I started tracking parts that might be missing. The trunk was full of chrome and stainless, I assumed it was all the missing parts. A rookie mistake. Some odd pieces of trim were gone. And other items like heater box parts and the heater core. Not just pieces that might have fallen off because of stripped screws or plastic that time caught, but parts that would have required an effort to carefully remove. As it turned out later, these parts would be very expensive to locate. At that moment, I had much clearer picture of what happened.
When I was first looking at the car, it was explained to me how they ended up with it. The dealer’s shop was restoring a 65 Marlin and they needed a parts car for sheet metal. They bought my 66 sight-unseen and had it shipped. When it arrived, even though it looked as though it was one step away from the crusher they realized what they actually had–a better car structurally than the 65 they were fixing up. They didn’t have the heart to cut up a perfectly good and restorable car. So they put it in thier inventory and bought another parts car.
I believe that story because of the paper trail. What I failed to infer from that story was that my 66 still ended up somewhat of a donor car. I believe most of the missing parts left on the restored 65. I would search for the next 14 months, spending un-mentionable amounts of money. But eventually I would source almost all of the missing parts.