Photobucket
Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: August 2020 Feature Car


A Poncho Legend!

Status: Offline
Posts: 23309
Date:
August 2020 Feature Car


It's always nice to find an early (Pre 1960) Pontiac to feature as there are so few of them out there. Our August 2020 Feature car belongs to Dale Petrie. When Dale found this 1950 Pontiac Silver Streak it was in pretty sad shape. Dale spent 3 years restoring the Pontiac and the results are stunning! Dale fills us in on the extensive details:

 

It was September 2016 in conversation with some old car enthusiasts when I learned about this 1950 Pontiac. I learned that the owner had refused selling the car because he didn’t want the car to be chopped, modified or re-powered.   I was intrigued to say the least because I was told the owner, or so-called owner, inherited the car from his father who had passed away.  I made telephone contact and diligently managed to arranged a viewing.  Complete and in bad shape she was, but I liked the lines and I saw potential for a nice project.  A second viewing of the car with my wife and she wanted it for herself. I did not get completely under the car to check the under carriage; I only saw what I could see from the side of the low riding rockers. So, I asked if he had the registration, he wasn’t sure, he said it was in his office, when indeed I found it laying on the front floor in the remnants of the glove box which had fallen. The registration was still in his dad’s name. So, we came to an agreement, he took care of the transfer to his name, we purchased it with the registration signed over and we pulled the car home.  

FrontDS.jpg

My wife’s primary objective was to keep the car looking as original as possible to preserve its original appearance which was also a promise to the previous owner, my agenda was to make a safe car for her to drive and enjoy.  

frontbefore.jpg

backtrailer.jpg

Oh, but the car looked lonely, tired and forgotten. What I found in the car was incredible, even a skeleton of a raccoon or fox, not really sure.    So, the tear down began and within a short period the frame was bare. During the tear down I learned several things that I did not know when I bought the car, the first was that the car had a Torque Tube Drive, in short this meant it had a propeller shaft, not a typical drive shaft. The tube was fixed to the differential housing and the only universal joint was directly behind the transmission enclosed in a spherical union.  This was something that had to go.  The frame was media blasted; air and water were used because air alone did not seem to be purging the particles through the tubular frame members.  

 

Before 

frame.jpg

After

FrameRestored.jpg

In order to accommodate a more modern style of differential, the transmission required modifications to convert it from a closed to open style. The modification required a 3/4" thick aluminum plate along with the original slip yoke which was altered to so as to fit the original spline, it was machined and then welded to a flange in the center. Then the complete spline / flange unit was pressed into a sealed bearing. The bearing OD was machined to fit and be pressed into the aluminum plate which was held in place with a C clip. This reinforced the transmission output shaft as compared to old system of a bushing that had little support and had shown signs of wear.  

Before

DSBefore.jpg

After

DSAfter.jpg

The engine was checked with a simple blow test and the only cylinder that any positive pressure at dead top center was number one.  The remaining five cylinders either had blow by through the carburetor or the exhaust manifold indicating valve issues and every one had some minor losses through the Crank Case Ventilation tube, which meant rings or cylinder issues. So , in short the engine had to be rebuilt and I decided to use Sussex Engine Builders for a complete rebuild.  The engine was completed with a slight honing of cylinder walls, new rings and bearings, valves seats and seals.  I also added electronic ignition from Pertronics and the electrical system was upgraded to 12 volts.  The wiring harness that I choose was the American Auto Wire Highway 22 Kit, I call it the wiring kit for dummies, even I could do It. If you can read, you can wire a car.  No more voltage Regulator 

Noregulator.jpg

Before

EngineBefore.jpg

After

Engineafter.jpg

 

The clutch was overhauled, friction disc was re-faced at Friction Plus in Dieppe NB the flywheel was resurfaced at a local machine shop, the pressure plate was cleaned and a new throw out bearing was installed, works fine with no chatter at all.  I then ran the engine in a test stand before installing it into the frame, I was impressed, so quiet and fantastic oil pressure, below is a picture of the engine in the stand 

