Micky T's '32 roadster.
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  1. #1
    Official RnS Addict Fox & Hounds's Avatar
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    Micky T's '32 roadster.

    I've had the '32 for what must be going on 10yrs now, and up until the last two where it's been off the road I've loved every second of it, there's just something different about hotrodding with no roof, those that run an open-top will know what I mean. So after thousands of miles the ol' girls starting to look a bit rough round the edges, so a full rebuild was the order of the day... or so I thought!
    I started to pull the '32 apart, and that's about as far as it got, what seemed like 5 mins later I decided to shelve it for a while, a certain '57 Chevy took over my spare time, a long, long dream of owning a 'Roarin' Rat' lookalike was full filled, and the cars now sold... so back to the roadster! I'd been buying parts for the car over the last two years or more, I wanted to get most of the parts I needed so when I started again there should be no hold ups hopefully.
    I bought the car out of the CC adds from a chap called Peter Stevens, he was a main figure at British Leyland and had a small collection of cars but had decided for some reason to sell on the '32, I paid him his £3000, ( I know, more or less pinched it!), fired the old girl up and started the long trek home, it never made it, boiling up and all sorts of problems, so the RAC were called and we got home eventually.
    Here's a pic of just bought...

    The Russ Carpenter built 2.5L Daimler V8 was about shot, I paid fortunes for things like plugs, points, condenser etc, tried to fit a modified manifold with a 390cfm Holley which was in the boot, but all to no avail really, I smoked it about locally but wanted something a bit quicker, a bit more reliable, so the hunt for a SBC was in order, A pal Eddie (Andromeda) Brown gave me what turned out to be a brilliant little 305ci motor, endless miles on that engine and never missed a beat, that was until I forgot to check the anti-freeze and the block froze and cracked in two places; what a prick! I bought another motor, this time a 350ci with 4-bolt mains and fully rebuilt, it was placed in the garage while I was ready to make a start again on the car.
    Back in the day, well Jan '82 actually, the roadster was an old show car and featured in many a magazine both here in the UK and Europe, '82 though was the year that Custom Car decided a front cover and full feature was to be done, this was good as I've got the mag and it gives me a lot of reference to look at when I get round to starting on it again.
    Jan '82, CC feature...




    I've run it in about as many different guises as I can manage with the things I collected over the years, bonnet top on/off, red/red n flames, steelies/slots/5-spokes, I've had fawn/black interiors, changed it as much as I could, I've now run out of stuff and ideas.
    I even hand-made a flamed bonnet for it, I saw plenty in the States and loved 'em, didn't go down to well over here for some reason, good job I build my cars for me and not everybody else, here it is on the road coming back from Billing one year, me and my son Nicky, just lovin' it!...


    So I'm at the stage where the '57's gone, there's now the space in the garage I've been desperate for, and a good wedge in the bank to spend on the parts and bits an bobs I need to finish it.
    The weekend after the '57 had been collected I was in the garage, I couldn't wait to make a start... so here we go, no race to finish, just steady away and it's done when it's done asap. My idea this time is to try and restore it back to it's original '82 feature, thing is though with having already swapped out the Daimler for the Chevrolet I couldn't make it totally authentic to the feature, so a bit of 'artistic license' is in order, it will be recognisable to the feature but with a 'Micky T' twist, I don't like the idea of having to stick with something without installing a bit of yourself in it, the car reflects you right?

    I bought some wheel dollies to sit the car in, makes it real easy to maneuver it about, got it in a workable position and first thing was to fit the wheels I'm gonna run on it. I managed to get hold of a pair of 4" x 15" polished Fentons, which are the same as the car had when first built, but the rears were going to be different, originally they were 8" x 15" slots with 60 series General Grabber tyres, this time round I'm gonna use my absolute favorite combination, an 11" x 15" American Racing slot with a Pro-Trac N50 tyre, and it's got to have the bit of tyre stuck out from the bodywork... oh yes"!


    I also found a magazine when the car was silver and owned by the '34 Corner/Rodline man himself Chris Boyle, in these pics the rear fenders are shortened, but with a curved edge rather than the 'bobbed' look, so I cut some fiberglass and matted in pieces to bring the edges down, it looks rough now but don't worry, it'll be fine when it's all smoothed out.
    Just the right amount of tyre sticking out in my opinion...


