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59 RHD South African Queen

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  • Well done Drew, I have a feeling that hood and nose section will look just great when you have finished it. !
    Nothing is easy though, its stands out in front of your face that nose section and hood !

    Roy

    Comment


    • Hi Guys
      Sorry for the radio silence but the virus and a little lockdown project got in the way of moving forward with this 59 356A (actually I hit several problems with the nose/hood fit and moved onto something a bit smaller and more fun).
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      Another lockdown project that I had been putting off for years was putting double doors into the back of my workshop so that I could move vehicles and large parts around.
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      Sometimes it’s good to leave a problem for a while and then come at it from a different angle and renewed enthusiasm.
      Neither hoods were fitting and after countless rounds of fitting, adjusting and re-fitting I returned to the first hood and cut out the front rusted through stamping.
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      With this out of the way I could flex the nose of the hood just enough to get it all to line up ‘eureka’ time to start tacking.
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      Thanks for stopping by.
      Regards
      Drew

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      • JTR70
        JTR70 commented
        Editing a comment
        You're like me, way too many irons in the fire!

    • Yep, that's looking nearly finished Drew.
      Just a bit of laquer and its all done........
      Its always good seeing the great work that goes on in peoples garages.
      I think I need to put an extension on the back of my garage and knock out the back like you. Or just have a good tidy up.

      Karl

      Comment


      • Well done Drew it will look great when finished! My chassis 106954 is so near yours. Mine was registered over here in May 59. My brother had a Messerschmitt Cabin Roller did a fair bit of work with him on it years ago.

        Roy

        Comment


        • Hi Guys
          I'M BACK!!!!!
          Sorry it's been over a year since I last updated this thread but Justin's new site update didn't agree with my old Mac so Santa has brought me a new computer and I can now share with you all a years worth of 356 Restoration (hold onto your hats there's a lot to get through).

          To kick off here is an update that I was going to post last Christmas.......

          Thanks Karl and Roy.

          OK here is the post vaccination update from Surrey, UK. (2020)

          This pandemic has made me re-evaluate some of my life priorities and having multiple projects lying all over the place was getting me down so something had to go.

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          The South African Queen (on the left) has had many, many hours invested in it and will eventually get finished and sold. The LHD body shell (on the right) will become my final project so that one had to stay, so that left 10 KPE (the on in the middle) I was never going to get around to this one so she had to go.

          It’s a 1959 RHD 356A super coupe, original UK AFN delivery car with original rebuilt super engine, so quite rare. I spent a few weeks digging out all the parts that I had hidden away over the years and set about finding her a new home.

          The first person to see her paid almost my full asking price and will give her all the TLC that she deserves.

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          So then there was two, a much more manageable figure.

          Hopefully 2021 with see renewed enthusiasm for finishing The African Queen.

          Till then, stay safe and keep welding everyone.

          Drew
          Last edited by Drew.s; 12-27-2021, 12:14 PM.

          Comment


          • OK so here's the next update from back in early 2021.
            I needed something to kick start the final push on the 'South African Queen' so I decided to put the bumpers in the 'Done' pile, I know this seems a bit strange when the body needed so much work but I needed a psychological lift with all this Covid still hanging around.
            The original bumpers were in a bad way and with no attachment points on the 'Queen' I used the 'LHD 58 body shell' as a jig to get the correct shape.

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            After a load of welding, cutting, bending and more welding, the bumpers were ready for a coat of Ruby Red.
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            It's funny how a diversion like this can get you in the mood to finish the rest of the car.
            Next up the floor goes in for good and a BIG decision on the best way forward....
            Cheers
            Drew
            Last edited by Drew.s; 12-27-2021, 02:14 PM.

            Comment


            • JTR70
              JTR70 commented
              Editing a comment
              Those bumpers turned out absolutely beautiful Drew! Glad to see you back at it. Stay well! Justin

          • Thanks for the update Drew. I had to make similar decision a few years ago. Too many projects. Sold my 53 XK120 DHC I had owned over 40 years.

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            • Nice to hear from you Drew, was that A the one you bought in Wales? Yes you need enough time with just one 356 to work on three is just too many! Keep smiling!

              Roy

              Comment


              • Drew, great to see you back. I too was “away” until a recent upgrade to my Apple gear. (Side note: when I think about all the money I’ve spent on Apple stuff over the years, and that was only bare essentials, or so it seemed … )

                Question, were you in the automotive trade professionally? You’re so good at it all.

                best regards, John

                Comment


                • Hi Guys

                  And thank you to the warm welcome back to the Forum.

