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Old 26th August 2014, 10:55   #16
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Default Re: Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible

WOW Sir, now that's a thread loaded with Nostalgia!! Your dad giving a name to your bike shows his passion even in those days and very glad to know you rescuing this barn find for him.

Wish you all the very best and warm regards to your dad, would be interesting to know on how he came up with the name 'Natalie'!
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Old 26th August 2014, 12:40   #17
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Default Re: Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible

Wonderful Writeup KPS. It is heartening to know that so much time and effort is being spent on finding the car,rescue and restore it.
Kudos to you
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Old 26th August 2014, 14:13   #18
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Default Re: Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible

Quote:
Originally Posted by KPS View Post
I would like to dedicate this thread to my dad, Prithvi Ganapathy and his ex-boss Jack William Lawrence. My Dad has always been a car and bike enthusiast.

By 1961, Jack Lawrence the General Manager convinced my Dad to join Ponumudi Tea and Rubber Co., as Assistant Manager at the “Terramia Estate”. Dad has very fond memories of Terramia (our current house in Bangalore is also called “Terramia”). In addition to Terramia Tea Estate in the Nilgiris, the company also owned the Bonacaud and Ponumudi Tea Estates in Kerala (having sold the Rubber Estates by then).
KPS,

A very well deserved dedication to a keen "Auto Enthusiast" and a gentleman.

Honestly seeing the MDN was like seeing a gost for me.

A senior cousin of mine was the Legal Counsel for a host of Tea Estates in the Ponmudi area including Merchiston at Bonacaud and others. As little hangers on, he always used to take us up the hills during summer break and as the uppermost location, he often used to take us for an overnight stay in the Ponmudi Estate guest house, as he was good friends with Mr. Lawrence. The MDN was a star attraction for us as the "foreign car" was becoming a rarity even then.

The Studebker Com - I believe, alas has indeed been scrapped. For a brief while it was with the cousin mentioned above (I don't know how it was with him) and then was with another gentleman in Trivandrum, who used to live on the Palace Road, just before you turn off to reach Regal's house. He for reasons better known to him refused to sell it or part with it and by the time of his death it had practically rusted to the ground and his children got rid of it as scrap

I am posting some recent pictures of Ponmudi area (taken in July 2014), hopping you wouldn't mind seeing the place again

Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible-img_1195a.jpg

Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible-img_1216a.jpg

Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible-img_1200a.jpg

Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible-img_1214a.jpg

Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible-img_1217a.jpg

Ponmudi - is really a must drive place for any one with a good drivers car, or for riders, as the roads are so well laid out.

Next time in Bangalore, I will definitely make it a point to come and visit you.

Kuddos to you and your family

Best Regards & Drive Safe

Ram

Last edited by r_nairtvm : 26th August 2014 at 14:24.
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Old 26th August 2014, 15:22   #19
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Default Correction

Mods please allow this back to back post as its a correction to a mistake I made in my earlier post


KPS,

Sorry, I mixed up your Studebaker Com with another one which was in the Ponmudi estate area and was latter in Trivandrum itself.

Best Regards & Drive Safe

Ram
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Old 26th August 2014, 19:46   #20
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Default Re: Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible

Hey KPS, My grandfather used to work at the Terremia estate too, Thats where my mother grew up. A year and a half back, i was able to go up to the estate and visit the factory, truly wonderful experience driving through the roads that lead up to the estate ,and to the factory

Lucky the car didnt give up even after brutal beatings underneath.

Keep up the good work.
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Old 27th August 2014, 16:28   #21
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Default Re: Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible

KPS - Great write and even more fantastic pictures. Enjoyed reading this over and over!
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Old 27th August 2014, 17:24   #22
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Default Re: Correction

Quote:
Originally Posted by r_nairtvm View Post
Mods please allow this back to back post as its a correction to a mistake I made in my earlier post


KPS,

Sorry, I mixed up your Studebaker Com with another one which was in the Ponmudi estate area and was latter in Trivandrum itself.

Best Regards & Drive Safe

Ram
You must be mentioning about the Studebaker commander which was with "SWARAJ......."" .it was lying in the premises of the IOC pump near Althara junction before being scrapped.Also I have heard of another studebaker commander still lying in rusty condition with a mechanical engineer near Thirumala, any clue about that
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Old 27th August 2014, 18:56   #23
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Default Re: Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible

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Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
I was nostalgic when I saw "Nonsuch", my grandfather was in charge of that group of companies till he died in 1974. He used to live in the estate above it called Parkside. Please do ask your father if he knew P.I Thomas
Both my parents speak well of your grandfather, who they knew very well. It appears that my parents know your mother and her sister too! Mum always told me a story of this big dog who brought a newspaper and refused to budge from my terrified mother till she said "thank you"

Quote:
Originally Posted by r_nairtvm View Post
KPS,
A very well deserved dedication to a keen "Auto Enthusiast" and a gentleman.
Honestly seeing the MDN was like seeing a ghost for me.
A senior cousin of mine was the Legal Counsel for a host of Tea Estates in the Ponmudi area ............. in the Ponmudi Estate guest house, as he was good friends with Mr. Lawrence. The MDN was a star attraction for us as the "foreign car" was becoming a rarity even then.
I am posting some recent pictures of Ponmudi area (taken in July 2014), hopping you wouldn't mind seeing the place again
Ponmudi - is really a must drive place ......
Next time in Bangalore, I will definitely make it a point to come and visit you.
Ram
Hi Ram,

Glad that MDN and Jack Lawrence brings you lot of memories. I too had been to Ponumudi about 3 years back. Lovely place. You had mentioned to me that your cousin had the KLT Amby for some time too!