    Here you'll see the difference between the two, gives more bodywork to the rear when painted, should look alot fuller from behind. I've piled on the fiberglass matt and resin so there's plenty to rub down, then add some underneath and it will never crack.


    After that I refitted the radiator, I had to do this as the grill shell bolts to it and wanted a trial fit with the hood.
    I bought an original '32 4-piece hood from a guy who said it was to nice to cut up; guess what? It needs trimming here and there and a piece adding to it, but hey it's only 80 odd years old, not as though it's new is it!


    Luckily it's the same amount both sides so all will look equal when finished, remember it's an old Geoff Jago body from the 70's, so it's lucky to resemble a '32 Ford roadster at all!

    I'm gonna have a full day on that, so I'm leaving it for now and fill the rest of the day with hopefully the screen and roof.

    I'd bought from 'Geordie Paul' at Duksville, a pair of new windscreen posts and a screen surround, this turned out to be a nightmare to fit as I found out when I had a go at it before. I found out that the Jago '32 roadsters were actually moulded from a '32 cabriolet, the 'cab' being 1" wider than the roadster. I tried and tried to fit the screen posts, making numerous holes in the cowl, but no they wouldn't fit, even after making my cowl section look like a culender, not to worry I love working with fibreglass. I gave the surround to my pal Steve Lang, who duely widened it by said 1", I collected it off him months ago and never got round to doing anything to it, so out of the box and had a go, it went straight in no problem, all gaps are perfect and the screen rubber just tightens onto the cowl as it should to stop rain coming in.


    With that job done it was onto the roof, again from Duksville I purchased a 'Kwikfit, Easy-Up roof assembly, it said on the instructions with limited tools and knowledge you should have this fitted in a couple of hours; you know what? They were right!
    You fix together the hinge sides and then attach the roof curves and cut the cross pieces to length and done, it really is that easy.


    All the pieces are colour coded, it's like a jig-saw really, just follow the rules and it's done.


    The roof frame locates on top of the screen posts, this is the time when you find if everything is lined up correctly, the wooden top bow is then measured for center and screwed in place.


    Now believe it or not, there's forums out there that discuss the ideal shape of a roadster roof, so I had a look in, wrote down their description and laid a wide piece of tape over the framework and stood back to take a look.

    According to the 'manual', it should have a slight rise from the screen to the first roof bow, mine does, it should then have a drop down to the second bow that's less than from the screen, mine does, from there it should angle down to the bodywork but not straight up, again, mine does! Honestly, pages and pages of people discussing the rights and wrongs of roadster roof shapes, apparently mine fits the bill ok. I tried it for size obviously, and I'm in with plenty of head room, fits a treat.


    So all in all a good day, my old roadster is taking shape, it's gonna be well different from before, a nice mixture of a restoration and my ideas with slight changes.
    Fingers crossed it won't be to long before you see this in your rear view mirror.


    I'm off in the garage now for a full day hopefully on the hood, see if I can get that looking something like.
    Over the years I've had numerous cars and a few at the same time which is wrong to me, you can't drive more than one at once, but you know when you get that feeling for a car and it feels just sooo right, well my roadster is that car, it feels just so right to be working on it again and full of enthusiasm for it, knowing that I'll be out and about in it again pretty soon, right, I'm off!

    Back soon,
    Micky T. 8-)
    Mantener a tus amigos cerca ya tus enemigos más cerca. Cuidado con los Stabbers de vuelta!
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  3. #2
    Official RnS Addict Fox & Hounds's Avatar
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    I'm in the garage just getting ready to make a start and my mate Shane calls in; Nice timing mate", I got the hood in place and made a few marks and measurements and got out the grinder with a 1mm cutting blade, carefully trimmed off the surplus until it fit the opening.


    Once in I marked the bodywork and started to sand down the areas marked to give a bit of 'opening' clearance. Good job Shane was there as the hood was taken off numerous times to trial fit and more sanding/grinding.


    Made a center mark and had to keep checking it lined up, really I need the cowl and grill brackets that will hold it in place, Drayton Manor next weekend, fingers crossed I'll get some there.


    So after a few hours the 4-piece hood is looking pretty good, gonna leave it for now until I get those brackets, then I can fix it permanently and final fit all the gaps.


