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What is This Coating on the Roof of My A Coupe?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Tommy R, May 27, 2010.

  1. Tommy R
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 717

    Tommy R
    Member

    Hey y'all,

    Last weekend I finally picked up a '30 Model A coupe to start a lifelong dream of building my hot rod. Overall the body is in quite solid shape, but there's a film of something peeling from the roof that I can't identify so I've come to the HAMB seeking your collective experience! It only seems to be on the top of the roof and no where else from what I can tell.

    Here you can see some of what I'm talking about. It's about 3-4" from the center opening all the way around the top.
    [​IMG]

    And some close up shots.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I don't have a ton of experience with bondo, but this stuff is still somewhat flexible so I don't think it's bondo. In addition, there are no dents visible from the inside that someone would cover up with bondo. It seems like it's some sort of tar or insulation coating that was applied to the sheetmetal and later painted. I've searched to see if I could identify this stuff, but haven't found anything on it. Hopefully, I'm not resurrecting an old topic that's been covered to death. :)

    Anyway, it seems to peel off relatively easily so I'm thinking of scraping it all off or having it media blasted. But I'd like to know what this stuff is.

    Thanks!
    Tommy
     
  2. 283john
    Joined: Nov 17, 2008
    Posts: 822

    283john
    Member

    Prob the same stuff people use on mobile homes and camper roofs.
     
  3. fleetside66
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,670

    fleetside66
    Member

    Whatever it is, just wear a respirator when you remove it (or wet it down..or both), just in case it has asbestos mixed in with it.
     
  4. Arthur1958
    Joined: Jun 29, 2009
    Posts: 230

    Arthur1958
    Member

    It looks like roofing tar. Back when these were just used cars, people did all kinds of things to make the tops waterproof. All of my Model As have had some kind of homemade roof repair when I got them.
     

  5. Tommy R
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 717

    Tommy R
    Member

    Thanks for the input, y'all. And fleetside, thanks for the respirator recommendation! I've got one and will use it.

    So it looks like this was just something put on the roof to help it seal...or something. That would make sense since it's only on the top of the roof and not anywhere else. I'm hoping to get the car media blasted one day soon so hopefully removing it won't reveal any bad surprises. Time will tell, I suppose...

    Tommy
     
  6. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Roofing tar. Useta was all the closed Model A's you'd see chugging around had some combination of galvanized roofing tin and roofing tar up top over the top filler.
     
  7. Tommy R
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 717

    Tommy R
    Member

    Bruce,

    That's funny. I was just telling a co-worker that it seems as though something was installed over the roof and this "sealer" was slathered on it....possibly decades ago. That would explain why it follows the roof opening outline so well (from when it was removed). So what you're saying makes perfect sense and I could certainly see that being the cause here.

    I'm actually a bit relieved. I wasn't sure what it was at first, but am glad it's not bondo!

    Tommy
     
  8. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,015

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Was the hole filled with a steel panel? If so, I'd say that stuff IS bondo. An old version called Blackjack that was colored.......wait for it......black. Not the usual pink. Circa 1960.
     
  9. HomemadeHardtop57
    Joined: Nov 15, 2007
    Posts: 4,240

    HomemadeHardtop57
    Member

  10. ken1939
    Joined: Jul 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,558

    ken1939

    LMAO, I am use to seeing barn paint on these, this will be my second Tar Car!

    Was speaking with Dick Mofffitt in Sprinfield at his shop two weeks ago, and he shows me his 31 Chevy 5 passenger he picked up. The car was straight, had very faded paint, he just planned to da it and drive it as is, however, lol, he showed me the top. Looked just like yours, accept it was complete and no holes or cracks.

    The best part of that was, that kept all the wood in the car perfect :rolleyes:

    His is so thick, it may take a lifetime to get it all off!
     
  11. Tommy R
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 717

    Tommy R
    Member

    I really don't know. What you see is all I've seen and I don't have any history of the car, unfortunately. Would old bondo remain pliable after all these years? This stuff is definitely flexible.

    Man, I hope I don't have that kind of trouble with mine! :) I think it'll scrap off without too much hassle in my case, but I'll know soon. I don't know how hard it would be to media blast this stuff off so I'll try scraping first.
     

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