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Projects 1947 Pontiac Torpedo Custom / Taildragger

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by CLM, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 179

    CLM
    Member

    Well, I guess it is finally time to start my build thread. Been busy the last year helping a friend finish his '49 Shoebox Custom, finished off the metal work on my '37 Chevy and got it sold, sold my unibody, plus a couple of OT trucks.

    Yesterday was a mile stone, the Pontiac finally moved into the garage!!
    [​IMG]

    But, lets step back a little to where this story started. I have always loved the Torpedo body style, then while searching craigslist one day I ran across a '47 Pontiac Torpedo about 5 miles from my house. The car was stuffed in a garage surrounded by crap and rusty, but complete. Made the deal and brought it home. Once the interior was out we realized how rusty it was, the whole body flexed when you shut a door. So we braced it up and took it to a friends place to store while working on the '37.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I slowly worked on the '37, but finally realized that I had never fell in love with it and it always felt like a chore to work on it. So, I decided it was time for it to move on down the road. So I thrashed on it for a month finishing the metal work and sold it. While doing so I started searching for parts to start on the Pontiac.

    This is when I ran across another Pontiac in the middle of Kansas that Kansas Old School (here on the hamb) had for sale. It was cheaper for me to buy the car than it would have been to fix the first Pontiac. So we loaded up and did a 18 hour round trip to pick up Pontiac #2.
    [​IMG]

    This one was missing some parts, but since the first was complete, I had nearly everything I needed I thought. Problem was, that I had stored the first one about 3 hours away and couldn't compare for parts. So it was time to bring it home.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
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  2. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 179

    CLM
    Member

    Here is what a driveway full of Poncho's looks like.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The covers I bought for them are silver, so when they are covered up it looks like I have two Goodyear blimps sitting in the driveway.

    You'll notice that the bumpers are gone on Pontiac #2. I drove to Ohio to pickup a nailhead and sp400 for it, so I dropped the bumpers off at Custom Metal Finishing in Indiana on the way. Heading back to pick them up tomorrow.
     
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  3. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 179

    CLM
    Member

    It will be lowered as much as possible using old school methods. Several body mods to slick it down and improve some of what I consider design flaws. Running a 401 Nailhead with SP400. Only thing newer than the nailhead will possibly be a/c. Have been gathering up a lot of nos parts and some '50s Pontiac things to upgrade it with.

    Goal is to have the chassis done by Spring, body in bare metal to run to a few shows next year while I continue to work on it.

    This is roughly the style I am going after, except no visor.
     

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  4. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 179

    CLM
    Member

    Got the trunk cleaned out today and started stripping the undercoating from inside the trunk. Was digging some dirt out and popped up a 1937 Indian head nickel!

    So the Pontiac got its name today.
    "Indianhead" - since its a poncho with a nailhead in it. Will find somewhere to put the nickel on the interior.

    Feels really good to finally be working on it.


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  5. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 179

    CLM
    Member

    Also picked the bumpers up from Custom Metal Finishing this weekend. They did a great job, couldn't be happier.
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1375065157.059281.jpg
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1375065171.573942.jpg


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  6. choptruck
    Joined: Jan 2, 2005
    Posts: 276

    choptruck
    Member

    I'll be looking forward to this thread. And congrats on finally being able to work on the one you really wanted.
     
  7. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 179

    CLM
    Member

    Thanks choptruck!
    Spent a couple of hours sanding. It's coming out nice, just takes a lot of time. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1375324065.823899.jpg


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  8. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,188

    55chieftain
    Member

    I really like the Streamliners, wish I would have had space to keep my 41. Really don't need a chop imo, just lowered a bit. Best of luck to your build. Too bad you didn't have a Pontiac mill to set up in there.
     
  9. Great looking cars! Keep up the good work.
     
  10. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620

    BuiltFerComfort
    Member

    I ask only that you keep the center body trim. It's what makes it a Pontiac.
     
  11. 49styleline
    Joined: Nov 1, 2012
    Posts: 507

    49styleline
    Member
    from oregon

    those are cool cars. i love the front end of them.
     
  12. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 179

    CLM
    Member

    No chop on this one, it ruins the lines on them imo.
    Yes, the waterfall trim will be staying, don't want somebody to mistake it for a Chevy! ;-)


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  13. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,184

    drptop70ss
    Member
    from NY

    Wow I would love to find one of those to build and you found two! I need to move to the midwest or at least start shopping there. I will be watching this build.
     
  14. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 179

    CLM
    Member

    While I was sick a few months ago, I sat down and took two sets of 1951 Buick gauges and made one nice set.
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1375372908.492539.jpg
    I will modify the dash to fit them. I think they will look nice with the Pontiac clock delete.
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1375373009.578929.jpg


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  15. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 179

    CLM
    Member

    It's always like Christmas when you come home to boxes on the doorstep. Got my steering wheel from brigrat today.
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1375407040.527372.jpg
    Pictured with my re chromed horn ring and nos horn button.