EngineFinished.jpg

Some of the hidden items that took a lot of creativity were items like the thermostat.  Well if other readers can remember the thermostat of the day was of the bellows type, and I could not find or source a new one, so we converted the old thermostat housing by machining two groves. Using C clips, I installed the first c clip then we installed a modern style 185-degree thermostat and then a second c clip, voila, problem solved and no one would ever know it was not original.  The starter solenoid had to be sourced from 6 to 12 volt. The starter was serviced no issues, and it still has the same stator and amateur.  During the tear down of the motor I noticed both rear side motor mounts were broken, they were nothing more than two threaded nut like fasteners welded to the center of two small steel plates inverted and held together by what looked like the beginning of vulcanized rubber technology. In short, they were torn apart.  I have a before photo and a photo of the remanufactured bushing style motor mount that I made.  

Before

Ubracket.jpg

After

Ubracket2.png

The photo above shows the U type bracket over a 1 ¼ “   diameter bushing with a ½” diameter sleve, each opposing unit has this same threaded nut like fastener welded to it.  The reason this became important was the twisting of the heavy engine was tearing the solder off the top radiator hose connector.

 

 The photo below shows the extensive amount of repairs that had been done from 1950 to 1974, the last year the car was registered for the highway.   

ExtensiveRepairs.jpg

During the short time of the car being back on the road, no leaks, another problem solved and no one would ever look to see that the motor mounts are not original.   

 

The braking system was converted from a single master cylinder to a dual master complete with a portioning valve and four corner disc brakes.  Three residual pressure valves had to be used in the final bleeding process. The issue here was the master cylinder was lower than the calipers and would not hold pressure, hence the necessity for the residual valves that held 2 psi on the line, another problem solved. 

Before

ResidValvebefore.jpg

After

ResidValveAfter.jpg

Enough about the mechanical aspects, now we’ll  talk about the coach. Items that required replacing were both left and right side inner and out rocker panels, both front and back seat left and right floor pans, all three-floor brace cross members.  The rear ¼ panels from the door pillars to the back of the rear wheel, both left and right sides, along with both gas tank braces. 

Before

FloorRotissierebefore.jpg

After

FloorRotissiereAfter.jpg

Side view showing x bracing of the coach so as to maintain the square and integrity of the body while sheet metal work was in progress 

Bodyrotissierebefore.jpg

BodyrotissiereAfter.jpg

Marrying the coach back onto the frame 

BodygoingonFrame.jpg

Finishing the coach, I used Dynamat for heat and sound insulation on the floors.

Sounddeadener.jpg

SounddeadenerR.jpg

Rewired the instrument cluster to 12V gauges and dash panel lights.  This car originally did not have turn signal lights, so the dash board was equipped with LED turn signal indicators.  Push button start concept was maintained. Please excuse the dirty hand prints on the shift lever and column. 

Cluster.jpg

Rear LED tail light assemblies (Rectangular Canadian Style Park, Signal and Brake) along with the third LED brake light strip were sourced. If you look at the bottom center of the rear window, you will notice the third LED brake light strip. Not quite hidden but almost.

ThirdBrakeLight.jpg

Some before and after pictures showing the Chrome work that was done by Cambridge Custom Chrome 

 

 

Front view before

FrontBefore.jpg

After:

FrontAfter.jpg

Rear view before:

RearBefore.jpg

After:

RearAfter.jpg

Some before and after shots of the interior:

InteriorBefore.jpg

InteiorRearAfter.jpg

FrontSeatsBefore.jpg

FrontSeatAfter.jpg

BenchBefore.jpg

BenchAfter.jpg

DoorPanelBefore.jpg

DoorPanelAfter.jpg

The car was put on the road last August 2019, we drove it locally at low speeds and up to 85-90 kilometers / hour. and to say the least it drives like a tight 1950 Sedan.  I am really impressed with regards to how much torque that flat head has. I thought by changing the differential out which had 3.9 :1 gear and with the 3.23:1 gear in the replacement differential I would be forever shifting, but not the case.  It climbs up most hills with ease.  I can’t say what the rpm drops to , there is no tachometer in the car.  In short, that part of the project worked out very nice, after all it’s my lady’s cruiser.   

front1.JPG

I have yet to have the front end properly aligned by a Technician. When I rebuilt the front end, I merely counted the revolutions to    remove the left tie rod ends, and threaded the new tie rod ends the same amount of revolutions, not very exact. The car tracks ok, does not wander or pull to either side, regardless an alignment is in order. 

