We were like everyone else back in 2007 when the now infamous 1957 Plymouth Belvedere that had been buried in a vault underground for 50 years was unearthed. We were sad. The car, despite being encased in a concrete tomb, slathered with some sort of rust proofing chemical from the ’50s and supposedly sealed up, was a total loss. Water had flooded the tomb at some point and for decades the car basically sat in a stew pot. The car now resides in New Jersey and is being cared for by a guy who owns a company that makes a chemical rust remover. Curious indeed.
Dwight Foster owns the Ultra One Corporation which sells SafeRustRemover, a chemical rust stripper. Foster has had the car for more than two years now and has been using his product to remove the crust-like layer of rust that had formed on it from sitting in the water for so many years.
It’s not exactly an incredible success story, as even Foster admits in a New York Times story that the sheetmetal is like tissue paper and the car suffers from so much structural damage that it may not be a good idea to even open the doors.
As a publicity move for his company, it is good stuff and we’re not sure if it is his product working or not, but the photos shown in one of the galleries attached to the story (linked below) seem to indicate that at least some of the body is back down to visible paint.
The family who was given the car still owns it and is allowing Foster to try to improve the appearance of the Belvedere. Eventually they will get it back, and according to the story, they think the car should tour the country (with some corporate sponsorship of course). We’re not sure how great an idea that is. If the doors cannot be opened, we’re pretty sure the car would be in two pieces by the time it got halfway through any type of national tour that required it to be loaded into a truck and towed around.
This baby is museum bound in our opinion. It will never run again either, as the motor is apparently filled with silt and clay.
In 1998 the city buried a Plymouth Prowler and will dig it up in 50 years. We hope it has a better outcome than the Belvedere project, and it should with the amount of plastic in that car.
Thanks to Dave Wallace for the tip!
Source — The New York Times — Salvaging a Famous Rust Bucket