The Advantages of the Modern Coachbuilder (continued...)

Metals Used

The metals used are in the main fairly straightforward and readily available. The main group consists of aluminium, steel, brass, nickel and stainless steel including all their derivatives (lead coated steel, alloys etc.) in all their various forms, e.g. sheet, round or square bar, castings or machined sections. Generally, body panels are aluminium or steel, general bracketry, body supports, etc., are of good quality wrought iron forge-welded together, and coach fittings, locks, handles, body mouldings, etc., from cast or machined steel, brass, nickel and aluminium.

Samson Brass Radiator Grille

Body panels to early cars, if they are of aluminium, will most probably be made from pure aluminium which was a lot softer than the 1040a half-hard bending quality that would be used today. Pure ali is more susceptible to corrosion, as many of us will probably know to our cost. Steel body panels, however, will almost certainly be black iron, which is no more than sheet wrought iron, an extremely malleable steel and instantly recognisable by its thin black scale. This black scale can be useful in helping to determine a body's heritage, as this scale is nearly always removed by sanding the bare metal when the paint layers have been removed for repainting. Later steel panels will usually be bending quality sheet mild steel, CR4 or equivalent.

Solid nickel is a most delightful material to use, and generally only available in limited sheet form and bar stock. Its great quality is the sheer lushness and patina of finish of such items as body fittings, bonnet hinges, running board furniture, and the like as they adorn a body, especially if fitted onto polished woodwork.

Materials & Methods
Metals Used
Restoring a Body
Building a Body
Hood Frame
The Advantages...

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