The musings, adventures and reflections of a born again gearhead in the auto mecca of Palm Springs, CA
Sunday, February 7, 2010
miss belvedere update
Those of you who knew me when recall that I was pretty obsessed over Miss Belvedere, the brand new 1957 Plymouth Belvedere encased in a concrete vault as a memento of the 1957 Tulsarama! celebration. The intent was, of course, to open the watertight vault in 2007 and present the world with immaculately preserved artifacts of the late 50's. Except that when one plans on underground preservation, airtight is the required standard and a watertight concrete vault will, in fact, revert to the swimming pool it do closely resembles. Fast forward to 2007 when the ruins of a cruelly drowned and devastated 1957 Plymouth were unearthed, displayed, and celebrated.
Don't misunderstand, I'm mad about Miss Belvedere. Not so much for her ruined condition, but for the can-do attitude that swept a bunch of Tulsa businessmen into thinking that they could create this remarkable time capsule. The fact that they really couldn't is more of a footnote.
Okay, so two years later, where is Miss Belvedere? I had read that she was in the care of a company called Ultra One, that makes a rust removing product. They were going to attempt to stabilize her and get some good PR in the process. Along the way they discovered that the frame is ravaged, the rear springs crumbled and the axle was fused. They have removed most of the red clay and even gotten portions of her to resemble an automobile. Enough suspension components were replaced to make her push-worthy, but the realization has dawned that she is an artifact with the structural integrity of a potato chip. Follow this link to an update in today's New York Times about her saga since 2007, complete with a photo slideshow.