Tag Archives: antique cars

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Front End: 1953 Porsche 356 Cabriolet Part Three

This is part three of a series of posts covering the restoration of this 1953 Porsche 356 Cabriolet, takes us through the completion of the nose rebuild and work on the front fender.  The introduction post on this Porsche 356 restoration shows pictures of how the Porsche came to us, then after dismantle was complete, and then after the body was media blasted.  Post two covered the beginning of the nose rebuild, leaving the new section TIG welded into position.

The first few pictures in this post show the front end completion process to the way it looked when leaving the factory.

We next head around the corner to the right hand fender where the panel just like the rest of the body has seen a reasonable amount of filler work, not deep by any means, just enough to create its fair share of ‘lows,’ which we’ll bring up by hand, with our standard metal finishing process, in preparation for the high build primer process.

The great thing about this Porsche 356 is there is almost zero rust around the exterior, that’s compliments to the owner for taking care of the car for the last 50 years!

Continue to enjoy future posts as we complete the exterior metal work.

 Completion of Porsche nose rebuild

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Hood damage highlighted here.
 

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Smooth….
 

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Another angle of the nose.
 

Front fender restoration – Porsche 356

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Beginning stage of the left hand fender repair, showing signs of damage.
 

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View from the opposite angle before restoration work.
 

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Typical damage from ‘grounding.’
 

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Area smoothed out and skimmed with lead immediately in front of the fender support bracket.
 

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Hammer,dolly and file work in progress.
 

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Repairing the original lead area around the door aperture.
 

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Nose, left hand fender, and hood are now restored.
 

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We are now ready for primer.
 

This is part three of a series of posts covering the restoration of this 1953 Porsche 356 Cabriolet, takes us through the completion of the nose rebuild and work on the front fender.  The introduction post on this Porsche 356 restoration shows pictures of how the Porsche came to us, then after dismantle was complete, and then after the body was media blasted.  Post two covered the beginning of the nose rebuild, leaving the new section TIG welded into position.

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Firewall and cowl build: 1938 Chevrolet Pepsi Truck Custom Build Part 10

This is part ten of a series of posts on this highly custom 1938 Chevrolet Truck restoration, in post one we introduce you to the project and the custom features to be fabricated.  In post two, we look at the individual truck parts that make up the front end build In post three, we cover the chassis build and drip rail removal In post four, we show you the process of metal finishing the fenders. Post five takes us through the panel restoration of the original inner grille housing panel and a custom touch of deleting the cowl vent panel.  Post six takes care of the lower cowl metal and left hand front fender.  Post seven covers the toe board panel, door lock upgrades, and mainly the upgrades to the inner fender support panel; this panel has to be heavily modified to take the new location of the hood side panels.  Post eight looks at how the custom hood was created to open by pulling forward instead of the original butterfly design.

This post will show the original firewall modifications, mainly by lowering the distributor depression, and then filling in the void above with an aluminum close out panel, that will be bonded to the original firewall.

The close out panel fabrication involves using the Baileigh bead roller to create raised areas to give a factory Chevrolet look.

The final set of photos show the cowl bead build process, to correct poor metal structure from the original one, to round out the metal work on the front of the Chevrolet cab.

Firewall panel fabrication

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Original firewall face.

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Since this build will have a modern 350 Chevrolet engine, we can lower the firewall depression.

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Welded in and metal finished.

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To make the firewall more interesting we made a close out panel. Here’s the beginning of making the template.

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Tracing the template to the aluminum sheet.

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Sheet metal perimeter cut out and offered up to the firewall.

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Bead work in progress with our Baileigh equipment.

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Close up of bead work.

Completed firewall panel

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Cowl Metal Work

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Previous cowl top was damaged and weak from the media blasters so we made a new section to graft in.

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Profile/ side view from hood to style line.

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Grafting in and TIG welding stage.

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Onto the metal finishing stage.

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Close up profile view of the finished product.

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Finally, the overview of the completed cowl.

This is part ten of a series of posts on this highly custom 1938 Chevrolet Truck restoration, in post one we introduce you to the project and the custom features to be fabricated.  In post two, we look at the individual truck parts that make up the front end build In post three, we cover the chassis build and drip rail removal In post four, we show you the process of metal finishing the fenders. Post five takes us through the panel restoration of the original inner grille housing panel and a custom touch of deleting the cowl vent panel.  Post six takes care of the lower cowl metal and left hand front fender.  Post seven covers the toe board panel, door lock upgrades, and mainly the upgrades to the inner fender support panel; this panel has to be heavily modified to take the new location of the hood side panels.  Post eight looks at how the custom hood was created to open by pulling forward instead of the original butterfly design.

