New project to show you, but this time not for a customer but made as a display item to showcase our skills for a car show in downtown Denver, Creme de la Chrome Rocky Mountain Auto Show.

Since we have the 1938 Chevrolet truck project for Pepsi at the shop still in bare metal, it was the perfect opportunity to use one of the front fenders as a pattern to aid the build of a fresh handcrafted new one.  Especially as reproductions are only available in fiberglass and originals are pretty much impossible to find.   We chose the front fender because of its complexity and detail in comparison to the rear.  Our objective was to show if we can make this fender, we can make you any panel whether its a reproduction of an original or a custom ‘one-off’ panel unique to your vehicle.

Checkout the stages below of how the fender was built to completion.

antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, custom cars, metal working, chevrolet, restoration, vintage cars

Here’s our Pepsi truck project and the left hand front fender that we are going to replicate.

antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, custom cars, metal working, chevrolet, restoration, vintage cars

The body of the fender is divided into 4 sections (24″x30″) because the fender has a tremendous amount of shape. Expecting the material to stretch that far from one single sheet of metal would be too much to ask versus a blank production pressing from the factory. It’s also more economical time-wise for the project to create it in sections.

antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, custom cars, metal working, chevrolet, restoration, vintage cars

This is No.1 of the 4 main body sections made and offered up to the original Chevrolet fender for profile and shape accuracy. As you can see we are about 90% there on fit, with just a little more stretching to go. Final shaping achieved with the combination of a plannishing hammer and defining with the English Wheel.

antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, custom cars, metal working, chevrolet, restoration, vintage cars

Sections and shape progressing as we TIG weld them together once.

antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, custom cars, metal working, chevrolet, restoration, vintage cars

The rear section of the fender, a little trickier due to the style line crease running from the base.

antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, custom cars, metal working, chevrolet, restoration, vintage cars

Now that the 4 sections are together and metal finished, we advance onto the reverse curvature shapes.

antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, custom cars, metal working, chevrolet, restoration, vintage cars

A close up of the metal finishing applied to the TIG welds.

antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, custom cars, metal working, chevrolet, restoration, vintage cars

After patterning up from the original fender, we begin making the spine of the fender that bolts to the truck. Lower front section shown that tails out over the frame horn.

antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, custom cars, metal working, chevrolet, restoration, vintage cars

The electric powered bead roller by Baileigh used to recreate the 45 degrees step in the wheel arch opening.

antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, custom cars, metal working, chevrolet, restoration, vintage cars

Interior shot of the fender showing uniform weld joints and the 45 degrees step in preparation for the factory wired edge.

antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, custom cars, metal working, chevrolet, restoration, vintage cars

‘Knocking’ over the edge for the first stage of the wired edge process.

antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, custom cars, metal working, chevrolet, restoration, vintage cars

Wired edge completed, just like from the factory!

antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, custom cars, metal working, chevrolet, restoration, vintage cars

Overall view of the the fender interior to show the break down stages.

 

antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, custom cars, metal working, chevrolet, restoration, vintage cars

Area shown is bolted to the lower cab. Although hidden, it’s important this detail is crisp and correct.

 

antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, custom cars, metal working, chevrolet, restoration, vintage cars

Completed and displayed at this years Creme de la Chrome Rocky Mountain Auto Show. Sand bag and wooden mallet with a sheet metal blank represent the beginnings of the fender.

antique cars, automotive repair, automotive restoration, car body repair, classic cars, custom cars, metal working, chevrolet, restoration, vintage cars

And finally a view from the rear and of our neighbors at the show.

6 Responses

  1. joeaverage21

    VERY nice work!!!

    Just read through the VW 15DD conversion on TheSamba. I am so curious about how you made the complex curves of the die for the VW rear window. Did you use a CNC machine for that part? On this fender for the portion under the cab – did you make a mold to hammer the steel into shape or did you just do it with dies and steel as hammer-breaking edge?

    I’m working my way through a ground up restoration on a ’78 VW Westy plus a Corvair engine transplant (a careful install that can be reversed easily later if I want). A pretty easy resto job – mostly cleaning and painting. A few patches need to be made and welded in – great beginner stuff – just flat steel patches that don’t show anyhow. Lots of new skills for me in the right doses to learn with.

    Anyhow, I was reading and learning from what you have shown here. You are a teacher and inspiration. Thank you.

    Reply
    • valerietms

      For the VW jig I made that with a bandsaw and TIG welding. I wish I had access to a CNC machine, I could do a lot of damage!

      For this fender, all I used was cardboard templates and then shaped it all by hand.

      Good luck on your resto – sounds nice! Thanks for reading.

      Reply
      • joeaverage21

        Thank you. My imagination is racing… Oh the things I could imagine building with those skills. 😉

  2. Kevin Hockman

    I was wondering how hard it would be to make a grand piano shape? If this were feasible, might I find someone who might fabricate such a thing?

    Reply
  3. Jack

    Interesting, It appears that the original left fender is being used as a pattern? If this is the case then the new fender is larger than the original. Isn’t that the reason that wooden bucks are made? If you continue to use an original fender as a template it will always be too big. I’m sure when comparing both fenders on the car one is larger than the other because no wooden buck was made with original dimensions. All that time spent for a larger fender on one side than the other…. shame….

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.