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automotive restoration, classic cars, vintage cars, unique cars
Tunnel completed

1931 American Austin Restoration for Pebble Beach: Part 5

This is part five of a series of posts on the restoration of this 1931 American Austin.  You can begin with Part One which describes the history of the Austin and presents photos of the car before any restoration work. Part Two shows the condition of the Austin after return from media blasting and describes the donor chassis. Then go to Part Three which covers the restoration of the chassis and mechanical parts. Part Four begins covering the metal work part of the restoration and talks about starting the new floor construction. Follow along with Part Five which follows on the floor rebuild and presents photos of the tunnel damage and restoration.

Part Six describes the finishing of the right-hand floor rebuild and restoration. Moving along to Part Seven of this antique car restoration continues the description of the floor rebuild, covering the upper end of the floor. Keep going with Part Eight showing how the left floor half was made from scratch and grafted into the tunnel to complete the floor. Then go to Part Nine of this car restoration which describes how the rear end of the American Austin was cut apart to make structural repairs to the tail panel.  You can also view Part Ten presenting the repair of the tail end of the spare wheel housing panel flange. We round out the rear-end restoration in Part Eleven with a freshly made upper floor panel and inner wheel arch restoration.

Tunnel Restoration – Before Photos

This post will follow on the floor rebuild and present photos of the tunnel damage and restoration.  The tunnel below has already been cut away from the rest of the Austin body, but it’s basically part of the floor that runs along the center of the car.  The end you are looking at in the photo directly below would be the view from the front of the car facing the seats.  As you can see the tunnel was quite mangled.

automotive restoration, classic cars, vintage cars, unique cars
Tunnel cut away from floor pan halves
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Close up of tunnel wall damage in need of repair
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More damage
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Gear lever opening area of the tunnel
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View from inside the tunnel
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Close up view of inside the tunnel
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Tunnel inside towards rear of Austin

Photos of tunnel restoration work

The first step was to cleanly cut away the most badly damaged piece.  The second photo below shows a fresh piece of metal that has been fabricated and shaped to the tunnel profile, and welded to the original piece.  Then you can see the weld being cleaned up, and finally, the whole tunnel being metal finished.  A lot of work for a piece that sits inside the car!

automotive restoration, classic cars, vintage cars, unique cars
Surgery begins. The rotted area was cut away to leave only good metal.
automotive restoration, classic cars, vintage cars, unique cars
The freshly fabricated metal section made and TIG welded in
automotive restoration, classic cars, vintage cars, unique cars
The opposite side from above photo is now being repaired
automotive restoration, classic cars, vintage cars, unique cars
Tunnel mid-section completed
automotive restoration, classic cars, vintage cars, unique cars
Tunnel completed

This is part five of a series of posts on the restoration of this 1931 American Austin.  You can begin with Part One which describes the history of the Austin and presents photos of the car before any restoration work. Part Two shows the condition of the Austin after return from media blasting and describes the donor chassis. Then go to Part Three which covers the restoration of the chassis and mechanical parts. Part Four begins covering the metal work part of the restoration and talks about starting the new floor construction. Follow along with Part Five which follows on the floor rebuild and presents photos of the tunnel damage and restoration.

Part Six describes the finishing of the right-hand floor rebuild and restoration. Moving along to Part Seven of this antique car restoration continues the description of the floor rebuild, covering the upper end of the floor. Keep going with Part Eight showing how the left floor half was made from scratch and grafted into the tunnel to complete the floor. Go to Part Nine of this car restoration which describes how the rear end of the American Austin was cut apart to make structural repairs to the tail panel.  You can also view Part Ten presenting the repair of the tail end of the spare wheel housing panel flange. We round out the rear-end restoration in Part Eleven with a freshly made upper floor panel and inner wheel arch restoration.

For more information check out the automotive restoration services we provide at our workshop in Denver.