This post takes us to the final stage of finishing the metalwork: the leading (or lead loading) process. A total of approximately 280 hours was spent on the metal work piece of the restoration, in preparation for the lead work. The links above only cover part of the body restoration work, after this lead post, we’ll continue with more information on the other metalwork that was completed on this Porsche, including new floors and the front structure rebuild.
This type of Porsche was factory leaded, typically around the door jams to define the door gaps, hood gaps, and trunk lid gaps. Throughout a car’s history, especially a car of this age, it has probably been involved in an accident or two, so the body becomes a little out of line with the bolt-on panels (doors, hood, trunk, etc). This creates uneven and unattractive gapping. This is where leading comes to save the day in these areas and resurrect the correct gapping. As our Porsche is nearly 50 years old, there are other areas we will consider doing lead work, such as areas that we cannot gain behind panel access with a hammer and dolly (to aid removal of dents/ metal finish) so the next best thing is to lead these areas. The best thing about lead, if done correctly, it will last a lifetime. This creates enormous value in the car, versus using plastic fillers (even the good ones on the markets today). Leading also keeps in line with the tradition of how these fine vehicles were built.
After the initial media blasting, once the car was disassembled, there is always a fraction of the original factory lead surface erased. Therefore there is always a small percentage of lead we have to replace to get back to our original shapes. Follow the pictures below of the lead work performed on the 1964 Porsche 356C. This took 40 hours from start to completion. Bringing us to total hours spent in metal work and lead restoration: 320.
Restoration leading performed around the trunk lid gaps
Final photos of the trunk lid area restoration
Restoration leading the door gaps of the Porsche
Lead work photos on the hood gaps
Close-up of final results of the hood gapping restoration