• Jun 20, 2007
click above image for 26 new pics of the '57 Belvedere unveiling in Tulsa

Since we weren't able to get an Autoblogger on a plane pointed at Tulsa last weekend to catch the unearthing of a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere buried underground for 50 years, we called Chrysler because we thought, hey, they built the car way back when, maybe they'll have someone on hand with a point-and-shoot. And they did. Max Gates from the Safety and Regulatory Communications department of Chrysler escaped his cubicle to attend the festivities surrounding the reveal of Tulsa's time capsule and "Mrs. Belvedere".

Of course, by now we all know that Mrs. Belvedere spent much of the last half century under water, her underground sarcophagus having been breached by mother nature and flooded countless times in the past 50 years. In Gates' pics, we get our first close up look at the extent to which the '57 Belvedere is ruined with rust. What's interesting is that there are no rust holes or rust spots, there's just a veneer of rust completely covering the vehicle making it look as if the car were plucked from its tomb and deep fried right before the unveiling.

We haven't heard any news about who correctly guessed what the population of Tulsa would be in 2007 and therefore has won the '57 Belvedere, nor whether it's been confirmed that car customizer Boyd Coddington will restore the vehicle before it's awarded to the winner. For the winner's sake, we're hoping he or she isn't given the car in this condition.

[Source: Chrysler Group]



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  • 24 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Alas, this car is well beyond restoration. I know that lots of people would like to see it restored for nostaligic reasons, but just think of how many donor cars would be required? It would make more sense to restore THEM to represent the breed. Besides, if all sheetmetal, drivetrain and interior has to be re-done, it isn't really a restoration: it's a Heinz 57 with the Tulsa car's VIN tag.

      Now, that having been said, it should certainly be cleaned up as much as possible, and then plunked into a *dry* museum (where it should have been stored in its capsule in the first place!). It still holds a lot of value as a source of information for other restorations, as hinted at by Scott Gresser.
        • 6 Years Ago
        seems to me all that needed to be done was to put a drain in the time capsule , what were they thinking, how dumb can they get, all they needed was a drain, how stupid
      • 7 Years Ago
      I hope that Boyd never gets close to that car. According to his TV show, the only thing that he does nowadays is just sit in his office without touching the vehicles he works on, and in the end gets 100% of the credit and 200% of the profit. His name used to be one of great respect, but whenever I see a new "Boydster" anywhere, I cringe to think that the hard working people that actually make the vehicle get kicked in the ass by Boyd all day long.


      That, and the car actually looks kinda cool with all the rust.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You got it right kid.Every time I see one of his shows,I like him less.I would'nt buy any of his products even if it meant I would have to give up on a project.He had better get off T.V before he loses all his buisness.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Aside from the Alumi-Tub, every car I've seen come out of Boyd's shop was a Bondo bucket. I'm sorry, a real body man uses minimal bondo on his work. I'd take my car to Maaco before I'd let Boyd touch it.

        I admit, I suck at body work. Even still, I've used less plastic on a restoration than Boyd.

        Chrysler and Tulsa should try this stunt again, using a 300.

        To see a real metal finisher in action, check out the Biker Build Off episode featuring the guys from Scotty's Choppers in Australia. He managed to weld together a 7 piece alloy gas tank in such a way that it didn't need any body filler or paint to hide imperfections.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's funny but that's exactly the way I think about Boyd these days. You wonder why he even lets them film that show because he comes off so poorly. Does he not realize how foolish he appears? Those poor guys bust their ass to make a great car and some crotchety doof gets all the credit and money. Sad...
      Bryan
      • 7 Years Ago
      So sad about this. If I still lived in Norman, I would have gone to see it. I was not around in the 50's..or 60's shoot barely the 70's so this interests me. I think the car looks better than I thought it would. A good washing, buffing, paint job, and some good cleaning would be a great start to bringing this car back to life.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I keep looking at this thing.

      Has anyone tried *washing* it? It seems the same "rust" is all over the windshield and tires as well. I bet it's not nearly so bad as it seems and we're looking at a thin, dried coat of mud. Hell, one of the photos shows a real shiny bit of front bumper chrome.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I saw that too! Notice the one bumper, its shining through in one spot...makes me think alot of that is mud and grime, not so much rust. Windows obviously don't rust. While I'm sure it's not pristine under all that, I have to wonder if it's truly the rusted out hulk everyone makes it out to be.
      • 7 Years Ago
      For more info. and pictures of the buriel check out www.buriedcar.com

      I was there to see the vault, the car as it was taken into the convention center, and autoshow that followed. I have quite a few pics on my camera phone that I have been too lazy to download. This model of car was represented by a few dozen well preserved siblings.

      I am no fan of the styling but it really is a few years more modern looking inside and out when compared to '57 Chevy or Ford.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Pretty dumb to put in in a hole in theground; just asking for water intrusion. They should have just put it in a storage unit. It would be in great shape.
        • 7 Years Ago
        this was meant to withstand nuclear attack, etc (obviously would have failed miserably) but in their minds no building might still be there.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I really wonder what caused the capsule to start leaking? Rubber seals dried out?
        retrokid55
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm a funeral director and embalmer. The capsule that the car was put in was just like a vault that we put caskets in.alot of funeral directors will say the vaults last a lifetime depending on the expense and thickness of these vaults. But truth be told I've been working for the medical examiners office and we've exumed many bodies where the vault has failed after only a few months. With the ground shifting,temp changes and ground water and vibrations from traffic that car has probally been under water for 49 years. Look at the things they pull up from the titanic. Looks just like it. Sooo sad.

        • 7 Years Ago
        my guess would be: poor seals at the lid and/or the fact that concrete alone is not an impervious material. Given 50 years, I would expect moisture to seep in....though I do not know how the vault was waterproofed on the exterior
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm just bummed that the car's time capsule had a water breach. I've been hearing about this car for several years, and I was looking forward to the unveiling. Does anyone know when the breach began, and why. Oh well.

      Any other town's have cars buried in 1950's time-capsules for us to look forward to?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Something about it reminds me of that movie Cars....
      • 7 Years Ago
      I own one of these cars and I think por 15 company should get involved and have this car body dipped in its product and restored after a thoruogh por 15 treatment. I was at the unveiling and I got real close to the vault and a 18" peice of the leaf spring was found in the vault after the car was transported to the conv. center. furyfins
      • 7 Years Ago
      Honestly, all the cool stuff that was crammed into the car before it was buried is far more interesting and nostalgic to me than the actual car. What a mess.
        • 7 Years Ago
        My first impression viewing the unveiling photos was that she looked as if she could have been brought up from the wreck of the Titanic. As I remarked to this week to Paula Hale of the Tulsarama committee on the phone, if the Humbertson family does not want her in her current condition, she would probably have so many parties interested in restoring her that Barrett-Jackson or Kruse International would have to conduct an auction. It would attract nearly as much attention as our A-C-D Collector Car Auction held nearby in Auburn, IN every Labor Day weekend. The NATMUS Museum in Auburn could host the restoration and Speedvision or maybe the History Channel could make a miniseries of it. Is it remotely possible that the oil and the gaskets held up enough to keep the engine and transmission from rusting beyond overhaul? Would be interesting to see a teardown and rebuild, if possible. Like her distant cousin, Christine, Miss Belvedere has a lot of fans!
        • 7 Years Ago
        What cool stuff? A letter from the Mayor of Tulsa? A picture of the Rotary club? Histroical treasures to rival those of the pharoahs and czars!
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