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Vintage Wrecks-Before and After

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by justpassinthru, May 26, 2013.

  1. Roger Walling
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,146

    Roger Walling
    Member

    My favorite repair was a nose clip.
    I would pay more for the used nose than the new parts would cost me but you saved many hours in instaltion time.
    The car could be in and out in a day, especialy if you got the same color nose.;)
     
  2. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,937

    pimpin paint
    Member
    from so cal

    Front hit/nose clip, not me:D I'll take a rear hit any day over a front hit! Today with FWD, onboard puters, air bag deployments, and lighter metals used, rear hits involve fewer mechanicals. Cut and splice below the sails, thru the factory seam of the floor with rosette welds inplace of factory spot welds, hang and align the deck lid and rear facebar, then sober up the painter and squirt it:D

    I'm sure some of those repaired vehicles in the photos required clipping, especially the roof repairs and roll overs, but having the parts to repair a hard hit is one thing, knowing how to use them and make them all fit and work well, that's the personification of magic/skill!
     
  3. Chevy55
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 409

    Chevy55
    Member
    from Nebraska

    Unreal skills to put some of those back together. I can see fixing the convertibles/coupes but can't imagine putting that much effort in to a 4 door!!!!!
     
  4. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,800

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    As thick and tough as the metal is in old cars like that, those had to be some hell of a licks! Those bodymen were truly artists. A modern car hit that hard would disintegrate into millions of little pieces of metal and plastic.....
     
  5. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,947

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL



    Wrecks were cheap to buy and labor wasn't very expensive. As an example, my first car, a 1950 Ford 2 Door, V8 w/3 speed, I bought t-boned for $40.00 in 1958 when I was 14 years old. Bought a good used door and left 1/4 panel, including the rocker sill all the way to to front pillar, for peanuts. Lots of labor later, I had a a good car for not much money. Most of the body guys I knew in those days bought 'totals' and rebuilt them for personal use. Totals aren't always totalled (unrepairable), as amply illustrated by the pics posted.

    The shop were I hung around (and did odd jobs for free) sold me the car and the parts and then offered to shoot the paint if/when I prepped it.
    I got it ready and one friday nite we closed jup, wet the floor down and saturday morning I unmasked my pride and joy!

    Ray
     
  6. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,937

    pimpin paint
    Member
    from so cal

    Somethin' ya gotta remember is when those vehicles were repaired, most were new or almost new! The four doors sold well when resold off used car lots, often without the new owners ever knowing that their purchase had once been written off as a ''total loss''!
     
  7. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,110

    flynbrian48
    Member

    It still works today. My daily driver is an '06 Merc Milan, bought 3 years ago for $2800. Both headlights, hood rumpled, grill, bumper cover and (plastic) core support. It only took $1300 in parts (Ford Fusion, as Merc stuff was too expensive). A couple weeks of casual repair netted me a "Millusion" that I've been driving now for 3 years, trouble free.
     
  8. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,110

    flynbrian48
    Member

    Three weeks ago, I had a mishap in the garage with my '48 Diamond T that caused almost $5500 in damage. You'd have thought it was moving 50 mph, the way the fender looked, but it was at walking speed. It was staggering the amount of damage.

     
  9. G-son
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 740

    G-son
    Member
    from Sweden

    I'd say that they rarely are unrepairable, it just doesn't make financial sense to repair a car for many times more than it is worth. Insurance companies are all about the numbers, so if repair isn't cheap enough, totaled it is.

    I worked with repairing scooters and such a few years back, had a number of insurance jobs come through the doors. Most were writeoffs without having any serious damage, once the cost for work and replacing all the scraped parts after, say, a low speed lowsider was added together it usually was half the cost of a new bike.

    Anyway... Very impressive pictures!
     
  10. rld14
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,609

    rld14
    Member

    Back when these were normal cars 4 doors were a little more expensive than 2 doors.

    A lot of those pics were of late 40s cars, back then new cars were in short supply. If a new, say, $2500 car had $1400 in damage you can bet your butt it was going to get fixed.
     
  11. MAD MIKE
    Joined: Aug 1, 2009
    Posts: 594

    MAD MIKE
    Member
    from 94577

    [​IMG]

    I have an older hard cover book kicking around that shows a lot of repairs to 50s-60s cars, haven't looked at it in years. The first half of the book is just on metallurgy and technique. It gets into fixing simple dents, dents on high crown surfaces(Bug fenders), and eventually into more complex repairs.

