Replicating the look
Now that all of the mechanical work was pretty much out of the way it was time to start paint and body work. Having a nice rust free body sure makes the body man happy. My old friend from way back in high school, Roger Hayes agreed to take on the task. We’ve done and seen a lot of things together so it was a pleasure to work with him closely. I’m not into body work but he taught me a lot during this project. Yes I had to do a lot of the grunt work but was more than happy to do so. Before starting we had already painted the underside of the car with satin black and painted the inside of the trunk. The hood and front fenders are from Crites. We modified the hood because Crites hoods droop in the center of the scoop and do not look original. Now onto the body.
After massaging out a few dings here and there the car was shot with self etching primer. After several coats we block sanded then primed and block sanded some more. This took place several times until he was satisfied with the finish. I chose Dupont Chroma base and Dupont’s Premier clear. The car was painted with several coats of Wimbledon White and then several coats of clear. After that we laid out the stripes and shot them in Medium Ginger Metallic. After that the stripes were also cleared. Normally the base coats would have been painted and then one layer of clear but time was against us and it wasn’t possible. We color sanded the edges where the stripes were laid out and then the entire car. After buffing the car with fine compound it looked like glass.
The car finally came home where all of the glass and trim was installed. We didn’t even scratch any paint! My wife had helped me install the headliner so that was out of the way as well. The most fun I have had during this project was doing the research, looking for all of the correct decals and having the car lettered. I spent a lot of time getting the car to look exactly like the original and am pleased with the results. The bumpers were re-chromed by Centralia Bumper and are show quality.
I had to decide which wheels I wanted to run on the car because it had steel wheels most of it’s short life and then had a set of Keystone Klassics the last year it was raced. My solution? I’d have both! I had a set of rear 15×10 steel wheels made by Wheel Vintiques and bought an original set of 15×5 427 Galaxie wheels from Charles Crites. I searched for 5 years for NOS Keystones and was able to find the 15×4 fronts in an old speed shop in New Jersey. About a year later I found the rear 15×8′s on the internet. Front tires are Moroso 7.10′s and the rears are M/T 10.5×28.