Here's a good one.. 57 Plymouth buried in 57. Time capsule

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Mark D
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Here's a good one.. 57 Plymouth buried in 57. Time capsule

Postby Mark D » Sat Jul 01, 2006 12:43 pm

Check this link out.
A 57 Plymouth (Why a Mopar?) was cocooned and buried in 1957 as a time capsule, along with junk from the era. Brand new car, donated by Mopar, encased in cosmoline, a big bag and a concrete coffin. Buried and to be dug up next year.
Car will be won by the person, or heirs of that person, who most correctly guessed the population of the city the year it's dug up, which will be 2007.
The funny part is that they wanted to preserve the car to show people in the 21st century what great automotive technology they had in 1957.
Well, I hope that thing has a hemi in it, because that's about all that car would have in common with todays cars. That, and four wheels and still a 12 volt electrical system.

http://www.forwardlook.net/19571958Plym ... ntdown.asp

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Re: Here's a good one.. 57 Plymouth buried in 57. Time capsu

Postby Rich_Melvin » Fri May 18, 2007 9:56 pm

If past performance of 50's era Mopars is any indication, all they will find when they dig it up is a pile of rust.

The 50's-vintage Mopars were perhaps the worst cars ever made when it came to rusting out. And I'm a BIG Mopar fan...I drive a Ram with a HEMI.
Rich Melvin
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Mark D
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Re: Here's a good one.. 57 Plymouth buried in 57. Time capsu

Postby Mark D » Mon May 21, 2007 10:00 am

Only a little less than one more month and they dig this thing up. It'll be interesting to see what they find.

On the rust thing, yeah, tell me about it! I owned too many of those things myself. Of course, they were all "pre-owned" vehicles. Well pre-owned! I was just a kid and could only afford something that I had to make run before I could use it.
Those old Mopar's are where I learned by trial and error (largely error) the basics of overhauling engines and transmissions. Only the basics, mind you.
But to not sell the old Chrysler Corporation short, they did have their hemi's. There were a number of different hemi's throughout the 50's and 60's, and all seemed to be pretty decent running engines. But one stood out among the rest. The old 'Fire Power' 392 hemi sold as an option in the larger Desoto's and Imperial's. Not sure if it was available in any Chrysler's, but possibly.
That engine was tough as nails, and buildable to immense horsepower. It became a mainstay throughout the sixties and into the 70's for drag race engines. It finally lost its status there as the blocks became hard to find, and as other engine types with more advanced engineering became more available.
I had a chance to buy a good running 392 from a junkyard for 75 bucks, and would have if I'd had the money. To this day, I regret not being able to get that engine at that price. My plan was to stick it in the '57 Chrysler 2 door hardtop I was driving at the time. It had this anemic 325 cid something-or-other engine, not much different from the later 318, and I wanted a more interesting ride. That never happend.
I had two '57 Mopars. Both had push button linkages to the transmissions. I found out that one should be a good typist to properly operate one of these things. I also found that (at least on the '57 Dodge I had) that if one accidentally hit the R button instead of the D button, it could be interesting. (when wound out in 2, and intending to push the D)
But those were tough transmissions for the day. The toughest automatic's, in my opinion. GM had yet to invent the Turbo 400, so the Torqueflite of that time which became the Torqueflite 727 later on, was the king of automatics.
So those old Mopar's had their good points, but there weren't many. A few good engines and one decent transmission model. That's about it.
Oh, I can't forget about their pickup's.
In the late 40's they came out with the Power Wagon model on their pickups. I had a 48 and a 50 power wagon in later years, up until recently. I have nothing bad to say about those beasts. Not fast, not powerful because of the little 225 cid 6 enignes. But geared through a two speed transfer case and a 5.56:1 rear end, they'd move the whole darn planet if asked to. And if traction couldn't do it alone, they had a 12,000 lb. Braden PTO driven winch on the front. For a few years I used the '48 to tow my stock car. I'd run the thing wide open from the moment I left the city limits until I reached the race track. It'd hold between 35 and 45, depending on whether I was going up hill or down. It's all I had to tow with 'till I got my Chevy Crew cab with a 454. I still have that.
I also plowed snow with the '48 for many years. It was cumbersome, but it earned me money. Once I used it to pull a loaded semi, propane tanker out of a snow bank. I offered, the driver didn't believe me, and I proved I could do it.
Later power wagons were just an ordinary pickup with a badge on it.
These things were styled after the WW-2 M-47 type military vehicles, but were larger and had a steel roof. The body steel was very heavy. Not sure of the gauge, but the fenders and running boards could have been 14 gauge. Today, I miss those old trucks. But you can't keep everything.

