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


Restoring a Body

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

The aspect of coachbuilding which the greater majority of us have been involved in is the restoration of a body. Anybody tackling this task for the first time is usually just about to find out how easy it is to underestimate the amount of work involved, mainly because the many areas of the body requiring work will not be visible during the initial investigation.

It's not until some of the panels have been removed from the frame - the point of no return - that the true extent of the work required will be able to be assessed properly, plus of course the people who have been doing their very best to conceal the more major and costly problems.

1932 Phantom II by Gurney Nutting

The main factors you are likely to encounter will be things like loose joints, movement in door pillars and sagging doors, wood rot, rusty screws, collapsed running boards, problems created by water leaks, rusted or corroded body panels and, very often not realised, the general looseness in the body created by the waterproof glue of the time, this in itself giving rise (sometimes wrongly) to the myth that their particular coachbuilder did not glue their joints to take up movement or flex. Think back to some of your restorations, how many times have you replaced plywood panels which now resemble a pack of playing cards? Not wet rot, but moisture attacking the glue. This problem to any degree will almost certainly give rise to movement in the body and almost always causes splits in the panelwork.

There really is only one way to tackle a full body restoration and that is to strip the body, remove all the paint, then remove all of the panels. Then the problems of the wood frame can be assessed properly, and it's surprising just how far back in the frame you will have to work to effect a repair on a particular piece. Sometimes even in a partial restoration, some of the smaller sections of timber to be replaced will still necessitate removal of some of the panels because the wood frame is usually built 'upwards and outwards' with all the joints being lapped and screwed from the outside; thus, accessing the screws to remove the joints is only possible by removing the outside panel.

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

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