RANCHERO RES­CUE

Muscle Car Review - - Contents - By Rot­ten Rod­ney Bau­man

Part 3: An in­sider’s view of the in­side job

By now we get the idea: In­door stor­age ain’t nec­es­sar­ily safe stor­age. Roughly three months ago, when we first squeezed through the stuck-shut door of a sunken ship­ping con­tainer, we dis­cov­ered a clas­sic ex­am­ple. If by chance you missed the first two in­stall­ments of this saga (July and Au­gust 2018), what hap­pened was we dis­cov­ered the de­com­pos­ing re­mains of a 12,000-mile 1969 Ranchero GT. Stashed and steamed long-term in old con­tainer No. 2, Un­cle Gary Bau­man’s near-new/old Ranchero had not fared well. Since its ex­huma­tion, how­ever, we man­aged to ar­rest and al­most re­verse the de­com­po­si­tion. To this point the res­cue hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been cheap, ei­ther, but sav­ing this low-mileage orig­i­nal still seems worth the ef­fort and ex­pense.

’Tween Parts 1 and 2 we have wit­nessed the once-over, twice. With its me­chan­i­cal needs tended to by Ed Martin Garage, the Ranchero was passed along for heavy-duty de­tail­ing by Soft Touch. There, step by step, we wit­nessed the restora­tion of the Ranchero’s orig­i­nal fin­ish and ex­te­rior bright­work, but so far we haven’t gone into de­tail re­gard­ing in­te­rior trim, un­til now.

Or­di­nar­ily when a mus­cu­lar clas­sic comes in for a com­plete de­tail job, Soft Touch pro­pri­etor Ricky Pope likes to be­gin with in­te­rior chores. Then with win­dows up and doors closed, he’ll con­tinue as nec­es­sary with the ve­hi­cle’s ex­te­rior. Pope’s part of this Ranchero’s res­cue was in fact done in the usual se­quence, but our sto­ries weren’t. So, know that as he puts a few more Moth­ers prod­ucts through their paces.

Sim­ply ob­serv­ing as a pro de­tailer goes about his busi­ness won’t pre­pare us for pro-de­tail­ing prime­time. Along the way, how­ever, we’ll likely gain some use­ful knowl­edge that just might help us make our own in­te­rior-de­tail­ing drudgery more mean­ing­ful and worth­while. Let’s think of this as an op­por­tu­nity—an in­sider’s view of an in­side job, if you will. Pope’s bag o’ tricks is a deep one. Here we are all wel­come to hang around and see what he pulls out.

Yes, it smells bad. It’s dark in here, damn near black as pitch. But fol­low­ing our noses we’ve gone straight to the source of the stench: the poor Ranchero’s mildewed in­te­rior. The new-car smell is gone. On the ad­vice of our de­tailer, we will place two pie tins of cof­fee grounds on the car­pet and al­low some time.

You re­mem­ber con­tainer No. 2, right? It’s the one on the right. Some­time dur­ing the Ranchero’s 29 years in­side, the con­tainer be­gan tak­ing in mois­ture. As tem­per­a­tures changed with the sea­sons, the con­tainer steamed up and be­came, you know, the tomb of doom.

As we men­tioned in Part 1 (“Ranchero Res­cue: Ex­humed From the Tomb of Doom,” July 2018), Un­cle Gary’s Ranchero was last ser­viced on Fe­bru­ary 7, 1989, at Ed Martin Garage. Now here’s con­clu­sive ev­i­dence. An up-to-date sticker will be af­fixed to the same jamb, but this one must be pre­served.

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