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The MLK Civil Rights Dodge
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mrtester
Posted 2007-03-17 3:28 AM (#77598)
Subject: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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A-ha, I finally found out how to reduce these photos! Last fall I went to visit the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, which contains the site of Martin Luther King's 1968 assasination. As many of you know, there was a 1959 Dodge 2-door hardtop parked in the lot of the former motel when Dr. King died. The motel has been more recently converted into a museum featuring many artifacts of the civil rights era, including the preserving of King's room to the way it looked at the time he died. The '59 Royal Lancer hardtop you see here is probably not the car in the '68 picture, as the museum's owners wanted something similar for their re-creation. The winter climate of Memphis is similar to that of Atlanta, with very little snow if any at all. Still, I don't like to see this or any other vintage car exposed to the elements as shown in the pictures.

Edited by mrtester 2007-03-17 3:33 AM




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RoyalGate
Posted 2007-03-17 12:46 PM (#77611 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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What a shame!! That's in very good, restorable condition and like you say,
it's probably just going to sit there and deteriorate until it isn't any good to anyone.

THERE SHOULD BE A LAW AGAINST THAT!!!
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58 DESOTOS RULE
Posted 2007-03-17 3:49 PM (#77625 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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I lived in Memphis from 1990 to 1993 and I was aware of this museum. I never went inside though. You would think the staff would at least wash the car from time to time and put a little Blue Coral on the paint. The rust streaks tell me otherwise though.
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vedette
Posted 2007-03-17 7:58 PM (#77640 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge


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Good Registration number on the Dodge.
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68moparmike
Posted 2007-03-18 7:14 PM (#77682 - in reply to #77640)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge


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how did they get the cars up there?
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lawrence
Posted 2007-03-18 10:13 PM (#77700 - in reply to #77682)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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With a sky hook. Maybe the 59 will be for sale in 2017 when MLKJR's FBI files are made public. I'll stop there
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2007-03-19 10:54 AM (#77732 - in reply to #77700)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Here is the most famous photo of the assassination scene...
You can see the Dodge clearly enough to see that it was a coupe with a similar paint scheme. The new pictures remind me of the old tradition of stopping the clock when a person dies.

Edited by Lancer Mike 2007-03-19 3:28 PM




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d500neil
Posted 2007-03-19 4:26 PM (#77752 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Those fins look to be red, to me.

In 59, were fins-only a OEM color-option? Apparently, from the MLK photo, and per the car parked there, now: "yes".

In 57 (& 58 IIRC) there was a "roof-only" second-color option, but NO "fins-only" color-option.









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vedette
Posted 2007-03-19 10:28 PM (#77788 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge


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the "original" one in the picture from the 60's looks like a Coronet going by the side trim.
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old mopar guy
Posted 2007-03-19 10:45 PM (#77793 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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according to a ross roy book i have on 59 dodges you could have just fins or fins and lower ,or roof and fins or fins,lower and roof so its correct. its a shame its sitting there rusting away....they should put it on e-bay and give the proceeds to the united negro collage fund or some other cause ....happy motoring.....
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5859
Posted 2007-03-19 11:29 PM (#77797 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge


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Looking at the rockers and lower rear quarters, it looks like it had some rust before the last paint job that wasn't repaired correctly. Yeah, I would like to have it, and it is too bad it can't be protected better, but I think that under the circumstances we can let one Dodge go since it is for a good cause. I have seen many cars parked in fields that were left to rot away, at least this one has a purpose other than just to become someones lawn ornament. And, it could very well help to raise awareness about forward look cars in edition to authenticating the museum. Really though, I can't understand humans fascination with death, you would think that the memorial would be where he was born, instead of where he died. It seems to happen that way though with all people who are looked up to.
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2007-03-20 2:22 PM (#77828 - in reply to #77797)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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I posted a link to the new Volunteer Region. Maybe Nathan and Co. could contact the museum and organize a group of local Forward Look enthusiasts to help maintain the Dodge. Just two or three or four folks visiting on a rotating basis to shine it up, wax it, and replace missing parts here and there would make a huge difference! If I had any '59 Dodge parts (trunk letters, etc.) I would be happy to donate them to a cause like this.

