A fter spending nearly 50 years quietly rusting beneath the Tulsa County Courthouse lawn, the Tulsarama 1957 Plymouth Belvedere affectionately known as “Miss Belvedere,” may soon be returned to her former glory.
According to the Ultra One Corporation Web site, the company, which developed the Safest Rust Remover products has been enlisted to chemically de-rust and preserve what has become one of the world’s most famous “finned” Mopars in the world.
Robert Carney of Frederick, MD, nephew of the car’s apparent winner, is expected to take possession of the car following an official presentation ceremony scheduled for Sept. 14 in Tulsa.
Carney told a Tulsa newspaper last week that an agreement has been worked out with the Ultra One Corp. to stabilize the 50-year-old automobile, once ownership has been confirmed.
“Once we get it derusted, we think it’ll run,” Carney told the newspaper. “We really think it will.”
Ultra One Corp. spokesman Dwight Foster said he expects it will take about 6 months to complete the de-rusting process of the 1957 Plymouth Belvedere along with all the other artifacts that were placed in the trunk such as the case of Schlitz beer cans and other items.
Ultra One recently launched a Web site, www.missbelvedere.com , that will document the Belvedere’s cleaning process.
According to Carney, the rust needs to be neutralized to preserve the Belvedere, which apparently spent a good portion of the past half-century as much underwater as underground.
“We’re not going to take it apart and try to restore it,” he said.
“Ideally, what we’d like to see is that when it’s in pretty good shape, the car would go back to Tulsa for another unveiling,” Carney said.
However, according to officials in Tulsa, Carney has yet to be verified as the winner of the car. Officials state that there is still some paperwork that needs to be completed before the car’s new owner will be verified.
Carney’s aunt, 93-year-old Catherine Humbertson Johnson of Bowling Green, Md., is the oldest sister of Raymond Humbertson, who submitted the apparent winning entry in a 1957 contest shortly before the Plymouth Belvedere was buried at the Tulsa County Courthouse.
Humbertson died in 1979. He and his wife, Margaret, who died in 1988, had no children.
According to the Ultra One Web site, future plans for Miss Belvedere beyond her second Tulsa Oklahoma unveiling include touring around the USA for special events for a few months and then probably finding her way to the Barrett-Jackson auction block in Scottsdale in January 2009 before possibly heading to an auto museum for the rest of her life.