 

In closing, the most important thing to mention is the satisfaction I had to acquire this car, the ability to finish the project, the conversations and experiences along the way with so many different and talented people make this car priceless. The joy I get when I see my wife drive the car down the street, that is what it’s all about, she is happy.  My wife’s history and love of old cars, she was fortunate enough to be around her Uncle who had 21 antiques ranging from 1899 to 1940 and he was one of the key founders of the New Brunswick Antique Auto Club in New Brunswick. Together we make a great team.

front2.JPG

Dale and Helen Petrie



Attachments
__________________

Todd
Site Founder

Like us on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/CanadianPoncho

Canadian Poncho World Headquarters - Prince Edward Island

 



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 6244
Date:

What an awesome and detailed write up on your gorgeous car. Good for you to take on such an ambitious project and to have handled each of your challenges so well. I used to enjoy seeing little progress reports over the years. It truly is beautiful and you have good right to be very proud of it.

__________________
Jerel


Poncho Master!

Status: Offline
Posts: 1282
Date:

Congratulations on doing such a fantastic restoration on the 1950 . The car is gorgeous ! The transmission conversion from torque tube to open is incredible. Did you use a diff from a S-10 . When I installed a 283 drivetrain from a 57 Chev into a 51 Chev when I was a teenager the 57 diff was an easy swap . The car must been a dream to drive. I can concur with the torque of the flat head six as I did a lot of work on a 1950 four door Pontiac a few years ago and was surprised at the amount of torque it has and figured it was because of the 3:91 rear gears.

Your wife was be a very happy woman when driving that beautiful car.

Al


__________________


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 605
Date:

What an awesome story! What an awesome car! Your wife must be enjoying it so much & turning heads at every intersection. CONGRATULATIONS and may the pleasure of driving this car last a long time!



__________________

"Dad, which car are we taking?"                      "The Pontiac!"

"Which one?"                                                    "The red one!"

'67 Parisienne 2+2 - red

'01 Montana            - red

'06 Buick Allure

'12    Japanese minivan



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 19449
Date:

Looks great! Love it! (looks better without the visorwink)



__________________

Prince Edward Island

'64 Parisienne CS "barn find" - last on the road in '86 ... Owner Protection Plan booklet, original paint, original near-mint aqua interior, original aqua GM floor mats, original 283, factory posi, and original rust.



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 6007
Date:

Dale, congratulations to you and your lady on a real sweet resto of this fine Pontiac. I admire your eye for the work effort and detail of this sweet looking Poncho. Great job and i wish you folks the best of enjoyment with this Pontiac time machine. Cheers.



__________________

1957 Pontiac Pathfinder Deluxe sedan restored 261 six

1974 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon low mileage original 400 V-8

MC


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 6172
Date:

Amazing amount of work in this project.  Really appreciate the detailed write-up on this monthly feature car, one of the best yet.  Congrats on the feature, and the great result of the build.



__________________


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 6926
Date:

Great car, great story! Congrats!



__________________
67' Grande Parisienne. Ex Ottawa USSR Embassy car, 67- 68.
6977017306_dfca361bfc_m.jpg
 


Poncho Master!

Status: Offline
Posts: 1486
Date:

What a great project



__________________


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Online
Posts: 19341
Date:

Nothing really left to say after reading all posts before me so I will just say impeccable and beautiful. 



__________________

Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 






Addicted!

