Progress Thread Calypso Cash Pit

JKWilson61

Active Member
Jul 27, 2018
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Summerville, SC
Bought a '91 LX convertible last spring for a pretty good price. It's Calypso Green with white leather sport interior. The seller said it had a new top on it. I'm sure it was new.....at one point in it's life! It was a cheap top, poorly installed with a totally roached vinyl window. The leather interior was also totally shot. There had been past accident damage to the front as well as the left rear quarter. The up side was there was no frame damage and nothing tweaked. The down side was he had tried to work on the rear quarter and made the damage worse.

I was able to use all of the negatives to get a decent amount knocked off the asking price and he wasn't asking a fortune to begin with. Bottom line was it was a highly optioned car 5.0 car, complete and unmolested and in a fairly rare color combo for '91 (106 made according to Kevin Marti). I was specifically looking a Calypso Green Fox when I found this one.

When I bought it:

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I began working on it in hopes of taking it to Foxtoberfest last year. I went, the car didn't! Weather really screwed me. I succeeded in rebuilding the door hinges with new pins/bushings, rollers, check springs and striker bushings. I also ended up buying new front and rear bumper covers, used original hood and both front fenders and a pair of good used hood hinges. I also had to replace the A/C condensor but fortunately had a spare original in my parts stash. All of the front end light assemblies were pretty much toast as well as one rear tail light. Replacements were added to purchase list. The costs began to grow! Once all of the sheetmetal was on and lined up I was able to get the majority of the body work done and the first coat of primer surfacer laid down. After the first blocking work came to a halt due to weather.

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In the past few months the weather started to cooperate again and I was able to pick back up on the body work. I was able to finish the basic blocking, address any issues and lay down another coat of primer. I also got all of the trim that was removed and salvageable cleaned, prepped and repainted. Man there is a TON of black trim parts! Of course the most expensive trim pieces on a convertible were junk..the hockey stick moldings. Cha Ching..more costs!

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In the past several weeks I finished off the final block sanding and it was ready to head to the painter. Taking into account that all of the primers, sandpaper, tape, masking paper, fillers, sealer, paint, clear coat and associated reducers/thinners/activators aren't free, the costs continued. I'm sure glad I volunteered to work a lot of overtime and holidays last year!

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A big plus to the cost savings, or so I thought, was I had a painter lined up who volunteered to spray the car for me for free. He's well known in the area and is an excellent painter who worked at his family's paint and body shop. The car was FINALLY ready to go in to be sprayed last week. I tried contacting him to arrange a day, nothing but crickets was heard! Since he had offered to do it for free (though I was going to slide him some green anyhow), I couldn't complain but I was stuck. Fortunately my father and some of my friends worked or have worked in the paint and body business. I am blessed with having a lot of contacts. If my father was still with us the car would have been done last year (he painted all of my cars when I was younger). I reached out to another shop and worked a side deal with the owner. I was able to drop the car off this past Wednesday and was able to pick it up today. While I got a really good price on having it sprayed it certainly wasn't free. No complaints here because the result was fantastic. Just more added costs..uggh. I was able to pick the car up today and seeing it in paint damned near brought tears to my eyes.

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In between everything else I was able to get a spare set of wheels for it which I was to restore. Mustang5L5 (Mike) got me motivated when he repaired and repainted a set awhile back. They got new rubber mounted and are waiting to go on. They'll be one of the last things on though. I also bought all of the interior stuff I needed. Thank goodness the door panels were in great shape and just needed a good cleaning. I recovered the rear seat this past winter but haven't touched the fronts yet. New carpet is also ready to go in. The interior rear quarter trim panels were in poor shape with the plastic cracked and the vinyl in rough shape. I have one panel stripped down and the plastic all repaired. I'll be recovering it within the next few weeks and then doing the other one. It's also off to the upholstery shop for a new quality top. I have a quote and it ain't cheap. It'll be my biggest single cost outside of the purchase price for the car! It also needs a new windshield installed. It had deep scratches on the drivers side from worn out wipers..too deep to polish out. To add to it I cracked it last week accidentally so there's no other option now.

I had been thinking of a name for this project since purchasing it. On the way to the painters the other day it came to me...the Calypso Cash Pit!!

Stay tuned.....
 
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JKWilson61

Active Member
Jul 27, 2018
125
142
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Summerville, SC
Thanks guys. I am by no means a professional body guy. I learned a few things growing up but HATED body work. Electrical and mechanical are my thing and have done both professionally. With sites like this, videos and paint/body websites the info is out there to learn how. The guys at the paint supply stores are also a great source of information and knowledge. Bottom line, with some time, patience and effort anyone can learn to do it. Patience is probably the biggest factor. Doing it yourself also gives you a huge appreciation for those that do it for a living and also to understand why those super paint jobs cost so much!

During the times I couldn't work on the body I'd try to do little projects restoring trim pieces and such. After time my garage shelves filled up with them. I also amassed a bunch of new parts which were stacked in my TV room. It's not only great to see the stacks start to shrink and the shelves starting to empty as I install the parts, the wife is happy to see the stuff in the house, well, leave it! LOL
 

Olivethefet

Slap me as well as point and laugh
May 17, 2018
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Great looking car! Let's see some pics of the inside too. Its awesome to see where things started and how they ended up. Keep up the good work.
 