I kind of miss those old 57 Mopars, too. But even more, my really nice jet black 63 Chrysler 300K with a 413 with ram induction. (Cross ram dual intake with dual Carter AFB carbs) That car only had 68k miles on it when I sold it. I sold it because it was a Mopar. I couldn't keep it running a week without something else going wrong with it. In that category, Mopar has been consistant all these years.
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Charles T. McCullough
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Re: Here's a good one.. 57 Plymouth buried in 57. Time capsu

Postby Charles T. McCullough » Tue May 22, 2007 12:55 pm

OKAY! Just amongst us railfans... what will they find?

A pile of rust?

A fully working car, (once they get the gasoline in the tank)?

What will happen to the battery if they try to jump start the car?

Did somebody remember to leave the keys in the ignition?

Will the 5 gal. of gasoline be just a can of varnish?

Will the tube of lipstick have melted and run all over the unpaid parking ticket?

Will the cops be there to serve an arrest warrant on the person who was issued the ticket and didn't pay it? (I got ONE parking ticket in my life but I didn't know it because an auto repair shop had the car at the time and had left it in a disputed no-parking zone in front of their building. I got a letter a year later threating me with jail, and worse, if I did not pay it immediately! ONE ticket... I wonder what happens to these folk that I read about that supposedly have collections of hundreds of 'em over 20 years? But I digress...)

Will the 5 quarts of oil have regressed back to the consistancy of Oklahoma crude?

Will the whole case of beer be flat?

Will they discover that someone tunneled in from the side 45 years ago and replaced the Plymouth with a VW beetle? Would it be worth more?
Or did they just take the beer?

Will the smell of the rotted tires prove to be toxic? What about that bottle of tranquillizers in the glove box?

Will the value of the 5-gal of gas be worth more than the scrap value of what is left of the metal parts of the car? Lessee, gas will be close to $4.00 per gallon in a month or so... $20.00 for the gas... what is the price per ton for scrap steel and what did that car weigh (or what will it weigh "now" once the rust has blown away)?

Any other speculation?
Semper Vaporo,
Charles T. McCullough


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Mark D
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Re: Here's a good one.. 57 Plymouth buried in 57. Time capsu

Postby Mark D » Tue May 22, 2007 6:15 pm

OKAY! Just amongst us railfans... what will they find?

A pile of rust?


Most likely, because all Mopars are a pile of rust from new. But it's possible it will have converted to a pile of dust.


A fully working car, (once they get the gasoline in the tank)?

Only fully working as much as a Mopar can be fully working. I think it'll need some new hoses, fan belts, and crank seals at the minimum.
Probably the engine is rusted stuck, though.

What will happen to the battery if they try to jump start the car?


If they left a fully charged battery with it, the battery is toast. If they left it drained dry, or better filled with distilled water, and a supply of acid nearby, it can likely be used. Unless it's a Mopar battery.

Did somebody remember to leave the keys in the ignition?



Won't matter. Mopars, especially that vintage, are some of the easiest cars in the world to hotwire. But it still won't matter, because the engine will be rusted solid.

Will the 5 gal. of gasoline be just a can of varnish?


Probably. Unless they poured stabil in it :-)
Otherwise, they can sell it as a superior grade of spar varnish. Worth almost as much per gallon as a gallon of gas.

Will the tube of lipstick have melted and run all over the unpaid parking ticket?


Lipstick? It only melts onto stuff when she's someone you aren't supposed to be with. But if it did melt on the ticket, isn't that also a violation? Defacing traffic tickets? Could be contempt?
I see jail time coming here.


Will the cops be there to serve an arrest warrant on the person who was issued the ticket and didn't pay it? (I got ONE parking ticket in my life but I didn't know it because an auto repair shop had the car at the time and had left it in a disputed no-parking zone in front of their building. I got a letter a year later threating me with jail, and worse, if I did not pay it immediately! ONE ticket... I wonder what happens to these folk that I read about that supposedly have collections of hundreds of 'em over 20 years? But I digress...)