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Hood and hood sides build: 1938 Chevrolet Pepsi Truck Custom Build Part 9

This is part nine of a series of posts on this highly custom 1938 Chevrolet Truck restoration, in post one we introduce you to the project and the custom features to be fabricated.  In post two, we look at the individual truck parts that make up the front end build In post three, we cover the chassis build and drip rail removal In post four, we show you the process of metal finishing the fenders. Post five takes us through the panel restoration of the original inner grille housing panel and a custom touch of deleting the cowl vent panel.  Post six takes care of the lower cowl metal and left hand front fender.  Post seven covers the toe board panel, door lock upgrades, and mainly the upgrades to the inner fender support panel; this panel has to be heavily modified to take the new location of the hood side panels.  Post eight looks at how the custom hood was created to open by pulling forward instead of the original butterfly design.

 

This post finishes out the aluminum work on the custom hood which involves completion of the skin, and design and fabrication of the inner structure, which is the bonded to the outer with a 2-part epoxy (Lord Fusor 112B medium or slow).

Whilst on the inner structure topic we can cover the hood sides as well, shown in the pictures below. The inner hood sides are then spot welded to the outer skin using a Pro-Spot PR10.

 

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Hood outer skin completed, it was created in one piece instead of the original butterfly style.  Now we are ready for the inner structure to be built.

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Outer hood in open, functioning mode.

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Inner hood structure designed and fabricated to give strength to the outer skin.

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Installation of inner in progress.

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Onto the hood sides inner structure design and build.

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Hood sides inner structure being spot welded into position.

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Hood side offered into position to double check fit.

 

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Completed hood sides in first stage primer.

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Close up details.

 

This is part nine of a series of posts on this highly custom 1938 Chevrolet Truck restoration, in post one we introduce you to the project and the custom features to be fabricated.  In post two, we look at the individual truck parts that make up the front end build In post three, we cover the chassis build and drip rail removal In post four, we show you the process of metal finishing the fenders. Post five takes us through the panel restoration of the original inner grille housing panel and a custom touch of deleting the cowl vent panel.  Post six takes care of the lower cowl metal and left hand front fender.  Post seven covers the toe board panel, door lock upgrades, and mainly the upgrades to the inner fender support panel; this panel has to be heavily modified to take the new location of the hood side panels.  Post eight looks at how the custom hood was created to open by pulling forward instead of the original butterfly design.

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Original Paint 1968 VW Bay Window Bus Partial Restoration

Another VW bay window restoration for the same customer we did the 70 Westy for.  This project is a 1968 VW bus with original paint and in great shape, apart from front end damage from a spare tire that was mounted to the front.

Our duties were to perform a partial restoration, which included the front end repairs, general rust repairs/dents/gouges , trim restoration, swap out the Jalousie windows for the original factory configuration, custom made aluminum front vent housing to replace the plastic one, and new weather stripping/seals all around.  Lastly, a new, custom made, two-tone interior, by TMI to match the original German factory look.

As the VW bus was in original paint and there were too many external repairs to just ‘blend in’ new paint to the original, we decided to ‘buzz’ down the original paint, seal, featherfill and prime, followed by a coat of the original 1968 beige and clear coat.

Follow the pictures and captions that unfold the story of bringing this 68 VW Bus back to its factory glory.

VW Bus Before Restoration

Here are three overall pictures of when the 68 VW Bus came to us.  First thing to notice is the front end damage from the spare tire that was previously fitted.     The nice thing is 80% of the body is original factory paint.

Here are three overall pictures of when the 68 VW Bus came to us. First thing to notice is the front end damage from the spare tire that was previously fitted.  The nice thing is 80% of the body is original factory paint.

 

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Various creases and isolated dents are apparent on this VW Bus.

 

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Close up of the front end damage.

 

Metal Work on the Bay Window

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Surgery begins. The panel is removed and straightened out on the bench.

 

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The repaired panel is now grafted back onto the bus.

 

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Patterning from side to side for symmetrical profiling.

 

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Unfortunately early bay window front floors aren’t available, so a section had to be hand made and grafted in.

 

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Floor being grafted in.

 

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In primer.

