Curtis' '68 442 Convertible Restoration
June 14th 2014: I purchase this car sight unseen off of Ebay.
I'm in Dallas, Texas and seller is in Olathe, Kansas
I drive up to check it out with my cousin from Hutchinson, KS
Not a bad 20 footer...and it runs.
But there is more than meets the eye.....
Get it back to Texas and begin tear down at Steelsmith Auto where I have rented space.
Build dolly out of angle iron and attach casters. Paint it green with extra paint from car being painted.
Strap down the front to keep it secure. Easily moveable now.
Once body removed the holes in the frame are worse than expected.
Quarter sized flakes of rust coming off inside the frame told us it was not going to salvageable.
Find a new donor chassis in a field in Tulsa, OK and have it delivered.
Shows up with weeds still covering the engine. Looks bad but it is just surface rust.
After tear down of donor chassis, sand blasting commences.
Painted the frame with POR15. Powder coat may have been a better choice but a lot more expensive.
Rebuilding the suspension.
Cleaned up engine and transmission.
Found bent push rod so sent the long block out to be rebuilt.
Bracing was put in before body removed from chassis.
After the floor was was taken out, due to rot behind driver seat, It was obvious how little support there is in a convertible when removed from the frame.
Notice the red paint on doors. They were not original to car. Probably replace when body work and paint was done.
Roger showing me how to do prep for welding in the floor.
Notice original saffron yellow on windshield frame. This was also seen on the cowl after removing front fenders.
Overhead view after removing the floor and quarter panels. Paint was stripped back to bare metal all around.
Here you can see the original yellow on the cowl and also the over spray under where the convertible top sat.
Wheel wells were rotted out and had to be replaced.
Left and right trunk pieces had to be replaced to to rust.
After removal of quarters, trunk and wheel well sections. Not much left on that side.
After trunk section and wheel well was rebuilt an and quarter panel replacement is ready to be attached.
Prepared for welding.
Grinding weld joints down.
Repairing corners of both doors.
Bondo inside of door from old "fix".
Rotted out corners. Used combination of metal and fiberglass repair due to the complex curves here.
Metal work and body work complete ready for priming. Over 40 hours of body work on the hood alone.
Everything primed and ready to be trimmed out and put back together.
Before: Removing front windshield revealed an unexpected project.
After: Fabricated new metal piece by hand.
Quarter panel after body work and priming.
Dash back in and starting to apply heat and sound barrier
Engine back from being rebuilt. Required sleeving and boring one cylinder because of rust developed after the push rod was bent.
Matching engine number to the car