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From: Mike Cretella
Remote Name: 220.127.116.11
Date: September 13, 2002
When I was a little kid My sister and I used to sit on the lawn and watch the cars go by. I knew what they all were. It's not like today where you can't tell a Toyota from a Chevy. All cars looked differant. A guy in the neighborhood had a gold 58 DeSoto Fireflite. Every time we'd see him I'd tell my sister "when I grow up, I'm gonna have a car like that one. Well 46 years later I mentioned to another car guy that the 58 was my favorite car. The next day he told me where there was one locally. Man, I had to search the car out but I finally found it. It looked so cool sitting there with those huge fins. I drove it, paid too much for it and drove it illegally for about 2 weeks. Thank God I did'nt get caught. I had plans for this car. As soon as I got it registered and insured EVERYTHING went wrong. The gas tank was full of crud from sitting and clogged up the fuel lines. Had it fixed but the mechanic lost the grommet between the neck and the tank. I couldn't put more then $5 dollars in at a time and that dosen't get you very far in that car. I found a genius mechanic that subbed some other grommet for the one the other guy had lost. I let this guy start working on it. Alot of guys wouldn't touch it but Rick said he could fix it. Well we started. Had the tranny rebuilt. On the way back from the tranny shop it falls out of gear and won't go back in. This happened on one of the busiest intersections in St. Petersburg, Fl. Got it fixed. The shop stood behind it and got it right (patience, brother). The motor had no oil pressure. We were going to rebuild it. At the same time this is being done I run across a parts car...a 58 Firesweep in a car lot also in town. I just wanted the wheels and bumpers and stuff like that. I had new tires put on those wheels and they DIDN'T Fit! What a pain. I told Rick I'd found this parts car...I took as much as I could off myself and it sat in front of the house next door up on blocks. Nobody lived there. Huge holes in it from rust... it looked awful. I put a cover on it so the city wouldn't tow it away. Rick asked me if there was a motor in the parts car. I said yes. He wanted to try to get it started. Yeah...sure. He came by and did his magic.He hooked up a fuel line going to it from a gas can. Used a battery charger for juice. He did his thing. He told me to turn the key and it started turning over. I was amazed. It didn't start. Hang on for a second. He made a couple of adjustments. OK let's try it again. I turned the key and it started right up. Man, I lucked out. After a few minutes of rough idle it smoothed right out. I finally had turned the corner. Popped that motor in and it ran great. Had the windows converted over from power to manual. Got all the stuff out fo that parts car. The rear bumper looked good on the parts car...took it and put it on. Visors, speedo, generator, Radiator, all from the parts car. My garage is full of parts. The best $500 I ever spent. I've sold a bunch of parts that wouldn't fit my car and made my money back. Now on to new carpet and body work. My body guy had it for 2 months. The first time I saw it finished,the feeling of being that 6 year old boy came back. Everyone that had worked on that car had done an excellent job. It dosen't sit in the garage. I drive it most the time. I have a 2002 Dream Cruiser (PT) and it's been sitting in the garage since I got my DeSoto back. To me, there is nothing cooler than that car. Those GM guys can keep their Chevys. I got what I wanted. I'm sure alot of you guys have gone throught the same thing. It took a long time and alot of $$$ but when I se that car sitting in front of MY house, It was all worth it.