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Projects 1963 "BelAired" Wagon

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 1pickup, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. What was the line Gallagher use to say..."It's got style". HRP
     
  2. 61gasser
    Joined: Dec 23, 2010
    Posts: 46

    61gasser
    Member

    Your ingenuity is thrilling
     
  3. 61gasser
    Joined: Dec 23, 2010
    Posts: 46

    61gasser
    Member

    I literally laughed way too hard at this!
     
    oldsjoe likes this.
  4. Never2old
    Joined: Oct 14, 2010
    Posts: 472

    Never2old
    Member
    from so cal

    Let me know if you're interested in a set of stainless side trim.
    I made a few extra sets. 63 rear.jpg
     
  5. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,496

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You said you had the Powerglide in the rear of the car. The 25 inch long, X-frame chassis Powerglides are actually fairly rare; you may want to post it for sale on one of the big car/X-frame car forums. I sold the one I had, along with the "extra" factory floor shifter and extension housing, that I had rebuilt, built up, and shift kitted, to a BC Canada HAMBER. I gave him a really good deal because I was tired of tripping over it, or having to move it around. I even threw in a higher stall converter to help move his 348 powered, 58 Impala along. Don't throw that Glide out! I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  6. 1pickup
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 799

    1pickup
    Member

    I haven't updated this in a while, so I'm surprised to see it back on the first page. Back seat & rear door panels are done. Need to finish the front seat & doors. My pc took a dump (using the wife's right now), so posting pics ain't so easy. Probably start back on the sewing when the weather gets worse. I'll post some door panel tech then. I've been driving it everywhere. Butch: I might have a use for that trans later, so it can just hang out in the shop until I decide. But, thanks for the tip.
     
    brEad likes this.
  7. 1pickup
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 799

    1pickup
    Member

    Thought I'd better update this, as I'm back at it & almost finished.
    Here's what your sun visors look like when you pull them apart. They make a good pattern.
    Wrapped them in cotton batting to give them some cushion. Sewed all but the end & slipped it on like a sock.
    Then, hand sewed the end. You might not get away with this on a one color material as well as you can with something with a random pattern like the leopard print.
    63wagongate 010.jpg 63wagongate 012.jpg 63wagongate 013.jpg
    63wagongate 014.jpg
     
  8. 1pickup
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 799

    1pickup
    Member

    After stripping the door panels as far possible, you end up with a metal top piece. I wire brushed the rust & spray bombed some paint on it. Used the door cards for patterns on door board material I got from an upholstery supply place. The originals were attached by pressing the cardboard on the metal & the little holes on there have some "teeth" that bend over. I couldn't make that work, so the pop rivet gun came out. I bought the correct door panel metal edging & "nails" that are used to secure the panel to the door. This all sucked. If I had to do it over, I'd get some pvc or wood paneling to make them. And, I'd drill new holes & use some push in style fasteners to keep the panel on the door. It would be easier.
    63wagongate 005.jpg
     
  9. 1pickup
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 799

    1pickup
    Member

    These doors have an awesome stainless trim piece I wanted to reuse & have it divide the door for some different materials. So, I cut the door cards right where the trim goes & used them for patterns.
    63wagongate 003.jpg
    Top drawn line is where I need to sew, bottom is 1/2" below to cut & have something extra.
    63wagongate 002.jpg
    This is the front side, after cutting on the line. I made the gold part first, with 2 seams sewn vertically. Then, sewed the black parts on. I will stuff those pleats later.
     
    brEad likes this.
  10. pigfluxer
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 206

    pigfluxer
    Member

    I am really enjoying the way you just, make it happen.
     
    1pickup likes this.
  11. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,572

    indyjps
    Member

    Keep the details coming. Anything special about the sewing machine or anything needed to set it up, leather needles etc?
     
  12. 1pickup
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 799

    1pickup
    Member

    Headliner was done on the old (1890's?) treadle machine. I like using it, mostly because it belonged to my great grandmother (who I named my daughter after). Most of the door panels & seats I did on a mid fifties Japanese copy of a Singer. All of those post war Japanese machines seem to be durable as hell. If you can score one cheap & want to try this at home, I suggest it. I can post a pic if you'd like. I'm using needles that are for denim or leather, & #69 thread that I got for free. Most upholsterers now use thread with UV protection like for marine applications, I guess. I suggest trying out a few test runs first, to see if it sews decent. There are some good tutorials online about what to look for & how to adjust thread tension. I'm no expert. But, too cheap to pay someone to do it. If you try it & get good results, & like doing it, & want to be a pro, then look for an upholstery machine with a walking foot. Results will be much better, not having to be always conscious of how fast your material is moving through the machine. Then, your stitches will be uniform. I'm too old to start a new career in upholstery, & haven't done enough of it to be proficient enough to charge someone to do their car. But, I will do my own, & it should be able to fool the general public. I'm sure an expert would look at it & laugh though.
     
