Some people don't learn from others' mistakes and need to test things out themselves. David Mardigian of Detroit, Michigan, is one of these people. He had set out to find a 1965 LeMans, but he didn't turn up any local candidates, so he turned to the Internet. The car was born and aged in the lower eastern states, where it was shipped to David sight unseen. Big mistake. When the car arrived, the body didn't seem too terrible, but one glance under the car motivated the blood to leave his face. The frame was barely held together with six-inch angle iron clumsily spot welded onto it to join the broken parts. Of course, this meant David would be shopping for a new frame. He went back to the computer to source a replacement, and he actually came up with something helpful.
Originally, he wanted to find an OE replacement for the frame under his LeMans, but he found something better. Schwartz Extreme Performance of Crystal Lake, Illinois, builds frames for 13 models covering GM and Ford. The frames can be ordered as bare welded skeletons, or with all the bells and whistles, such as Air Ride suspension and 15-inch brakes. David didn't want to fuss with it, so he sent the car off to Illinois to have Jeff at Schwartz Performance do it for him.
Once Jeff got a hold of the car and saw what the previous owner had done to it, he understood David's frustration. In order to make things right, Jeff found another '65 LeMans with a decent frame to donate to the first car, and a better body for the Schwartz frame. Unlike the original car, all this one needed was some floorpans and quarter-panels. This style build isn't new to Jeff at all, and it's going smoothly.
David works on the street known back in the day as the Big Three's engineering testing grounds. This street, Woodward Ave., brings over 40,000 cars and dozens of vendors together for a car culture party that lasts several days. David's company sponsors this event, and he can't wait to celebrate it with his LeMans next year.