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Projects Winter Project: 1957 Pontiac Starchief

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by bryan6902, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    After many starts and stops for various reasons this project has finally began to move towards the light at the end of the tunnel! I originally purchased this as a complete non-running car in the spring of 1995. Enthusiasm at first was high, but project time and project money ran short and it was put on the back burner. Fast forward to 2005, motivation increased due to impending marriage and fiance wondering exactly what I was planning for the 'junk/stuff' in the garage. So the fire was re-lit, and the rolling chassis and engine, transmission and brake work was completed./Users/bryanandjillgregory/Desktop/PB030434.JPG/Users/bryanandjillgregory/Desktop/PB030435.JPG So I was pleased with my project for the time being and stepped away for another project.......


    ATTENTION: 1st TIME LOOKING AT THIS THREAD??? ALL THE NEW/UPDATED STUFF STARTS ABOUT PAGE#9. THANKS FOR LOOKING!!!! Last updated 8-11-11
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
  2. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    Frame and engine pictures.....
     

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  3. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    Forward to 2007 and for a surprise my lovely wife, Jill and good friend Jimmy aka slim53, planned a work day for my 29th b-day, after getting me completely snookered the night before. Turn-out is good with mostly guys from our club, Scavenger's, showing up to kick my ass into gear. Get a good start on cutting out floors and welding up some patches. And then, THE QUESTION?????, from Chad, aka ringo 57: "What are ya gonna do about all that rust and those huge holes in the roof?"
    Me: "I don't know"
    Chad: "Why don't you just get a new roof?"
    Me: "I don't know, seems like a lot of work"
    Chad: "Well its gonna be a lot more work to fix all this rust"
    Me: "Various, mumbled, multiple obscenities"
    So work put on the back burner again while suitable parts are collected.
     

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  4. The Shocker
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,538

    The Shocker
    Member

    I have seen a hardtop roof replaced before it doesnt seem too difficult.If you cut it loose at the Pillars and do lots of measuring.I think a tri-5 Chevy would have the same roof as the Poncho .It seems like a hardtop with no B-post would be even easier to change.The one i saw changed turned out well.They just cut the skins off the pillars so they could weld the inner structure first ,then weld ed the skins back on.Good luck on the roof replacement ...
     

  5. Vintage Roadside
    Joined: Oct 17, 2007
    Posts: 554

    Vintage Roadside
    Member

    Great project. Thought you might enjoy seeing a press release photo for the 1957 convertible model.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    Fast forward to 2008. All parts are collected and other projects have been put on the back burner. After a couple of weeks of welding in bracing and consulting 'experts' we cut the roof off a perfectly good car. My big, little brother Kevin measured about a thousand times and then Jimmy, slim53, and I did most of the cutting....

    Its a little nerve racking when you make that last cut and you almost expect the whole body to spring a part into a million pieces on the floor. But the bracing was good and it never moved!
     

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  7. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    And then the roof was off!! We spent 5-6 hours just measuring and cutting. I was spent but wanted to finish it up that night. We ended up coming back a few days later to do the final welding. Everything matched up perfectly and worst case scenario, which had been planned for was avoided.
     

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  8. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    After the roof I moved along to replacing the floors we had cut out, patching holes and chasing rust. I moved the brake master/booster assembly to the firewall and used a universal street rod pedal set-up. The original factory heater box usually goes in this location, but I tossed it and will eventually upgrade to an under dash unit. Figured out a way to make the original pedal work and actually bent the arm over to be in the factory position.
     

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  9. The Shocker
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,538

    The Shocker
    Member

    Nice job on the roof.What did you get the donor roof from ?
     
  10. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    Here's some rust repair shots. Floor supports, inner rockers, rear window sill, spare tire well, under the rear seat.... You ever want know where these cars rust, pm me, I'll let you know!
     

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  11. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    These last few pics are from this last weekend. My brother Kevin came over and worked on patched holes in the front fenders. Jimmy, slim53, was over and was working on the passenger's side rocker panel and the hood. He had started the rocker previously and did a knock-out job getting the new one in. Jason, aka Baggs, was over and straightened out the core support, left rocker and a few random dents. Yet another kick-ass work day!
     

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  12. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    Somewhere in between I got a fresh deck lid to replace my rotten one, which was filled by Kevin. HAMB member Adam, aka Bull, and I got re-aquainted and he's be a big help with many a random task. We were actually Tech-Ed Students of the year our senior year, and it has been fun working together again and catching up after 12+ years.

    Many thanks to Kevin, Jimmy (slim53), Jason (Baggs), Chad(ringo 57), Jeff T., Travis and the Scavenger's car club for all their help and encouragement! Also to my Mom and Dad: The body is at their house where it is stored at no charge! They constantly open their house to me and my friends and usually serve a meal as well! My, wife, Jill who fans the flames and pushes me toward the finish at every turn! Thanks to Rosie the Rottweiler, project supervisor, who could go work on the car any day! Last but not least the lowly propane garage heater, without you none of this would have happened or we would all just be really cold!
     

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  13. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    Just to be absolutely honest all this work has not happened over this last winter. The roller was finished in the fall 0f 2007. The pictures of the roof job were from March of 2008. The floors mostly happened in the summer of 2008. All the rust repairs, rockers, trunk, etc.. have been completed since Labor Day 2008. Just wanted to put that out there..... It drives me nuts when people claim things that are not true! Project cars take a long time and a lot of money! I have never posted a complete retro-spective of my build and this provided an opportunity, so thanks to Ryan and Baleigh!!! I've looked at some of the other winter project posts and some of you guys have some AWESOME things going, keep up the good work!!!

