CMC '34 Coupe 1992 Build
I already responded to the Street Beasts thread here about my CMC build started back in the early 90's. If no one mines I am going to copy and paste my starting post from that thread and may add and maybe take a few words away here and there as I read through it again. Here it goes.
I joined this forum back in 2004 and from what I was able to see I haven't logged in to it since June of 2005. Anyway as a member and Moderator on a Corvette forum someone there reminded me of this forum so I thought I would come up to take a look around once again and came upon the (Street Beasts Rod Kits) thread. Well I have something to say here since I built a Classic Motor Carriage '34 Coupe. Back in 1992 I contacted CMC and purchased a '34 Coupe Kit with the body gelcoated Red in color for $10k. I didn't want the complete car at once so CMC after sending them if I remember correctly $2k gave me the option of taking the bare frame first. I did so and had a a friend of mine who ran "Produce" back and forth from Florida to N.J. pick up the frame for me. I built the frame up using parts from an original wrecked '71 or so Mustang II front clip and parts from a recently wrecked '89 Mustang LX at the time. Parts like the upper and lower A-Frames and front springs came from the Mustang II and I purchased the rear end and MC out of the LX with only 30k miles on that particular car. Of course everything was sandblasted and painted and new ball joints were installed in the A-Arms. Other parts that were needed were either purchased brand new such as a new TRW Rack and Pinion or came from other donor cars such as the Camaro steering column and 2 drive shafts one being a Chevy and the other a Ford for the pieces I needed from them to have a new one made to except Chevy to Ford. Being I was and I am still in the automotive parts business as I have been since 1978 it made things a little easier. My working on the many Corvettes I have owned and other cars was also a plus in the building process.
I have to say here to anyone thinking of building one of these kits this Kit was not a easy build. Being I had the tools needed and some knowledge and plenty of space I was able to accomplish alot. I have to say I believe the average Joe out there can not build this car. It is very true what people are saying here about all the CMC kits on Ebay for sale over the years. Its because everyday people find they can't build these cars as easy as CMC made it look back then. I know I have witnessed others out there with basically no skills thinking the CMC kit was just going to bolt together. Many sold their cars. Very far from the truth of what CMC's TV Advertisements showed back then of kits being built in a driveway.
As I mentioned I started the frame in '92 and was ready for the body sometime in '93 after everything was plumbed and built to the frame. Back in '92 I installed a brand new ZZZ Chevy Crate motor one of the first of the ZZ4 Series of engines back in the day. I contacted CMC and after sending them the remainder of the money in 2 installments they had the Body ready for me to be picked up with supposely all of the parts needed to complete the job. Once again I had my friend pick up the crated body coming back to Jersey in his "Produce Trailer". Well, after receiving the Crate I found that I was missing a great deal of the parts needed to complete my build. The Grill,bumpers,gauges, hood mounting components just to name a few things were all missing. I never got those parts to this day. My Credit Card company did not let CMC get away with it and reimbursed me for what I didn't receive. The majority of the missing items other then body parts such as fiberglass and metal brackets I was able to purchase from Street Rod Dealers as I needed to purchase other things anyway for this car that did not or would not of come in a kit like the Walker Radiator I used and A/C Components, electric windows, you name it. The Grill I had specially made years later in 2003 for the car. I never really liked the CMC Grill anyway. Well CMC went out of business in '95. Because of that and not having the parts that I needed I lost some interest and the car sat in the corner of my Pole Barn about 70% complete.
Plenty of things now got in the way. One of the last things I did to the car was install one of the doors on my own but could not align it by myself. What was needed to finished the car were both doors needed to be installed and aligned,Windshield glass needed to be installed plus glass installed in the doors with my electric window kit, interior and dash needed to also get done, including the inside mounting of my Vintage air unit. Wiring I had done already up to the inside of the interior. The Hood and Grill also needed to be mounted. Well my car set from '95 until 2003. A good Eight years when I happened to hear that a company named Street Beasts took over CMC. I quickly contacted them after hearing this and purchased the rest of the metal brackets and body components missing from my kit. I also purchased some interior product from them as in the Gray Cloth they sent me a sample of. Being now 11 years passed since I first started this project I knew I was going to need some help with the doors as mentioned to align them correctly that I farmed out this work to a Street Rod Shop in PA. Being there wasn't much left to finish the car the Rod Shop asked me if I wanted to have them finish the car while it was there and I gave them the ok. It wasn't cheap but now that I finally had everything except a grill I just wanted to get it done finally. While the car was at the Rod Shop in PA I found out about Alumicraft Street Rod Grilles also located in PA and had them do up a grill to my specifications for my car and ship it directly to the Rod Shop.
I have to say I love this car. Next to my old Corvettes its got to be one of the coolest cars I've ever driven. Quality wise its good but it is not perfect and believe it or not I am still driving it around in the Red Gelcoat Finish that looks great that many people think the car was painted. From what I understand Street Beasts doesn't offer that anymore. I buffed the heck out of it and it is very presentable. I had to have some single stage paint mixed up at my Dupont Dealer for the Rod shop to repaint the grill shell as the gelcoat on it was not very good from the factory. Dupont did a great job on the match as they used their paint camera on a piece of scrap fiberglass cut out of the Windshield area. A few other areas also needed to be painted such as the side panels but the match is great where as the average person can't really tell. The Rod Shop had someone come in to measure up the interior to do the headliner. I have no idea how I could of done that project myself to be honest with everyone. The fellow doing it had to measure and sew up the pieces before he came back to do the install. The car looks great and I am happy with it. I have seen other fiberglass bodies out there by other manufactures and really don't see them being any better quality wise than what I got from CMC to be honest with everyone here. Hopefully Street Beasts is running a decent company now as I haven't heard any complaints about them like I heard in the past with CMC and Fiberfab.
