Body and sub-rails
With a nice body like this, I
figured I may not even need the welder...
Turns out that the "old guy" used
fiberglass tape on the inside lower panels, and then
used filler on the outside. Trust me: I know what some folks start with, this is nothing, so I guess am I still lucky although fixing all the damage hasn't been a vacation!
He also "screwed" the rear inner fenders to the body using duct tape as a "gasket". I guess that may have been OK if one had used fenders but I can't live with that. It's amazing what people will do to save a little time and money. I'm all for doing things cheap and easy, like using an
airline ticket website to find cheap flights, but going the cheap and easy route for car repairs is a whole different story.
Also, he had covered the weak rear
sub-rails with some 1/8 thick sheet metal.
So out it goes, all of it! You can
see the "adjustable" supports holding the quarters
Trust me: I know what some folks
starts with, this is nothing, so I guess I am still
I need new sub-rails anyway, to
follow the sexy '32 frame kick up. I shaped metal to
follow the frame, then I added 1 X 2 square tubing
It was then bolted to the frame
and welded up.
Sub-rail to go...
The rear corners were a bit weak
as well, so I replaced them.
Modified A inner fenders
With the rear lower panel in
place, and the trunk opening as square as I can get
it, it is tacked together at this point.
If you wonder about those goofy
dollies: I live in yuppie neighborhood, so I so
don't have five buddies coming over and helping me
lifting the body on/off the frame, and they work
great, for several reasons:
1. They are built at ride height,
and the car sits on it's own suspension, so when I
add motor etc I can keep an eye on the rake, without
having those purdy (and expensive) Firestone
whitewalls in the shop while welding and grinding.
2. I can move the car around in
the shop easy.
3.When removing the body, I don't
have to lift the body over the wheels when I lift
it, I just clear the frame and kick the frame to the
I was going to get one of those Brookville sedan
humps, but I keep forgetting to order one, so I made
one. Looks OK I guess... Next, floor sheet metal!
I had to have something Swedish on
the car. The trunk prop is from an early sixties
Volvo wagon. It locks in place when you open, then
you lift it somewhat, and it releases. I think Ford
had something similar in the forties.
Since this car was originally a
rumble seat car, I moved the lock to the rear...
...and made an adjustable "striker
The lower panel from Brookville
did not have the same radius as the body, so I had
to pie cut the inside flange to make it look decent.
I spent a lot of time fiddling with the trunk, to
make it fit the body. One I get my license light, I
can build some inside gutters for the rear panel.
A quick mock-up confirms location
of rear hardware.
A gutter system was installed on
the rear panel.
It leans slightly outward.
Plumbers and roofers will tell you: Stuff runs
A drain tube was installed at the lowest
The side gutters need to drain out
as well. Here I can see the angle needed to reach
Then I extended the gutter...
Here it drops right in to the
gutter. The indentation in the gutter is necessary
because of the shape of the trunk when closed. Once
primered, I will put some body caulk in the seams,
and give it the final paint.
The '32 grill shell have to be cut
down about 2 inches to look right on the Model A on
'32 frame. The shell has a nice reveal coming down
the hood side, so I decided the extend it along the
new cut, for a more finished look.
Using 1/4 inch solid rod, I
followed the edge and welded it from the back side.
That looks better. Plus, it hides
the mounting hardware for the radiator.
Also, when you cut down the grille
shell, the indentation for the mounting screws ends
up in the wrong place.
First I eliminated the original
Then I made a new indentation. Now
it looks like it belongs there. Small details, but I
think it makes a difference.
Model A index page