is an outreach ministry of Victory Lane in Lakeland Florida. The 1968 Firebird was donated. The goal of Project Resurrection is simply to share the love and salvation of Jesus Christ with others, to grow in fellowship with one another, and ultimately share it just as Jesus freely shares his love and salvation to us.
Project Resurrection was given a new lease on life starting April 26, 2008. It has been a long journey down roads and paths that nobody could have predicted...but it is now new again from top to bottom. Perfect...no, but this one was saved from the scrap yard to pound the streets once again. Project Resurrection has many names - Firebird...Bird of PR"A"Y...and more, but we choose to simply call it Project R.
The journey is now complete!
The car was given away on November 10, 2012
The teardown is the fastest part of a restoration and also one of the most important. It is at this time you are able to assess what can be salvaged. The further we tore this down, the worse it got. The rust and collision damage consumed virtually the entire structure. The once mighty Pontiac 350 engine was seized tight from sitting. The transmission was full of goop, and virtually every other mechanical part and piece was either damaged or seized from lack of use. We knew the car was broken, but through this teardown process we could see it was broken beyond our imagination. You ever felt like this? Many people refuse to make a self examination. We are afraid of shining a spotlight into the inner most workings of our heart. When we become broken and look to God for restoration, He shines a spotlight into our heart and we realize how badly we need a savior.
The subframe is the binder that ties the power, steering, and brakes to the rest of the structure. If it isn't healthy, nothing else will function. Bobby Hough restored several body mounts and repaired the collision damage to the main crossmember. The scars from the repair will remain as a reminder that this structure was once damaged, discarded, and useless for all but recycle material. What looked like scrap to everybody else, was a diamond in the rough to Bobby. With his skill and vision, something beautiful and useful came from this pile of scrap metal. God sees the potential in us as well - no matter how far we are from Him.
National Parts Depot
Vette Brakes & Products
811 W Derby Ave
Auburndale, FL 33823
Mike Knowles' Vintage Motion
Josh's Mobile Tinting
Signs & Graphics
Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting
2409 US Highway 92 East
Lakeland, FL 33801
Albert Marko - Amsoil
1020 N Combee Rd
Lakeland, FL 33801
Justin Wright Wayne Marsheti
Ken Kaminga Bob Johnston
Brett Price, Wayne Fisher, David Purlee,
Mario aka “Doom”
Very few restoration projects go this deep. Thankfully, the folks at National Parts Depot have everything necessary to save this bucket of rust. Mark Lowe tackled the floor removal. Even though the rust had all but consumed the structure, it was still a battle to drill the welds and cut away the rotted panels. They didn't easily give in. It is amazing how deep the stain, filth, and destruction of rust can go - and while it weakens everything it touches, it doesn't easily come out. Are our hearts any different? Hurts, heartaches, and hang-ups sink deep into our hearts and begin to weaken our resolve. No matter how many good deeds we do, or wishful thinking we might have, nothing but the healing power of God can break the strong hold of the pain from our lives. This new floor will support the body, and seal the passengers from danger - just like the blood of Christ covers our sin and protects from the bumps along life's travels.
What you are looking at is a body dolly jig. We built this structure using the factory datum dimensions. The three risers on this platform directly point to the crucial factory marks that align the key body supports so the structure is in perfect alignment. This is the guide that allows us to restore the body to exact factory specifications. While we didn't have to do this, there otherwise would have been no way to know for sure the panels were in the right spot. Structural panels out of alignment would result in body panels that would never fit right and a car that would simply under perform in many ways. This is why we must ground our faith in the word of God. The Bible stands as the structure for perfect alignment in our lives. When we don't daily spend time in the Bible and use it as the measure of our lives, we end up with things that just don't quite fit, and don't line up to the standard God has set for our lives.
Having the body securely mounted on the dolly, we could confidently tear away the structure and replace it with new rust free metal. After totally removing the rear structure, we installed a new pair of frame rails, trunk pan, inner and outer quarters, rear body panel...and trunk. With the rear structure totally exposed, we took this opportunity to clean and coat the inner panels with corrosion protection. It is a beautiful thing to see the rust completely cut and burned away replaced by beautiful new metal. It is as if there was never even a spot of rust anywhere. Thank God He sent His Son Jesus to clean and cover us as if we had never sinned. Through his sacrifice and perfect finished work on the cross, His blood covers, washes, and protects us from the inside out. Our sin is cast as far as the East is from the West. That means we become clean and pure when we accept Jesus - even while we were still sinners because of His blood. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Thank you Dr. Andy Hall for donating Project R to our Church...and making this possible. Your generosity and support will touch many lives...and bring many closer to Christ!
Project R hits the road! (sort of...) Tackling such a huge project with volunteer support and donations means moving from time to time and spreading the work over a larger area. We rolled the rebuilt body to a new location to assembly the many frame and suspension parts as well as replace the rockers and various other panels. The steering parts are new. The axle is a disc brake unit from a 2nd gen F body. The team skillfully modified the axle to slip in the 68. In our journey with Christ, in obedience we will be taken to different places along the way. It is crucial we are steering in the right direction and remain firmly planted to the ground along the way as we reach for Him.
After a late night...long week, and much anticipation...Project R arrived at the annual church car show 11/8/08. People enjoyed seeing the car for the first time, while the build team was bombarded with questions and offers from others to help see it to completion. Bringing the new creation out in public to proclaim the change to the world was a lot like baptism. We follow our decision to accept Christ with a public profession of our faith through believer's baptism. Is the baptism magic, does it save you? No...but is an act of obedience just at Jesus Himself was baptized.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!
Check out the engine! Since the 350 was beyond saving. Mike and Rob picked up a 400 and a set of 6x heads. Rob also scored a great deal on a aluminum four barrel intake and Holley carb. Competition Products has been awesome in supplying the hard core engine internals. The engine is being assembled with high quality parts including a killer roller cam! If you are in GA and need some custom body or engine work , look up our friend Mike Knowles' Vintage Motion vintagemotion.tripod.com
God calls us to come live life, and live it more abundantly through him. When we call on God, it is like taping into his power source. Like the roar of a mighty big block Pontiac, He gives us the power to overcome sin with victory over the grave! Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Ephesians 3:20
On the road again...R took a few stops along the way. Mike Bryant old school leaded the quarters and brought many of the panels a bit closer to paint. We dropped the engine in the frame and were able to hear it roar, as well as move under its own power for the first time! Back apart it came... More rust was found in the cowl. So, back under the torch it went. At LMI Lowers Motorsports the engine was removed while the cowl and engine bay was repaired and readied for paint. Priming, blocking, priming, and blocking some more is the key to a slick finish. While the structure is what holds things together, the paint and body is what other people see. With a solid structure, restoration of the remaining panels and paint could begin.
God is the ultimate judge of our heart and character. Just like the newfound rust in the cowl, we are not perfect. We should daily examine our hearts and constantly ask God to shine a light into our soul. Examine me, O LORD, and test me. Look closely into my heart and mind. Psalms 26:2. When we find things that don't measure up to His perfect standard, we place those things under the skilled torch of God and ask him to burn it away and replace it new again. Christians are not perfect. That is why we are truly saved by God's grace. Otherwise, we'd come up short in our own works and deeds.
Since our outward appearance is important as a changed heart will reflect in the way we live. People will initially see the outside of this machine, it is important the outside match the miracle that has taken place under the skin. Since it is a new machine from the inside, the outside should reflect that as well.