CARS IN BARNS
PAGE 113

Well here’s my story of my two forgotten Mopars.  About twenty years ago (when I was a lad) I put my two Mopars in a small garage in Lincoln Park, it’s within walking distance of Detroit.  They were my 1st and 2nd cars I owned, the Cuda was my first car, which I bought during the energy crisis while I was in high school (1975?).  It was/is a matching numbers 383 4 speed Cuda with a 3.23 rear end, original color was the dark green metallic.  The Challenger came by a couple years later (1978?).  It was a semi-basket case that I put together with a 440 4 speed and a 3.55 rear end.  The engine had a fairly large cam and of course the usual stuff, high rise aluminum intake, headers, 850 Holley carb.  It ran very good and was quite fast.  Well, I decided to redo the motor and body on that E-Body also, but, other things took a higher priority; you know the usual stuff, house, marriage, child, dog, etc.  So, they sat for 20 years in that garage I had rented from an older lady, while I carried on with my life and moved out to the country.  I didn’t think that much about them and hoped that maybe one day my son and I would restore them (sound familiar?).  One of my buddies (a former Charger & Dart owner) at work would from time to time say, “Lets go down there and see if they’re still even there!”  However, I don’t know if I was scared to go down there and find the heavy snow caved the roof in on the cars or the garage was broken into and the cars vandalized.  Anyways, I never went back to look at them for 20 some years.  Then one day the lady that I rented the garage from called and left a message that I needed to call her.  I was shocked to hear that she was still alive!  We thought another relative had been cashing the rent checks.  Well all kinds of bad thoughts ran through my head; were the cars all right?  did she sell the house?  It’s funny how much it bothered me that they may not be all right after 20 years of not thinking about them.  Well I called her back and she said that she had sold the house and we had to get the cars out of garage right away because they’d be closing in a couple of weeks.  I went down there and checked out the situation.  The cars were all right just like I left them 20+ years ago, only with dust and cats prints on them.  That was the good news.  The bad news was that the neighbors closed off the alley behind the garage with a wood privacy fence.  This was the way I brought them in to the garage (see photos).  You can also see the tree in front of the rear door that grew there over the last 20 years.  So, the only way out was by a small old wooden door in the front of the garage that practically fell apart when I opened it.  Also, it was a tight fit between the house and other neighbors cyclone fence (see photos).  I had to remove the faucet on the side of the house to get the cars past the house and fence.  Of course, the pluming started to leak on the inside of the house when I tried to get the faucet off and I had to replace some of old galvanized pipes.  The new owners were cool about it and even gave me a hand fixing the pipes.  All this happened during February in Michigan during some of the coldest days of the year, but I guess we’re used to it.  I made a couple of preliminary trip to the garage with another good friend from work.  He brought his snow blower to clear a path and helped move the small stuff off the cars.  The next week I asked several of my buddies from work to gave me a hand moving the cars and getting all the extra parts out of the garage.  I rented a trailer and a good friend of mine, that I used to work, with brought his nice enclosed trailer.  We pushed the Challenger out first.  It was easy once we got the tires off their flat spots.  The Cuda was a little more difficult because we had to lift it with floor jacks slide it across the garage to get it in front of the small garage door in front.  We then pushed it out into the street and loaded it on to the trailer I had rented.  We took them to a storage area near where I live.  I plan to build a garage or pole barn on my property and working on them with my son when he gets older (sound familiar?).  Well that’s the story of my Mopars.