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504 Break shortly after Lars acquired it.  Note special boot lid

Brakes getting attention, McPherson struts are rustproofed

Engine bay looked this rough, requiring more than a little TLC. Much better now (new photos soon)

Stripping the interior. Clock runs fine now,  seats are clean
One day, my friend Lars Thieme told me that he bought himself a 504 Break hearse. The car had been standing in a police garage for years, parked there by its third owner, a policeman, as you might have guessed.
At this point, the Break had still a special boot lid, curtains and fixings for the coffin. Luckily, all of this non-standard equipment was simply bolted into place, and Lars started the conversion to a standard Break. So when I acquired the 504 Break from Lars in December 2000, nothing reminded of its first life as a hearse...
Anyway, I still need some parts to finish the job. I'm on the market for a silver grey colored back seat bench, and the trim brackets (7234.15, 7234.16, 7234.22) to hold the fake-wood floor I have from a Break SL in place. Any offers?

The car is a very good basis for a rolling restoration, and I intend to keep it as original as possible (in comparision, the 504 Berline gets brand new parts where ever possible, barking mad, I know). The Break had to earn its living for about 20 years, so it can wear some minor blemishes with pride. That said, some dents will be sorted out when I start tackling the bodywork some day. Sills are still solid but tatty, and the right rear side panel is rusty and dented after a hit-and-run.

The work balance until today:

New parts:
Thermostat, HT-leads, distributor cap & rotor, all fluids & filters, nearside steering rack gaiter, rear bumper, rear light lenses, front indicators, gas pedal (old one had to be drilled out, don't ask), rear dampers and wiper arms. I bought most parts from the Löwendoctor (german for lion's doctor).

Work done:
Clutch slave cylinder overhauled, new intake system built from two old ones, interior clock repaired, faulty switches sorted out, wiper mechanism overhauled, radiator overhauled, trust removed/stopped from sills, doors and floor panel (interior side!), interior cleaned (big job!), rear dampers replaced, paintwork polished several times, trim replaced and a shiny front grill made of three broken ones. I also bought four brand-new (!) unique Break steel rims.

Next steps:
Rustproofing the underside, fitting new complete exhaust, overhauling the front suspension, finishing the conversion by installing the wood floor and rear seat, fitting new steel rims and tyres, welding in new sills and rear side panels, knocking out small dents and a part respray of the replaced panels.

Plenty of work? Definitely worth it.

Getting there. The 504 Break should runagain this winter