Over the years, imagine the difference that would be evident between the Dodge and the Cadillac! Go Volunteers, Go!
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My57Saratoga
Posted 2007-03-20 2:28 PM (#77829 - in reply to #77828)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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I'm a member in the Memphis MOPAR Club; I'll approach the President/membership on the idea....


Mike

Edited by My57Saratoga 2007-03-20 2:29 PM
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2007-03-20 2:29 PM (#77830 - in reply to #77828)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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A brilliant and charitable idea there, Mike!

I like your way of thinking.

Brent
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2007-03-20 6:29 PM (#77840 - in reply to #77830)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Fantastic Mike! Please let us know what happens. It seems like a win-win to me: for the MoPar Club (or who ever picks up the torch), it is always fun to spend time with a '59 Dodge (time or money spent would be tax deductable, I assume); for the museum, they could increase or maintain the value of their asset - instead of being left with an unsightly pile of junk in fifteen years.

If the idea takes off, let me know. I would like to be the first to donate a tail light lense (I'm sure I could find one on eBay or at our local swap meet)! If I only lived there I would just be itching to take some steel wool to that back bumper and give that paint a rub with carnuba wax!
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d500neil
Posted 2007-03-20 7:35 PM (#77844 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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That would be kinda NEAT, to adopt the car!

Think of the good, positive P.R. that would come out of being seen, while maintaining the car!

The "National" Automotive Museum ......(which was founded, by its having received many prime examples, from the Bill Harrah Auto Collection, after his passing, and after the Holiday Inn Corp had bought Harrah's casino empire, but had no use for the car collection, and, so, auctioned- off, over about 4 different events, in the late 80's, most of the HUGE collection ).......in Reno, allows collector-clubs to maintain/polish, etc, their "adopted" museum cars,
and to post placards, attesting to that fact.





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Swept57
Posted 2007-03-21 10:17 PM (#77949 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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I feel that if the Dodge is to be maintained, so too should the Caddy either by the FL volunteers or by contacting a Caddy club. If a freindly competition ensued, you may have two Concours restorations in a year or two!
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mrtester
Posted 2007-03-22 12:25 AM (#77955 - in reply to #77949)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Swept57 - 2007-03-21 10:17 PM

I feel that if the Dodge is to be maintained, so too should the Caddy either by the FL volunteers or by contacting a Caddy club. If a freindly competition ensued, you may have two Concours restorations in a year or two!



Start right here: http://www.cadillaclasalleclub.org/cgi-bin/user/forum.cgi
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d500neil
Posted 2007-03-22 1:39 AM (#77962 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Hmmmm; no disparaging comments allowed, & no off-color/off-topic subject-Board?

Wonder if they even allow threads to be hijacked?

What a dull group (sorry, Cadillaccers).





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Mope R. Geezer
Posted 2007-03-23 6:47 PM (#78074 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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You've got to be kidding me!  I leave town for a few days, and things go completely haywire on the FL Net!  (Did ya' miss me?)

Why not adopt MY car, Old Brown.  I've done as much for this country as MLK!  And I'd be a whole lot more appreciative, show it off more, and I wouldn't look quite as "stuffy" when I was driving it, if ya' know what I mean.

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carjock
Posted 2007-03-24 11:27 AM (#78114 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge


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Sorry to be the wet blanket in this little debate, but this car represents something that is a bit controversial and political in nature and I think that it is almost the same sort of devisive issue that led to the demise of the rec-room. It would be far more beneficial to "sponsor" a car with less baggage attached, maybe one that was salvageable and intended for auction or something. And lest I get branded a racist for this statement, I would feel the same way about an Elvis car or any other vehicle that was associated with an individual or a political movement.
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lawrence
Posted 2007-03-24 3:07 PM (#78128 - in reply to #78114)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Hmm..I've got it, maybe some kind hearted people could come restore my car. It is for a great cause...