I have many pictures from the Build Up starting in 1992. I am going to first start off with some pictures scanned of when I did up the frame to my '34 Coupe. Some of the pictues may not be so great being we didn't have digital camera's back then.
Me painting the '89 Ford Mustang LX Rear End
Brand New ZZZ Chevy Motor Installed original to the ZZ4 Motors of today
'89 Mustang LX Seats I picked up back then for $50 each.
Pictures of the CMC '34 Coupe Body when received in 1993 and when I later mounted it to the frame.
Some nice pictures taken outside of my Pole Barn
These pictures show some of the fiberglass work involved with the trunk and floor in order to build this car.
More Pictures of the '34 Body Build
I thought I would be going with a floor console here but decided against it. Wouldn't of looked clean enough for me plus the fact that there really isn't enough room to begin with. In 1993 I added a new lift and it sure was a big help with the build.
A few more pictures of my car just before I trailered it up to a PA Street Rod Shop in December of 2003 in order to get the doors aligned properly since I was working this project on my own and one person just can't do it all I found out.
My Car at the Street Rod Shop in PA.
My New Grill had arrived.
Back home from the Street Rod Shop in late Spring of 2004.
The Baccardi Girls at one of the Cruises I attended.
In my driveway.
WOW - Lot of work but glad you are now enjoying it.
If anyone is in the process of building one of these cars and has any questions feel free to PM me or ask in this thread and I will do my best to answer all questions. For those thinking about building one of these cars well put it this way I hope your skills are beyond doing an oil change on any of the cars you own or have owned and you have more tools then a couple of screwdrivers and pliers. :P You will not only need plenty of regular tools but body tools also. You will definitely need a good Mig Welder so that you can make welds to the frame. A lift would be a good thing to have especially if you are older. I was 41 at the time. Didn't have mine until I was basically done with the frame. It sure did come in handy when doing fiberglass work under the car.
During the write up of this thread I remembered a couple of the hardest things I had to do in the buildup of this kit. For one the back window is a 6itch of a job to do. The CMC Assembly manual back in the day said to first cut out the fiberglass. No big deal! Once the fiberglass is cut out there is a very small lip around the area to where the glass will have to stick too. What needs to be done next is that area all around where the window will mount needs to be built up with body putty or bondo. The assembly manual said to take the CMC supplied glass and to wax the glass. Next they said to fill the area with Bondo around that lip I just spoke about. When that is done they tell you to take the waxed glass and hold it against the back window opening against the fresh bondo and to hold it there for awhile until the bondo sets. What a joke? I did this on a warm day and had bondo falling down all over the place epecially all over my newly painted frame. I sat back and said there's got to be a better way. Well this is where you never have too many tools. I decided to build the area around the lip up slowly a little at a time with filler. Once all was built up and cured I went for my Air Powered Long Board. For those who are not familiar with one it is a body tool that you would use on long areas of your body to sand it down, say like a door. Well the Long Board did the trick giving me a smooth surface that was required. The way I could see it this really was the only way to go. Just curious how other builders handled this task.
Number 2 when building the trunk it does not connect to he rest of the body below the back window. Didn't see anything about this in my manual. This was something I needed to figure out how to do. Again I needed to put on my thinking cap. Well I took a ride over to the Home Depot and purchased a roll of (Aluminum) Roof Flashing. I then took a roll of wax paper from the house. Went back into my building and cut the Flashing using some duct tape and closed the gap under the car from top to bottom sealing it good with the duct tape and wax paper sandwiched to the body. I then let the car down on my lift and started cutting Fiberglass matting to fill the gap area. I then mixed up some Epoxy and hardener and proceeded to fill the gap from inside of the truck area. Did this a number of times until I felt I had enough fiberglass buildup. When it dried the next day I pulled the Flashing and waxpaper off and now had everything together like it should be. Went back into the trunk and used a little body putting to dress up the trunk floor to make everything uniform.
There were aslo other things that you really had to sit back and think about in the build of this car.
To me in the end everything was well worth it. As I mentioned in another thread I love this car. All the bad you hear about this car from some people I can't say any of it applies to me. At the time of looking to build a '34 I did some looking around. For the buck I found going the way that I did was the best thing for me. If I remember correctly for the money I paid out to CMC for the whole Kit back in the early 90's it would of only been enough to purchase a body from some of the other manufacturers out there as far as what I was quoted back then. I would of still needed to purchase a frame somewhere and many other parts.
It is real easy to make a wooden donut that fit's around the back glass,Then epoxy it to the car,Then you have something to glue the glass to... :D
I think your car came out very nicely,But there is still some problem's's that you left the same on your car ,as all CMC car's.It can't be removed from the frame if had to.That's my biggest complaint I have with these car's.Then there the gap between the fire wall and the toe board.I see on your car you built it pretty much as the manual say's to build it. :drunk:
Not trying to get on you bad side now,Just pointing out something's. :)
This is how I glassed my trunk. :) I made the floor all one piece.All water tight. :)
Is your car completed yet? When did you start your build? Looks like you have a SB car body there based on the fact that the gelcoat is white but I did see CMC white gelcoated kit bodies as a friend of mine back in the day, early 90's had a white CMC gelcoated Vickey kit that he gave up on building and ended up selling the kit.
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