I took the following pictures the day after I brought the car home. It was late at night (1am) when I returned from Arlington to pic her up, and as much as I wanted to take pictures that night, they just would not have done any good.

Once home, I found a few interesting things. First, there was a opossum living in the trunk area that came all the way back to Highlands with me. I didn't know he was there till the second night when got out to check out his new surroundings, and found the insulation in my garage quite edible.

The next exciting item was the windows and seat. I hooked a battery to the car to see what worked and what didn't, as well as see if she would turn over. Much to my surprise, when I hit the switch for the drivers side window, it shot right down! Being an old MoPar though, and knowing their history with electrical problems, I quickly pushed the switch up and held my breath. Sure enough, the window came back up! All but one window worked, which was more than I expected! Next came the front seat. Flawlessly the seat moved forward and back as it should. No hesitation and no 'strange' rumbling noises either.

The came the moment of truth. To turn the key. At first, it only clicked, like a starter solenoid on its way out or low amp battery. Then, for no reason at all, there was a low growl as the engine slowly turned over for the first time in who knows how long. Yes, the engine was prep before attempting this sometimes deadly check. Into the valve covers with a healthy dose of Marvel Mystery Oil. Same with the Carburetor (which needed to be freed of cobwebs and mud wasp nests) and an ample amount down the distributor hole. All other areas were the lubed with heavy weight oil wherever possible. Mind you, this car has only 22,000 original miles and I have every reason to believe that the plugs, wires, cap, rotor, etc. were all original. After a little gas down the carb many times, I got what I was after. A spark of life. A loud cough erupted from the dual exhaust, which in turn launched a family of mice a fair distance across the yard from the tailpipe condo. As I turned the key again, another spark, and this time she tried to run a little. After about 2 hours of tinkering, and parts replacement, she fired off. A little fine tuning and she settled into a nice healthy idle, ready for road duty again.

Being my first Forward Look car, I just had to drive her, but neglected the cardinal rule. CHECK THE BRAKES! After topping of the transmission as well as all other fluids, I jumped behind the wheel, pushed the "D" button, and proceed down the driveway. As I neared the end if the drive, I applied the brakes. Much to my then naive surprise, there was nothing! I quickly pushed the "N" button and pulled the Emergency Brake and was able to stop the car before I entered the street. I then spent the next month rebuilding the entire brake system on the car. Then, and only then, did I try to venture out in her again.

Let me say, what a ride! My first ride only made my desire to restore the car even greater.

Many things in my life though would hamper that desire, and as such, it wasn't until the later part of 2001 that I was able to begin. The next page chronicles the first steps in the restoration of the Belvy.

Disassembly - July 13, 2002

Finally at home! - August 18, 1996

Couple dents, but dents are way better than rust!

After a little cleanup. Replaced the brake booster as well.

Not to bad, but not a whole lot left of the fabric.

Clean and straight, wouldn't you say?