 

Fresh Air Vent Restoration

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Original vent housing was in poor shape and easily deteriorates over time, being plastic.

 

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A jig is made and an aluminum replacement is in progress.

 

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First stage complete.

 

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Painted and bug mesh added.

 

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New vent installed. We can make these for your VW restoration, email to ask.

 

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New interior trim to match the original factory colors and style.

 

Restoration of the outside of 68 VW Bus Completed

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Rear view with restored original trim, new seals, lens, and body paint, and freshly painted ‘cloud white’ bumpers.

 

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German made hubcaps were hand painted in the work shop.  And wheels were powder coated.

 

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Clean look.

 

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Thanks for checking out this VW Bus restoration!

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Sunbeam Tiger Hood Scoop

This post covers one of our smaller projects and a nice custom.  We enjoy taking a break from the larger projects in the shop, especially when granted artistic freedom.

As with many of our projects, big or small, we were referred by a current or previous customer.  This customer is associated with the vintage/ classic car rally circuit and was looking to modify his original Sunbeam Tiger hood to integrate a hood scoop that looked as though it was pressed at the factory.  He supplied the drawing and a couple of photographic influences and the rest was up to us.

The Sunbeam Tiger is probably most famous for its staring roll in the TV series ‘Get Smart’, created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. The main character, Maxwell Smart, drove the vehicle to Control each week where he was given his assignment. Agent 86, er Maxwell Smart, received attention where ever he went, thanks in part to the stylish vehicle that accompanied him.

The Sunbeam Tiger continued the long tradition of putting a large American engine in a small European car. Others, such as the Nash-Healey,  Facel Vega, and perhaps most successfully the Shelby Cobra, had done this before.

Follow the pictures with the captions as they tell the story of this custom build best.

Sunbeam Tiger hood before scoop and jig building

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Here’s the design/influence supplied by the customer.

 

First port of call is designing and mocking up of the jig.
First port of call is designing and mocking up of the jig.

 

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Progressing on building the jig.

 

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This jig is complete and ready for some ‘jig chasing.’

 Beginning of hood scoop build

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Outer jig is clamped to sandwich the hood material. Then the hood material is ‘blocked’ out with a domed wooden mallet to the shape of the base of the jig.

 

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Progressing onto using nylon ‘chasers’ of varies diameters to continuously drag down and stretch the original hood material.

 

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‘Jig chasing’ is now complete.  Peak depth is 1.75 inches.

 

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Showing the face side that requires metal finishing and the hood scoop peak to be made as the original hood material has reached its elastic limit before tearing.

 

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Making of the peak with guidance of the customer’s drawing and my artistic interpretation.

 

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Overview of the fabrication.

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Showing the face after jig chasing.

 

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During the metal finishing process.

 

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Metal finishing continued.

 Custom hood scoop completed

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From metal finishing to the final stages of using highlighting fluid to check how the finished product looks.

 

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Looking pretty sleek.

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A new 1.75″ opening should help out the cooling issues of the Sunbeam Tiger engine.

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Completed Sunbeam Tiger custom hood scoop!

 

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Custom hood fabrication: 1938 Chevrolet Pepsi Truck Custom Build Part 8

This is part eight of a series of posts on this highly custom 1938 Chevrolet Truck restoration, for the introduction to the project see part one. In post two we look at the individual truck parts that make up the front end build. In post three, we cover the chassis and drip rail. In post four, we show you the process of metal finishing the fenders. Post five takes us through the panel restoration of the original inner grille housing panel and a custom touch of deleting the cowl vent panel.  Post six takes care of the lower cowl metal and left hand front fender.  Post seven covers the toe board panel, door lock upgrades, and mainly the upgrades to the inner fender support panel; this panel has to be heavily modified to take the new location of the hood side panels.

 

This post shows how the custom hood was created to open by pulling forward instead of the original butterfly design.  This was done at the request of the customer and since the engine will be all new and custom it’s more practical for access.

Original Chevy truck hood

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Butterfly style hood from original truck.  Patterns are taken from this hood, so that it will have the exact same shape when closed.

 

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Custom jig created to fabricate the hood support and custom opening mechanism.  Cardboard pattern for the front nose.

 

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Custom support fit checked with the cab and grill.  You can get an idea of how the hood will look opened here.

 

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A view of the hinges that will move the hood.

 

Aluminum nose shaped from a flat sheet.

Aluminum hood nose shaped from a flat sheet.

