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Projects '59 Thunderbird Radical Custom build.

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

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

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Got the left quarter panel roughed in, so both sides are now the same. I have got finish the skirt and make the new inner fender panel, but it's looking good. Next project is to tuck the rear bumper in to better fit the body, and new body lines, so that'll be fun. I've soaked the bolts that hold it all together with WD-40, and Thursday, my next day off, I'll take the rear bumper apart and fit it to the body.

    Stay tuned. For more detailed pictures and commentary, just click on the link below and go to "Cool McCool's Garage".
     

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

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Started the "nip-tuck" of the rear bumper today. I like the results, it'll be worth cutting the bumper up into pieces to make it actually fit the body. I took almost 3" out of the lower pan, and 5/8" off each bumperette to pull them in tighter to the body.

    Here's the result.

    Now, do I chrome the bumpettes, or just the dagmars? Lot's of early customs utilize rolled pans front and rear, my feeling is the front bumper, and rear bumper pan are integral parts of the styling of the body. Painting them will continue this integration.

    Just doing the dagmars at the rear would give a little "bling", and still keep the bumpers part of the body, not an add on. We'll see...
     

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

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Still fitting the rear bumper. Evidently, when you cut a bumper into 7 pieces, it may be difficult to get it all lined up exactly correctly and welded back together. Who'd think?

    Nevertheless, I'm happy with how it's going, even though it's taking much longer than I thought it would. I've got to tuck the right hand lower pan in a half inch more where it meets the new character line on the fender, but that should be easy compared tdo the rest of the job.

    The last few photos look pretty much the same, not really showing the hours of work involved in this project, and the hours yet to come to finish. Hopefully, once this bumper fit is over, the metal finishing and body filler part of the job will show a bit more dramatic changes.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  4. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,014

    Torchie
    Member

    Looks great Brian.
    Most people don't realize how many "little" modifications are involved with a true custom.
    can't wait to see more.
    Torchie.
     
  5. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Thanks Torchie, I was getting a little depressed with the hours of work and no visible progress!

    Brian
     
  6. squeaky32
    Joined: May 30, 2013
    Posts: 135

    squeaky32
    Member

    coming along nicely
     
  7. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,375

    BrerHair
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Oh contrare, Senor. I am a hack. And if I am a hack (which I am), then you are certainly not.

    Funny, never realized this bird had rear Dagmars. The more I look at this car, the more I like.
     
  8. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,405

    40StudeDude
    Member

    LOL...sounds like me...

    I like the Caddy headlight treatment, changes the whole look of the front end now...

    I'm curious as to what you are calling "Dagmars"...??? Those little rocket wing type things on the rear bumper...??? I wonder how it would look if you'd lose them...??/

    R-
     
  9. Ah right - I had to google a stocker to see what you´d done with the quarter. Nice idea!
    I like the idea of painted `pans on the back too. Should give it a real nice look.
     
  10. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Thanks guys. I call 'em Dagmars, but they're tiny ones! Ford clearly mimicked the Caddy front bumpers, only they put 'em on the back. Same EXACT style. Wrap around bumperettes, ending in a pointed "titty" shape accent on top. The 'Bird's are 34 A's instead of 38 double D's like the '56 Caddy…
     
  11. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    The bumper and the tail-light pods look in photos like they line up, but they don't. To lose the little dagmars or pointy rocket thingies, means a LOT of work has to be done either to the bumper, or the tail-light pod to meet. I like 'em anyway, so it never occurred to me to eliminate them.

    Brian

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

    flynbrian48
    Member

    So, who thinks I should make another pair of skirts, full ones like this beautiful photo-chop rendering, get another set of wheels and tires, so I can have my original "Sports Roadster" version, and the "Lux-O-Cruiser" version?

    Now is the time, and I like making stuff...
     

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  13. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,014

    Torchie
    Member

    You know that's what you want to do :)
    Sounds like you are alot like me. Drives my wife crazy when I finish a project
    and fixate on the one thing that I think is wrong with it.
    Now is the time...........
    My 2 cents worth.
    Torchie.
     
  14. Blownfuel
    Joined: Jun 16, 2005
    Posts: 1,269

    Blownfuel
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I agree, nothing wrong with being able to change things up!
     
  15. looking good!
     
  16. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    The image with the full skirts has been burning a hole in my brain, so today I got busy and made a secondary skirt for the right side (the side not jammed up against the bench!). I have to admit, it looks awesome, so I'll finish up the metalwork tomorrow and make the latches for it. It'll mount to the tail of the primary skirt with a barrel bolt, a pin in the center, and another pin in front into the wheel lip of the body.

    I decided to match the flare on the rocker on the skirt, which would have been easier if my metal working tools included more than a bench vice, a stump under the bench, an anvil made of a piece of railroad track, and a few body hammers and dollies. In spite of the lack of equipment, I think it turned out pretty nice.

    Now, I'll be on the hunt for another set of wheels and tires. Chromed Supremes? Wires? Steel wheels and full disks hubcaps?

