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Technical Barn find 57 vette.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by racer-x, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. I need help corvette guys. I pulled a 57 out of a barn. It has been sitting there since 73. Its now running with rebuilt brakes and new tires. I tried to put the soft top up. Its almost like it shrunk. I can get it to the windshield. I cant get the back to reach the body so the latches catch. Any ideas.
    I also need a few pics of how the drivers seat bolts on. The backrest is not connected. Im interested in what holds it to the seat frame.
    I just got started on buffing off 35 years of grime. I thought the car was a coffee color. Its actually white. Thanks.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
  2. I could also use a few parts sources.
    It needs.
    Gas pedal
    Passenger tail pipe
    Seat attatching pieces
    Carpet and door panels
    Im not going to do a complete restoration yet. Im putting all of the trim back on and cleaning it up. Im going to drive it as is in all its real patina glory for a while. Its actually a cool car as is once cleaned up.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
    mrspeedyt, scotty t, Stogy and 5 others like this.
  3. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 5,161


    Ok, I'll say it. We Need Pics!
    VF-1, LOU WELLS, mgtstumpy and 18 others like this.
  4. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,874

    Bandit Billy

    I recently had a 30,000 mile '62 nova ragtop, all original car. Top had shrunk to the point that it barely latched and when it did it had a taunt stretched arc on the sides where it used to be flat above the door glass. Like George implied on Seinfeld, "it's shrinkage". I had to replace it. maybe someone will have better news.

    Looking forward to pictures.

  5. Big mike 1968
    Joined: Jul 17, 2021
    Posts: 127

    Big mike 1968

    What about letting it sit in the sun all day and warm it up of soften it up. I don't know, maybe that kind of thing just works in Texas? Good luck, sounds cool to me.
    OahuEli, Stogy, VANDENPLAS and 4 others like this.
  6. Pics. The whole car is filthy. Starting to clean the top. 20210724_211104.jpg 20210724_211114.jpg 20210724_211737.jpg
  7. 20210717_113810.jpg i have all of the trim and hub caps. The hood is off for now. The nasty yellow spark plug wires have been replaced with black ones. The radiator is out getting re cored. All of the fluids have been replaced. Too bad such a cool car sat so long.
    I did drive it last weekend. It overheated and almost went into the ditch when i hit the brakes. It pulled very hard to the right. I got the tires aired up and that stopped the pulling. The brakes were adjusted and that gave me a pedal and even braking. The radiator had a few mouse nests in it. Thats out being recored. Cant wait to drive it again.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
  8. You don't need no stinkin top! Run it topless and let it all hang out. I do on my '55 T Bird.
    55 T Bird 1st.jpg
  9. miker98038
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 625


    I’ve never had a vette, but they can’t be much different than the 55-57 Thunderbird tops in terms of material. You might get some stretch sitting in the sun but you’ll probably need to latch the back down and jury rig some way to pull the front header down. But I’d guess it’ll never pull out if it’s that old. Or the stitching will let go before it stretches far enough. Nothing to lose by trying
    61Cruiser, lake_harley, Stogy and 2 others like this.
  10. TCTND
    Joined: Dec 27, 2019
    Posts: 251


    Heat is your friend. Have a (strong, patient) person pull the top towards closure and walk around with a heat gun applying hot air to the tight areas. Be careful; too much heat could ruin it, but if you take your time you'll get it closed.
    Stogy, loudbang, clem and 2 others like this.
  11. In wisconsin it can get cold this time of year. A top would extend the driving season. I does have hard top. I started fooling with the top because the body panel that covers the top wasnt sitting flat. Thats how i found the seats back rest wasnt bolted on. I moved the seat and it sits flat again. Now im on the top. There is alot to do here.
    Elcohaulic, wicarnut, Stogy and 2 others like this.
  12. A heat gun works great on taking wrinkles out of a head liner.
  13. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 4,811


    I've never had a '57, but the sequence on the '66 that I had is:

    1. put the top up and "catch" the front/windshield latch (note: DON'T actually pull it down; just get the hooks into the loops)

    2. put the rear "posts" into the holes and push all the way down/closed (I see that the rear latch is different on the '57, but should function similarly)

    3. finish latching the front/windshield latch

    At this point the top is firmly latched and stretched tight. Maybe this is the same on a '57 or maybe not; ymmv
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
    Stogy, catdad49 and loudbang like this.
  14. I have the port hole and non port hole tops for mine along with the foldable soft top.:) My wife made me put on a top when I took her to church in it.:( Something about messing up her hair.:confused: Gotta keep Momma happy.:D Yea it does help having a top on a chilly morning. I just usually turn the heat on full blast.:rolleyes:
  15. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,904

    from Missouri

    It would be tough to restore to something you could use.
    Gammz, Deuces and loudbang like this.
  16. @e1956v has a vette he has been working on that may see this and chime in with some answers for you.
    Another amazing barn find for sure.
    Stogy and loudbang like this.
  17. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,578


    Nice clown car. Let me know when she gets tired of it....

    My wife had an OT car with a similar top, similar problems. We eventually got it to work, but it took a lot of patience...don't expect it to stretch at once, it takes a while, if it is going to happen. Like a month or so.

