by Richard Schneider, Chief Instructor, Rosemount Black Belt Academy
This was a Black 1982 Dodge Rampage that I purchased in 1984 with 40,000 miles on it. It also has a hood, a fender and a front clip from a grey 1982 Rampage. I pulled a few interior parts from a red Rampage I found in a junk yard. I drove this car until 1988 and then parked it with over 150,000 miles on it and still running strong.
I saw an article about Boyd Coddington and I knew what I wanted to do. My wife then bought me a book on restoration one Christmas and I got started. The entire project took me 14 years because I only worked on it when I had time and money. I did everything myself but the paint, with coaching from an old pro.
To restore the car from years of Minnesota snow and salt required a lot of rust removal and steel replacement. I sand blasted the entire undercarriage and inside of all body panels. I cut out severe rust and welded in new steel, fabricating and shaping it myself. I treated the underside with a rubberized sound coat to prevent paint chipping after painting it.
All steel was removed and replaced from the first bend in the middle of the doors down to and including the rocker panels, and all the way back to the tail lights. This is not the factory look but nobody seems to notice.
I also fogged the inside of all body channels with rust inhibitor and then I foamed them to prevent moisture from returning to these areas.
The top was chopped, door handles shaved, a popper kit installed, and a hood scoop added. The top was reinforced with 1/16th inch plate to keep it from moving when doing body work.
I had the inside door panels made by a local upholstery shop. I cut the back window from Lexan and I am custom ordering new passenger windows from a specialty shop that does bent glass. The windshield was chopped by a local automotive glass replacement shop.
A new engine from Tri-Star Engines in Baldwin Wisconsin was installed. I had a performance exhaust kit installed as well. I am planning to have some performance work done to the engine soon.
I did almost all of this work myself because I thought it would be cheaper. I was wrong, but the sense of satisfaction I have received is beyond words. I have never seen a car attract so much attention. I cannot go anywhere without hearing numerous people yell, wave, or watch them smile and mouth their approval.
You may include my e-mail address if people want to contact me.
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