Car: 1968 Beaumont SD
March 17, 1980. It was quite a sight when I first laid eyes on it. The car had been through many hands, not all of them kind and loving. It had a sun roof that had been installed using agricultural implements. The engine was a 350 two barrel hooked to a Muncie M20 four speed transmission. The rear quarter panels were in rough shape; perforated like swiss cheese. The rust had fought a hard battle with solid metal and paint and won. The paint was cracked, blistered and bubbly. When it was washed it smelled like a wet dog.
But when I saw the interior...thatís what cinched the deal. Bucket seats, console, the instruments and tachometer and the red "SD" badge on the glove box. My first car became a 1968 Beaumont Sport Deluxe.
Options / Description
A01 Tinted Windows All
A39 Custom Deluxe Front Seat Belts
A51 Front Bucket Seats
A81 Head Rests
B93 Door Edge Guards
C50 Rear Window Defogger
D33 Remote Control Mirror
D55 Floor console
F40 Heavy Duty Suspension Front & Rear
G80 Posi-Traction Rear Axle
J50 Power Vacuum Brakes
K05 Block Heater
L34 350 HP 396 V8 engine
M20 Muncie 4 Speed Manual Transmission
N40 Power steering
PW8 F70-14-4 PR Tire Red Stripe
T60 Heavy Duty Battery
U14 Instrument Gauge package
U25 Trunk Light
U63 AM Push Button Radio
U80 Auxillary Rear Speaker
V31 Front Bumperettes
V32 Rear Bumperettes
Z49 Mandatory Base Canadian equipment modifications
The car was my daily driver for almost four years. Then I started the long and expensive process of a ground up restoration. The first job became the upgrading of the front suspension. New steering components, bushings and ball joints revived the front end; the front drum brakes were replaced with power front discs. Exceptional brakes were going to be important as this Beaumont was going to become a high performance machine.
Interior and exterior bodywork was next. The interior was removed to accomodate the bodywork. The gaping hole in the roof was filled. Four layers of paint covered the original factory paint Grotto Blue Metallic. In places the paint was painstakingly scraped off with a razor blade.
The rear quarter panels and rear inner wheel houses were rusted from a decades long water leak from the rear window. These pieces were cut out and replaced. The Beaumont was now rust-free. The car was now sprayed with primer and stored for three years while the engine and transmission was built.
A built LS-6 454 was bolted to the new Borg Warner Super T10 that replaced the old Muncie. The 4.56 differential just needed new bearings, seals and fluid.
Paint was matched to the original code and then sprayed. The Beaumont was re-assembled with new trim pieces, weatherstripping and window felts. The car is almost finished; the only missing pieces are very rare and expensive trim pieces.
My goal with this car was to restore it to as-new factory condition, but to fit it with performance options the factory couldnít provide. The Beaumont has performance. Summer of Ď97, on street tires, the Beaumont turned 13 seconds at 103 mph at Capitol Raceway.