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Old 05-08-2009, 09:44 PM
Kerry Pinkerton's Avatar
Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
Posts: 7,537
Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 22

...I am curious, what % of the time would you estimate has been spent on actual sheet metal work? Looking at the work that has been done up to this point (mechanical, chassis, wiring, ect...) I am going to guess it will end up about 30% metalshaping. ...

I think it's closer to 15% Of course, if I had only done things one or two times instead of my normal three times to get it right, 30% would probably be pretty dead on.

Also, the panels you see are not remotely finished...they're probably around 80% and the last 20% is going to take considerable time.

Here is a closer shot of the fairing. It will be trimmed about 3/4" around the edges as it is fit to the decklid.

Here I laid the Burt Buck in place to see how a double fairing might look. I don't think so.....

Took me a couple days to unload and recover from Pat Groover's meet last weekend.

My goal for this week was to hang the sheetmetal from the body without any inner fenders.

I did the rear first. I have three supports, here is the lower one. It is made from two 1/16" aluminum angles welded together forming a box about 1/2x1.

For now, I'm using Clecos to hold things in place.

The center support is a single angle. As you can see, the shape is not perfect yet. The goal was to make three supports so one at a time could be removed for working the panel. The fender is pretty solid and will get more so when it's attached to other panels that themselves mount to the structure.

For the nose, I went a little heavier duty. I ran a piece of 1/8" aluminum pipe between two aluminum brackets bolted to the frame. From the tube I welded a piece of 1/4x1 aluminum flat bar that was bent to the proper curve. Another piece of flat bar was bent and welded to the top. Simple angles bolt into the radiator support. The nose is VERY solid and I'm thinking the 1/4" material is the way to go and will probably redo the rear mounts.

I ordered and installed new coil over shocks for the rear and will probably raise the rear fender anyway. I think the fender needs to be deeper. A pretty simple fix actually.

The reason for raising the fender is clearance. I'm afraid the wheel will hit the inner panel when I hit a bump and the wheels swings up to the stop.
Plus, it just looks a little too 'low'.

The front fender wasn't finished so I welded in the patch panels that Joe Hartson and Dan Shady had made last winter.

One thing I've discovered is that it's best (for me at least) to mount the fender and THEN mark and tip the wheel opening. That's why the opening looks odd. There is a good bit of extra material for trimming and tipping. I made a tool that fits in the wheel center and allows me to quickly mark the desired opening for tipping.

I had hoped to have the roadster licensed and legal for Oblong but I'm out of time. Tomorrow Kris and family is going on vacation and leaving Carolyn and me with our 4 month old Grand Daughter for a week. I'll be doing good to finish the mounts and get loaded before Sunday when Bennett and I leave for Oblong.

I guess any rides will have to be on the closed road in the fairground....Oh well. Next year for sure. It certainly is nice to have a drivable chassis for when it needs to be moved!
Robert Kolenta arrived Sunday evening and he worked like a dog all week. I simply could not have accomplished what got done. Thanks Robert you get the first ride next year!

We started out by raising a low spot on top of the front fender about 1" and then started making a Burt Buck for the fender transition. Note the double curve on the hood opening. More on that later.

We used the aluminum strips to determine where we wanted the bottom of the reverse. Drove it outside to get a long distance look.

Back inside, we applied the aluminum tape and took it back outside.

Then it was time for tape patterns. We also did a Burt Buck for the hood.

We also marked the transition where we wanted to cut for subpanels.

Robert, Hank ? from IL (??), Jay Paganelli (Jpags)and I worked on the panels. All reverses, all tough. I tacked and welded them up. Difficult welding. All 3 dimensional cut lines. Hard to hold, hard to get into position, hard!

Jeffery Mindt (GoneJunking) gave me a great tip. Use magnets to hold a copper strip as a backer. "It's aluminum Jeffery." I said...probably with some frustration. He replied, "So... put a magnet on the back side of the copper too and they'll attract each other." DUH Kerry!!! Works great!

Al Jewel helped me wheel that honking big panel.

While I was welding and grinding the welds, Jay and Robert tackled the hood.

Jay is a really good TIG welder.

They then ground the welds, wheeled, and metalfinished the hood.

Sunday night the building had cleared out a bit and I moved the car to the end where we could get away from it a bit. The first thing we did was raise the rear 1 1/4" by adjusting the coilovers. Made a huge difference in stance and how the fender fit the car. I was still concerned that the decklid was lower than the hood line.

Steve Hamilton did a good bit of metalfinishing on the doorskin. It's almost ready to tip the lips.

After a discussion with Al Jewel, and Big Sky Bob, we raised the front of the decklid 2" and it's now even with the back of the hood. Much better flow!

I also used tape and a black marker to show possible trim lines for the fenders and grill. The rear fender is already lipped but the front will have a 1/2" larger opening when the lip is put in.

More photos taken outside shortly. Here are shots of the car outside in the sunlight just before loading up.

LOTS of work still to be done on the panels. I'm probably at 50% of total labor just for what's done so far. In other words, I'll probably have another 200 hours in getting these panels ready for paint...or more. The decklid line is off. It's just sitting on a couple rolls of 2" masking tape. The inner structure will have to be changed.

I'm thinking about bringing the decklid forward and curving down toward the seats...keeping the flow of the headrest fairing flat on toward the drivers head. There is a lot of room behind the seats and I don't expect they will ever need to be moved back much more than they are here. I'll use my 6'-8" son Kris to determine the rearmost seat position.

Still have to decide on taillights, gas filler cap, and license tag placement.

The top of the doors will have a walnut surface. Also a walnut dash. Haven't decided on the other interior features yet. I have two leather hides in the same brown shade as the steering wheel. A unique color to the late 30-s early 40's. I'm thinking pale yellow or possibly silver as exterior colors...non metallic.

I'll do some photoshop playing when I get a chance. I'm also thinking of a stainless trim piece that sweeps up from the nose, down under the doors and tapers off above the rear fender.

This is my favorite view on the car. I LOVE the way the back of the front fender sweeps.

Grant Leeser drew a grill opening that we modified a couple times. This is what we ended up with and I blacked in the masking tape. I'll think about it for a while before any cutting. If I redo the top and sides of the nose I'll have lots of options anyway.

The bottom edge of the fender is coming up about 1 1/2" and will sweep up and over to the nose. I'll make that piece with the car on the lift so I don't have to lay on the floor.

Here are some of the folks who helped out...from left to right.

Big Sky Bob (Vinton?), Jay Paganelli (Jpags), Bob Baisden, Bennett Chapman, Robert Kolenta, Dutch Comstock, Steve Hamilton, John Reinhardt, Grant Leeser. Other folks who have had a hand in the build....the nose was worked on some by Gary Tisdale (I'm probably going to redo the shape some to blend with the hood better). Joe Hartson has done a good bit of work on various areas. Rick Tucker helped me layout the fender profiles. Mark Savory (Superleggra) has helped me tremendously with information on era build techniques. There will be a brass plaque on the A pillar with everyone's name so if I've misspelled yours (sorry) or left you off (oops), please let me know.

I'm the old fart smiling in the drivers seat.

Many thanks to all those who have, and continue to offer support, encouragement, and hands on. I certainly wouldn't have been nearly as far along if I'd been working alone and the group input on design issues has been very valuable in getting just the right 'look'.

The hood has a slight crown but I'm thinking of a center hinge. Haven't decided on the windshield configuration yet but it will definitely be flat glass. one or two pieces, or perhaps Brooklands style windscreens.
Kerry Pinkerton
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