On April 6, 2013, Aunt Helen and I began our journey together. An opportunity to begin this journey with her came my way through a friend and I’m thrilled at the endless opportunities. Aunt Helen is a 1960 Chrysler Windsor.
I don’t know anything about cars and I really don’t know anything about restoring cars. And when I say anything, I really mean anything so this whole restoration experience is going to be about me learning because I’m going to try to do a lot of the work myself & with the support and guidance of those that are willing to help me. After some searching online, I realize that a lot of other women may be in the same situation.
I was looking for websites, blogs, etc. about girls that have restored vintage cars and I couldn’t really find anything other than some news articles about teenage girls restoring cars themselves. It seems like they are inclined that way and aren’t necessarily taking the time to document the work they’re doing so that other girls can be inspired to do the same and not feel stupid in the process. Restoring classic cars still seems to be a “man’s thing” and not anything that women are too involved with. This is interesting to me in the day and age of vintage (or new vintage looking) fashion. I would think that there would be a lot of women who are interested in classic cars and want to know if they are capable of doing the work themselves.
So here’s a little bit about Aunt Helen. She’s from back East, hence the bit of rust, and is named after her first owner – Helen. Her nephew acquired the car and drove it out to Arizona. My friend acquired it from him after seeing it sit and now I’ve been given the opportunity to get to know her better.
Physically, she’s in pretty good shape. She’s got a bit of surface rust on her and she is missing a piece of chrome molding on the front. I’m really hoping that I can obtain it from a parts vehicle or purchase a re-fabricated piece.
The engine is a 383 CID 305 hp (227 kW) V8. This is a very big engine. In 1959, Chrysler started to advertise their engines as the “Golden Lion” and the cars as “Lion-Hearted”. Aunt Helen’s engine still has the Golden Lion decal.
The interior is pretty awesome. The astrodome instrument panel is so space-age. The back-lighting currently doesn’t work, but we are hoping that can easily be fixed.
The interior fabric, vinyl and carpet are all in amazing condition.
She just amazes me. The first order of business? Giving her a bath. Yancie and I enjoyed the Phoenix sunset while giving her a much needed washing.