the start of the project, the paint job was clearly inexpensive and hastily applied, but the car looked basically straight and together and a good candidate for refurbishment. Here the body gets prepped for lifting.
Some video prior to the body lift
With the body removed it was time to see what we had. It was pretty mucky and showing signs of some reasonably severe corrosion, considering the cars age I guess it is entitled to a couple of holes...
After the body is removed the chassis is given a hard steam clean and then all the suspension and drivetrain components are removed. Next job is to burn out all the suspension bushes, strip the trailing arms etc and get everything ready for sandblasting
The chassis and all ancillaries back from sandblasting. Once all the sand is blown out, everything is given two coats of primer and 2 satin black topcoat.
Whilst the chassis was away at the blasters we spent a bit of time on the body. Once the exterior paint was stripped we prepped the engine bay for paint and did a few small repairs to the inner wings.
Once the chassis came back to us, the next stage was to cut out the bad metal out and let in new repair sections. Looks like new again.
Once the repairs were finished the chassis was resprayed in satin black, along with all its components. The new suspension bushes were installed, trailing arms were rebuilt with new bearings and bushes, and we also fitted a later set of front hubs to convert this 63 to disc brakes at the front. At the same time we converted this one to power steering, both of these will make a massive difference to the driving experience of this car.
And back on its wheels once again. It always starts to feel like the homeward stretch now even though we are a long way from completion.
John wanted the engine to look a bit more stock, it had been modified in the past with an aftermarket intake and carburettor. We sourced and rebuilt a correct Carter AFB, and the correct intake manifold, fuel pump and lines, the engine was given a coat of orange and the manifolds blasted and dressed, correct distributor and leads installed. Starting to look like it should again.
The engine bay was given the satin black treatment and new a arm flaps installed. The new aluminium radiator with electric fan was fitted along with an auto switch. You can also see the new radiator expansion tank and the power brake conversion.
With that part of the job complete, the chassis was wax oiled inside and out and the engine and transmission installed, then the body was refitted. The panel gaps were all pretty good on this car and it was deemed an unnecessary expense to spend a huge amount of time improving them. The headlight internals were rebuilt and the housings bead blasted to remove the old paint that had hit everything inside them.
There were lots of smaller body repairs to take care of and as is often the way, these took longer than expected. This is the car just about to get loaded onto the transporter to go to the paint shop. Exciting stuff!
And here it is looking sharp, back in its original Silver Blue metallic.
Starting to take shape now. This is the time when all the previous hard and messy work starts to pay off and this once tired old girl starts to look brand new again.
The iconic 1963 only hood grilles fitted.
New carpets getting installed, no mean feat on a 63....
We stripped the instrument binnacle and redid the black and silver finish, thats easier said than done! This shows the refurbished Dash installed, along with the repainted speaker grille and the lovely 1963 only acrylic glovebox door.
We're pretty much there now, just a few more small jobs to do.
The finished engine compartment. I love really clean engine compartments and it is one of the areas that seems to get ignored by a lot of people. Now isn't that just lovely!
The interior showing the refurbished dash and new carpets. The shift console is a later replacement that we refinished in the interior colour. Seats and door panels were cleaned and reinstalled. Seatbelts were redone with new webbing and buckles. Not a bad place to sit is it!
And we're done! The car looked lovely at the end of this, the colour combination is to die for, and with the power steering and power brake/disc brake conversion the car drove superbly. The only thing lacking is a 5 speed transmission, maybe next year eh John???