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stanglx2002

CT Material here
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Jul 7, 2005
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What are your plans for the top? Are you planning on going with he same color or changing it?
 
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JKWilson61

Active Member
Jul 27, 2018
125
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Summerville, SC
Got a business trip out of town for this week so nothing will get done :(

The back of the interior is currently stripped out but I'll shoot some pics of what's still installed...ugghhh. I won't be doing much more towards the interior until I finish reinstalling the exterior trim and getting a new top on. At a minimum the trim around the top (the hockey sticks), HAS to go on first. If not it's almost impossible to get to the attaching hardware with a top completely bolted up. I also hope to have a new windshield put week next week. That'll allow me to reinstalled the trim around it and the cowl.

I'm going back with the white top with a glass window. I like the white and Calypso color contrast, even if white is a total pain to keep clean. The top will be last so I can let my bank account recover! Hopefully I'll make some money from my trip to help it. The only "color change" I decided to make was the body moldings. I prefer 92/93 style body color over the original black. The car was almost a '92 anyhow as the production date was 08/91!!
 
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JKWilson61

Active Member
Jul 27, 2018
125
142
53
Summerville, SC
Great looking car! Let's see some pics of the inside too. Its awesome to see where things started and how they ended up. Keep up the good work.
Okay, you asked for it! Here's a few shots of the crusty cabin of the Calypso Cashpit!
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The front seats had some uber cheap covers on them. I took them off for the photos. The back seat area is disassembled and removed so I don't have shots of that.
 
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JKWilson61

Active Member
Jul 27, 2018
125
142
53
Summerville, SC
Since I returned home from my work trip I've been able to put a nice dent in reassembly. The car was supposed to have a new windshield installed yesterday but Safelite screwed up. First they told me Friday they couldn't get Carlite glass for the car (yep...the day before the appointment). Then they called yesterday morning at 8:00am to tell me they couldn't come out because no one had ordered the glass that they did carry. Grrrrrrr. I was hoping to get all of the front trim on! Here's how far I've gotten..

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Mstng93SSP

You have a nice rear end there Dave.
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
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Awesome car. I did new upholstery (leather) and a new top on my 90 convertible myself. It wasn't really difficult, and doing the work myself saved a ton if cash. With new leather seats that thing will look good! Love the color! Here are my seats.

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And top
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Olivethefet

Slap me as well as point and laugh
May 17, 2018
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Enterprise AL
Okay, you asked for it! Here's a few shots of the crusty cabin of the Calypso Cashpit!
Hey, on the bright side it looks like you have good bones to work with. My interior looked like a dirt bomb went off in it when I first got it. The wife wouldn't even sit in it. It looks great now.
 
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JKWilson61

Active Member
Jul 27, 2018
125
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Summerville, SC
Awesome car. I did new upholstery (leather) and a new top on my 90 convertible myself. It wasn't really difficult, and doing the work myself saved a ton if cash. With new leather seats that thing will look good! Love the color! Here are my seats.

And top

Great looking work! I agree 100%, new leather looks super!! Did you do both seats and top?!

I plan to finish the interior myself. I say "finish" because I've already done the rear seat and am in the process of re-doing the quarter trim panels. The shells had some minor damage and stress cracks. I've repaired one shell and just need to install the new vinyl. As far as the top goes it's one of those rare things that I'll leave so someone else.

If there was a list of what I currently farm out to pros it's convertible tops and spraying paint. In the future I plan to cross spraying paint off of that list!
 

JKWilson61

Active Member
Jul 27, 2018
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Summerville, SC
What a HUGE difference!!!

Great work on putting her back together again

Thanks. The wife is thrilled because the stacks of new parts boxes in the house is shrinking considerably! It was bad enough that I've stored parts in the house for two other Mustang projects (one of which is under the blue tarp in the pics). It wasn't a pretty argument getting these in the house. I make a big production out of carrying out a box every trip! ;)
 

JKWilson61

Active Member
Jul 27, 2018
125
142
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Summerville, SC
Hey, on the bright side it looks like you have good bones to work with. My interior looked like a dirt bomb went off in it when I first got it. The wife wouldn't even sit in it. It looks great now.

It is pretty complete and decent to work with. I've had to source very few things for the interior that were missing or too damaged to repair. I was hoping to be able to work with the seats without having to replace the foam. No such luck!
 

Mstng93SSP

You have a nice rear end there Dave.
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
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Yeah I did the top too. It wasn't bad. I swear. You just need a good stapler, mine runs off my compressor. I followed a DVD from late model restoration. I had another convertible before and had a professional shop do the top. The one I did myself on this car actually came out much better. For the seats I used the TMI leather and new foam.
 

2Blue2

will be trying this sex one when I can find it
Mar 5, 2019
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She deserves a better name than 'C. G. Money Pit'.