A Day Cleaning The 1958 17′ Cavalier.


Bilge Cleaned up!

Now, I sure love a nice boat ride, but I sure love sitting in the barn, music on and cleaning and going through things and really digging in to see what we got here. And it’s all good, including finding a relative of The House Of Stinky.

I love this photo in a strange way. What a way to go!

Hey, only one and no real turds. So thats good. Here bilge was dirty but shockingly cleaned up extremely well. The engine has been de greased and ready for her refresh coat.

Cleaned up well. These were NOT painted bilges.

Looks great

Very cool add on from the dealer as an option

In the catalog with the boat

Ready to get all painted up. I would leave it to show its age, but in these water conditions here, it has to be painted or it will get worse

Gas tank removed. She was very clean inside. Shockingly clean, we were sure that was a replacement deal. Nope. We have a trick using PURPLE POWER and soaking the tank. Worked like a charm. The tank came out in seconds.

Tank removal

We also got a chance to do an inventory of her paper work. The original owner at some point pulled the hull card, and got some factory memos regarding colors.

Says varnish sides, but that isnt on this. We have a brochure with the red.

The floor is a soft yellow. Never seen that, but there it is in the factory memo. She will get repainted floors like this.


Factory memo on Red interior. with beige welt? So my best guess is the floor is a painted cream color, the seats are red with a matching beige welt?

Hull Card

Can anyone understand this colr seat words. Which also look crossed out?

Her original Bill of Sale


Some info on the KFL


She has a Speedo.

Factory black wheel is correct. You can see the dash base for a missing speedo.

Morror, and no temp gauge. Which is correct oddly

Not correct, but these little aftermarket details are very cool and staying.

Now if you will excuse me, I need to go back into the barn!

15 replies
  1. Matt DeFelice
    Matt DeFelice says:

    Looks great so far! Can you tell me, what’s your process for bilge cleaning , engine degreasing and painting? DOGWOOD’s KBLs look a little rough after last season on the Potomac.

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      I used Purple Power degreaser, but thinned it out. Sprayed on and sprayed off with water quickly. It works. Then in the finer areas did a spray with brush. Did the trick fast. I usually use simple green, but this stuff is insane. Watch out on aluminum and galvanized stuff. Very strong.

  2. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    Hull card as to upholstery looks like “Tolex ” (early naugahyde type material) “Flame” (red color) then “Cancelled.”

    You’re building up quite a collection there, Matt.

  3. Jeff Funk
    Jeff Funk says:

    Good acquisition Matt. I’ve always liked the Cavaliers, and feel they’ve gotten a bad wrap over the years.

  4. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    One thought, matt, is that this was perhaps a special order upholstery selection, and was cancelled and the stock upholstery was put in? if you can find the original catalog for the year, you could check out this theory?

  5. Jack Schneiberg
    Jack Schneiberg says:

    That is a wonderful new addition to the stable and it looks like it cleaned up well. Just so you don’t feel too alone, here is the bucket of “coon poop” I was privileged to dig out of the 1938 Century Thunderbolt currently under preservation.

    • Jeff N.
      Jeff N. says:

      Jack, that’s what I figured I was cleaning out of my boat. Now it’s confirmed, Coon poop. I’m not the only one 😁. It was pretty nasty and about the same amount out of my Century. It came from Tennessee in a barn.

  6. Ronald J Tracy
    Ronald J Tracy says:

    I have hull V17-617 since new. Repowered with a ‘66 Chevy 327 w/ Holley 4barrel in 1966. Turns a 13×14 super-cup to top 60 mph. I added a 4” deep bronze keel fin under engine to improve the turn handling with water skier in tow, etc. The dealer had the seat backs and motor box top upholstered and he pin- stripped the decks. My original windshield cracked after 3-4 years so I made a lower windscreen in Lexan with mahogany channel trim on edges to cut sun glare. We use it for the past 40 years on Lake Chelan, WA.
    Exceptionally clean water in this lake, 3rd deepest in US.

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