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I bought a 1961 Cadillac Eldorado GM factory custom off craigslist

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Nads, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,631

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    Chrome won't get you home but you may lose your house.
     
  2. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,631

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    I stacked all the stainless strips I cut from a sheet bought for $7 from my beloved Skycraft Military Surplus store and welded them together along the bottom with the template at the front, now all I have to do is cut the slits on my chopsaw, grind away the weld and sand and polish the pieces.

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  3. BHfanGB
    Joined: Jun 22, 2009
    Posts: 243

    BHfanGB
    Member

    I just stumbled across this thread and I have to say congratulations on finding an honest-to-God factory show car, especially as intact as you found it! I bet Joe Bortz is wondering how this one got by!

    I give you a lot of credit for resisting the Siren song of fast bucks, but as you said, it's one of one and once it's gone, it will never be coming back. Really, you are in pretty rare company, being the owner of such a car. It's also totally cool that you are willing to drive it!

    As for the chrome plating process for the fiberglass bumper, it's probably similar to how model manufacturers simulation chrome plating on plastic parts. The metal used isn't actually chromium, but rather aluminum. I don't recall all of the steps, but I believe it involves using paint as a base and then doings something to the aluminum so that it is aerosol and bonds to the paint in a thin, high-gloss layer. Basically, it's the same process used for plastic interior trim pieces on many cars of the sixties and seventies. It won't be as durable as actual chrome, but I doubt if you car will see the rigors of a typical street car.
     
  4. ausbuick
    Joined: Jan 31, 2011
    Posts: 676

    ausbuick
    Member

  5. Elrod
    Joined: Aug 7, 2002
    Posts: 3,563

    Elrod
    Member

    Great job man. But I can't wait to see you start on the Le Mans grill.. :D

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  6. Tom davison
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 5,431

    Tom davison
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

    I like the car, what you are doing and how you are doing it.

    That flare on the back wheel opening bothers me though; looks like an afterthought. I'm not sure if removing it would be the answer either, but here's what it would look like.

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  7. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,631

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    The car cannot be changed, well it can, but I'm not going to do it, and trust me, if you know me that's very hard for me Tom.
     
  8. AMcA
    Joined: Nov 24, 2012
    Posts: 14

    AMcA
    Member
    from Chicago

    No, that would be all wrong. That little surface above the wheel opening keeps the car from looking like it's just missing a fender skirt. GM designers put a lot of effort into the transitions between forms - check out the way the body rises to meet the greenhouse. No, it's not as clean as an abrupt transition. But it's way prettier. These guys were artists. Let their work be.
     
  9. billsill45
    Joined: Jul 15, 2009
    Posts: 784

    billsill45
    Member
    from SoCal

    Leave the rear wheel openings as they are ... removing the flare and trim would just give the car an unfinished look. As others have noted, this was a styling detail that was used on the '64 Eldorados, one of the best looking Cadillacs of the 60's.

    Thanks for sharing pictures of your progress. This is one of my favorite threads.
     
  10. c'mon no access to a water jet that would be the clear thing for that stack of stainless ....accurate and nice the first time ... not that you won't do it right .. just sayin
     
  11. You're doing a great job, Nads!

    I'll bet some people would put a smile on the Mona Lisa if it were in their posession! 'Cause "it just didn't look right."

    I may be overstating it a bit, but you are more of a steward than an owner of this car. It's obvious you understand that.:)

    ~Alden
     
  12. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,631

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    It wasn't a success, the stock I used was too thick, it was a waste of about three hours of work. I gotta make some phone calls.
     
  13. Nads, call the guys at DC Waterjet if you have no one close to you.
     
  14. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,631

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    Found one, incredible operation, their main business is building aluminum boats, they seem very capable of doing this easy job.
     
  15. not so great news :(... now go run around the yard a bit with that wheelbarrow of broken glass .... see things are lookin up..
    I really was hopin you were gonna do it your way and move on to the next step



    do you still believe that the grill was hand made piece ...bit by bit
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  16. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,631

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    Absolutely, each piece is marked, I'll take pics.
    Here's the fender light housings, again individually made just for this car.

    I took the fender signal housings off because they were really nasty inside, of course many studs broke, but I got em apart.
    They are very heavy cast pieces and they're in great condition, I'll give em a good polish. The SO number is cast into the back, I can't imagine the dollars that were spent on this car.
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  17. Keep the updates, coming. This was great score!
     
  18. I guess it would seem like a lot of expense for all these special parts but I'm sure GM had all their in house people that did this kind of thing. They came to the office everyday to do this stuff. Even as a Ford guy I think of these Cadillacs as brillaint cars in that era. Not gaudy chromey Chevy's that they seem to have become later.
     
  19. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,631

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    I polished the housings, they came out nice. The grille was never anodized so it was easy to polish but now I've got to protect the aluminum does anyone know of a good product?
    The lenses for the fender signals are not molded they are built like a Lucite purse from the 50s in sheets glued together, a lot of work for sure.

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  20. pvcerod
    Joined: Dec 31, 2005
    Posts: 76

    pvcerod
    Member
    from Australia

    Wow! Nads, they have come up a treat :)
     
  21. str8 6 str8 edge
    Joined: Sep 7, 2006
    Posts: 231

    str8 6 str8 edge
    Member
    from Tampa

    Loving this whole thing. The direction you're taking is perfect.
     
  22. jammersspeed
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 347

    jammersspeed
    Member
    from herman mn.

    very cool cadillac!
     
  23. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,631

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    I masked, sanded and painted the moldings that go under the front fenders and hood, the one on the right is the one I made from scratch, waiting for them to dry so I can bolt them in.
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  24. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,631

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    Here's the hood bar done, I installed everything, it's too dark to take pics, I'll post some tomorrow.
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  25. Pharouh
    Joined: Sep 18, 2008
    Posts: 437

    Pharouh
    Member

    This is a great project. Keep it up!
     
  26. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,631

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    Took the front turn signals apart to clean out 51 years of grime and to polish the plastic lenses, more usage of the Special Order # 50110 was found, these things are really beautifully made and have remained almost perfect.
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  27. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,631

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    I polished the lenses and reassembled my turn signals, now they're shiny and look like jewelry.
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  28. janbuick
    Joined: Feb 13, 2011
    Posts: 308

    janbuick
    Member

    thats a great car for sure
    you are doing a great job keeping it original
     
  29. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,631

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    Yeah, this one's not gonna be altered unlike everything else I own. I really dislike the grille in this car too, so far it's been the most time consuming thing to restore.
     
  30. stealthcruiser
    Joined: Dec 24, 2002
    Posts: 3,748

    stealthcruiser
    Member


    Yo, Nads........

    If that does not work out for you, send me one of the bars and I'll see if, ahem, I can get them punched out for you.........

    P M iffn' interested, Brother.
     

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