    Edit: If it looks like it doesn't fit the primary skirt well at the top/rear, it's because I just clamped in up with Vice-Grips to take a photo in the dark. It fits fine, and will once the latches are fitted. And a little more metal work.
     

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    Weedburner 40 likes this.
  17. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Here are some better pictures, after fitting the secondary skirt, making latches and hanging it all together. In the daylight, it looks lots better!
     

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  18. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,817

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    Sorry to do that to ya. :D

    I really like how you transitioned the rocker detail to the skirt. I left that area unresolved in my 2-minute photoshop. What you did there looks awesome!

    As for wheels, the ones I put in the photoshop are Chrysler wire wheels which share a bolt pattern with Ford cars. hint hint

    I'm really enjoying the progress on this one.
     
  19. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,375

    BrerHair
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

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

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Thanks a lot Gotgas, that's only gonna cost another 2 grand! I'm sort of proud of the character line I did on the skirt,the real challenge will be making the left one match. Or, match close enough to be on the other side of the car…

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

    flynbrian48
    Member

    So, after a little hiatus from the 'Bird to split up the wood needed to heat the shop this winter, next winter, and the winter after that, I got a little done on the fender skirt project today.

    I wasn't happy at all with the way the bottom of the right side skirt fit the body, the roll was wrong, and it didn't match the quarter. Out with cutoff tool, and a little work with hammer and dolly, it's all better. I also hammered a little lip on the flange of the primary skirt for the secondary one to rest against. A little rubber on the skirt face will keep that from rattling, and it looks more finished as well.

    Now that side is done, and I can make the one for the left side, then it's time to finish all the welds down and start some body work!

    Here's what it looks like now.
     

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  22. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,014

    Torchie
    Member

    Some times it seems as if I have a new pair of eyes when I go back to working on something after a little break.
    Looking great.
    Torchie.
     
  23. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Speaking of eyes… Day before yesterday I picked up the grinder to one quick little thing, it was only going to take a second, and didn't put safety glasses on. Then at 3 am I enjoyed a trip to ER before my shift to get the speck of steel removed from my eye with the eye drill. Don't do what I do...
     
  24. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,405

    40StudeDude
    Member

    I'm curious- why didn't you simply weld up the "bullet" (spear...???) body line and move the skirt to the bottom of that body line instead of going to all the trouble of making the skirt fit halfway into the bullet (spear) body line...??? Wouldn't that have been a lot cleaner...and a lot less work...???

    R-
     
  25. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    I did think of doing that, but I was concerned about getting a tire up and under the fender with the wheel opening dropped that far. Maybe stockers would have, but the Salt Flats and big 17" tires on it now would have been a little sketchy along side of the road in the dark if we have tire trouble. That's the way the stockers fit, and honestly, I sort of like keeping that part looking "stock", in the much reworked quarters. In addition, I already had the skirts made in the fashion of the originals. Add to that the extra work of cutting the lip off the wheel opening, making a new section of quarter panel to fill the void, all the work on the inner fenders, and I think it's about a wash. I admit that the extra line between the at the tail end is sort of "odd" looking, but I think once it's all painted, it'll go un- noticed. I got the left one almost done today, and ended up having to cut the primary skirt apart to fit it better to the body. With the latches in, it was twisted a bit, and didn't fit the fender opening just right. So that took awhile, but making the secondary skirt went fast. Just need a couple more barrel bolts for latches for it and we'll call that part "done".
     
  26. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,363

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Here's the left side skirt. Excuse the aluminum tape (temporarily) holding the secondary skirt on, I need to get another pair of barrel bolts for latches.
     

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  27. Okie Pete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,171

    Okie Pete
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Looks good . I have been thinking the same thing on the skirts . I don't have a car but have done some drawings of ideas. A neighbor pulled one home from Mississippi that belonged to his Dad. I have been looking it over. :rolleyes:
     
  28. xhotrodder
    Joined: Jul 2, 2009
    Posts: 1,557

    xhotrodder
    Member

    I'm curious as to what you are calling "Dagmars"...??? Those little rocket wing type things on the rear bumper...??? I wonder how it would look if you'd lose them...??/

    Dagmar(s): aka Jennie Lewis; Dagmar was the nickname of one Virginia Ruth Egnor, a "blonde bombshell" who achieved some notoriety in 1950-51 when she appeared on NBC's "Open House" in slinky, body-hugging gowns that underscored - for no other purpose but to provoke - the lady's very ample bosom. A view of Miss Dagmar in profile leaves little doubt why the impact guards (bumper "bombs") on fifties Cadillacs came to be known as "Dagmars"!
    For the younger guys on here. Hope you don't mind. Love what your doing Brian.
     

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  29. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,405

    40StudeDude
    Member

  30. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,014

    Torchie
    Member

    I hear you on that Brian.
    Been getting injections in my eyes every 8 weeks for the past 6 months so I have been very "eyeball" aware lately. Can't say that I always was in the past
    though.
    Hope your all healed up.
    Torchie.
     

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