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f310/Larry57savoy/MLK.jpg
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Rebels-59
Posted 2007-03-24 3:45 PM (#78132 - in reply to #78128)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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lawrence - 2007-03-24 7:07 PM

Hmm..I've got it, maybe some kind hearted people could come restore my car. It is for a great cause...

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f310/Larry57savoy/MLK.jpg


I will Help, If you remove the Dual Antenna,s and send them to me, I will gladly clean them up , I will keep them regularly Cleaned whilst fitted to my 59 , Until the rest of your restoration is Complete, And i will do this out of the Goodness of my Heart, The only thing i Cannot Guarantee is their Safe Return ...... LOL
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lawrence
Posted 2007-03-24 4:54 PM (#78138 - in reply to #78132)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Lancer Mike
Posted 2007-03-25 12:10 AM (#78169 - in reply to #78138)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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I suppose it is all up to the individual Forward Look fans in the Memphis area. Personally, I would would be very happy to help the National Civil Rights Museum maintain an item of mutual interest.

I must say, even if I had a problem with Dr. King, I would not advocate letting this particular Dodge deteriorate. After all, the whole purpose of this forum (as I see it) is the appreciation, restoration and preservation of Forward Look cars. Why disparage or cheapen the charity of others?




Edited by Lancer Mike 2007-03-25 12:16 AM
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2007-05-25 1:33 PM (#84192 - in reply to #78169)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Location: The Mile High City
Mike, Bernie, or others:

Does anyone know what happened with the maintenance plan for this Dodge? I have a couple or back-up lenses and a tail lense that I would be happy to donate. Otherwise, they go on eBay. Let me know right away.

Thanks,
Mike
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2007-05-25 2:56 PM (#84201 - in reply to #84192)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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I sent an e-card to the National Civil Rights Museum at

http://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/about/contact.asp

I will see if they reply.  If they are interested, I may just send the lenses directly.  I would rather sent them to a list member to make sure they get installed, we'll see what happens.

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mrtester
Posted 2007-09-03 7:58 PM (#95388 - in reply to #84201)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Well, it's Labor Day 2007, and I've just returned from a road trip to Memphis to visit a personal friend. While I was there, I drove by the Civil Rights Museum to take these pictures for an update of this thread. To this day, I still get questions about that car from the other visitors at that museum.



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narleycharlie
Posted 2007-09-03 10:27 PM (#95401 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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That is one huge picture dude . So what are the questions they ask ? You got me on the edge of my seat .
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5859
Posted 2007-09-03 10:40 PM (#95405 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge


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It looks like they are not going to accept any help and just let that poor car rot. Too bad, it dosen't have to be that way.
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2007-09-04 12:28 PM (#95451 - in reply to #95405)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Au Contrair!

Here is the most recent e-mail I received from Mike (My57Saratoga):

"As promised last evening I did present to the membership of our local MOPAR (Chrysler Corporation) Club the possibility of refurbishing the 1959 Dodge. As I expected I was greeted with an enthusiastic response. Initially we forsee taking care of the taillights and other cosmetic details, but in the not too distant timeframe, we hope to work with local body shops to have the automobile painted and otherwise repaired. We may be able to take it on as a long-term project wherein we would "adopt" the car, make regular visits and take care of general housekeeping items such as washing, waxing, etc.

To start us on this adventure we would like to visit the car, possibly on the morning or afternoon of Saturday, 15 September. This date will allow me to publish the details in our local newsletter and firm up the date at our September meeting. If this date is agreeable with you, let me know with a suggested time. A couple of us would like to visit the car before this September date to let other Club members know of the exact status of the car. We are available this Friday afternoon, but if this isn't acceptable, I'm sure we can find a mutually-agreeable date and time.

