders.
Underneath the outer façade...
Underneath the outer façade of a mildly modified resto rod lies a wildly detailed huffer Hemi motor, circa 1957. Some 21st-century style is added by the homemade air cleaner and intake, built by Boyd with help from machinist Lee Tefoel. The custom manifold was built out of necessity, since Boyd couldnt find one anywhere in the USA for the smaller Dodge Hemi engine. At Americruise 01, Boyd won the R&C Editors Choice award for Best Engine.
Going for a low-key resto-rod...
Going for a low-key resto-rod appearance, Boyd used a 33 Dodge bench, but added some complementary aftermarket components, such as the pedals, shifter, and hand brake from Lokar, and a 15-inch banjo steering wheel from LeCarra. The glovebox houses a Sony CD player.
When Boyd Jones bought the raw material for his resto-rod 33 Dodge convertible, he had completed the most difficult and time-consuming part of the projectfinding the car. Jones has always been into early Plymouths and Dodges, building his firsta 33 Plymouth coupein the mid-70s. At that time, he began his search for a 33 or 34 convertible coupe.
The Columbus, Nebraska, classifieds arent exactly overflowing with ads for 33 Dodge convertibles. In fact, of the 1,600 or so cars originally produced, Boyd knew that there are only about 20 to 30 still roaming around. Whenever he found one for sale, it was usually already restored to original condition, with the exception of a very up-to-date price tag.
In 1994, Boyd made a call to Tulsa in response to a parts-wanted ad in Hemmings for a 33 Plymouth convertible rearview-mirror bracket. The advertiser told Boyd that, in addition to the Plymouth he was building, he happened to have a pretty nice, but unfinished, 33 Dodge convertible that had been sitting in his barn since 1968. He wasnt interested in selling it, but invited Boyd to call back again. After 15 months and almost a dozen calls, Boyd finally talked the owner into selling the Dodge. The day before his trip to Tulsa, Boyd was informed that the 33 was not exactly a complete car. In fact, it was just a body. When he got there, he discovered a neglected and beat-up shell with the passenger side cut off. Boyd went home without the Dodge, but as he said, If you want a certain car bad enough
. After three months, Boyd picked up the phone again and negotiated the price of the Dodge down to a reasonable number. In 1996, he finally headed south one more time to, as he says, pick up the pieces.
Upon arriving home, Boyd unloaded the sheetmetal pieces into the garage. His wife Kathryn wondered where the car was, and his friends burst a gasket laughing at his new project. But * Boyd had a few advantages on his side: a rare original steel 33 Dodge body, a lifetime of experience building early Dodges, and a reliable metalman by the name of Bob Brueggeman in Norfolk, Nebraska, who was able to create a pretty impressive something out of a whole lot of nothing.
While Brueggeman completely reworked the dilapidated body, Boyd got busy at home building the chassis on an original 33 frame, which he boxed from the X-member back. He added a few frontend mods, including a 6-inch drop kit from Super Bell, reverse eye springs, adjustable Carrera shocks, 53 Chevy spindles, front discs from an 80 Volare, and a Flaming River Vega-style steering setup. The rearend is from a 78 Ford, with Chassis Engineering springs and adjustable coilovers.
Packing this gentlemanly resto rod with a low-profile blown Dodge Hemi was Boyds original intent for the car. The 57 Dodge VT Series Hemi came out of a farmers 3-ton truck, and was beefed up by Boyd and Lee Tefoel. A GMC 4-71, single Holley 650 carb, and custom manifold feed the 270ci motor, bored 0.060-inch over and stuffed with Jahns 8.0:1 pistons. Headers are from Sanderson. The transmission is a basically stock 78 727 automatic equipped with a trans cooler and a shift kit.
Nowadays, the most enjoyable part of the project is keeping the wheels turning. In the last couple of years, Boyd has had the 33 on the road as much as possible, and has racked up more than 5,000 miles. He tries to hit the local rod runs in addition to larger shows such as Americruise and the Street Rod Nationals. The attention that the rare Dodge draws at these events is Boyds reward for taking it from wretched to righteous. Until now, few people were aware of just how bad this rare Dodge once was, which makes Boyd smile every time he hears the frequent comment, This must have been a really nice car to start with!