 

Marking out the pattern for the main body of the hood.

Marking out the pattern for the main body of the hood.

 

Rolling the form into the hood blank.

Rolling the form into the hood blank.

 

Cleco'ing into position with the nose section.

Clecos holding the main hood piece into position with the nose section.

 

IMG_2012

More clecos in place, to get ready for welding the sections.

 

AC TIG welding of the 2 sections complete.

AC TIG welding of the two sections is now complete.

 

....and to complete this section,metal finishing.

….and to complete this section, metal finishing of the weld.

This is part eight of a series of posts on this highly custom 1938 Chevrolet Truck restoration, for the introduction to the project see part one. In post two we look at the individual truck parts that make up the front end build. In post three, we cover the chassis and drip rail. In post four, we show you the process of metal finishing the fenders. Post five takes us through the panel restoration of the original inner grille housing panel and a custom touch of deleting the cowl vent panel.  Post six takes care of the lower cowl metal and left hand front fender.  Post seven covers the toe board panel, door lock upgrades, and mainly the upgrades to the inner fender support panel; this panel has to be heavily modified to take the new location of the hood side panels.

IMG_1636

Inner fender support panel modification: 1938 Chevrolet Pepsi Truck Custom Build Part 7

This is part seven of a series of posts on this highly custom 1938 Chevrolet Truck restoration, for the introduction to the project see part one. In post two we look at the individual truck parts that make up the front end build. In post three, we cover the chassis and drip rail. In post four, we show you the process of metal finishing the fenders. Post five takes us through the panel restoration of the original inner grille housing panel and a custom touch of deleting the cowl vent panel.  Post six takes care of the lower cowl metal and left hand front fender.

We look at few areas of restoration and customization in this post.  First, the toe board panel, which is a simple repair back to stock, followed by the ‘B’ post door lock upgrade.  We installed a modern system that will involve electric door poppers and a remote key fob.  We kept the original exterior door handles for a vintage look.  The door handles will therefore be a fixed item, non-pivoting.

Last, we take a look at the inner fender support panel; this panel has to be heavily modified to take the new location of the modified hood side panels.  Since the hood side panels are now a separate entity to the hood, they needed to be built a lot stronger.  They are now stand alone panels, where as before they took added strength and support from being joined to the upper hood via a hinge.  The hood side panels sit in position with the aid of two location pins that are welded onto the inner fender support panel.
Stay tuned for future posts on all the custom modifications in this area.

 

Toe board restoration

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Toe board taken out of the floor and in need of repair.

 

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Restoration of toe board is complete.

 

Door latch upgrades

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The original door catch and lock system.

 

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Modern locking system grafted in.

 

Alterations to support hood modification

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Inner fender panel custom build.

 

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Left hand lower cowl section repaired with simply made tooling.

 

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Custom inner fender build to meet and match hood sides.

 

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Another view of the fender meeting the custom inner support panel.

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Hood side modification in progress.

 

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Building and customizing the hood side to sit in place, without being supported by the top of the hood.

This is part seven of a series of posts on this highly custom 1938 Chevrolet Truck restoration, for the introduction to the project see part one. In post two we look at the individual truck parts that make up the front end build. In post three, we cover the chassis and drip rail. In post four, we show you the process of metal finishing the fenders. Post five takes us through the panel restoration of the original inner grille housing panel and a custom touch of deleting the cowl vent panel.  Post six takes care of the lower cowl metal and left hand front fender.

IMG_1383

Front fender and cowl restoration: 1938 Chevrolet Pepsi Truck Custom Build Part 6

This is part six of a series of posts on this highly custom 1938 Chevrolet Truck restoration, for the introduction to the project see part one. In post two we look at the individual truck parts that make up the front end build. In post three, we cover the chassis and drip rail. In post four, we show you the process of metal finishing the fenders. Post five takes us through the panel restoration of the original inner grille housing panel and a custom touch of deleting the cowl vent panel.

This post takes care of the lower cowl metal and left hand front fender. The lower cowl repair involves making simple tooling to jig chase the in the raised style line. We also cover another means of simple tooling in another post. The latter photos show more fender restoration making years of abuse and bad repairs right.

Chevy truck cowl repair photos

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Decay in the front of the cab.

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New sheet metal grafted in to replace that spot, continuing the detail from the rocker panel.

 

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Metal finished to completion.

Front Chevy truck fender restoration

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Just to give an idea of what poor condition these fenders were in.  Of course most front fenders we see need a lot of work.

