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Projects '59 Thunderbird Radical Custom build.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flynbrian48, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. froghawk
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 847

    froghawk
    Member

    So if you carry that spear/projectile all the way back to the bumper and tuck the lower part of the quarter as shown in Mr. Black's rendering would you modify the rear bumper accordingly? Would you also get rid of the flare on the rocker panel as in the rendering? Does seem like it might need an appropriately modified version of the stock skirt at the very least. Full skirts are definitely going to look goofy with the current stance and wheel choice.

    Personally I really like the close-coupled-chopped-Sports Roadster-with-lift-off-top you've got going now. Really refines and brings out a racy, rakish aspect of the Squarebird that's likely to get lost swinging toward the ground-hugging custom cruiser look of the "Hirohata Bird."
     
  2. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,816

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    I say go for it.

    Car is looking GREAT! But to be honest I'm not too keen on your current wheel choice. Not that it matters a bit.
     

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  3. ynottayblock
    Joined: Dec 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,954

    ynottayblock
    Member

    We should ask Eric if there was a rear view rendering done. Looking at the drawing he has the bottom of the spear carrying into the bumper but has the rear quarter and bottom of the bumper welded together and painted. If you smooth out the bumper bolts on the rear bumper and paint the lower middle section (bumper is 3 pieces) it looks like a roll pan. In writing it sounds odd, but actually looks good (pic attached). Ive been considering this on mine (painting the lower bumper) but leaving the rear quarters as is.
     

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  4. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    The rear bumper, regardless of whether I pull the spear all the way back is getting cut up and tucked closer to the body. An inch needs to come out of each bumperette, and a like amount from the lower pan. If I cut the quarters, the lower part, where the outer skin meets the inner panel, will stay where it is, with the outer skin being "rolled" in tighter. The spear then would get a little extension to make it (more or less) match the front part, ahead of the wheel. The bumpers lower pan would get a little extra trimmed out, and the edge rolled a little more to match the new profile of the lower quarter. The little "lip" at the bottom of the rockers I'm keeping. Eric's drawing gives the body more of a "coke-bottle" look than they have in person, I don't know if I like that with the way I'm going with the car. Plus, it would mean a complete re-do of the rockers on my car, and they're perfect now. I sort of like the lip anyway.

    I agree that skirts don't fit the current "sports coupe" theme, I was going more of a Bonneville look. Hence the Salt Flats. I thought if I do this (extend the spears), that I'd pull the top of the wheel opening down to the bottom of the spear, and form a skirt to fit below that, that I could remove depending on my mood. A simple wheel/tire change then would take the car from the luxo-cruiser look of the Hirohata 'Bird, to the performance sports look. You're point about the stance, now nose down and rear lowered 2" from stock, would also have to change to more of a taildragger, and I'm not anxious to bag the car to accomplish that, or change the stainless steel exhaust system now under it.

    Brian

    Gotgas, I do like that photo shop though!

     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  5. xpletiv
    Joined: Jul 9, 2008
    Posts: 938

    xpletiv
    Member
    from chiburbs

    That treatment of the rear looks great!

    I'll keep watching.
     
  6. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Here's the rear 3/4 artwork. As you note, he illustrates it with MUCH work done to the bottoms of the quarters, it looks like they're pulled up towards the rear, and the rear pan would be thinned to match this new line. The car Hollywood Hot Rods is building (shown in Street Rodder last issue) is done this way, but with the rear pan completely eliminated and the lower line of the quarter pulled up to the bottom of the bumperettes. Not sure if I like it, even on somebody else's car, but there isn't a very good photo of it in the feature.

    Brian

     

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  7. SteppinOut
    Joined: Jul 19, 2008
    Posts: 542

    SteppinOut
    Member

    Perhaps you could add the skirt but mimic the body line that runs on the door and put that on the skirt. This would tie the rocket/bullet into the rear quarter by way of the skirt just as the front fender line is tied into the door. All would be complementary to the body side design. Hope this is understandable.
    Your car just knocks me out the more I look at it. Also vote no on the current wheels.
     
  8. 57Custom300
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,285

    57Custom300
    Member
    from Arizona

    Nice car. I'm a "less is more" kinda guy. You don't see a whole lot of those old Squarebirds but the lines on those cars just beg to be customized.
     
  9. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    I did it. Cut the quarter panel behind the wheel. Tomorrow, I'll make new lower quarters with the spear shape in 'em. Sorry guys, I like the wheels, they're staying. A set of polished 5 spokes, or some wires and WW's might make a good alternate wheel/tire combo.
     
  10. PC Jr
    Joined: May 27, 2013
    Posts: 44

    PC Jr
    Member
    from So Cal

    Perhaps a unique design of your own making would be more in line with your overall theme?
     
  11. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Well, I did it. Yesterday I made a single cut through the quarter skin behind wheel, figuring if I chickened out, I'd just weld it back together. Today, I cut it completely off, inner fender and all, and made the new "spear" with my buddies 8' brake. The brake leaves a small crease it's true, and it's SOOO easy to go a little to far, each little bend adding up to to tight a roll, but I got it.

    A little trimming and fitting got that on, and I decided to make a complete new skin and inner panel for that part of the quarter, as I'd made patch panels before, and there was quite a lot of filler. I'm a little better builder now, so those had to go.

    The scrap of the roll section makes a perfect skirt, which I trimmed and mocked up as well. I like the short skirt, as opposed to a full skirt, particularly with the wheels, which are staying. Unless somebody wants to donate some polished 5 spoke Supremes, or a set of T'Bird wires.

