The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Drive Em, Mar 24, 2013.
Rolls Royce phantom , by mulliner using the weyman principal 4 men could lift the body easily
The fabric is original from 1929.
A lot of bodies get recovered in "ever flex" the fabric for vinyl roofs
A friend of mine flies fabric covered airplanes and has good luck with acrylic enamel and flex agent as a topcoat. Another friend is planning to build a fabric covered tear drop trailer.
Certified aircraft fabric covering systems are now insanely expensive, due to certification costs, a finite and, no pun intended, shrinking market, and that old semi-legit bugaboo product liability. Some homebuilt aircraft guys have evolved homebrew solutions for experimentals but they tend to keep their secret sauce on the down low.
Of course modern basecoat/clearcoat auto stuff is expensive too, but not as much as the combined cost of fabric, stitching materials, and the dopes and other materials for aircraft fabric. Of course cars don't have as much surface area as a light aircraft but, I heard a recent quote of twelve grand to refabric a Maule which has fabric fuselage and metal wings if I remember correctly. It's been years since i was involved in aircraft. (I have an A&P license but never used it, not in over 20 years.)
A lot of old twenties and thirties European cars and a few over here were fabric. I seem to recall it being banned for racing over there due to flammability in the 30s.
I just came across this rather radical example:
1926 Renault 40CV, bodied thus for some or other record attempt.
I have exactly this kind of speedster nearing completion for the Race of Gentlemen...
Stay tuned for a build thread. Model A chassis and cowl, steel framed fabric covered body. Aluminum framed fabric covered Zeppelin tail.
Using Ceconite type shrinkable fabric, glue, and UV protecting sealants.
Fun Stuff with interesting shapes possible.
Here's a my speedster cockpit, 1" steel tubing covered with aircraft cloth system.
Lots of fabric body austin 7s in NZ.
Here is an interesting sort of "utility coupé" I came across while looking for something else:
1927 Mercedes-Benz. I'd been playing with an idea for a four-door with a very similar rear treatment.
Have you come across this site? They have plans for a Ron Limbick Speedster with a fabric covered body over a wooden frame. This would be perfect for a T or A banger.
EDIT: July08 already listed the nwvs.org site!
While it is true that the older methods of fabric covering (i.e. dope and linen, or Ceconite, a trade name) are quite flammable; a much newer covering, based on rayon or polyester, will not sustain flame. Probably the best known of these newer systems is Stits. Stits calls it's product PolyFiber.
I've used the process several times over the last three decades (virtually all on aircraft). It not only lasts much longer (practically forever) than dope and linen; but, it is far more pliable. It seems to stretch like rubber.
Saw that car in the flesh at Retromobile a few years back - it has a huge presence and is very impressive indeed
In about 1950, John Steers had three months off work and wanted a project. He bought a Model A, mounted the engine and transmission to a very short driveshaft and sat forward of the drivetrain. Covering the whole car with a dope and fabric skin was the simplest way to build a body. He drove it a few times and then sold it. Some time later these boys took credit for building the car. There are no other pictures of the car in family albums.
When I had my shop, I built a quick framework of 1/2" EMT (conduit) the shape and size of a 1950s CAE Sprint car. Plan was to cover it in heavy silk and dope, (model airplane style)
A young customer talked me out of it, don't know if he ever finished it. (I welded him up a chassis from 1.75" round tubing...he had a '36 Ford 'I' beam and rear end, open drive conversion, and a dual carbed Datsun 4-banger/4 speed.)
I started a similar project here, 10 years ago...'27 T rails, '37 tube, '36 rear...and one of my HOT 2 liter BMW four bangers (grand piano pistons, TI head, dual side draft Webers)
and 4-speed from '73 2002...and an old Schroeder center steering.
Imagine that drifting thru corners in the dirt streets of Atwater...
If you do something like this use Poly-Stits. A much easier to work with system the the old Cellulose Acitate Buterate. Rod
Here's my fabric-covered, Zeppelin-tailed, 29 Model A speedster, on the beach in Wildwood NJ for the Race of Gentlemen.
Cockpit frame is 1" square steel tubing. Tail is hand formed aluminum. Both covered with FAA approved EcoBond, EcoFill, and Ceconite cloth.
I have considered doing a carson-like top using metal conduit and fabric. Light weight and easy to remove.
Posted using a number two pencil on a paper napkin.
Posted on the Cyclecars thread:
My neighbor has a 23 Studebaker hearse with a fabric covering on the body.
A fabric bodied special in the U.S..
The Canadian built Brooks steam cars of the 20s had fabric covered bodies. A handful of them have survived.
I've long found the North American steam revival of the early to mid '20s fascinating.
An old timer told me there was a fleet of Brooks taxicabs in Toronto in the twenties. This struck me as a good use for steam cars. It took advantage of their reliability and easy driving qualities while minimizing the problem of long warmups. Also a steam car can sit idle at a taxi stand for long periods better than a gas car.
art himsl's zeppelin
there's an article in the December 2013 issue of Hemmings Classic Car magazine
entitled "Cars of Cloth".....regarding some of the coachbuilt classics, including some nice pictures. Starts on page 52. I couldn't find the article on the net to do a link.
Thought maybe some of you subscribe to it.
One of the Batmobiles was coverd in a fuzz / velvet type covering
due to stress cracks in the glass
I remember seeing that one. It was at the Cow Palace in Calif. It was covered in flies. Must have thought it was a big cow. When I was young I had a bicycle covered in that spray on fuzz.
Then there is this Velorex kid's car.I can't tell if it is pedal powered or has an electric motor.
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