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Completed fender restoration

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This is part six of a series of posts on this highly custom 1938 Chevrolet Truck restoration, for the introduction to the project see part one. In post two we look at the individual truck parts that make up the front end build. In post three, we cover the chassis and drip rail. In post four, we show you the process of metal finishing the fenders. Post five takes us through the panel restoration of the original inner grille housing panel and a custom touch of deleting the cowl vent panel.

IMG_1175

Cowl vent removal: 1938 Chevrolet Pepsi Truck Custom Build Part 5

This is part five of a series of posts on this highly custom 1938 Chevrolet Truck restoration, for the introduction to the project see part one.  In post two we look at the individual truck parts that make up the front end build.  In post three, we cover the chassis and drip rail.  In post four, we show you the process of metal finishing the fenders.

This post takes us to original panel restoration of the inner grille housing panel and a custom touch of deleting the cowl vent panel.  These cabs do get hot inside in the summer months so a cowl vent opening was practical in designing this cab back in the 30′s.  Fast forward to 2013 and we have AC and therefore we can afford to remove this feature, since the owners had concerns the vent would become a rain trap.  Check out the seamless restoration and rebuild in the photos below.

 Chevy truck grill housing panel restoration

Years of decay are evident here.

 

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Brand new metal formed and tack welded on.

 

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The final product ready for another 60 years of service.

 

Chevy truck cowl custom modification

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Original cowl opening with cut lines mapped out.

 

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Cut completed, and new sheet metal shaped and welded in.

 

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After metal finishing, the truck cab looks just as though it was never a feature!

 

This is part five of a series of posts on this highly custom 1938 Chevrolet Truck restoration, for the introduction to the project see part one. In post two we look at the individual truck parts that make up the front end build. In post three, we cover the chassis and drip rail. In post four, we show you the process of metal finishing the fenders.

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Front fender restoration: 1938 Chevrolet Pepsi Truck Custom Build Part 4

This is part four of a series of posts on this highly custom 1938 Chevrolet Truck restoration, in post one we introduce you to the project and the custom features to be fabricated.  In post two, we look at the individual truck parts that make up the front end build In post three, we cover the chassis build and drip rail removal In post four, we show you the process of metal finishing the fenders. Post five takes us through the panel restoration of the original inner grille housing panel and a custom touch of deleting the cowl vent panel.  Post six takes care of the lower cowl metal and left hand front fender.  Post seven covers the toe board panel, door lock upgrades, and mainly the upgrades to the inner fender support panel; this panel has to be heavily modified to take the new location of the hood side panels.  Post eight looks at how the custom hood was created to open by pulling forward instead of the original butterfly design.

Metal finishing the right hand front fender was our first choice when restoring the truck, since the fenders are going to stay stock, non-custom this was an easy choice.

We went through the standard procedure of media blast, then scraping the remaining filler off.  We repaired all tears, splits, and the perimeter, followed by metal finishing to completion as shown in the photos.

Chevy fenders before restoration

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Fender after media blasting.

 

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This section is heavily clad with body filler also known as ‘bondo.’

 

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Evidence of cracking was apparent when the truck was in paint, even more so now after media blasting.

 

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Scraping to remove the bondo.

 

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A close up of the damaged area.

 

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Surface of the moon?!

 

Metal finishing process

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The metal finishing process begins.

 

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Taking down the ‘highs’ and picking up the ‘lows.’

 

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Hand filing in process.

 

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Ready for final clean after filing stage is complete.

 

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Lower rear section of the fender shown here was done as a second part of this restoration.

 

Final Chevy fender restoration photos

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Here’s that second part completed.

 

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Ready to hang.

 

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Completed as good as new!

 

This is part four of a series of posts on this highly custom 1938 Chevrolet Truck restoration, in post one we introduce you to the project and the custom features to be fabricated.  In post two, we look at the individual truck parts that make up the front end build In post three, we cover the chassis build and drip rail removal In post four, we show you the process of metal finishing the fenders. Post five takes us through the panel restoration of the original inner grille housing panel and a custom touch of deleting the cowl vent panel.  Post six takes care of the lower cowl metal and left hand front fender.  Post seven covers the toe board panel, door lock upgrades, and mainly the upgrades to the inner fender support panel; this panel has to be heavily modified to take the new location of the hood side panels.  Post eight looks at how the custom hood was created to open by pulling forward instead of the original butterfly design.