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Old 07-16-2004, 11:47 AM
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Survey---Auto body panel fabrication

Hi Guys,
As many of you are aware, I am a metalshaper. In an effort to find marketable items, that meet the hot rodders and restorers needs, I would like your input on what you think are needed items, not yet available. For instance, I have no clue whether widened '34 Ford steel fenders are available. I see several posts from guys wanting to find them, but haven't really researched it at length myself. I'm open to any and all suggestions. Be it Willy's parts, or other obsolete parts or whatever. Any idea is open for suggestion. You guys know more about what is and isn't available and what you would like to see than I, so let's hear your thoughts, Please!!
I am also able to produce any one off part anyone needs.
I'm looking for a way out of the production body shop scene and this is the direction I wish to go.
Your help is greatly appreciated.

Thank You,
Randy Ferguson
Metalshaping & Kustom Paint
www.metalmeet.com

Last edited by Randy Ferguson; 07-16-2004 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 07-16-2004, 12:36 PM
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Willys stuff should be a sure winner as I mentioned in our PM conversation.
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Old 07-16-2004, 06:39 PM
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One of the most popular cars that is OVERLOOKED that has high price tags on parts, WHEN they can be found is the 1933/1934 Plymouth Coupe.
If you want a large demand, and the ability to sell the stuff at good prices, check the cars out.
Coupe doors are the hardest part to find, but if window rails were made for coupes that could be grafted onto sedan doors, you would have a sales bonanza, IMO.

Why not correctly fabricate stunning 1940 Plymouth parts?
I guarantee you one sale of each part you make....

LOL!

What about "eyebrows" for the late 50's cars, lots seem to be looking for quality patches for this area but none seem to be made?
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Old 07-16-2004, 07:14 PM
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Lower windshield/upper firewall area panels for old Chevrolet's.

Larry
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Old 07-16-2004, 08:45 PM
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Hi Guys,
Thanks for the input! I hope we can can keep this thread alive for a while. I believe there's a need for many parts that are seemingly no longer available, with the supply pool drying up at a rapid pace. At some point, the only option will be to have the parts made. No way can one man produce enough work to suit everyone, but these ideas are what I think is needed to give me a better grasp of what folks are looking for. I've just subscribed to Hemmings and will have a look at the want ads to get a better grasp on it there as well. I've been told there is next to nothing produced for the 40-41 Willy's, which was a shock to me, but then Willy's36 confirmed that the other night while writing a few PM's.

Crazy Mopar Guy, I Had forgotten how nice the 33-34 Plymouth's looked. I did a google search to see what they looked like to refresh my memory and I remember finding two of these sitting side by side in an old junk yard back in the late 80's. I think the guy wanted $1600.00 for the pair, but I didn't have the cash. Sorry to say, the old fella passed away about two years later and over 500 cars from the teens thru 60's were crushed because his poor ignorant sister wanted the junk cleaned up!! Most of his cars were in buildable condition too. A rare sight for the midwest, but true all the same. Many a rare piece out there

What are you needing for a 40? The entire car?? I'll build you one for about $125,000 Will that be cash??

Also, could you be more specific on the late 50's cars eyebrows. I know these are available for most of the chevy's especially the tri fives, but in my experience, the ones I gotten in the past, way before I got into metalshaping were absolutely horrible. I imagine this is still the case. As long as people buy this junk, ill fitting, aftermarket stamped crap, they will never build their parts to a higher standard. I wouldn't knowingly make a part to sale that wouldn't fit. I sure don't claim to be perfect, but most of the aftermarket patch panels are a friggin' nightmare.

Larry,
What year Chevy's are you referring to?? old Chevrolets covers a broad range. If you could send a picture, that would be great!!

Next question is, Do you guys have panels/parts that could be used to make patterns. Your parts would not be harmed in any way, and in fact, if they need repairs, you would likely get them back in better condition than when they were sent. I would pay shipping costs of course.

Thanks again,
Randy

Last edited by Randy Ferguson; 07-16-2004 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 07-16-2004, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Randy Ferguson
Larry,
What year Chevy's are you refering to?? old Chevrolets covers a broad range. If you could send a picture, that would be great!!
Thanks again,
Randy
'60's Impala's, Caprices and such. The big cars tend to get bad cases of rot below the front window under the cowl panel. Noone I know of makes replacements or formed patch panels.

There's a member here that could use one on her current project. A few other that could have use them on past projects as well. I'm sure that more will be needed as these cars get more and more popular.

Here's her project journal. There's a pic of the area I'm talking about.

http://hotrodders.com/forums/journal...75&action=view

Larry
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Old 07-16-2004, 11:51 PM
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Hi Larry,
OUCH!!! That's in really bad shape!! The problem with making the upper cowl panels is that there is a lot of funky press work areas, that if made to match 100% to original, would drive the price to mindblowing proportions. Some of the little dips and do-dads could be eliminated, I'm sure, but it would still be very expensive to reproduce a good part. It would be interesting to know many people are working on these cars with problems as severe as this. This looks to be an extreme case!!