    I was working today on this project and I was having a tough time figuring out what to do next, when I started I had so much to do my head would spin, progress is AWESOME!! Next is straightening the left rear quarter and then off to sandblaster!!!
     

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  14. low-lincoln
    Joined: Oct 28, 2008
    Posts: 220

    low-lincoln
    Member

    Looks like you're doing a good job. My brother has a 57 Cheiftan hardtop...they are cool cars...way cooler than a Chevy!
     
  15. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    Got the roof from a guy here in town who has more Tri-5 Chevy parts than any one I know. My car was from Texas but the roof was rotten, beach car, I think.:confused::confused::confused:

    He also had the decklid. Starchief lids are hard to find because the top part is longer than all the others, so I was happy to find that!:D
     
  16. Bull
    Joined: Mar 17, 2006
    Posts: 2,286

    Bull
    Member

    Good post, Bryan. I've had a great time making sparks and noise in the garage. Can't wait to see this car on the road! I still remember the days of high school shop class goofing around. Pretty cool that you built the engine in high school auto shop, where we got to know each other, and now it's coming back around. Just proves that cars are more than just cars. They've helped to catch up a friendship after 12 years!
     
  17. slim53
    Joined: Apr 24, 2005
    Posts: 399

    slim53
    Member

    Man, I totally missed this thread. Shouldn't be too long before it goes to the blaster and then on the frame. The car is coming along great B.

    Slim
     
  18. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,976

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    There are two identical blue '57 Star Chief 4dr HTs parked next to each other in a junkyard here in Texas. They're the same color, everything.

    Be careful sandblasting, you will get sand in places you didn't realize sand could possibly get into. Ask the guys doing it what you should do to prepare the car for sandblasting, they may have some good tips for keeping it out of places that it might blow out of while you're painting it. ;)

    Great car, '57 Pontiacs are awesome. Looking forward to more progress!
     
  19. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    You should go ahead and pm a phone # for that yard. I do need some small trim pieces etc... You pull some thing all apart over 12 years and multiple locations and some things go AWOL! I was working last night pulling off dried up undercoating and what not, and found a couple of nooks I was unaware of.

    Thanks for the good advice!
     
  20. flatoz
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,199

    flatoz
    Member

    you got a photo of the car when it was all together?
     
  21. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member


    I'll see if I can find some and scan them in. The together pictures pre-date digital cameras!:rolleyes:
     
  22. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,976

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    Sure.

    Browne & Son's Auto Salvage

    Trenton Browne, owner

    1033 Spur 511
    Sunset, TX 76270

    940-393-2469

    Good luck...
     
  23. ZZ-IRON
    Joined: Feb 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,964

    ZZ-IRON
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Hey Bryan here's my buddy's Star Chief i told you about before, finally got a photo

    got one lined up for myself it's the color of your car has a white top & arrow[​IMG]
     
  24. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    Hope none of you mind, but I think I'm gonna keep updating my winter project thread. For one it needs an update, for two it's still a project and for three, it still feels like winter around here! Ok ,here's what been going on. We finished up a couple of small spots on both rockers and front fenders. Looking at the left rocker I ended up finding another ding that needed pushing out and a couple of rust spots that needed filling. Front fenders got some love with filled trim and mirror holes. They were also soft in the corners under the headlights and the lower rear corners where they meet up with the doors. Also got the core support straightened out enough to where I can live with it.
     

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  25. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    I also had a mini work day when Baggs & slim53 came over and we worked on the left rear quarter. It had been hit there before and was pushed down and in and actually up a little bit too. It was not straight at all...So we did the old grunt and tug and got it back in shape. Also got a new driver's door. Mine had some large creases and a soft ball sized rust hole in it. Of course the door I got wasn't perfect, had to patch quite a bit on the bottom of it, but the skin itself should only need a skim coat when that time comes.
     

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  26. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    When it was super cold here I polished and relined my quarter window trim. Used a Danchuk kit and it was super easy. Great instructions and I think you can do it with the parts still in the car if you want. Hung the doors on the other day with vise grips, just for fun to see what it looked like. Had my mom come out to take a few pictures and she was really excited. I think she's also really excited to get her garage back someday! So today I'll be back at it, wrapping up a couple of spots I missed working in a not very bright garage. Got to make one more trip to French Lake for a couple of items and then it should be off to get blasted.
     

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  27. Nice work man...love them Injun's !!

    Rat
     
  28. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,461

    40StudeDude
    Member

  29. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    Okay, its been awhile since I updated this thread, but I have been working away. Mostly just getting ready to haul things to the sandblaster. I went over all the areas I had fixed a second time just to make sure I had not missed anything. Seems like sometimes you work an area for awhile and you step away with thoughts of coming back but you just forget about it. Also I had to get everything I wanted blasted in one place so I wouldn't have to make multiple runs to the sandblaster. So these first pics are everything before sandblasting, loaded up and ready to go!
     

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  30. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    So those are the before shots and these are the afters. The whole blasting thing really stressed me out between borrowing trucks and trailers and just moving it all back and forth. And the street reconstruction in front of my parents house was also a large pain. And then just hoping to avoid a horror story where things come back warped and destroyed.:( Anyways, my fears were unfounded, car did not fall off the trailer, blasting went well with very few surprises and no warped metal, thank God! The blaster turned the pressure way down and got most of the paint rust, etc. off. I kind of freaked when I first saw it because it had a reddish tone to it and I thought it had flash rusted already. Turned out to just be the spotty remains of the original primer. Its very light and comes out easily with 80 grit on the DA. Only found a couple of small spots of plastic filler on the entire body. It was on the right quarter and came out with about 5 minutes of sanding. So now I'm running over it all with the DA and prepping for etch primer and epoxy primer in the next week or so.
     

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