Man drove to Michigan to get a 1963 Dodge but got a hell of a shock when he lifted the hood

  • A detailing expert got a shock after popping the hood of a 1963 Dodge
  • He drove two-and-a-half hours to pick it up
  • However, what he found under the hood almost made him regret the decision

Published on Jul 04, 2024 at 2:28 PM (UTC+4)
by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

Last updated on Jul 04, 2024 at 5:48 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

A detailing expert got a shock after popping the hood of a 1963 Dodge.

He drove two-and-a-half to Brant, Michigan, to pick it up.

And when he eventually popped the hood, his heart skipped a beat.

READ MORE! Son buys abandoned 1974 Dodge Challenger from dad who didn’t realize he had a real treasure

How the 1963 Dodge Dart ended up there

The third-generation 1963 Dodge Dart 440 desperately needed to be cleaned up.

It had last hit the street in 1978 or 1979 and hadn’t seen the light of day since then.

The owner’s father bought it for $100 with an unknown mileage to gift to his children, Ben and his sister.

He mounted the biggest tires in an attempt to make it drive ‘like a tank’.

And it worked, with his sister steering clear of the ‘Tank’ – which became its name.

Now, Ben wants to see the vintage car on the road and has gifted it to his own son, Michael.

That meant it was time to reveal what lay beneath the layer of dirt covering it.

The state of the vintage car

Towing it from the barn after 50 years was no easy task.

The car was hoisted onto the trailer, taking half a century of dirt – and some other unwelcome visitors – with it.

The mice feces that was all over the interior was ominous, alongside a covering of mold along the dashboard and steering wheel.

What’s more, the upholstery lay in shreds.

But, when he popped the hood his blood ran cold.

There was no rust surrounding the big block V8 engine, and the wires and cables were missing.

The resident mice seemed like the most likely culprits for that.

It wasn’t as pleasant of a surprise as was found under the hood of this mysterious 1973 Dodge Challenger.

Meanwhile, he found only a soda can, 50-year-old lubricant bottles, and a spare wheel in the trunk.

It compares to the state of these barn-find Minis that had to be rescued from an overgrown garage.

The restoration

Barn-find expert and content creator Detail Dane then cracked on with the clean-up – beginning with the dirt-covered wheels and tires.

The power-washing process filled his studio with mud – however, a glimpse of the turquoise finish beneath was rewarding.

Almost as satisfying as this Ford F250 getting its first clean in 35 years.

Afterward, the chrome-covered bumpers, grille, beltline, mirrors, and pillars glinted as if they’d just rolled off the assembly line.

When he started working on the engine compartment, the mice had scurried elsewhere in his shop, allowing Dane to vacuum and degrease inside.

When the exterior was cleaned and polished, it turned out the paint had a gloss that had turned matte over the decades.

Detail Dane

The interior was the next challenge.

It was covered in mouse droppings and garbage, and the upholstery and floor mats had been nibbled away.

With the seats removed, he could vacuum and effectively clean and degrease the stained vinyl – revealing a light shade of turquoise beneath.

The interior mold was then steamed off the dashboard and steering wheel, too.

Despite the remaining stains and rust, the 1963 Dodge 440 was back in Ben and Michael’s yard within days, and the memories flooded back.

Michael then decided to have the mechanics fixed at a shop to get it running again.

Ben also shared that the emblem on the dashboard is from a 1949 Dodge that his father drove.

As for the mice? They proved harder to shift – but the eviction notice has been served.


Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

London-based Amelia cut her journalistic teeth covering all things lifestyle, wellness and luxury in the UK capital. Fast-forward a decade and the experienced content creator and editor has put pen to paper for glossy magazines, busy newsrooms and coveted brands. When her OOO is on you can find her spending quality time with her young family, in the gym or exploring the city she loves.