Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Local Demon handed over to ‘ghouls’

Larry Maness (right) and his grandson David

Larry Maness is giving his grandson, 15-year-old David Maness, an old Chrysler for the boys’ first vehicle.

It hasn’t run since 1994, and David won’t see it again for three years.

Odd setup?

Not really. The Manesses are banking on a television show, “Graveyard Carz,” to restore the rig to its original luster.

“Graveyard Carz” is an automotive reality show currently airing on the Velocity Channel. It documents the work of a crew nicknamed "the ghouls" at show star Mark Workman's collision shop. The show digs into the background of each vehicle as it’s being brought back to life. Most of the cars on the show are Plymouths and Dodges from late 1960s and early 1970s.

Larry’s 1971 muscle car was a rare breed as soon as it rolled off the assembly line. At the time, he was a manager at the Fenton, Mo., Chrysler plant and through a stroke of luck was given an opportunity to buy it with fewer than 1,000 miles on the odometer.

This week, a transport company picked up the car and will be taking it to Springfield, Ore., where the so-called Mopar Morticians led by Workman will completely refurbish the Dodge Demon 340, turning it into what’s certain to be a collector’s item.

Larry’s son, Mike, did most of the work getting the producers to take on the project. The agreement is pretty complicated. The show will take about two years in completing the restoration, then it will put the rig on show tours for a year.

“It will be shown all over the West Coast,” Mike Maness said.

The cost will be split between the show’s producers and the Maness family.

“And we will have to make one TV appearance,” Mike added.

The TV show’s management was immediately interested in the vintage car because of its numerous options. The Maness clan says it could very well be the only one of its kind.

“It has a double-tag VIN number because it came with so many options,” Mike said.

Graveyard Carz is beginning its fifth season in October on the Velocity Channel, but Maness doesn’t look for his car to make the tube until next year or the following season.