Thanks,
Randy
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Old 07-16-2004, 11:53 PM
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A fairly simple build would be custom fit sunvisors for any kustom. Lots of rockabilly rods out there. Frenching cans for headlights and antennas. Reproductions of the popular bumpers and grilles, 41 Plymouth bumpers are cool for 40's customs, Desoto and early Corvettes grilles also for the 50's cars. Fender skirts? Dan
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Old 07-17-2004, 09:19 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Randy Ferguson
[B]Hi Guys,
I've been told there is next to nothing produced for the 40-41 Willy's, which was a shock to me, but then Willy's36 confirmed that the other night while writing a few PM's.

Randy!! there is a guy here in the Portland Oregon, area that is reproducing the 40-41 willys doors, and garnish moldings,,
very nice product and a nice price to go with it,,,, I think he gets around 6 K for the doors, and 2500 for the moldings, lots of work there, Talent isn't CHEAP, and from looking at your album,,, you have lots of it,,,,, Bill
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Old 07-17-2004, 11:18 AM
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Yes I forgot those doors. The guy started advertising them in the most recent Gasser Magazine and they look great - almost as good as Randy's work! His ad lists them @ $5000 for a pair of doors and $1500 for the window trim. Troy Roland Thompson, 2111 SE 136 Ave., Portland, OR 97233. 503-254-2561. There have been other guys over the years making rear fenders and I seem to recall grille center sections and rear trunk drip rails, but they seem to have disappeared. Several outfits sell misc. Willys parts like headlights, tail lights, grilles, door and window parts, etc. Mike Nordahl @ Willys Replacement Parts, 5575 Crooked Creek Dr., Alta Loma, CA 91737, 909-980-3022 has one of the best selections. Other than that, for 'sheet metal' you are stuck w/ good old fiberglass for which there are bunches of manufacturers. '33 - '42 hoods, fenders, bodies, dashes, fender wells, trunk lids, are all prime candidates.
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Old 07-19-2004, 06:02 PM
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Just trying to help keep this one alive a little while longer. At some time or another we all need some steel we can't get, right?
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Old 07-19-2004, 07:09 PM
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Since I'm having a hard time finding parts for my car and I'm sure others are as well I can suggest you consider fabricating 1930-1935 Oldsmobile, Buick, and Pontiac hoods, fenders and runningboards....they simply do not exist (can only find Chev Master in glass for those years). Just my 2 cents Randy.

Looks like you have plenty of options thrown your way.
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Old 07-19-2004, 08:45 PM
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Hi Guys,
Thanks for keeping this alive. There are so many things a guy can do!! Unfortunately, I can't make everyone happy by making ALL the obsolete parts available. As I've mentioned before, one off pieces are always going to exist, but it sounds like you guys know of some needs, which is what I was fishing for. Hoods for for the GM and Chrysler cars sounds like a popular item, as well as many of the fenders for such vehicles. Seems everything Ford is pretty well covered. All I need is a pattern to get started, so if you guys are serious about needing these parts, lets talk! Custom metalshaping isn't easy on the wallet by any stretch, as it's a very labor intensive operation, but I believe we can all agree that steel is far better than the junk fiberglass crap out there. I've never had good luck with fiberglass parts. I built a '46 Ford several years ago and used 'glass front fenders. They were just as most are and needed lots of work to make them fit properly. These weren't from some cut rate outfit either, but from one of the better known names in fiberglass parts. Once I got them to fit as good as possible, I painted them and was able to get them bolted onto the car without them cracking
A couple weeks after the car had left the shop, the guy came back with both fenders cracked right above the center of the tires. Simply driving over a set of rail road tracks had caused them to crack. He was never hard on the car, so know he wasn't trying to jump the tracks. I fixed them, and as far as I know, they're fine to this day, BUT, He hasn't driven the car is much since then as he's the engine builder for Bazemore's Funny Car, and travels with the crew, so he's never home.
Needless to say, that experience alone ruined me on fiberglass forever. I hate the itchy stuff anyway. If Corvette's were aluminum, I might want one.

Anyway, Thanks again and let's keep the ideas coming!!

Doug (advanced design) from this forum brought me a set of '35 Chevy Master coupe doors Saturday. Once I get these repaired, I think I will make patterns of the door skins from the beltline down. making a complete skin with the window frame included would also be a possibility, but the price would go way up. What are you guys thoughts on this? Partial skins, of the whole deal?? Keep in mind these are wood structured doors, so the skin is basically the only metal in the door.

Randy
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Old 07-20-2004, 02:58 PM
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I doubt if you'll ever see any parts for a 1939 Chrysler Royal Coupe either. Chrysler only produced 4,780 Royal and Royal Windsor Coupes total so there's probably not much out there.

I got lucky and got a cherry.
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Old 07-20-2004, 03:12 PM
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If I were you and was a shrewd businessman I would concentrate on making a complete body (Willy's comes to mind )including doors, hood and trunk lid in steel for those who don't want glass and have lots of money, complete bodys ready for primer would bring a pretty penny...especially in steel with no rust repair necessary. For all the trouble you will go through making many different types of body parts I would concentrate on one desirable make and make the whole shootin match, dies can come later when you have the pattern perfect and the demand goes through the roof.

Pick a niche and exploit it.
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