    One was of a ~'67 Impala hood and drivers fender that were crumpled/telescoped. Using a chain, torch, lead and porta puller, with a template to check the hood, the Imp was repaired.
    A rollover 50's something car was also shown mostly roof damage like the above image. Again porta-power, torch, and some pipe wrenches had the roof structure back in place. Using a new front and rear windows as the templates and a new roof skin it was amazing to see how the car was brought back.

    There was an addendum stating to the effect, that with newer model cars of the '70s, the techniques shown in this book may no longer apply to the higher tensile steels used in new models.

    Really interesting stuff, I'll scrounge around for the book.
     
  12. Awesome pics. Got any more?
     
  13. justpassinthru
    Joined: Jul 23, 2010
    Posts: 316

    justpassinthru
    Member

    Wow, I am suprised of all the interest in the photos. I am glad I spent the time scanning and posting them for all of you to enjoy.
    Thanks for all the responses.
    Bill
     
  14. Jebo
    Joined: Apr 24, 2007
    Posts: 141

    Jebo
    Member

    Wow! I would t think anyone survived some of thkse


    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
     
  15. Jebo
    Joined: Apr 24, 2007
    Posts: 141

    Jebo
    Member

    Wouldn't and those haha.


    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
     
  16. Roger Walling
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,146

    Roger Walling
    Member

    Hey, pimpingpaint, I'v been out of the repair bussiness for a few years,. What are FWD's, onboard puters, air bags and "light " metal? :eek:

    We only had to contend with 5/16" bolts and a few 3/8" ones. Two wrenches and a screwdriver would do it.
     
  17. QuarterLifeCrisis
    Joined: Aug 6, 2011
    Posts: 133

    QuarterLifeCrisis
    Member
    from NY

    These pics are amazing. I can't believe the roof damage and frame damage that they repaired. I'm guessing some of those must have been totaled out and resold with salvage titles as supplemental income for the shop.

    As a side note, my best friend just wrecked his brand new OT 2014 ford Taurus SHO when someone put him into a guard rail on the highway out here. The parts bill alone was $23k and the car spent five days at Ford having the computer systems programmed and synced. They can keep that shit!
     
  18. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,947

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

     
  19. DAVEG2
    Joined: Feb 27, 2010
    Posts: 332

    DAVEG2
    Member

    Those people were true masters. I wish I had half that talent.
     
  20. I'm astonished by these before and afters. Remember, no one used plastic body filler or fiberglass in those very early years of the body repair trade.
    It was good old metal work, and body solder (lead) back then.
    True artesian at work in those pics.
    Anyone got more of these pictures?
     
  21. dtracy
    Joined: May 8, 2012
    Posts: 223

    dtracy
    Member

    Those were the days and I miss them dearly. I lost all my before and after photos in a flood. Too bad. One of the big problems with repairing today's cars is liability. No one wants to be responsibile for a vehicle's "lifetime warranty repairs" when half of the junk didn't work right to begin with. And then there's the air bag thing where you repair a scratch on the hood, and the owner takes the car out and runs it into a tree and the air bags don't deploy. All of a sudden you are in court being sued for a million dollars because you worked on the car and screwed up the collision system or the computer system or whatever. Then there's the title issue where just about anything bigger than a flat tire requires a special title change. That's why you see so many new cars in the salvage yard.

    Dave.
     
  22. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,937

    LM14
    Member
    from Iowa

    I would bet these were "shop cars" and not customer cars. Bought from the insurance company/owner of the car and repaired simply for the profit of the body shop. The driver that wrecked it probably never saw it again. It gave the shop something to keep the guys busy, they rebuilt them as parts were found and didn't have to lay out a bunch of money to fix them.

    IE: buy a complete front clip (for an insurance job)to repair a minor fender bender involving the rf fender/hood and you had a spare lf fender, inner fenders, gravel shield, grill, etc. (for free) for your in shop inventory. Once you had the parts you tackled your in shop project cheaper and increased your profit since the ins company basically bought your parts earlier for the other project(s)!

    SPark
     
  23. perrysmith
    Joined: Jul 6, 2008
    Posts: 257

    perrysmith
    Member
    from Idaho, USA

    I think you could buy the entire roof panel from the factory back then.
     
