There’s one sure-fire way to obtain a desirable muscle car and that’s to exhibit the foresight to have purchased one decades ago, when they were “just cars”. For this installment of “What are you working on”, Donny Grace of Corsicana, Texas, is one such individual. He purchased this car over 30 years ago and while not the original owner, he remembers when the car was purchased from a dealership in his hometown. He kept an eye on the car as it moved around town to various owners, and then, when the car’s value hit “used” status, Donny jumped at the chance to make it his.
The factory bench-seat, four-speed Road Runner had definitely been used. Before Donny could get a hold of it, the original engine was ventilated, the windows were broken out, and water had been standing in the floorboards of the car. Donny kept the car on the road and made it his daily-driver and occasional racer until its driving duties succumbed to life’s new requirements. This is usually where paths diverge and what “used to be” only holds value in our memories. But to Donny’s credit, he and the Road Runner never parted ways. As Donny puts it, “This car has been with me for over 30 years and is part of the family”.
And now that the rest of the family is grown, he can turn his efforts into bringing back the joy of driving his Road Runner. Donny decided to do it once and do it right. That meant a full rotisserie restoration was completed and since the original engine was wasted decades ago, Donny keeps a broad definition of the term. Plans dictate a five-speed overdrive transmission and a built-up Gen-II Hemi under the hood.
But before all that power can be felt through the floorboards, they, along with a bevy of other body panels needed to be repaired, re-finished and ready for a fresh coat of paint by Body Works Collision, also in Corsicana. Every part was removed from the car and painstakingly cleaned and any evidence of rust was expeditiously removed. Once all the metal was up to par, attention was then given to making the car handle the extra torque the engine is sure to produce.
Additional frame connectors and roll cage will help to keep the Hemi contained and the entire body has been carefully massaged to make sure that all the additional pieces fit properly and look like they belong. Currently, Donny’s ride is just a roller as the engine is the next big task at hand. In the meantime, Donny is focusing on interior panels, dash restorations and various other parts, so that when that thumping Elephant engine arrives, the rest of the car will be ready!What do you think of Donny’s build – does it inspire you to get back to work on your own project car? Let us know in the comments below. And if you have a project of your own that you’ve been slaving away at, share it with us! Send us an email and yours could be the next project featured in “What Are You Working On?”.