Well, I'm done with all the cleaning that I'm going to bother doing. From here out, I'm going to spend time getting Webby running.
Before I begin documenting that, though, I figured I'd post some images of the results of the cleaning process. Some areas don't look much different than when I took possession of the car, other have undergone a dramatic change. Lots and lots of desert dust has been washed away, and everything rubber or vinyl has been given numerous coats of STP to combat cracking. The interior still looks rather bad. I put a lot of effort into removing the carpet's glue, but much of it won't come up without an inordinate amount of elbow grease. Areas with only a sputter coat or nearly bare primer hold onto the glue very well. In one area, under the handbrake, I went to the trouble of pulling up the "sound barrier" shingle. The bare primer looks great underneath it, but I'm not going to bother pulling up any of the other shingles. My solvent dissolves the tar that holds them down, but it's a dirty process that's not worth the time. When I get the car repainted, I'll have them media blast it to take up all of this crap. Until then, I'll just deal with the ugly interior.
The areas that won't be recarpeted someday actually look pretty good. The dash is of course horribly cracked, and I want to smack whoever glued down the dashboard cover. But they do look nice and black again.
I've washed the seat belts also. The car comes with what must be the original seat belts. I was afraid I'd have to replace them, which would be costly. It would also be a shame, as these things are pretty vintage. The clasping mechanism is overly complicated (ane some need a little TLC) and there are no retractors, but they look very cool. They also clasp onto a cool, sinuous chrome bar between the seats. The belts were very stiff and, I feared, beyond reuse. But a gentle hand washing with some mild laundry soap washed away 35 years of dirt and now the seatbelts feel almost new. I just hope the clasping mechanisms are reliable enough for safe use.
For each of the following before-and-after images, both the inset "before" image and the larger "after" image will open in a new window at full size if you click on them.
The car's identification in the engine compartment.
The engine compartment from both driver's and passenger's side. I've removed the air filter housing until I get a new filter, and I've sealed off the carburetor's intake. The dead battery's been removed, as well as the fuel pump, awaiting replacements. I wouldn't call it a "clean" engine compartment, but the improvement is pretty dramatic.
The "before" image here might look cleaner because the seats and carpet are still in, but if you look closely I think you'll find that that's not the case. All the residual glue makes the interior look much worse that it actually is. If you focus on the dashboard and the door panels, you'll see the improvement. The door panels are in good condition, save the faux chrome strips that cannot be replaced. I'll fill the holes with now speakers someday. I love the round accordion rubber around the shift lever, as opposed to square.
The dashboard, steering wheel, and instrumentation cluster have been given a new life.
The bare primer just looks sooo clean. Here, you can see, despite the large amount of glue that remains, just how much glue has been taken off. Unless the glue is on a nicely painted surface, it's tenatious stuff. In my mind, the man who glued down all that carpet is named Hans. Hans is probably in his 60s now, and little did he know on that regular ol' day at the plant in October 1970 that he would, 35-and-a-half years later, be the subject of such spiteful ire from a guy with a mohawk scraping away at his handiwork. Hans probably just punched out his timecard like usual. I'm sure it never occured to him just how sadistic his assembly line job had been that day. The rubber boot around the handbrake looks great, though.
This picture does a poor job showing how much cleaner the back of the car is now. Once the sideboards and the seats are back in, along with the clean seat belts, the back here will look almost inviting.
The two front seats. They look much better now, and the vinyl isn't as dry as before. Interestingly, the passenger seat on the right is the one with the tear.
Half of the back seat. I think it was repadded at some point because the springs don't rub against the vinyl. Doesn't mean the seat is comfortable.
The rest of the rear seat and the sideboards for the back.
The rear seat belt. The clasps (left) house the buckling/unbuckling mechanism and latch onto a tethered metal loop (right). The clasps have a complicated lever mechanism that unlatches it from the metal tether. For the front seats, there is a lap belt and shoulder-cross belt that bolt to the frame, and attach to the same type of buckling mechanism that you see here. Both the driver's and passenger's side belts buckle onto a shared chrome bar that is mounted between the seats. This is a very cool part, and I'll get a picture of it up once all the seats are back in.
Update: Here's the "center loop" that sits between the two front seats that the seat belts buckle onto. Tres, tres cool.