Mill Creek Haunted Hollow: Chronicle

A special page dedicated to the restoration of my 1938 DeSoto S5 Sedan. I've set this page up so you read it from the beginning, in chronologicle order. That way, you can follow the progression of the restoration in order.

July 4, 2015
I can't help it, my eyes are wandering again. The itch is back.


Thinking about my needs and my knowledge level, I think my preference would be for the 1938 Desoto in Renton. It's got the right look and (the ad says) it runs, but needs electrical work. I'm fine with electrical. The body is good, no rust, but needs paint. That's great, because I want a custom job. Love the suicide doors.



July 8, 2015
I really need to know more about cars. Asked for more information on the 1938 DeSoto. This was the response:
"The engine ran when I removed it to replace the soft plugs in the block they where leaking. The insulation fell apart on all the wires so it would need to be redone before it would run, I had the starter rebuilt ready to go. I lifted the body off to inspect for any heavy rust and just reassembled, same with interior removed and removed surface rust and painted. needs brake work."



July 12, 2015
If I had a proper trailer and a hitch, I'd be picking this up right now.



August 1, 2015
First, I have to give a huge thanks to my wife for letting me purchase the largest "prop" I have ever bought for the Hollow. After a lot of back-and-forth, she agreed to let me buy the 1938 DeSoto S5 sedan, and I was able to haggle the price down considerably! I rented a trailer and brought it home today.



August 6, 2015
There's just something about these old car parts I really like.



August 9, 2015
Set up a nice, cozy tent for the DeSoto in my driveway.



August 16, 2015
Playing around with Photoshop on a possible paint scheme.



August 22, 2015
Rebuilt the master cylinder last night. Need to install that today and I need to repair one of the wheel cylinder kits, then the brakes should all be working!

Removed the thermostat housing because it had rust. Turns out, there's no thermostat! One more part to buy. Fortunately, thermostats are easy to find and not too expensive. I already found one on eBay that's on bid. It's $5.99 right now.

I'm not spending $50-$100 on a blast cabinet. Not when I have an old bin and some clear plexiglass sitting around.



September 4, 2015
Want to thank Jena Syren Werven and Shipwreck for suggesting I go to Interstate Batteries off of 128th. I was able to get a big, bad-ass 12v battery for the DeSoto for $48. Very happy!!



September 4, 2015
So, what do you do when the wife is out of town? Take apart the car and put the dash on the couch! It'll be great. We'll watch a movie, snuggle, and maybe get some wiring done.



September 5, 2015
The dashboard glass on the DeSoto needs to be replaced. The glass is cracked and (at some point) someone used whiteout or something to repaint the numbers. It doesn't look good. I can either buy a new decal that someone else made, or I can make my own and match it to the interior I want. (I can also pick my own font!)

Here is the current instrument plate (with and without the art deco back plate).



September 5, 2015
Okay, so here's my idea of a new dash decal that would tie in with the burgundy interior I want to install.



September 10, 2015
Am I crazy? I love the 2-tone grey and black, but I don't know which looks better. I also like the orange/black, as it's great for Halloween. (I'm including some of the inspiration paint jobs)



September 16, 2015
Sanded and primmed the two hood panels. My lovely assistant helped me display them.



October 30, 2015
This is how I set up the DeSoto for Halloween. It was a great hit and a fun part of the display. I'm really hoping I have it running before next Halloween. In fact, I'd love to take it to a car show or two. Maybe even use it to promote the Nightmare at the Nile haunt at a couple of events next summer. We'll see.



November 22, 2015
I have to admit, these would look pretty damn cool on the DeSoto!



December 4, 2015
Right now, I am starting a massive project at home. I'm attempting to clean out the garage so I can move the '38 DeSoto in and work on it over the winter!!



December 4, 2015
I know I'm not done, but it's a good start! I can see a lot of the garage floor now and stored away all of the extra plywood and trim. I also moved out the old freezer and moved all the PVC pipe upstairs to storage. It's slow, but progress is being made.



December 5, 2015
Lots of rain this weekend, but I still got more done on the garage. Moved more stuff upstairs to the attic and threw some stuff away. It's looking pretty good, but I need to find a good spot to store the table saw and the table miter saw. (It's gonna look so small and crampt when the DeSoto moves in.)



December 8, 2015
The garage is as clean as I can make it for right now. So, the next step is to open one side and push the Desoto inside! I know it's going to be a tight fit, but I've measured and it should work. I don't know if I'll be able to reach anything on the shelves, but hey, at least the DeSoto will be inside!!



December 8, 2015
I told you it would fit!



February 18, 2016
A new year and I have a lot of projects to do. I really want to start working on the DeSoto, but I need to build a carport first. Now that the DeSoto is in the garage, it's just too crampt. I can't really do anything. There's not enough space to work on the car, and not enough space to work with any of my woodshop tools. As soon as I build the carport, I can move the DeSoto into a more confortable, larger space AND have access to all my wood tools.





May 10, 2016
Okay fans, back to the DeSoto!! I've got two months before parade season and I'd love to get it driving by then. Working on the new wiring harness right now. Also continuing to sand and prep the body for new paint.


Saturday morning and I need to move everything out of the way of the garage.


Driveway is clear, now it's time to open the garage.


Driveway is clean, time to open the garage. Right side door. (Looks like a bay window, doesn't it?)


Right side open, time to push out the DeSoto.


She was all tucked in for winter. Now it's time to get her outside and (hopefully) running.


In the driveway with the right garage door closed.


Need to clean the car up and remove the fake lights I put in for Halloween.


Lots of cleaning and sanding. Hoping to save all the chrome. (Need to get the skeletons out, too. Also from Halloween.)


Sunday morning and I have the tent up. This cheap tent got pretty thrashed last year with wind and rain, but I repaired the bent poles (thin metal) and put it back together. Now I'm ready to start working!


The wiring harness is a lot more than I needed, but it gives me a lot of options down to road.


Thank goodness the wires are all labeled, or I'd have one hell of a time trying to remember where I left off..



May 12, 2016
Paint is starting to come together.



May 27, 2016
The wife and I went on vacation for a week, and while we were out of state, a lot of rain came through. The old car canopy was no match for the collecting rain and it collapsed. (Last time it was wind, this time it was rain.) I knew it was of poor quality and was really more of a "nice day" tent cover. It was not made for weather. So, today I went to Costco and purchased a real canopy carport. This thing is solid and substantial. (Should have purchased this a year ago and saved the $80 I spent on that P.O.S. party tent.)