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  13. 1pickup
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 799

    1pickup
    Member

    Sewing the door panels isn't really any different than sewing the rest, so I'll just show some of the other stuff.
    Got the stainless trim lined up at the sew line of the top & middle portions, & marked the spots where the tangs on the back of the trim will go through with a sharpie. Then, just used an awl, & poked some holes Lining up all those little tangs is a bitch. Be patient. Those tangs can only be bent so many times before they break.. I did this first, then stuffed the pleats. Just cut foam to size & used a paint stick to push it in there. Then I started stretching the material over the edges & glued with the DAP Weldwood spray. I only do small portions at a time, & use a lot of clamps. When you get to the corners, you may have an excessive amount of material, and will probably have to trim some of it away. Just make sure you don't cut anything that will show & leave enough to glue. Overlapping of material seems to work fine.
    63wagongate.jpg 63wagongate 007.jpg
     
  14. 1pickup
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 799

    1pickup
    Member

    I was originally going to do the upper part in all black & add a chrome piece in the middle. Looked at "Powerglide" "BelAir" & the like. They were all too expensive. Found some aftermarket ones that said "Wagon", you could also get "Pimp", etc. Too cheesy. So, after looking at the stock panels, I really liked the center ribs & the rectangle medallions. They were glued or heat pressed on & couldn't be reused. Off to eBay & got a dozen black upholstery buttons. First, measure center of the pleats. Then, equal distance from the trim piece & make a mark. Now, the part that takes some balls: Poke an awl through your new door panel. Add buttons. Easy.
    63wagongate 017.jpg
     
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  15. 1pickup
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 799

    1pickup
    Member

    Armrests: Chromed plastic that didn't have much chrome left. I scuffed them w/ 180 & shot them satin black. The pads were covered with vinyl & hand stitched. Not sure if that's original, or not. The pads were pretty hardened from age, so I put some cotton batting on them. Then, I got the trusty spray glue out & made the magic happen!

    63wagongate 018.jpg 63wagongate 020.jpg
     
    brEad likes this.
  16. 1pickup
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 799

    1pickup
    Member

    I hit a snag when I tried to put the front door panel on. And, it's because I ran without them for so long. The wing vent regulator had a snafu. GM in all of it's wisdom, or money saving decisions, didn't bolt the back plate on the regulator. It was peened over. And, part of the stop, so you don't go too far & push the plate off the back, is the handle bottoming out on the panel. So, without panels, & you give it a little extra turn to get the vent closed tight, You drive the gear against the plate & push it apart. Awesome. My solution was to grind it flat against the plate, drill & tap You can see the tip of my fat finger pointing to the problem in the first pic, & the finished product in the second. Fixed.
    63wagongate 021.jpg 63wagongate 022.jpg
     
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  17. 1pickup
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 799

    1pickup
    Member

    Just about done with this project. Good thing, as I'm getting a little bored with it. Just a few more observations: If you cover your door panels with cotton batting, make the holes (door handles, etc) in that, bigger than the holes in your door card. I had some problems with the window handle grabbing at the batting. Worse yet, I had to use some trim screws on the bottom of the door panels to hold them tight. The originals are that way, and only have the "nails" on the front & rear edges. So, make sure you do this before you upholster the damn thing. Trying to poke an awl through in the right spot is tough enough. When you don't use the factory screw holes (or miss them) & have to drill for the trim screw, the drill bit will grab that cotton & twist it. It could tear your material, or pull the batting loose in a different spot. So, here is the finished interior. Not everyone's cup o' tea I'm sure, but it makes a statement. You can decide what it's saying.
    63wagongate 023.jpg
     
  18. You’ve done a fine job. Style is original, details are well placed. Congrats!
     
    1pickup likes this.
  19. Hotrod1959
    Joined: Nov 3, 2007
    Posts: 662

    Hotrod1959
    Member

    Thanks for posting. Brings back some memories In 1963 My dad went to the local Chevrolet dealer and bought that same wagon off the showroom floor. White with blue interior 327/powerglide. For the next 25 years we owned that car. 5 kids drove it to high school. 2 trips from Calif to Minnesota in the early 70s. Even raced it one time on a Wednesday night at Fremont Drag strip. It was a whale but it was fun car. Sold it for $300. Still remember the license plate number.
     
    1pickup, Bowtie Coupe and enloe like this.

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