    For those that don't know, Pontiac stuff is hard to find. I had two wheels already, one with the plastic center hub (death trap) and one with about 15 cracks in the stainless bangos.


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  16. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 179

    CLM
    Member

    Had to take a short break from the Pontiac so I could go to Texas for a conference and to visit family. Plus been spending a lot of weekends at work.

    Got back out there tonight, removed the trim and handle on the trunk, plus did a lot more sanding.

    I am going to ditch the handle and do a cable release from inside the car. Put the license plate where the handle was and extend the waterfall trim down to the plate. So I need to find somebody really good with stainless that can join my two trim strips together.

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1376965254.041674.jpg

    Also went to Clean Cut Creations drive in showing of "This is LongBeach". Had fun, was nice to get to know some of the local hotrod and custom guys better. Sure made me wish I hadn't sold the Unibody before the Pontiac was on the road. But just gives me a reason to get busy on it. Shooting for road worthy by April.
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1376965433.369921.jpg


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  17. FIRME56
    Joined: May 25, 2010
    Posts: 59

    FIRME56
    Member

    Love the build. . Had one myself. By any chance ; would you have a driver side rear fender lying around? I'm in need

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  18. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 179

    CLM
    Member

    No, but could really use a passenger side one myself, lol. There is a driver side one on evilbay at the moment.


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  19. artguywes
    Joined: Apr 6, 2011
    Posts: 31

    artguywes
    Member
    from Las Vegas

    How cool! I'm working on the same model. Mine sat in the desert outside of Vegas here for many years. Did you have rust issues at the base of the rear window mechanisms? And did you lower the rear by going spring under? I've got a 62' Cadillac 390 and a 4 speed manual for the motivation. It looks like your doing what I wish I could fund. The little pontiac mirror on the visor says the next oil change is scheduled for 1949. Great stuff- Wes
     
  20. ol fueler
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 935

    ol fueler
    Member


    Darn nice looking driveway , I'd say.
     
  21. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 179

    CLM
    Member

    The parts car has major rust in the base of the rear window wells. There is supposed to be a drain tube from them down through the rocker, which usually gets clogged and therefore causes the rust out issues. My good car doesn't have any rust there.

    Both cars are currently sitting at stock height, which is already spring under. I plan on doing about a 2-3" notch into the frame for extra clearance, then running reverse eyed springs and blocks to get it as low as possible. Front will be cut coils and possibly dropped spindles. Trying to keep everything on the car pre-'54-ish except for the '64 Buick Nailhead 401.

    I agree ol fueler, but not sure my neighbors do. They don't seem to mind since one of them is in the garage now. Had a friend standing there yesterday and asked where my parts car was, I tapped on the goodyear blimp cover and said "hiding in plain site".
     
  22. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    Cool cars. I'm looking for one of those right now.
     
  23. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 179

    CLM
    Member

    Thanks, would love to see some more pictures of your Catalina!
     
  24. 1EvilPaul
    Joined: Sep 3, 2013
    Posts: 74

    1EvilPaul
    Member

  25. Woodlouse
    Joined: Dec 18, 2011
    Posts: 74

    Woodlouse
    Member
    from London UK

    Only just seen this, good luck with the build.
    Taking a special interest as I'm half way though with a '48 Poncho.
     
  26. lowelife
    Joined: Aug 30, 2007
    Posts: 400

    lowelife
    Member

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1380845858.980746.jpg
    Here's one that I'm working on


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  27. 47streamliner
    Joined: Feb 24, 2014
    Posts: 160

    47streamliner
    Member
    from Huntley il

    Lovin this thread ! I have a 47 streamliner looks just like yours that I am driving and building at the same time .

    general question though ... how in the heck do you remove the rear 1/4 regulators !!??
    it looks like the car was built around the freakin things!
     
  28. CLM
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 179

    CLM
    Member

    I haven't pulled mine out yet. But I think the trick is to remove the regulator from the track on the bottom of the glass. Then the regulator comes out through the hole it's bolted to and the glass and track come through the top.

    I have seen people cut out the top lip of the inner structure to remove ones that wouldn't come loose.



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  29. I had a blast with my old 48. Hope you have as much fun as I did..BTW, '48 tailights look far better than the old original square tailights IMHO. I put a pair of them in my 41 Pontiac...same tailights as a 47.
     

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  30. 47streamliner
    Joined: Feb 24, 2014
    Posts: 160

    47streamliner
    Member
    from Huntley il

    I am hoping to find a way to remove them without chopping up the inner wall . If any one knows for sure I'd love to know .

    I was thinking about buying the body manual but not sure it would tell what I need to know , and that's the last thing I haven't figured out on my own .

    If some has the body manual and wouldn't mind maybe taking a few pics of the pages for this I'd be very grateful !!


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