Well where do we start?!
What started out as a workshop project a little over a year ago for a customer, turned the ugly duckling of a paris convertible which
resembled a sieve into what you see now.
Originally,the customer wanted something very different to what you see here, but when he
ran out of money, enthusiasm and the lack of a driving licence, we bought what was left off him and did our own thing….
Starting from day 1, the shell was stripped, body split from pan and anything that was
too far gone or just too damn ugly was rehomed in the skip.. so that left just
the body and what remained of the pan….. which to be honest wasn’t much!
Literally the whole interior, roof, tank, wings, brakes, electrics and engine
were all scrap!
First to be shown some “love” was the pan. This was painstakingly stripped, cut and fettled. New ally halves were constructed by hand with new strengthening beams and framework throughout. The customers intention was to always build it as a rod, but apart from a couple of magazine pics and a few chats over a cup of tea it was pretty much left in our hands.
Next up was a new Bay Area Rods beam extension which after a bit of head scratching and some more “love” eventually fitted! The original beam was then replaced and later swapped for a 4” narrowed item when one arose.
A replacement gearbox was sought and after brand new brakes were fitted all roundthen pan was nearly finished, and rolling…
At this point, the enthusiasm and money had run out and we took the project on for ourselves. It was never going to be built as a show car, it was always intended to be a bit of fun and to build something very different from the “norm”, so for a while it sat in the corner of the shop whilst we continued working on other projects… Every now and then we’d sit down with a brew and stare at it, deciding its fate… Everyone liked the minimalistic approach of early hot rods and the style of 50’s salt flat racers.. and that’s what we tried to recreate, with a little extra flair thrown in here and there!
So the body was attacked!
First off, the windscreen was scrapped, and replaced with…erm… nothing! No windscreen = no need for washers or wipers. The body was smoothed and tidied between other jobs. Next the long bonnet was attached and new front end constructed by hand to accommodate the new length but still retain the “early” look.
Inner wings were extended to match and the filler cap removed and smoothed to give it at cleaner lines… Looking under the bonnet, you wont find a fuel tank, its moved and replaced with something a little more individual!
We didn’t see the need for doors anymore, so these were cut, shaped and welded closed to allow for smoother lines and the obligatory Dukes of Hazzard entry/exit! With the addition of the W decklid, the rough draft of the exterior was complete and once reunited with the new pan we could see where we were going.
As a bit of fun, we decided that minimalistic was definitely the way forward, a summer time posing vehicle, something that would definitely get you noticed. We approached out friendly MOT man to give us the guidelines on exactly what we’d need to get an MOT and it works out that its not a lot!!! So the lights were ditched!
When we put in the new custom wiring loom we’ve put the wiring in place should anyone ever
want to put lights on it, but who wants to drive something with no roof or
screen in the dark anyway?!
With all this done, it was time for a few coats of paint. A Mercedes silver was chosen and applied and looks great in the sun!
Next to be tackled was the interior… remember minimalistic and hot rod themed? You got it!
Custom ally seats we’re made inhouse and the interior completely tubbed with ally, a new custom/retro dashboard was grafted in (10 points for whoever can spot where it came from!) and completed with a custom ally steering wheel with a clock mounted in the centre… The ally theme continues under the bonnet where you’ll now find the air tank!
With the car so low, it was going to be impossible to get the car out of the workshop, so air-ride shocks were fitted front and rear which can be adjusted from the cockpit and the tank charged from a compressor. There’s enough room to hide a compressor in the front should anyone wish to, or its 30 seconds from the one in the workshop… this allows for 3 or 4 full lifts… enough for us!
With all this done, attention was turned to the steering firstly, it needed to be smooth and precise so a new Ford steering rack was custom mounted and makes a hell of a difference.
Lastly was the engine… only one way to go with this theme.. 1641 and LOUD!!
The engine was gone through and new custom pipes made and wrapped and fan shroud “retrimmed” to match the interior theme.. take a look!!
Wheel wise, skinny upfront on standard beetle rims and fat out back on Porsche Cookie Cutters on badass buggy tyres.
Now, I’m sure there’s a million things I’ve missed out, and everytime you look at the car you notice something else, so just to recap….
From the front….
4” Narrowed beam on air shocks
Inner wing extension and custom front panel
New Brakes all round including pipes
Ford Steering rack.
Ally trimming under bonnet housing an Air Tank
New Ally floor pans and strengthening bars throughout
Custom dash housing Air ride controls
Custom Ally seats, gear knob and tubbing
Smoothed body, without doors or windscreen
Fuel tank behind rear seat
Custom wiring loom
W Decklid held on with custom wing nuts
1641 engine with custom fan shroud
Custom pipes wrapped in heat shroud
Custom number plate holder
Std front wheels, Porsche Cookie Cutter rears
1 key fits all!!!!
Well that’s about it! Now fully MOT’d and running, come and have a proper look round if you see it anywhere…