    I hope you plan to replace all the rubber in the brake system, even if it works now. I expect the wheel cylinders are not moving very easily.

    Have fun!
    TFoch, Stogy, catdad49 and 3 others like this.
  18. e1956v
    Joined: Sep 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,760

    Alliance Vendor

    80FCD9DF-E6D0-4624-858A-0B460429BF5B.jpeg 9C6B6DF9-D420-4AEE-8C3F-E5D262056BF9.jpeg D9720547-54A6-488C-864D-37F4EF4AD79A.jpeg 98F8370A-ADD6-4ED8-8B23-0AF8F4E1F69F.jpeg 0C33DD9B-A781-4403-BE1A-74FB3AEE3633.jpeg 3BC0D8E2-A7F7-4F12-8C79-084EFDEB769A.jpeg B2C30AB5-5795-4FEB-A5E0-6963DB5D3355.jpeg C56D97AE-3A02-42CF-BD03-598C550FB3B8.jpeg 2D775DB1-BB8E-49F2-B9ED-6F25A969C785.jpeg This top was closed for 30 years, it took time in the summer sun and a lot of work to get stretched and latched. In the end I replaced it cuz it was to far gone and I didn’t like the black color.
    The seat back frames have two tabs that hang over the seat frames on top and two metal tabs on the frame that bend over two U shaped extensions on the seat back on the bottom.
    Great find I will be following this one.
    Take it one bite at a time. I started in 2013 and just got the interior installed and finished last weekend.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
  19. The brakes received new wheel cylinders and lines. The master cylinder is the original single style. Im not to thrilled about that.
    wicarnut, Stogy, e1956v and 2 others like this.
  20. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,578


    I've put a lot of miles on that type of master cylinder...and you fixed the problem with them, which is the brake lines.
  21. The leading shoes are interesting they have a large groove in the center. My chevelle still has a single master cylinder. They work great until they suddenly dont.
  22. deuceman32
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 352


    Racer, I just noticed the dual quads. Neat car! And e1956v, good call on the new top color, that thing is beautiful.
    Stogy, loudbang and kidcampbell71 like this.
  23. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,265


    If you've ever tried to work the wrinkles out of old vinyl like a door panel or a new headliner, steam works better than just heat. You can buy a little hand-held steamer pretty cheap to soften up that top material some. A heat gun can actually melt it if you're not careful. And as others have said, slow and steady, if you try to force it you'll rip the seams out. But you need to have some pulling force while you steam it, if you steam it in place you'll just soften it up and it'll harden wrinkled again. One guy steams, one guy puts light force on the top getting it into place. I bet you could get it to close again without tearing.
    OahuEli, texasred, Stogy and 4 others like this.
  24. GregCT.
    Joined: Jun 16, 2008
    Posts: 642

    from CT.

    A good way to ruin the stainless header trim above the windshield is to pry the top open with the latches. Like another person said- you are going to replace the top in the end as it will disintegrate. More harm than good will come with fooling with it. As far as the seats- the back rests have 2 loops that fit over the seat frames. Buy the Corvette service guide put out by GM for the 53-62 cars- a wealth of knowledge for a novice. I have had over 30 C1s and still refer to it. PM me with any questions and will try to help.
  25. Thanks greg ct. I can see how the seat attatches on the top. Its the bottom that i cant figure out at the moment. I looked at the passenger side. Its fastened in some how. I just cant see it. I was sweeping out the floor and found a clip with a hole in it. This might be what i need. No barn find car is complete without a mouse nest. This guy died peacefully at home. 20210725_141109.jpg 20210725_141113.jpg
  26. I found the the other low script valve cover in the trunk. Before and after picscof the door panels. I have the missing trim piece. I scooped two full dust pans of dirt off the floor. The red shag carpet has been pulled. Its starting to get cleaned up. 20210725_143909.jpg 20210725_143900.jpg 20210725_143917.jpg 20210725_144159.jpg
    61Cruiser, Runnin shine, Tim and 12 others like this.
  27. I have six hub caps that might be original i dont know yet. They all have holes pressed into the on each side of the tire valve. What was the purpose for this? Now that the car is somewhat cleaned up its looking better.
    Are the rims supposed to be black originally? Looks kind of funny to me. The boat air cleaners were in the truck to 20210725_185006.jpg 20210725_184958.jpg 20210725_193301.jpg 20210725_193318.jpg .
    pivir123, 61Cruiser, TFoch and 18 others like this.
  28. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 7,743


    Those are '59 to '62 hubcaps. Yours should not have holes around the outside. I am working on a '57 and getting most of my parts from ZIP Products. Many times one or two day shipping. They all sell the same stuff it's all about customer service to me. I'd have to look to be positive but I THINK with non white walls it gets body color wheels. That's how my '63 was.
    loudbang, Stogy and racer-x like this.
  29. Is this the car from the estate the owner died and the house along with the property sold to the high bidder ?
    VANDENPLAS, loudbang and Stogy like this.
  30. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,741


    All I can say is congratulations.
    VANDENPLAS, loudbang and Stogy like this.

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