After replacing the hood, trunk and doors with donations from the Blue Bird, there was still much to be done.
A paint job from Charles Paint and Auto Body in Corinthian White did wonders for a dull bird.
My trim was still in decent shape, just needed a little polishing. Jim and I set up shop in my basement with a buffing wheel and an assortment of metal polishes.
It was a cost savings to buy door handles from a later year Falcon and have Jim retrofit them for my car. Jim also surprised me with gifts of "shiny things" like Falcon scripts and a new exterior rear view mirror.
EBay also provided some rewarding wins such as nice straight grill, NOS spears, C-pillar moldings and a set of gorgeous hubcaps that came all the way from Australia.
A trip to Charlotte for some new bumpers, some new bright emblems for the gunsights and trunk lock, and just the right size shoes and she's ready for her close-up Mr. DeMille!
While most of the interior of our little Bird was done by yours truly, it was going to take the services of a professional to give her real polish and glow.
Charles Auto Body in Blairs on Route 29 got the privilege of applying her powder and makeup. Even though we plan to redo her paint in 5 years of so, for now she has a nice, slick coat of Corinthian White and most of her wrinkles have been ironed out. Recently, we had some dings and nicks botoxed and her frame straightened a bit (the result of an unfortunate accident back in the 80's knocked her front-end off kilter). A little plastic surgery never hurt a middle-aged ladies self-esteem, now did it?
When the Falcon finally returned to me, she did so looking a little less than fresh. She was wearing a set of hubcaps from an old Galaxie which, while period correct, didn't do a thing for the her looks or character. I remembered the shiny set of simple round caps she came to me with back in 1981 and wanted to find another set.
Getting bumpers meant first having some good old ones and then ordering some new ones. But bumpers are pretty big! So what about shipping?
Never mind shipping. Let's go to Charlotte? We can have them arrive at the car show there and pick them up. Easy right?
Falcon parts may appear to come a dime-a-dozen, but you'll never convince anyone of that if they are looking for a good grill.
My mother would never let me play with acid. I can't figure out why.
I do know it took some pretty rough stuff to shine up the potmetal bezels for my head and taillights. They were extremely dull and powdery looking, but they were relatively straight, so Jim and I decided to give them a lye bath. A BOILING lye bath.