    So, one side (almost) done. Inner panel tomorrow, and finish up the skirt and make mount pins for that.

    Edit: I'm looking at the picture with the skirt on, and wonder if it needs a little filler panel at the back, to tighten the opening up around the tire?
     

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    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  12. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    You mean one off wheels? If I had my own TV show, maybe, but I'm on a budget man!

    Brian

     
  13. froghawk
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 847

    froghawk
    Member

    Most definitely. A P'shop quickie.....
     

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  14. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    That's what I'm talk'n about. I wonder if I can make that as quickly as you photo-shopped it? :D

    Nice work, thanks for bringing it to life.


    Brian

     
  15. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Here is the skirt, with it's own "skirt" added to the rear. It looks much better this way. Now, to finish the inner fender, and make some kind of mount tabs for the skirts. Spring loaded pins? Simple barrel bolts and a center pin? Tabs and bolts? I think the wheel will come off even with the skirt on, so bolts would be easy.

    Brian
     

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  16. ka-zoo
    Joined: Oct 20, 2004
    Posts: 509

    ka-zoo
    Member

    I like the skirt photoshop as well, but now the leading edge of the rear arch bugs me...
     
  17. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Not sure what you mean Ka-zoo. The shape of the opening itself? The angle of the opening matches the angle of the tops "C" pillar, at the front, and now at the rear too, as I shortened it and canted it forward a bit. It's kind of the like the fins. It's a forward leaning styling cue that, like Exner's Forward style Chryslers, is part of the cars personality. Lose that, and it's not a T'Bird any longer.

    Brian
     
  18. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Right side, with the exception of a lip on the bottom of the skirt, and a skim of filler, is done. In a moment of inspiration, I decided to use a pair of barrel bolts from the hardware store as latches for the skirts, they worked perfectly. A 5/16 bolt with a point ground on the end is a locater in on the top, the barrel bolts hold the sides on. Done.

    Couldn't resist a shot of the interior of Cool McCool's Garage, with the wagon parked next to the evolving T'Bird. Garage full of cool!

    Brian
     

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  19. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    I got the left side headlight done, using the Caddy bucket and die cast bezel. I THOUGHT I was done, but looking at the photos just now from my blog, I don't really like the way the fender doesn't follow the curve of the bezel exactly. The center does, and I tucked the lower part of the fender around a little, to match the overhang at the top, but it's not right. So, tomorrow, we slice and dice, and make it fit better...
     

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  20. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Doing the headlights yesterday was so much fun, today I did them all over! Looking at the photos I took, I didn't like the poor fit of the bezel to the fender, so I cut everything apart and did it all over, with more roll top and bottom to fit the relatively flat T'bird fender to the round Caddy headlight bezel. Much better. I may not be a very good welder, but I AM a good grinder!
     

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  21. The fender flows better with the roll in it at the trim ring. Good eye!
     
  22. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,373

    BrerHair
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Genius in its simplicity. Looking good!
     
  23. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Thanks guys. The right side would have easier if the fender hadn't been repaired at some point by brazing the front section of another fender on it, over the original, mangled eyebrow, and seriously tweaked. I didn't fix that the first time around, but I did this time.

    I'm kinda proud of the barrel bolt latches too!
     
  24. I might have to steal that barrel bolt idea. Cool.
     
  25. SteppinOut
    Joined: Jul 19, 2008
    Posts: 542

    SteppinOut
    Member

    This whole build is so inspiring. Great work with subtle modifications that will just make every inch of this car pop when it is done. Thanks for sharing and for all the great updates and photos.
     
  26. carbuilder
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 982

    carbuilder
    Member

    Brian I like the bird along with your other projects. A little clue on bending rolls on a brake. Put a piece of pipe between the fingers & the sheet to be bent & use that to be bent up to instead of the fingers or flat bar that way you do not end up with the crease lines. Hope this made sense.
     
    niall.oxendale likes this.
  27. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    How would the pipe not just roll up as the table comes up?


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  28. lucky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 583

    lucky
    Member

    adjust the fingers/top rearwad to allow room for lower table to push up past it..I've used this method before, though I cut a lengthwise section out of the piping so that the fingers set inside it(make sense?)
     
  29. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    What fingers? Are you talking about a pan brake? I use a buddy's 8' brake, which, as far as I can see, has a fixed edge, once I clamp the stock down, there doesn't look like any way to adjust or change the table edge or whatever you call the lifty-uppy part that folds the stock. I'm sure there are technical terms for this…

    I am such a hack.
     
  30. lucky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 583

    lucky
    Member

    Honestly, i don't know the proper terminology either..hahahah
    Fingers would be where your fixed edge is if it was a box and pan brake. On my brake, the fixed clamping edge has an adjustment screw at either end which allows the adjustment of how sharp your angle is and also material thickness, as say 16g is thicker than 22g..on 16g, I would run the top edge rearward away from the lower arm so that when it swings up to make the bend, it has clearance. This clearance is different between the two gauges , see?
    If you cannot get the top adjusted far enough rearward for the lower arm to clear the tubing, you can clamp a 2x4 to the lower arm in such a way that it will push the metal sheet up and around part of the tubing. This will have to be done in increments(which you would need to do anyhow, because we aren't talking about using 6" tubing here)
    I hope that this makes some sort of sense, I haven't finished my first cup of coffee yet..hahah
     
    niall.oxendale likes this.

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