Status: Offline
Posts: 250
Date:

Well to say the least, I am very humbled by all your fantastic comments, especially coming from this group men.
When it was first suggested I wasn't sure how this type of car would interest and meet expectation of the readers.
Thanks Dale

__________________

Dale Petrie

1950 Pontiac Silver Streak 2 Dr Sedan

1956 Studebaker 1/2 ton

1967 Beaumont  2 Dr Sport Coupe 

1985 GMC 1500 Sierra 4x4 One Owner



Addicted!

Status: Offline
Posts: 298
Date:

Outstanding story,outstanding car! Cheers from B.C.

__________________


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 7198
Date:

dale, been waiting to see this and all i can say is superb!you did a pile of work to that and it shows and thanks for showing it here

__________________

http://canadianponcho.activeboard.com/t51640378/timbuks-first-invader/ http://canadianponcho.activeboard.com/t63146560/timbuks-second-invader/  vancouver island



A Poncho Legend!

Status: Online
Posts: 42515
Date:

I will admit that normally most of the pre-1955 GM models don't interest me. However,I have to say seeing your car and reading your story has my total attention. You've done a great job and can be proud of it!

__________________

1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 44,000 original miles "FAKE_66"



Poncho Master!

Status: Offline
Posts: 2745
Date:

This is a real classic car, great job on the restoration and it looks great. Look like Cambridge did a fine job on the chrome, that hood chrome is special.

__________________

63 Parisienne sport coupe (The Big GTO), black, maroon interior, 409 4 speed; former owner of a 59 El Camino, 63 Corvette SWC, 62 Chev Bel Air SC. 

Mahone Bay, NS Still not old enough to need an automatic



Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 89
Date:

Dale you have done a fantastic job on your car it sure is nice seeing these kept
on the road for yrs to come.
I grew up around this type of car that's why I did mine but it is no match
to yours.
Very very nice.

Mike

__________________


Addicted!

Status: Offline
Posts: 237
Date:

Amazing job Dale! What a beauty, love the lines of your car. Great story and before / after pics.



__________________

Tom

Sherwood Park

66 Grande Parisienne 4 speed

66 Laurentian 2 door sedan, project FOR SALE 

66 Parisienne 2 door hard top, sold. 



Addicted!

Status: Offline
Posts: 328
Date:

What a cool car and even cooler story, great job!

__________________


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 4012
Date:

Finally got around to reading this feature and I must say the car and the writeup are first class.

Good technical info from a guy who knows this car inside out. Some of the fixes were pretty complex and would have had me just looking for whole other pieces such as a tranny swap along with the diff. Also have to hand it to you with the poor state the car was in at the beginning. I don't know of this typical of  old maritime cars but that chrome looked pretty rough. Nice now!

The upgrades you chose were nice and subtle just to improve drivability and safety not to hot rod the crap out of it!  I like that concept.

The front end of the 50 pontiacs were especially bold and forceful too, so good choice on the year.

All in all very worthy to be on top!



__________________

ken from northern Alberta

38 Willys pickup electric powered project

39 Buick (327 with 700 r4)

66 Grande Parisienne 396 with AC (built October 26 1965)

66 Beaumont 4 door hardtop

69 Chevy CST pickup

1976 GMC 23'  motorhome



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 4065
Date:

Beautifully restored. Just the right upgrades for safety and reliability but stock appearing which preserves the appeal of the car's design. Great documentation as well, especially of the technical improvements. Congratulations on completing it and being featured here. 



__________________

62 Catalina 2 dr post project

69 Parisienne 2 dr ht 427

68 Impala SS427 convt project

 

 



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 5955
Date:

She's a beauty, and I have to commend the commitment on bringing the old girl back to life.

__________________
70 2+2 convertible
70 2+2 hardtop
70 Parisienne hardtop
72 GMC Sierra

 

 



Poncho Master!

Status: Offline
Posts: 1266
Date:

Excellent restoration work, reminds me of my Mom and Dad's 50 Chev. Torpedo back 2dr.
Brian

__________________
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us
.
Support Canadian Poncho!
Select Amount:
<
.
.
.