14 years ago I acquired a beautiful maroon on red 45,000 mile hurricane damaged 98 riv, I signed up here to poke around but was not a particularly active member, not sure if I posted photos...hope so, as I have lost all personal archives to fire, and to be brutally honest let myself get purged from here.
Where do I re-start? History:
When I got the car it was in perfect condition except the part where it was buried in trees, subsequently abandoned and left entombed in vegetation for a year.
After recovery it ran and drove with a jump. Between trees and dozer clearing the field it only had one piece of glass (LR 1/4 window) head/taillight smashed by kids, it looked bad but walking around it would seem 90% of the damage was to bolt on items, once sitting down inside, under the leaves and glass, the interior was still 9 out of 10, somehow the rear fenders only had door dings, the rest was smashed but shiny, every button worked, had full tank of fuel, it would burn the tires for a block...
Being the car was 8 yrs old, many were available in local junkyard, decision was made, fix it.
I carefully stripped & stored the interior, saved every clip, screw, piece of molding, chrome, etc. pulled the damaged parts off and went to buy used stuff at the local you pull and pay.
Bought doors, hood, trunk, front fenders, glass, lights, even the rear package tray and roof center, yeah they bolt on. I also used this unique opportunity to get rid of the sunroof, as a auto tech I hate those.
Aside from a little structural roof damage @ the passenger sunvisor everything literally bolted/clipped/snapped back together like legos, too easy, got the car in primer, bought the paint then a housefire struck... lost everything, the car was at work, it got a car cover and sat ignored, untouched.
5 years later:
Look under the cover, Im horrified but not surprised to find much trashed, hood dented from something, the fuel pump, alternator, a/c compressor, blower resistor and airbag cover (horn stuck) all shot. Another decision has to be made, my daily driver, 98 3.8 Monte is worn out, burning oil, trans about to quit, do I resurrect the riv or strip the driveline for the monte?
Just then, painter buddy having a rough patch of life comes to visit, he is crashing at my place for 6 weeks.
We get to painting/fixing the Riv, when finished it looks and drives like a new car, I swipe the alloy 5 star wheels off the monte.
2 more years:
The old Monte had been long ago entered in a demo derby, the Riv was my new daily, unfortunately the paint, more specifically the clear coat that sat 5 years before being applied, has not held up, she is starting to look like hell, dumb luck I win a raffle for a free Econo paint job, sounded good at the time but you get what you pay for...
2 years later:
Looking like hell again, same friend comes back for a visit, back in primer, this will be my new look till further notice, I don't drive it every day or even every week as I have customers cars very often available, the Riv gets run down, still using it but no more weekly detail jobs, life goes on car goes downhill, still has only 70,000 miles tho.
1 year later:
I acquire another low mile riv, not running, but decent White pearl, with a 9 out of 10 red interior. Turns out a old guy passed and the wife left it parked in a carport untouched for 12 years till it was to be scrapped, thankfully the tow guy knew I had a riv and I bought it, unfortunately it sits outside as I pick at it for spare parts.
I also score ANOTHER free paint job @ the same raffle!
Life takes a turn, family health crisis.
2 more years...
Raffle ticket goes unclaimed, riv still in primer, one day I pop the hood to jump another car and get distracted, laid the hood down unlatched, 2 days later I hop in and make it a mile before flipping the hood up... Now I have a pearl white hood on.
1 yr later
Tropical storm sweeps through and pulls the top off a old tree, it travels quite some distance to drop on the trunk, RR fender and roof of the riv
Same buddy helps get the dents out, all but the trunk (ruined) now back in primer.
1 more year sneaks by, Year 14, last week:
Same buddy on vacation now accepts he will be doing body work every time he visits, riv has taken a spiral downward after the fuel pump quit, sitting 6 months, its sad, the Florida sun has made all the plastic brittle, door panels are warping as the backing crumbles, seat got its first hole, interior has not been detailed in a long time...Its almost bringing a tear as I really love the car, now 90,000 miles there is much life left but this thing refuses to stay nice.
One last hurrah, in haste, got it running with a junkyard fuel pump, time to pool all spare parts acquired over the years.
Skipping the raffle paint job, bought the best epoxy primer and going at it almost as hard as the first round, but now, finally, we need things no longer available @ the junkyard or dealer.
All week we have been stripping chrome/rubber/lights, trunk is off, the roof is now bare metal and getting filler, parts car assessed, interior still 7.5 out of 10
Will get some pics up but not sure what.
Comments? Complaints? Im ready.