Ahh, but for the good old days before computers. Tickets that old aren't remembered. They weren't stored in computers yet. Not even in the '60s. (Ask me how I know that!) Or don't.
Charles, if it took them a year to send you that first letter, it would have been another year before they got around to the second letter. Even now, they wouldn't be any farther. You could have kept the money and used it on something useful, like rail for your steam engine.


Will the 5 quarts of oil have regressed back to the consistancy of Oklahoma crude?


Oil in those days was pretty close to the consistancy of Oklahoma crude, so it wouldn't take much for it to return to the state from which it came.
OTH, today it's worth over ten times its original value, no matter what condition it's in.


Will the whole case of beer be flat?


Oh! What a waste of good beer! Beer doesn't keep well, they say. I've tried to see how long it'll keep, but it never seems to last long enough to find out.
My bet is it built up extreme pressure from decomposition and blew the bottles out. It made a nasty, smelly, rotten mess that'll be lapped up by the local dogs when the car is dug up.


Will they discover that someone tunneled in from the side 45 years ago and replaced the Plymouth with a VW beetle? Would it be worth more?
Or did they just take the beer?


Well, even in that condition the beer is worth more than that Mopar.
They could have replaced it with a VW beatle, but why would anyone put a better car in place of a lessor car? Most people do things for gain, not loss.
But, then, Mopar lovers do work in the opposite direction of that every time they buy a new Mopar.


Will the smell of the rotted tires prove to be toxic? What about that bottle of tranquillizers in the glove box?


I suspect the EPA will be there to begin inspection for toxic waste leached into the ground from this thing they buried. Like digging up old barrels of waste industrial solvents, etc, this Mopar likely has deposited something into the soil, and our EPA will be on the spot to start law suites against any and all people connected to the original burial, including decendents.
But I sure wouldn't want to be nearby when they try to pump air in the tires.
Tranquilizers in the glove box have probably disintegrated into dust, like the rest of the car. If not, someone there will scarf them up, take them home, and OD on them.

Will the value of the 5-gal of gas be worth more than the scrap value of what is left of the metal parts of the car? Lessee, gas will be close to $4.00 per gallon in a month or so... $20.00 for the gas... what is the price per ton for scrap steel and what did that car weigh (or what will it weigh "now" once the rust has blown away)?


Most definitely the gas will be worth more than the car. Even in its varnish like state. It will be worth much more than the brown dust that used to be a rusty Mopar.

Now I've handed out my own opinion based on the questions asked by CTM.
Actually, I'm looking forward to finding out what really is down there.
I'm thinking of burying my 1975 Vega! Just think what that'll be worth in 50 years?? Certainly, not less than it's worth today.
Mark D.
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raylrodr55
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Re: Here's a good one.. 57 Plymouth buried in 57. Time capsu

Postby raylrodr55 » Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:50 am

My brother-in-law bought himself a brand-new Dodge 4X4 with all the crap available to mankind. He was so very proud of his big blue truck. He described it to me over the phone not too long after his purchase, and I just had to ask...."Russ, does it have a sunroof?" "Well, no," he replied, "Why do you ask?" (Here it comes Chevy fans...) I told him..."If it did, you could fill it up with dirt and use it for a flower planter in your front yard!"

Mark D
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Re: Here's a good one.. 57 Plymouth buried in 57. Time capsu

Postby Mark D » Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:08 am

Well, that's why they make torches. Of course, a cut of wheel could be used to be neater, but hey, it's a Mopar. Torch is just fine. Now it has a sunroof!

On the original topic,Tulsa's Buried Belvedere

Tulsa's Buried Belvedere

Only 3 days 4 hours and 58 minutes until she's unearthed!


