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1958 Chrysler Saratoga Spring Special 2DR HT 354 Hemi Disney 'Holes' Movie car

  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Chrysler
  • Model: Saratoga
  • Type: Coupe
  • Year: 1958
  • Mileage: 158000
  • VIN: 000001
  • Color: White
  • Engine size: 354
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Blue
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Location: Cypress, Texas, United States

Description

1958 Chrysler Saratoga 2DR HT Spring Special

I bought this car out of Redlands, CA from the person who had loaned it to Disney for the movie ‘Holes’, it is driven by Sigourney Weaver in that movie.

It was very original when I bought it, and also very tired mechanically. In the time I’ve owned it I have done a fair amount of mechanical work in order to make it roadworthy. I’ve done only small amounts to the car cosmetically.

This car is a late '58 build and the Spring Special was an edition brought out by Chrysler to help spur sales. The trunk and side trim is unique to this model.

Engine

354 Spitfire (poly) originally. The engine was rebuilt by early Hemi specialist Bob McKray and converted to hemi heads (1956 354). The cam is a hydraulic roller as I wanted to avoid zinc/oil issues. The original poly heads are included with purchase of car in case you ever want to change it back. I can provide more details on the engine but for the most part it is a ‘stock’ rebuild.

The intake manifold is the original 4 barrel with the bores fully machined to the ‘modern’ throttle plate size. The carb and kickdown linkage are correct stock pieces without any cobbling or modifications.

Both motor mounts are NOS pieces and are in excellent condition.

Ignition – New MSD Ready to Run electronic distributor with vacuum advance. New 8MM silicone plug wires with added sleeving.

Carburetor – New Edelbrock 600CFM. I modified a stock air cleaner to mate with the larger neck diameter of the Edelbrock carb. The air cleaner assembly was cleaned, blasted, painted and has a new filter element.

Accessory drive – I made a set of brackets and pulleys to mount the alternator, AC compressor, and PS pump. The compressor is a new, modern Sanden style and the PS pump is a new and more modern Saginaw style as used on 70’s Mopars. Everything is aligned properly and works well.

Exhaust – New repro Chrysler 300 style ‘4 bolt’ exhaust manifolds which I had coated by Polydyn, 2-1/4” aluminized mandrel bent pipe, Walker QuietFlow mufflers. The pipes exit under the rear bumper and there are no leaks or rattles.

Fuel system – The stock tank was in good shape; I replaced the 5/16 fuel line with 3/8” stainless steel hard line with the proper spring coil wrap at wear-prone areas. Fuel pump was professionally rebuilt.

Electrical – Most of the electrical system is original and works properly. I converted the generator to a PowerGen alternator(which looks like e generator) and changed the main power cable to suit. Because of this, the factory ammeter gauge in the dash is non-functional. The charging system works flawlessly and the battery is a few months old (both battery cables are high quality new pieces and the battery hold down is the proper OEM style). The battery is less than a year old.

Cooling – Original radiator, cleaned and ‘rodded’ out. New water pump, belts, hoses. I changed the fan to a clutch type fan. The original solid 4 blade fan is included.

A488 3 speed Torqueflite – I had the transmission rebuilt by a professional with over 35 years of experience, and spent a lot of time tracking down NOS parts. Both front and rear pumps are NOS as well as several other key pieces. I also went through the parking brake assembly and it is in top shape. The transmission works flawlessly and is not a worn out or patched up item but a thoroughly and properly rebuilt part.

Differential – I completely rebuilt a 1968 8-3/4” C-Body (New Yorker) rear end to get away from the tapered axles and 50’s style brakes. The axle bearings and all seals are new and the housing was blasted and painted gloss black. The brakes are the 69+ style Mopar drums, also all new pieces. I spent a lot of time finding high quality parts; a lot of the aftermarket parts sold now are well below OEM quality. The center section is a 489 case 3.23 Sure Grip which I pulled from a ’72 cuda 340. This center section is the nicest of the 50+ Sure Grip units I have had over the years – the gears look mint and run smoothly and quietly. The SG unit is the cone style and has no noises or other problems. The complete original rear end is included.

Driveshaft – I had an all-new driveshaft built that uses a more modern slip joint to replace the original ball/trunnion driveshaft. The original driveshaft is included with purchase.