We ventured for our first closeup look at the car. (It's behind a wall so I've never been close to it before, more about that later....). Definitely restorable, but it does have a lot of rust. I'll share pix when I have time. Quite a bit of rust on the driver's dog leg, trunk near where the window molding meets the lid and a few spots in the usual spaces. Also, it's missing wheel covers, emblems on the front fender and as you have seen, some of the DODGE badging on the trunk. Barbara alluded that she thought the car has never been washed or waxed, which is probably true, (they've been there since '91). The big problem is that the cars are behind a 3 to 4 foot wall and cannot be towed out of where they are parked. They have to be lifted over the wall. Barbara however did mention she may have a lead on someone who can remove the cars. Nathan did place a sticky in the Volunteer State region on the forum..."

I sent a set of new lenses to Barbara Andrews at the MLK museum, but it looks like Mike hasn't had a chance to install them yet. Barbara is planning to become a member of the Forwardlook.net forums and is very enthusiastic about having our assistance as well as that of the Memphis MoPar Club.
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5859
Posted 2007-09-04 12:32 PM (#95453 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge


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Good, I hope there is some progress.
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My57Saratoga
Posted 2007-09-04 3:07 PM (#95463 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Our Memphis MOPAR club as a club activity is venturing downtown in mid-September to look and assess the car. I'll post our progress and pix on the Volunteer Region thread. (As you can see from the photos, the wall hinders movement of the car!)

Mike
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59savoy
Posted 2007-09-04 3:22 PM (#95469 - in reply to #95463)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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for what it's worth, it seems to me that the easiest way to deal with the wall is to remove it, do the work on the cars, then put it back. it ain't much of a wall, frankly.

this would, of course, mean having all ducks (and parts) in a row, with both cars, simultaneously. once the body work is done, it's not going to re-rust just sitting there. when the paint wears off, you can re-paint 'em where they sit with proper masking.

if you think about it, buildings have to be re-painted, re-roofed, brickwork tuck-pointed, etc. i would think that with volunteer wash-and-waxers, the cars should be fairly easy to maintain once restored. i'd be glad the dodge wasn't a ragtop, since they both sit outside!
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Bart_59_Dodge
Posted 2007-09-04 7:16 PM (#95505 - in reply to #95469)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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I say we let Boyd fix it. He can fix ANYTHING.

BWAAAA HaaaaHaaa

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Lancer Mike
Posted 2007-12-18 3:26 PM (#107640 - in reply to #95505)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Location: The Mile High City
Mike and I received an update from Barbara Anderson on the status of the '59 Dodge:

Hello Mike and Mike,

Happy holidays to you both. Its been a little while since we last communicated and a few weeks since the Dodge and Cadillac have been returned to their nearly new condition. Yes, a local company here, Miles of Service, contracted with a crane company to provide the initial restorative work after a generous board member made the offer to pay for the work needed.

Both autos were crane-lifted from the Courtyard and placed on tow trucks for delivery to the body shop. They sanded down, filled in, repainted, polished and cleaned the cars. The vinyl top on the Cadillac was replaced and the faded green fins on the Dodge were repainted to the appropriate 1950s era green. All of this was accomplished within a 4 week period. (I'm certain that if we wanted the cars to be competition ready - which we did not - it would have taken considerably more time and resources) but we are quite satisfied and the comments of guests indicate that they've noticed the difference. We utilized the tail lights and the hub caps needed for the Dodge. Aside from some of the chrome lettering missing from the autos, they look pretty good.

I'm going to try to attach some pictures of the restored autos. THANK YOU BOTH SO MUCH for your interest, patience, commitment and concern for this long standing situation the museum found itself in. You two really are due the credit for opening up the dialogue again on these cars and their need for repair.

Now, we just need to try to keep them in tip top shape. Mike McKenna, I hope the car club is still interested in helping the museum to maintain these autos. I'm now told that a monthly schedule of maintenance will prolong the life of the cars. I'd really like to begin conversing with you and providing you with any information needed to put such a plan into place.

