Sunday, December 20, 2015


Surly sent me a comment on the last post about an outfit that does auto restoration work on top end sport cars. I looked around the link he sent me and they definitely do some top notch work. My buddy Jimmy has a Jaguar XK120 that needs quite a bit of TLC. It's got a Chevy straight six with a Powerglide transmission in it rather than the correct Jaguar powerplant. It's also missing the doors. Looking at the photo above, seems they've fashioned one up. Looks pretty straight forward in the picture but I know there's a lot more to it than just rolling the outer skin and punching a few holes for the door handle. If I ever get remotely caught up on my stuff, I might tackle a pair of doors for him. I might just be good enough to pull it off.

I mentioned to Surly in the comments that I've no regrets for my career choice as a shop teacher but I do wish I could have worked with some of those master fabricators on the Champ cars. The drivers usually get the glory but it's the mechanics and the builders that make it all possible. Now the Indy/Champ dirt/sprint/midget all use carbon fiber or fiberglass for the body work. There's still plenty of work for a first class panel beater doing restoration or custom work but growing up in the 50's & 60's reading Rod & Custom, Hot Rod and all the rest, I was really impressed with the race cars and the true customs of the time. Forget the billet and the rat rods. Look at the work that was being turned out by the custom guys like Barris, Jefferies, Alexander, Roth, Starbird, Cushenberry, and all the rest. Those boys had it going on.

Life is just too short to be able to do everything you want to do, it seems. Of course sometimes talent is the limiting factor. That's why I was never a left-handed reliever but I'm hoping I've still got some time to learn a bit more metalworking, however.


Surly said...

Somewhere on that page there is a Lancia that they chopped. Same model as the one you posted. Looks like a cross between a Merc and an Edsel. It's badass.

Shop Teacher Bob said...

I saw that one on there. That's exactly the kind of thing I'd like to be able to do. Just the metal work - it's the other stuff that always gets me bogged down. Meanwhile, I'll keep plugging away at a few of things I'm tripping over here and try to improve my skills a bit as I go.