Please do visit us in your Bonny when you come to Bangalore next.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viper21 View Post
Hey KPS, My grandfather used to work at the Terremia estate too, Thats where my mother grew up. ......
Glad Terramia brings back memories to you too. In fact I plan to visit Terramia in November with my Dad and the car! We are driving down in the Dodge for two days in November. I cannot wait to take Dad and the Dodge there!


Thanks to all who have viewed this thread and posted comments

I will soon start posting on restoration of the car.

Cheers

KPS

Last edited by KPS : 27th August 2014 at 18:58.
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Old 27th August 2014, 21:45   #24
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Default Re: Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible

Introduction to the 1954 Plymouth (P-25) on the background of the 1953 Plymouth (P-24)

Plymouth introduced the P-24 in 1953 and offered new styling, featuring "Flow-Thru" fenders or pontoon fenders, one piece curved wind shield, glove box in the center, gas cap location and door handles that needed to be pulled. The P-25 introduced in 1954 looked to correct the criticism of the earlier model.

In 1954 Plymouth offered

Plaza (P25-1) low price line, with business and club coupes, two and four-door sedans and wagon body styles.
Savoy (P25-2) the mid-line, with club coupe, two and four-door sedans and a suburban wagon body styles
Belvedere (P25-3), the top line, in the four-door sedan, a Sport Coupe hardtop, a convertible coupe and a two-door suburban body lines.

Here are the production figures from 1954, not a great year for Plymouth.
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The export lines based on the Plymouth Belvedere (P25-3) were, the DeSoto Diplomat and Dodge Kingsway, also built in Detroit with both production and serial numbers included with the Plymouth. Dodge front fenders were mated to the Plymouth body, thus avoiding matching the Dodge grille to the unique Plymouth "pontoon" fenders, which was however possible with the Desoto

Pictures taken from the Forum gives you a pictorial explanation of the above point of matching the grill and fenders.

This is a Plymouth Belvedere from Delhi
Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible-dsc07305.jpg

This Desoto Diplomat was at one time in Bangalore owned by the now Late Balram Kandige (Ex-KVCCC President, Founder Member). This car is now in Jaipur
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This beautifully restored Dodge Kingsway owned by Bhpian Amal, is an inspiration for me. This was also Ex-Bangalore and a car we missed, but it could not have found a better owner.
Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible-dodge07.jpg
Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible-dodge12.jpg


In 1954 Plymouth offered larger engine from its sister division Dodge, a 230ci, 110hp engine in addition to the 217 ci engine from Plymouth. To differentiate between the two, the 230 engine serial number was prefixed by a "diamond" before the code number.

Seen is the picture from my car which shows the “diamond between D & P. Hence the engine on my car is the bigger Dodge 230ci or 3769 CC
Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible-img2011111900138.jpg


Credits
http://www.allpar.com/old/plymouth/p...h-1953-54.html
http://www.allpar.com/history/plymou...outh-cars.html

Cheers


KPS
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Old 28th August 2014, 11:20   #25
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Default Re: Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible

Exhilarating!!!Quite a fascinating read KPS & particularly impressed with your story telling ability. You dad looks cool on the bike, no wonder the car fanatic DNA is well passed.
PS: was the bullet from Calcutta?

Good to hear you could start the engine without much fuss. I look forward to for interesting posts on this thread & an invitation to join you for a ride.
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Old 28th August 2014, 12:09   #26
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Default Re: Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible

I'm pinned to this thread! Even on a busy day in office I couldn't stop once I started reading it. Awaiting more updates about the restore. Really took us a few decades down the memory lane(well, memories from stories, for the youngsters like us)...
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Old 28th August 2014, 15:17   #27
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KPS Sir, I'm picturing your story like a movie and it's simply fantastic.! Each point is written with such a detail that it takes any reader deep inside the story. Not to forget the pictures which do the talking all by themselves. Eagerly waiting for more on this thread. Kudos to you.!
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Old 28th August 2014, 19:50   #28
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Default Re: Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible

Hello KPS,

Wonderful - nostalgic write up , wonderful car , congratulations !!

I cannot relate to the locales mentioned in your post but seeing the car in good hands is a wonderful feeling.

There are 2 more of the same model in Kanpur - one with the JK's with a UPR number and another UPQ ( Lucknow ) with a band person.

Regards
Chauhan
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Old 29th August 2014, 14:33   #29
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We started to remove all the trims to gauge how deep was the rot in car
Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible-imageuploadedbyteambhp1409302107.482648.jpg

The engine turning over and starting was a big relief, no major problems in the engine indicate that the rebuild would be straight forward
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The body was badly corroded due to rain water damage
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Sadly the convertible motor is missing, thought the rest of the parts are there
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We removed the paint and after a rough coat of red oxide the amount of work to be done got magnified
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The body required major attention. This being a convertible body, it needs to be redone with care, as the body alignment is important. The absence of B and C pillars means that the floor had to done first, before we got the body off the chassis for a frame off restoration.

Cheers

KPS

Last edited by KPS : 29th August 2014 at 14:40. Reason: Added a line
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Old 29th August 2014, 18:26   #30
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Default Re: Our Lost & Found Classic - 1954 Dodge Convertible

KPS

A lot of people get vintage beauties and restore them. What makes this thread so different is that you have found one that has a family connection.

This is a world of difference. Best wishes to you as you go through this restoration.

Cheers
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