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Old 11-29-2009, 02:40 PM
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Need metal forming advice re: custom build

I may be a newbie to this board but I'm 61 and have done most things you can do. I am thinking of building a salt lakes type streetable car that resembles the attached photos. I really like the cab on this.

It is the famous "Schenck Streamliner" and I am looking for advice on how difficult it would be to generally duplicate the body part of this car. I know how to do the rest of it but would prefer to hire out the sheet work because I do not have that experience. I need the comments of a sheet metal guy.
I figure to make it as wide as a Model A--maybe less--and only have one door-driver's side. Glue in windshield. I can make the frame and cage and am thinking traverse rear spring. I would not do the "wing" on the front. The panels could be welded together or I could use rivets. My plan is to drive it.

Would anyone have any advice on this project as to how hard it might be or how many man hours or whatever else I should ask? I can build all else but the world does not need another mediocre sheet metal guy. Thanks.
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Old 11-29-2009, 03:40 PM
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Looks to me to be very doable...do a search on this site for John Kelly and go to metalmeet.com and join there as well as those guys are the specialists in that sort of work..

Sam
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Old 11-29-2009, 03:44 PM
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To duplicate that car would be to do what Ralph did. Put a top on an older style Indy racer. I have no clue as to what top of what car he used. Maybe someone else here will recognize it.
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:34 PM
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The whole top w/ front glass looks like it was taken from an air plane. Possibly an old 1 seater?
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:38 PM
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Think you got it, RC. No wonder I couldn't figure out the car.
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Old 11-29-2009, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixdogs
... but would prefer to hire out the sheet work because I do not have that experience....
I gotta put in a plug here for doing it yourself. Either bang out the panels or try to find existing panels you can cut up and weld together to get the shapes you want.

I had zippo experience doing metal work when I started fabricating my own bodies (and it probably shows) but I had a great time building these. You can see how I did the metal shaping by browsing through my journals. The roadster build is here and the sedan delivery is here.

BTW, I don't have an elaborate shop or a lot of expensive tools. I shape my panels using fairly common stuff most people have laying around their garages...pvc pipe, trailer hitch balls, well casing pipe etc. etc. I also use the old Ferrari technique of shaping metal using wood stumps.

My theory is, if I can do it, 90 percent of the folks here on HR. Com can do it.









Great looking project idea. A piece of history there.
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:48 PM
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cboy--very impressive.
I sort-of searched airplanes but will look agian and will check out that site mentioned. I'm not opposed to doing it myself--I just need some kind of starting point. If I could find an airplane it would work or if I found a donor car starting point it would work to do it on my own. I have lots of tool and technical experience so maybe?
If anyone recognizes any part of this as a partial plane or car please let me know. Thanks guys for the good advice.

Last edited by sixdogs; 11-29-2009 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixdogs
cboy--very impressive.
I sort-of searched airplanes but will look agian and will check out that site mentioned. I'm not opposed to doing it myself--I just need some kind of starting point. If I could find an airplane it would work or if I found a donor car starting point it would work to do it on my own. I have lots of tool and technical experience so maybe?
If anyone recognizes any part of this as a partial plane or car please let me know. Thanks guys for the good advice.
The cabin reminds me of the cabin on a twin engine Beech Craft (the one that the Navy used for navigation training ) with maybe sectioning vertically and pie cuts to shrink it down.This would be a fantastic project....go for it.
Good Luck!!
Kenny
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelby1
The cabin reminds me of the cabin on a twin engine Beech Craft (the one that the Navy used for navigation training ) with maybe sectioning vertically and pie cuts to shrink it down.This would be a fantastic project....go for it.
Good Luck!!
Kenny
I spent an hour looking up airplanes and you are on to something. If anyone is aware of any specific airplane cabin that may resemble my project please let me know. I don't know beans about planes but if I can find one that looks close I can make it work. Might be expecially sweet to drive an airplane on the street.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:47 PM
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Those windows could be made out of Lexan plastic,, it molds easly with a heat gun. and for a compound curve, make a mold out of a chunk of wood, and grind it in the shape you want,, the 2 front pieces are mirror images, and the sides are pretty much flat, The hood looks like a couple of 39-40 ford hoods would be a good starting point and the rear panels look like they could be made out of a couple of wider 49-51 merc or Hudson hoods cut down for shape, and the remander of the top could be just about early 40s 50 front portion of a top,
I doubt you will find anything that is going to work perfectly with out piecing parts together..

That would be a great project,, Good luck with it,,

Last edited by Bad Rat; 11-30-2009 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:29 AM
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Did a little research on the building of the car. The top is said to have been hand formed aluminum by a man named Grosso. He worked for Douglas Aircraft and shaped the top with hammer, dolly and sand bag. The car actually has a great past, being disassembled, scavenged from the alley, hidden away by a man for many years until passing, rediscovered, and is now currently being restored to original 40's shape by Terry Baldwin. He plans on having it in the “Legends of the Lakes” at Pebble Beach in 2010. It's fascinating how this goofy little car has so much history behind it, truly a good find and replication project if you plan to follow through.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:44 AM
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Yes, I have follow-through and am very determined. I appreciate the search you did. A difficult project does not bother me and this actually looks pretty simple from a concept point. I got a lead on a metal guy and I am going to look into the parts mentioned above.
If that would work I would just have to have someone help me with the top of the car and the door. I have done projects like this in the past although not quite so home-built.
The point is I am ready to build another car and, at age 61 I have seen most everything and want to do something I haven't seen before. My last car, while fiberglass, is unique and has generated much more excitement for me than other cars I have had. That's the story and thanks for the help.
I have lurked on this board for a while and there seems to be a solid group of smart guys with experience.
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