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59 RHD South African Queen

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  • 59 RHD South African Queen

    Hi Guys
    So here we go again, another 356 in the workshop.
    The details are 1959 356A Right Hand Drive Originally a South African car imported into the UK in approx. 1964.

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    The floors are new I would say 1980 vintage and poorly stamped and poorly installed.
    The outer longitudinals are the wrong profile and need to come off if I am going to have any chance of fitting jack mounts.
    The front hood is more like a patchwork quilt but at least its numbers matching.
    The battery box needs replacing.
    I could go on but you get the idea.

    Let the stripping commence.
    Regards
    Drew

  • #2
    That is a nice find. I guess they are still nice cars to be found. Original engine. It will be interesting to see if it's been apart.

    Drew There are based in the UK?

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    • #3
      Drew, You're beginning another 356 project in tandem with the coupster? You're a man possessed. Looking forward to seeing what you find under that old red paint.
      Justin
      Justin Rio

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      • #4
        Hi Neil
        Yes I'm based in Surrey in the UK.

        Thanks Justin I must be mad but this one will eventually get sold to fund the two other projects.

        The paint is coming off..... I took some advice from an old restorer many years ago (Tony Standen who is now unfortunately no longer with us) who said "break the jobs to do into manageable chunks, start at the front and slowly work back" so that's what I am going to do.

        Starting at the front right I have found the first surprise...

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        I think the previous 'restorer' was more familiar with aircraft judging by the rivets.

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        The good news is that he didn't try to arc weld in a new headlight surround which would have left some pretty bad heat distortion judging by his other 'welding' skills around the car.

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        The eagle eyed amongst you will have also noticed that he has used a VW headlight bucket which is shallower than the original.

        Does anyone know of a source for a correct bucket for an A as all the ones I have seen need slight modifications and unwanted holes welding up?

        More soon as we move to the front left side.
        Regards
        Drew

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        • #5
          Drew, you do like to keep yourself busy! Do you have both cars in the same garage? If I remember correctly the town didn't allow you to add another garage?
          jjgpierce@yahoo.com

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          • #6

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            • #7
              Drew,

              Historically speaking, there are a lot of old Porsches running around with VW headlight buckets...and I have installed quite a few over the years when that was all to be had. "Back in the day" we'd buy a new Beetle fender and cut the surrounding metal to form into the 356 contour and weld that in.....no overlap, no rivets....as generally the bucket rusted less than the surrounding fender. We'd, a-hem, 'recycle' the remaining bulk of that really good new fender with our other scrap and the whole thing we needed for a 356 was about $35. Now those have dried-up.

              While buckets slightly differ, the headlights are generally the same, so fitment is not a problem....so for a "flipper" I'd just be eliminating the overlap and welding the rivet holes closed instead of fighting a repro "356" bucket that was actually made for a later 911...usually a Dansk part anyway. (Taiwan on with a pint or three to ease the pain.)

              We "in the business" used to buy a new Dansk bucket itself for about $50 until the aftermarket sourcing dried up. Most didn't fit well, but looked the part, just couldn't play the part without help.

              Suddenly, after that, Porsche had as many as anyone wanted......for double and then triple the amount......with the Dansk label gone and a Porsche sticker that proclaimed "Made in Germany." Yes, we'd always mutter...."What the bloody hell?"...when we tried to make those fit the car AND the headlight.

              Stoddard shows two buckets, both for other models than a 356 and requiring work to .....well, work in a 356. http://www.stoddard.com/pcg63101521grv.html

              I have a thick steel plate with a perfect oval cut in it for sizing the buckets. I need to make the inner part for sizing the fender. Had one, lost it. Tools like that are described in the Factory Manuals as "Of local manufacture."

              Key point now is to fit the actual headlight that will occupy ANY bucket when the car is finished.

              -Bruce

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              • #8
                X2 what Bruce said about VW headlights being in 356's - "historically speaking". Jack has told me that as well - he has done the same thing. I'm sure he'd post this, but he's a bit under the weather at the moment.

                Something else I'd like to add as has been taught to me is when fitting the actual headlight to the bucket, fit the seal as well and account for paint thickness. There are different thicknesses and durometer in headlight seals and sometimes even just changing the exact same thickness of headlight seals from driver to passenger side will make a difference. Same goes for the headlight - switching them from driver to passenger or vice versa. Some parts are just happier in certain locations, when possible it's best to go with it. This effort will help in getting a nice uniform fit from the trim ring to the body.

                We had to do some rust repair on Craig's car on the driver's side headlight bucket and it involved removing the bucket to rust repair the head light opening flange on the body of the car, which meant we set the depth of the headlight bucket in the opening, clocking it and getting the correct "roundness" of the headlight bucket to match the headlight. Yes it involved tools of "local manufacture".
                trevorcgates@gmail.com
                Engine # P66909... are you out there
                Fun 356 events in SoCal = http://356club.org/

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                • #9
                  We ordered a pair of those buckets from Stoddard about a week ago for the coupster project. I'll post a detailed description once I take delivery.
                  Drew, I see that you're in need of the flanged headlight opening on that fender.
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                  If you think you can use it I can send along the original right side opening from 58367 that I cut out a few years back.
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                  It will need some work but what it does have going for it is that its a solid piece with no rust issues.

                  There's always an old funky fix lurking underneath most of these old cars isn't there...
                  Justin
                  Justin Rio

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                  • #10
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                    • #11
                      [quote="Drew.s" post=33098]


                      The eagle eyed amongst you will have also noticed that he has used a VW headlight bucket which is shallower than the original.

                      Does anyone know of a source for a correct bucket for an A as all the ones I have seen need slight modifications and unwanted holes welding up?
                      [/quote
                      That shallow bucket is likely from a '64-'67 VW bus:
                      http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1782943
                      Attached Files
                      Jack (analog man from the stone age)

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                      • #12
                        Jack, that Samba ad picture looks like a dented round version, unless it's the photo angle. Plus, it has a dent that would make me place it 'way down on a list of Drew's replacement candidates even if truly oval.

                        I still have a few undamaged 356 buckets from back when we had "parts cars." Those are retailed to in-house jobs as needed due to the painful process as described here being costly to a customer's solution any other way it's cut.

                        The usual offering of sorta-"proper"-ish new units are just a case of drilling spotwelds out of 5 tabs, 4 light unit mounting and one unit decorative filler ring mounting tab. If done from inside-out with an angle drill and the right spot weld bit, about 15-20 minutes will get that done...THEN you get to make the surrounding area ready for install of the bucket (always a roll of the dice) and fitment for the light unit simultaneously.

                        -Bruce

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                        • #13
                          Bruce,

                          So pleased mine are original and that I really looked after them. Like Drew said, its more like a community here, so many wanting to help. Long may it, or Justin actually, continue to keep it all going. Its really appreciated.

                          Roy

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                          • #14
                            Hi Guys
                            With all this talk of poor repro headlight buckets I went back to the shop and retrieved the old VW bucket from the bin, I think I can use this to save the left bucket.

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                            As you can see the left side had an original bucket but it was held in with bondo so I will need to fabricate a new mounting edge. Luckily I have just received my order of Lancaster shrinker stretchers so this will be a great test to see if I can create perfectly oval repair pieces.

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                            • #15
                              Moin Oak Master Drew,
                              That bucket looks salvage with some TLC.....and as you wrote you got your shrinker/strecher kit that needs to be tested
                              Really cool that you got "stuck" with a new bunch of RHD 356.
                              Looking forward to follow your rescue of a 356

                              / JOP
                              JOP

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