Suspension – Front end rebuilt with all new rubber, ball joints, tie rod ends, shocks, etc. The control arms were in good shape and did not have bending, cracks, or worn areas. The steering center link is also a new part. I had the steering box rebuilt by Firm Feel and it is tight and leak free. I converted the steering column coupler to a later 60’s Chrysler style, it is also new. I bought a new (NOS) steering shaft in case someone ever wanted to convert the coupler back to stock, it is included with purchase.

I ordered new rear springs from Alcan Spring as the originals were in need of a rebuild. The U-bolts are new also. The original tired out leaf springs are included with purchase.

Brakes -

Scarebird conversion to Dodge ½ ton truck discs. Drilled and slotted rotors The factory power brake booster was rebuilt by Dewey Booster with a new bellows and the booster’s end plates are Teflon coated by Polydyn. New 80’s style Mopar master cylinder. Brakes work well but pedal is lower than I like, I haven’t spent time with bleeding or adjustment to try to bring it up.

Interior

I have done very little to the interior other than I had the speedometer professionally rebuilt with a new head, it operates smoothly and quietly. I also replaced the factory oil pressure gauge line with a new braided steel hose as the original was in bad shape. The seats are original and were recovered – it looks like the original seat upholstery is still underneath. I did buy a swivel seat from a ‘59 or’ 60 Desoto and will include it with the purchase; these seats typically sell for over $1000 in the condition seen.

Auto-Pilot – The 1958 Chrysler/Imperial was the first car in history to offer the option of Auto-Pilot, and this car was equipped with it from the factory. All of the correct factory linkage and brackets are present and in good condition. I rebuilt the servo to like-new standards. The system works well but the speed control dial mounted on the steering column will lose speed over time. I am sure this is because I over-lubricated it and it depends on some friction to stay in place. I think if it were cleaned and put back with less grease it would work properly.

Exterior -

Wheels/Tires – I bought new Wheels Vintique steel rims in 15x 7 size, powdercoated black. Tires are BF Goodrich T/A’s from Diamonback with a wide whitewalls in 235/75-15 The tires are in near-new condition and ride smoothly. The hubcaps are from a ’56 Imperial. I still have the original 14” rims and hubcaps which go with the car.

Frame – I removed the frame and cleaned/painted it. All body mount rubber bushings were replaced with new pieces on reassembly.

Paint – The car appears to have been given a cheap respray once in its life. The owner prior to me hit the garage door when backing out with the driver’s fender and it was repainted again. The Saratoga emblem was broken off and I found an NOS emblem so it is in good shape. The car looks good from a distance but eventually will need a repaint to look ‘top shelf’.

Chrome/Trim – Most of the chrome will need replating though all of it is non-rusty. The stainless trim is also workable and present, the door pieces in particular have a lot of door dings but are repairable.

Glass – All glass is present and in good shape. The windshield had one stone/BB type chip which I had repaired and it is hard to notice.

Body – The car does not appear to have been hit ever and appears to have all its original body panels. The front inner fenders are in excellent shape with no rust, battery tray damage, or extra holes. I had them, and the radiator yoke, powdercoated for durability. The radiator yoke is also a very nice piece with no rust or damage ever. On the entire car, there is no rust anywhere except in front of each rear wheel well where it looks like water runs down the quarter window and sits inside. In the time I’ve owned it, I keep the car dry (it always is garaged day and night) and try not to let that area get wet when I wash it. This is not a car that has had rust repair ever; it’s a very solid example of a car model known for rust issues.

The good/bad/ugly – The car starts and runs and drives well. The engine oil pan gasket does leak around the timing chain cover which causes the pan to get a little wet over time. It’s not fast leak, just annoying. The transmission front pump seal also has a similar leak rate. As mentioned, the brake pedal is not as high as it should be. The rear window trim sits high at the driver’s side lower corner by about 3/16”, I am not sure why but it is not rust. The car will start to creep up on water temp when it idles for an extended period. It does not have a fan shroud (never did since I bought it) and I have not had time to fabricate one but I think that would alleviate that problem. The AC system under the hood is complete (compressor/condenser/drier etc.) but I never bought an under dash unit to connect it to, so the AC system is not all there. My plan was to buy one from Vintage Air or someplace like that. The power steering will sometimes make a moaning sound for about 1 second when the car is cold.

It's impossible to drive this car without receiving a lot of looks and compliments!

Clear Texas title. Car is sold ‘as is’ without any warranty. Payment due in full prior to release of car or title. If you are overseas I will assist by delivering the car at no charge to a local freight drop off point. Any questions, please contact me prior to auction close.