    I'm really happy with the way it's looking, should look mint when it's all done, definitely changes the whole appearance of the car from last time it was out.


    So until Drayton and getting the brackets I need, I'm gonna continue with the rear fenders, lots of fiberglass and filler dust, rate looking forward to that!..... Not!

    Cheers,
    Micky T.
    Mantener a tus amigos cerca ya tus enemigos más cerca. Cuidado con los Stabbers de vuelta!
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  4. #3
    Official RnS Addict Fox & Hounds's Avatar
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    Got to get the brackets to secure the hinge so it doesn't move about while working on it, get the body gaps right and then cut and extend the bottom of the hood to meet up with the chassis rails. Plenty to get on with till then, big bonus is having most of the parts bought already so there's not much down time in between jobs.

    Thanks for the helping hand Shane,
    Cheers,
    Micky T.
    Mantener a tus amigos cerca ya tus enemigos más cerca. Cuidado con los Stabbers de vuelta!
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  6. #4
    Official RnS Addict Fox & Hounds's Avatar
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    Not much done today, gardening day unfortunately, but managed some sanding to the bodywork and shaped the drivers side rear fender, every little counts! Don't wanna set any deadline dates but can't help it, Drayton Manor or Billing next year would be nice?
    Best bit of the build for me is gonna be the chroming, I'm gonna have it dripping in it!!

    Micky T.
    Mantener a tus amigos cerca ya tus enemigos más cerca. Cuidado con los Stabbers de vuelta!
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  7. #5
    Official RnS Addict Fox & Hounds's Avatar
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    So I've now got the drivers door looking something like, I remember from years ago someone told me when doing door gaps that as long as they weren't to big they would be ok as long as they were equal, I think I've got it?


    Also got the drivers side rear fender pretty good as well, I found an old pic of when Chris Boyle had the car is about '83 and it had unbobbed rear fenders which I liked alot better, I've extended them down to where I like them and added a swage line all the way round to match the body swage line.


    All the way round to meet up with the body line running at the bottom of the cab.


    I've got the gap between the tyre edge and the fender equal as well, some might say it's to big at 2 3/4" but I like it that way, old skool!


    So I started at the drivers screen pillar and working my round the car, drivers door and rear fender done to a point where it needs a filler/primer spraying on to get it mint, that will have to wait while I get my compressor and spray guns etc from my other garage, but so far all's going well.


    I've gapped the bootlid and rubbed all the surrounding areas down ready for primer, so then moved onto the passenger side where the work starts off all over again!
    I cut a cardboard template and taped it on the front...


    same to the rear and it's out with the glass matting once more!!!


    I won some old Mini locks and handle actuators off ebay, so when they come I'm gonna fit 'em which will be better as it will allow me to have an internal handle to open the door more like a modern car, awaiting all the hood parts along with the boot latch/handle from Steve Lang, and need some more matting/resin, but there's still plenty to be getting on with.

    I had a good conversation with Chris (hotrod trimmer on Rods n Sods), who is going to do the interior/roof for me, he emailed a few pics of his work, boy is he good! I've kinda picked these two, no doubt I'll change my mind along the way, but this will do for now, he's got a 5 month waiting list so there's loads of time to decide.
    This style only in bright red.


    The roof's going to be in black Mohair, similar to this.


    And definitely having some side screens in it, so when it's raining the sides are on, the heater turned up full and I'll be a happy rodder!


    So that's it for now, there's quite a bit of stuff landing this week so I can crack on again when it arrives and hopefully keep up the pace.
    Can't wait to see it done and driving the old hotrod again.

    Cheers,
    Micky T. 8-)
    Mantener a tus amigos cerca ya tus enemigos más cerca. Cuidado con los Stabbers de vuelta!
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  8. #6
    Official RnS Addict Fox & Hounds's Avatar
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    I fancy the car in the brightest red I can find, with some pin-striping on the grill shell, dash and boot lid, red tuck n roll interior with red carpets/black piping and black mohair roof. Gonna chrome the front and rear suspension, already got the polished/chrome dress up bits for the sbc and the polished billet coloum, reckon it should look ok by the time it's done. Having the money from the sale of the '57 on stand-bye helps a lot!!!