As of about 6:30 Central time today.
Mark D.
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Mark D
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Re: Here's a good one.. 57 Plymouth buried in 57. Time capsu

Postby Mark D » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:42 am

Well, it doesn't look good.
In preparation for the big exhumation on Friday, the lid was removed from the vault. Inside was a couple feet of water, with evidence that at times the tomb had been filled nearly to the top with water. The car is encased in a wrapper, but it is unlikely that it was able to keep out that much water.
No more will be known, or revealed, until Friday's ceremony.
Here's a copied and pasted comment from the local radio station web site-

Tulsa,OK)---The lid was removed from the concrete vault that for the last 50-years contained a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere.
The car was buried as a time capsule to be opened during the state's centennial celebration.
The car will not be uncovered until a Friday ceremony. However, the vault had about three-feet of water in it when the lid was lifted.
The car remained sealed, but it was not apparent whether the bag had busted. Old Tulsa documents, gasoline, newspapers and even a case of beer. There will be no word on the contents until Friday's event.
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Robert T
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Re: Here's a good one.. 57 Plymouth buried in 57. Time capsu

Postby Robert T » Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:24 pm

Here is a link to some pictures after the lid was taken off.

http://www.tulsachevys.com/Images/buriedcar/index.html

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Re: Here's a good one.. 57 Plymouth buried in 57. Time capsu

Postby Robert T » Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:16 pm

Here's some videos of the unearthing of the buried car and its contents.

http://www.kotv.com/special/buried-car/

Charles T. McCullough
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Re: Here's a good one.. 57 Plymouth buried in 57. Time capsu

Postby Charles T. McCullough » Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:42 am

Does anybody else have trouble HEARING the reporters on the KOTV videos? I have a set of headphones and the volume turned up all the way on both my PC's controls AND the control just below the image on the video applet and I still can barely hear them yapping.

I can hear "most" (but not all) of any YouTube videos just fine, whatsamatta with a TV company that SHOULD know how to communicate with the world?

At any rate, sure seems the car mayhaps have been a wee bit worse for (non)wear after sitting in water for 50 years. Ah yes, the Plymouth Barnacledere.

Does anybody know if they even tried to start it? Was there enough metal left to identify which end the engine was in?

Anybody brave enough to taste the beer, yet?

Ah yes, the Plymouth Barnacledere.
Semper Vaporo,
Charles T. McCullough


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Mark D
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Re: Here's a good one.. 57 Plymouth buried in 57. Time capsu

Postby Mark D » Sat Jun 16, 2007 1:38 pm

Haven't heard much yet about the most important part of the whole deal, the beer, other than the cans were rusty. Remember, in 1957 cans were steel, not aluminum. Had they used bottled beer, it may have fared better. But how long can you keep beer anyway, before it goes bad? I've personally never owned any long enough to find out.

The car itself really doesn't look as bad to me as some of the internet comments would suggest. The interior is pretty rotten, but look how the front bumper cleaned up when someone started wiping it off before people yelled, "Stop cleaning it up!" The hood latch worked, the doors still open, the windows (apparently) still roll down and the trunk opened. Whether they had to punch the lock, I don't know.
They claim they were able to air up the tires, but I noticed one photo that showed a couple of modern cans that looked for all the world like spare tire in a can. Enough of that stuff, and anything will hold air.
I personally think, with no first hand information other than the photos, that the car could be cleaned up on the outside to not look too bad. The body appears relatively solid (for a Mopar) and you can see that paint is still there. Most of the brown one sees in the photo's appears to be a mixture of sediment and cosmoline. I think it probably need a couple of those pine tree air fresheners inside.
If the engine, transmission, rear end and brakes were overhauled, I'll bet it could be driven. If one cared to sit on that front seat. (eeuu!)
It might need some chassis lube, new hoses and belts and maybe the radiator isn't quite like new.
The battery is probably dead. It was left hooked up, though and maybe just a jump...
The car is push button drive (Mopar shift linkage of the era) and likely the cables are a little stuck.
But with a few new switches, I'll bet the lights could be made to work with the original bulbs. Probably not the sockets, though.

As it is, the engine is apparently stuck. This, from comments made on the internet. No surprise there!

From what little I could see of the engine, it appears it might be that awful 325 cid standard Mopar engine of the era. I had two of those engines. Well, actually three. One was in a '57 Dodge. Another was in a '57 Chrysler Saratoga (with air, power windows, power seat, station seek radio, etc) The third engine went into the Chrysler when the original engine went south. Way south.
Not much of an engine, to put it nicely.
Mark D.
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