  24. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,510

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yes, you could. I recall in 1962 the body shop at St. Claire Cadillac-Oldsmobile picked up two Cadillac 'roof panels' and some entire quarters for a '59 and a '61 Cad from the parts dep't. And windshields, side windows, backlights, and new convertible tops.
    Cad owners had to be the most Marque-faithful folks in the world.

    I joked with the parts mgr. that we could probably build a car from stock on hand one week...there had been a rash of 'first-rain' wrecks, and the body shop was ripping at the seams!
    There was a new '62 Olds Starfire that lost its steel 'hardtop' when it hit a horse.
    Man, the horse went over, peeled off the top,,,then went off the back.
    Driver was on the brakes, then the sliding horse slammed into the rear, pushed the bumper up to the rear axle. Front was stove-in to the cross member, a total for sure! And literal buckets of blood. All over the car...Driver got a bloody nose, no real injuries.

    Two weeks later, painter Jimmy was finishing it...same light blue, just beautiful! (a miracle)

    I was always surprised at the number of brand new rear axle housings, control arms, and other high dollar parts going through. Crate engines, too...for older models, '49 Cad, '52 Cad.

    Sometimes they'd get overhauled, (rebuilt) but the Service Mgr preferred crate engines, for warranty purposes.
     
  25. cavman
    Joined: Mar 23, 2005
    Posts: 640

    cavman
    Member

    I re-built wrecks for near 40 years starting in the mid 60's. I started with corvettes until I became allergic to fiberglass. I have a large box of before and after pics of some of the wrecks. I also drove re-built wrecks for most of that time, (never had a bad one) as did nearly all of my family. dtracy is right, with the liability involved, and the salvage title situation, it didn't make sense to continue. In my state, if something EVER happened to one of the re-built vehicles I repaired, I could, and would be held responsible. It doesn't matter if the thing has a million miles on it, or it has been used in salt mines, the factory has no obligation to warrantee it......I would have to stand behind it....forever. Sad thing is, I really enjoyed what I did, and did each one as if my wife and kids would be the drivers, 'cause they were.
     
  26. 7314haywood
    Joined: Mar 10, 2011
    Posts: 27

    7314haywood
    Member
    from phoenix

    Bill ,
    Do you have a older brother named Steve? If so we all know each other from right out of high school days with 1970 Chevelles
     
  27. Scratchbuilt
    Joined: Jul 19, 2010
    Posts: 155

    Scratchbuilt
    Member

    My buddies dad pete who is in his 70's still welds with a stick welder, he's a genius at bodywork. I'm presently under his tutelage, after seeing my project's he asked if I wanted to learn more. Who?, wouldn't jump at the chance to learn from a master bodyman.
     
  28. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,937

    pimpin paint
    Member
    from so cal

    Hey,

    I'd bet that many of those wrecks pictured also involved serious or fatal injury to their occupants! Unlike todays' vehicles that are designed with ''crush zones'' to stop or seriously slow energy from an impact being transfired to the passenger compartment, those vehicles had nothing of the kind. Seat belts, tempred glass, steering coloums that colaps and don't impale the driver,engines and transmissions that are designed to slid under the vehicle on heavy front impact( not thru the dashboard and into the passerger compartment), padded dash boards, air bags and doors, a,b & c posts and roof panels all filled with high density foam all serve to save lives in todays' vehicles:)

    I drive the hell outa old cars and love 'um, but I'm glad the one's I love or care about don't;)
     
  29. Great pictures. Thanks! I spent 30 years in collision. Most of it heavy collision. Makes me laugh when guys talk about "parts changers". I've done both modern and vintage cars. Quality collision repair takes every bit of knowledge and skill now as any time in the past. Actually much more technical knowledge than ever. I have a deep respect for true craftsmen. Past and present.
     
  30. justpassinthru
    Joined: Jul 23, 2010
    Posts: 316

    justpassinthru
    Member

    I am still going through my Dads scrapbook and scanning photos. Although these photos are not of wrecks before and after, they are of my Dads tow trucks.
    They fabricated all the tow beds in their shop.
    The whereabouts of the Chevy cabover is unknown.
    The Dodge truck whereabouts are known but it is in very bad condition.
    I have the 52 Ford F3 truck. My dad bought it new and it still has the original title.
    The old photo of the Ford is sometime in the 1950s and the color one is current.
    As I go through the photos I will post more that are interesting.
    Bill
     

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