    Thanks for the comments,
    Micky T.
    Last edited by Fox & Hounds; 12-11-2013 at 20:16.
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  9. #7
    Official RnS Addict Fox & Hounds's Avatar
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    So coming back down to earth and realising I'm a fair way off paint and interior, it's back to the dirty jobs of fiberglass and filler dust. Moving on from the cardboard templates added to the front and rear of the passenger side rear fender I added some fiberglass to get a rough shape of what I wanted.


    The second one is always the hardest obviously because you've got to match it up to the opposite side, don't think it's to far out? It'll be the same when I've finished.


    This is all I use to make the bodyline along the bottom of the fenders. A piece of ply with the size of the body moulding cut out, you hold the bottom line up to the underside of the wing, the upright goes tight up to the side of the panel, and slowly drag it along through the filler to leave the desired shape, it's easy really but with I think a good effect, taking care to clean it up after every use.


    Then it was onto the passenger door while the glass is drying, luckily the gaps were more or less ok and the door lined up as well, so a good sand down later and smother it in primer.


    I'd got a boot latch from Steve Lang, obviously it just screws in place on an original '32, mine being an early 70's Jago body it wasn't gonna be that easy. I got a block of hardwood, cut, filed and rebated it so the lock would fit in it, drilled a hole for the handle spindle, screwed it to the block and then 'Gorilla Glued' it to the bootlid. I don't know if you've used that stuff or even heard of it, but it's brilliant, it dries like concrete when it goes off, but beware, don't get any on your hands, it's a bitch to get off, specially when you've got no thinners in the garage.


    Found a spare windscreen wing nut the same thread and hey presto, proper job!


    Everything's got to be sanded and filled neatly yet but that's when everything's done and I can do it all at once. So with the handle in place you then need a striker plate to keep it shut and lock, again being fiberglass it's not that straight forward.
    I got a flat ally plate and roughly put it in position, marked the latch with a felt tip and drilled a slot in it.


    Cut some wooden blocks and again screwed and glued it in place, both from inside and actually through the bodywork, no way I want that moving when continuously opening and shutting the bootlid, especially if you slam it, again, it'll be all cleaned up and made look better later, let's get it all working properly first.


    Fastened the boot handle in place and went for a trial fit, fits perfect! Not a rattle or anything, and I feel ok that it'll be solid should anyone try to get into it.
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  10. #8
    Official RnS Addict Fox & Hounds's Avatar
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    Got back from Billing absolutely knackered, left the unloading of the van till Monday and then had a couple of hours in the garage, working on the theory that if only a little is done it's better than nothing at all!
    So I've cut the 4mm ply and made a door-card and fitted the handles I got at Billing to them. Then decided to have a go at fitting the hood a bit more accurately, I fitted the hood brackets to the cowl and grill, split the hood to make it more manageable, trimmed a bit and it was on. I'm gonna fit the top bits first, get them spot on and then concentrate on the sides later. The grill fitting is a bolt through the fibreglass, where as the rear is just screwed into the plywood bulkhead, should be ok though.


    The polished stainless grill spoon was a bit, well scary to fit actually, the instructions said to offer it up, cover it in a rag to hold in the vice and whack it with a big rubber mallet to shape it to your grill, remembering it's a 'So-Cal' item which ain't cheap, I whacked it with said hammer, it did work out ok but boy was it scary hitting it, anyway it's on.
    I trial fitted the polished spear to the cowl to see what it's gonna look like, it's a stick fit so will be done when painted, all in all I reckon it looks fairly good, especially when 'Pop Browns' sends me the new polished center hinge, apparently a Pop one does the job just fine apart from 3/4" to long.


    Plenty still to do on the hood alone, but still enjoying every second of it!
    See you next time,
    Micky T.
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  11. #9
    Official RnS Addict MOPAR's Avatar
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    Awesome mick, you have done a lot in a day!! (according to the post times!) it eally is looking like it was already, those rear tyres sticking out remind me of a certain old camaro.......
    Last edited by MOPAR; 12-11-2013 at 20:25.
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  12. #10
    Official RnS Addict Fox & Hounds's Avatar
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    Not been on the car for a while mate due to unforseen circumstances, so I thought by bringing my '32 diary upto date it might spur me on to get back in there and finish the thing!

    Cheers,
    Micky T.
    Last edited by Fox & Hounds; 12-11-2013 at 20:30.
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