sifting through the wreckage…

After a week of mourning it was time to drag my ass into the garage and survey the carnage… I had already borrowed and brought home Jeff’s Porta-Puller. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically an hydraulic jack with a bunch of attachments used to push/pull body work and frames back into shape. I also went to home depot and bought a 42″ demolition pry bar, two 5 gal. gas jugs and a manual ditch pump. So I had all the tools I thought I’d need.

When the back end was smashed in it pinned the drivers rear wheel so it wouldn’t turn. Also, the passenger front tire went flat when it hit the curb it rode over. The trunk was bent and couldn’t be opened. And I could tell the fuel cell can was smashed in. The goal was to get the car to roll again and to get the fuel cell out. Joe had told me that if I get the fuel cell bladder out of the can and put it in the sun it would pop back into shape.

I started by getting the trunk lid off which ended up not being too hard. Then I got the battery and the taillight buckets out. before going any further I used the ditch pump and got all the gas out of the fuel cell and into the jugs. After that came the bumper. Getting that off was a real pain. I ended up having to grind down the carriage bolt heads on the side that had been smashed in because I couldn’t get to the nuts inside the trunk. Then I got the lower valence off. After that I used the porta-puller to move metal off the rear tire and my sawzalll to cut parts of it away. I also cut a bunch of the fuel cell frame out of the way. After about 10 hours of working (over 2 days) I got the fuel cell out and the bladder out of the bent can. And I got the rear wheel well clearanced to where the tire spins freely. Finally I pulled the flat front tire off and saw that the rim had been bent. but I put air in the tire and it holds air.

So, mission accomplished. I have a destroyed race car. but it rolls… now I’ll need to pull it out of my driveway and winch it onto my trailer and take it to a body shop to see if it can be fixed. If you look at the pictures you’ll see the drivers rear frame rail is gone from the wheel well to the back of the car. it was smashed into oblivion and had to be cut out. The rear frame rail on the drivers side is kinked. I’m going to start the search for another Javelin shell so I have parts for the body shop to work with. More later…

1974 Javelin-road race, American Iron, Body and Paint, Wheels and Tires

1 comment


  1. Jeremy W

    This is a grim story. Sorry to see something like this happen.

    On a positive note, however, I collect Javelins and have a couple shells that may have floors and frame rails that you may need. Email me and I’ll see how I can help. BTW, I’m in Colorado.

    Jeremy

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