This entry should pretty wrap up the Fordillac build. It was shot Thursday for HOT ROD mag. We took the car to Detroit for the shoot, they flew the photog in from LA. Weather cooperated and the car performed perfectly. It's a total thrill to see your car photographed for THE hot rodding icon, and is the highlight of my car building hobby so far. It's a pretty good feeling.
Well, not finished completely, but done enough to call the build journal complete. I have the top finished, it's absolutely stunning, I'm very proud of it. I've just ordered a new aluminum, Fluidyne three row radiator for it to (hopefully) cure it's inadequate cooling issues, so that should be out of the way. The only big project remaining is to upholster the seats, but that can wait 'till a rainy, or snowy day. It's pretty comfy as is, even my wife thinks the bare aluminum seat backs are comfortable, which they are.
The project has been deeply gratifying to me. I've gained lots of new skills, as a builder/fabricator, and in the design and planning. It's been very rewarding.
Compliments from guys here, on other sites, and from those seeing the car in person are deeply appreciated, and helpful when things weren't going as I thought they should have. Thanks.
Been having fun driving the roadster, and aside from a couple of aggravating teething problems (caused mostly by my failure to fully tighten bolts down in the mockup stage then forgetting things were must "mocked up") it's turning into a pretty cool car.
We took it to the Gilmore Car Museums "Red Barns Spectacular" and were rewarded with a "Top 25" pick, and a "GoodSpeed Innovation" award from the host club. I don't care about the tacky trophies, but the recoginition is nice.
Been working at getting the top done, and it's going well. It's been fitted, trimmed and I'm going to get the edge binding on the quarter panels and re-attatch the drip edge (how many 'verts have a rain drip edge on the top?) today. Hopefullyl. Here are some photos of the top going on for fitment and trimming. It's '02 Sebring, only minor modification needed to fit the '36 body. Whoda thunk it?
Also sold the Impala on ebay. I'm kinda sad about it. I got what I paid for it, not counting the paint job, which isn't bad considering it now needs the doors repaired, but I'd intended it to be our sons car and keep it in the family. Things change however, and I guess I should be happy to have had him be able to drive it for a year, and to have driven a classic Impala across the country twice. That's worth the cost of painting it, I guess.
OK, I've driven this thing a couple hundred miles now, and there are some minor, and one major, fault.
Minor stuff: The top frame mount has to be cut loose from the body and moved forward about 1/4", as the center top bow now hits the body raising and lowering. Must have shrunk during all th e wet sanding...A nuicance, but not a big deal.
Still runs a little hotter than I'd like, so I've made a lower grill air dam to direct ALL the air flowing thru the grill thru the radiator core. Also, it runs 10 degrees cooler with the rear hood latches undone, evidently a high pressure area between the (WAY set back) engine and sides of the cowl trapping air. It'll idle all day at 195, but drive it 20 minutes and it's at 210. Stays there, but a little warm.
I've slid the top fabric on the bows, to see what needs to be done to fit it. It'll work, there will be some surgery required, and I have to order the snaps and some little hardware, but it'll work. Looks different with the top up, but I like it. More European I think with the top up than down.
So, new vacume advance in, timing right (I think). Starts warm, runs MUCH better, revs quickly and most importantly, after a 20 minute drive and at least that long idling in the shop, temps never over 195. We'll now address the starter dragging issue with a trip to Casey's Auto Electric for a rebuild and new selonoid and hope that is the hot start issue. I've had several GM cars with this problem, it's always been the starter at fault.