When you get a moment, don't hesitate to call. Thanks again. BA





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Rebels-59
Posted 2007-12-18 3:33 PM (#107641 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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There Must be a member HERE who can Donate the "O D G " Letters for the Trunk Lid,, If i had them i would Gladly send them,,

Thanks Mike for the Update, It,s GREAT to see the 59 Dodge having a Makeover and being Preserved..
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2007-12-18 3:37 PM (#107643 - in reply to #107641)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



500020002000
Location: The Mile High City
Hi, Clive:

I am already on it. I happened upon a set of block letters from a local junkyard (complete with all pins) and I had this car in mind. If anyone has a spare set of hubcaps, though - I'll bet they could use them. Also, Mike says they could use the "knight" emblems.

Mike

Edited by Lancer Mike 2007-12-18 4:47 PM
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lawrence
Posted 2007-12-18 7:15 PM (#107674 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Good for the car.
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Lancer Mike
Posted 2007-12-20 3:24 PM (#107905 - in reply to #107674)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Location: The Mile High City
Does anyone out there have a paint chip chart for '59 Dodges? From the original pictures Mr. Tester took, I expected this car to have gold fins. Does the green look right?
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Rebels-59
Posted 2007-12-20 6:16 PM (#107928 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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I have a 59 Paint chip Chart,, I will see if i can dig it out shortly,, I think i remember where it is , But will take me a little while, Unless anyone else can Advise before..


The Green does seem Strange to me.!!!!!!!!!
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Rebels-59
Posted 2007-12-20 6:55 PM (#107937 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Will have to Look tomorrow, The family is all asleep , So can,t turn the lights on and look where i think it is,,

It is all most Midnight this side of the Pond..
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vedette
Posted 2007-12-20 6:59 PM (#107938 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge


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sounds like it just got a quick tart-up.
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Rebels-59
Posted 2007-12-20 7:05 PM (#107941 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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LMAO..

Hey Mark. I am not sure if our Family of FL,s across the Pond may understand the term " Tarted Up "........ But you are Probably Correct,, There was No need to get the Car running or drivable , As it is just for public Show.. I hope they used some Steel rather than just Bondo where it was needed though,, Or in a couple years that will look as bad as before...
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vedette
Posted 2007-12-20 7:15 PM (#107944 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge


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Clive,i think the old girl has definitely been just "tarted-up" and by the sounds of it loads o' catty installed(cataloy cruiser) and painted personally by Earl Scheib.
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57burb
Posted 2007-12-20 7:22 PM (#107947 - in reply to #107944)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Mike, your brother gave me a ton of trim for a '59 Dodge 4dr. What are the lions you are needing? I'll dig through this stuff and see if I can find anything, I'd be glad to help. Also, if there are any other misc trim parts they might need, let me know. It might be here with no car to go on.
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Rob
Posted 2007-12-20 7:42 PM (#107954 - in reply to #77598)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge


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It is too bad these cars are being left outside. Perhaps a carport would be in order?

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1961savoy
Posted 2007-12-20 11:29 PM (#108005 - in reply to #77700)
Subject: RE: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge


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Location: southern Oklahoma

lawrence - 2007-03-18 10:13 PM With a sky hook. Maybe the 59 will be for sale in 2017 when MLKJR's FBI files are made public. I'll stop there :cool:

 Malcolm X had King pegged .

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My57Saratoga
Posted 2007-12-21 8:09 AM (#108031 - in reply to #107941)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



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Posts: 612
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Location: Kingston Springs , TN
As I remember there were a lot of "issues" in the rockers areas. I will bring my trusty magnet next time I see the car...Happy holidays!

Mike
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Rebels-59
Posted 2007-12-21 12:18 PM (#108056 - in reply to #107905)
Subject: Re: The MLK Civil Rights Dodge



Board Moderator & Exner Expert 10K+

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Location: .Norfolk..Mafia.. ,England UK
Lancer Mike - 2007-12-20 8:24 PM

Does anyone out there have a paint chip chart for '59 Dodges? From the original pictures Mr. Tester took, I expected this car to have gold fins. Does the green look right?


I downloaded this , Rather than Photo Copy Mine...




(1959-dodge-pg01.JPG)



Attachments
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Attachments 1959-dodge-pg01.JPG (53KB - 2370 downloads)
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