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An overdrive unit came from Waldorf and Mr. Rapp swapped a 1954 Plymouth bumper on the car for the correct 1953 bumper.

The famous ships hood ornament and side mirror were rechromed.

The restoration process stretched out so long that the car had to be reupholstered twice, with green whipcord and vinyl, including the one-third, two-thirds split front seat.

The top with plastic rear window was installed by the time it was all over. When the hydraulic top is lowered, a fitted boot can be secured with 17 snap fasteners.

Susan, Mr. Rapp’s wife, first saw the Plymouth in 2002. ‘Her perception of the car is a little different than mine,’ Mr. Rapp says. ‘She’s a good sport.’

The dark green dashboard with the glove compartment beneath the seven-button radio recalls happy times.

‘It’s so much fun,’ he says. ‘I’m back in the days of my youth.’

Although the speedometer reaches 100 mph, Mr. Rapp says, ‘I’ve had it up to 65 mph.’

Bringing reality into the equation from behind the three-spoke steering wheel, he acknowledges, ‘It drives like a tank. I’d forgotten what it was like.’

Still, Mr. Rapp says with a satisfied smile, ‘Tanks can be a lot of fun to drive.’