The first, and I mean the FIRST guy who asks if this is “…one of those kit-cars…” is going to get one of these bronze windshield posts shoved right up his arse. Up until yesterday, I had the posts and windshield frame just loosely bolted on, and no hinge bushings in the posts, and it looked reasonably OK.
Until I tightened things down a little.
Then everything was all kinds of off. The left had post stood up several degrees more vertical than the passenger side, and didn’t lay right against the cowl. The windshield bound in the pivots with the bushings in, and the pivot stud would barely go through its hole in the (apparently twisted) left side post.
It was awful.
I ended up spending the afternoon getting these reproduction posts to fit the cowl of the who-knows-how-old, unknown maker fiberglass body, and accept the original, but chopped two inches, windshield frame. Some (OK, a LOT) of “finessing” with a 4″ angle grinder on the bottom of the post flange, a little work with a hole saw to allow the mounting bolt some wiggle room, some time clamped in the vise with some precision re-shaping with a big Crescent wrench, and “Ding-Ding-Ding”, we have a winner.
That was after I made new brackets on the cowl brace to move the steering column two inches to the left and down a half an inch because the wheel was in the wrong place, and the brake pedal hit it.
This car has been a series of challenges to make things fit properly. I started with the doors. Broken hinges. Poorly mounted latch hardware. Nowhere near enough bracing. Turnbuckles to twist the doors into submission. Shimming the body on the frame for gaps. Remounting and aligning the rumble lid hinges. Filling and finessing the fit of the rumble lid to the body and tulip panel. Making cowl to frame mounts (a vital part of old Ford body alignment that this car never had). Getting the Rootlieb hood to fit the Argentine reproduction grill shell, and then getting the hood to fit the cowl AND the grill shell at the same time. The splash aprons, which are still going to need a bunch of Mar-Glas and ‘glass mat and resin to fit properly.
And that’s just the body. I built the frame too, not having ever dealt with a buggy sprung Ford chassis before.
It’s been humbling, but fun, and great therapy. I’m actually a little sorry to have it close to paint and being done. Except for doing the interior, and a new top, and trimming the trunk, and the exhaust, and…