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Part 15: Finishing Touches
I mentioned earlier the wooden drop down mini console/dash extension, from wood. This is an exotic Brazilian hardwood that was a bear to finish. willys36 helped me with some pointers because normal wood finishes would not set up with all the natural oils in the wood. I ended up stripping all attempts to varnish it, sprayed a clear sealer (metal finishing type) then used RM Diamont 92 clear coat (same as what's on the truck). This stuck and hardened just fine. I then buffed it just like it was a metal panel! Thanks, willys36.
Even though seat belts are not required in this old vehicle in North Carolina, I would not be caught dead without them. Didn't have them before so I knew I was operating on borrowed time. Don't think they detract too much from the interior scheme. BUCKLE UP!
This is the finished stainless end cap for the wood bed floor that I had mentioned earlier.
I wanted to show this picture of the tail gate so you could see some of the pinstriping on the truck. This was all freehand by a great artist named Mark Peters. He is well known on the East Coast. Many may have seen him at work at the Street Rod Nationals (Southern) in Knoxville, Tennessee. Absolutely amazing to see what he can do freehanded!
I wanted to show the truck's underbelly just after the exhaust system was installed the second time. This gives you an idea as to how crowded it can get (not as bad as Willys, Model As, etc.). It's hard to see the 2 1/2" pipe going through holes in the cross member. If you will notice the power brake booster visible between the tranny and left exhaust -- not a lot of clearance there. Also just left of the drive shaft is the clevis assembly for the Lokar emergency brake cables that have not been installed at this time. Notice how level the lower control arms are on the Mustang II front end. That is the proper look you want when everything is completed!
I am really enjoying the pickup in its reincarnation. Quieter, more comfortable, handles better, and a bunch more ponies under the hood that don't burn near as many oats! Everything about this truck I did myself, except for the exhaust system and the interior. It will not win any trophies as a show truck, but I will take it anywhere, anytime, without any worries about getting there safe and sound. It already has 7000+ miles on it and it did not come out of the upholstery shop until August 2nd, and it has been put up for the winter since the first of November. Build them and drive them!
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