                  Roy, yes this was one of the cars from Wales and as you know it rains a lot in Wales which might explain the state it was in.

                  John thanks for the compliment, but no I was never in the auto trade in fact I was in Advertising until I retired but my father was an engineer and it’s him who I have to thank for my interest in all things mechanical.

                  OK lets wind the clock forward a bit, I thought about giving you a blow by blow account of the the last year but when I started trawling through the hundreds of photos it was too painful to recount.

                  So instead I will bring you bang up to date with just a sprinkling of the milestones from the thousands of hours spent stripping, cutting, grinding, welding and more grinding.

                  If there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s don’t buy a car that has lived most of it’s life in very wet Wales.

                  So the first milestone was fitting a whole new heater tube to the left side and getting the final longitudinal all welded up.

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                  Next milestone was the floor in for good, what a delight to see so much fresh, painted steel.

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                  Then the whole rear was blasted, repaired and finally hammered and dollied into shape.

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                  Now I know what your all saying… WOW Drew is really motoring, but I will have to admit that I have had some help. Every other Saturday for the past few months my brother in law ‘Kevin’ has been helping out and he’s not your average ‘brother in law’ in fact he has been panel beating and welding up some incredibly expensive cars for over 40 years.

                  This next picture of the rear interior will give you some idea of his immense skill.

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                  That about brings me up to date, RHD pedal assembly is in, gearbox is in, front ZF box and running gear is in…..we are getting close now.

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                  Next up the front splash pans, front wings to door shut, doors, front lid, battery box, and finally front nose….EASY!

                  Till then keep on keeping the faith.
                  Regards
                  Drew

                  Comment


                  • JTR70
                    JTR70 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    WOW! you really have been busy Drew. A lot of work and a lot of miles covered there and yes, having some additional skilled hands around certainly sped up the process. It looks great, thanks for this update. BTW: love the heater tube jig.
                    Stay well,
                    Justin

                • Well done Drew it does not surprise me that your work looks so good. Yes I remember the two Welsh cars looking quite good in the advert for them. Trouble is they always look good in adverts its the shape you know till you get them home !

                  It will be a nice car for sure.

                  Roy

                  Comment


                  • Thanks Justin and Roy
                    Things are starting to come together, with the battery box all sorted I could finally check the front bumper fit, which is spot on.
                    We have also made a start on the headlight buckets and surrounds which I have been putting off for some years (thankfully my brother in law is not phased).
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                    Next job on the list will be the horn bracket/wiring tubes.
                    Thanks for stopping by.
                    Cheers
                    Drew

                    Comment


                    • JTR70
                      JTR70 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Its looking good Drew and I'm so happy to see a piece of my dad's old car living on in your project. Thanks for the update.

                  • Drew some great progress there. Your battery box area looks so good! Mine is still original with no holes but still with the factory black underseal on it. How I dislike the look of that compared to the painted finish you have ended up with ,making it look like new. I will not of course strip the seal off mine as its original but a question will you keep your battery box as it is and cover only the underneath of it? Really nice work by you two !

                    Roy

                    Comment


                    • Hi Guys here is a n update from a very hot UK (Expecting record breaking 40 degree temperatures).

                      Yes Justin a part of your dad’s old Porsche lives on thanks once again for all your generosity over the years.

                      Roy all the non body colour parts of the car will be painted in the following formula which seems to give a really nice, durable finish. Clean steel then red oxide followed by ‘Tetrosyl’ Black Stone Chip, topped off with a coat of Satin Black.

                      One of the trickiest parts of this restoration has been the front hood, it had been kinked by a gas station attendant at some point and in my haste/desperation to get it to fit I cut out the lower front structure.

                      My plan was to use a new repro panel from Germany but Kevin (the brother in-law) had a different idea, luckily I had saved the original panel and after a couple of hours he had removed the outer skin and welded up the complete frame.
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                      This is where years of experience comes in, with the front hood as a bare frame we could bolt it up and push and pull it until we had a perfect fit to the opening, then we crimp the original hood skin back on and hey presto! We had a perfect fitting hood that slid into the lock with a lovely Porsche ‘Clunk
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                      With the front hood in the ‘done’ pile we could finish off the headlight bucket supports, fabricate and weld in the flared wire conduit tubes and finally weld in the lower fender support brackets, these allow a small amount of flex in the lower front wing which we used to get a perfect fit to the bumper.
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                      Thanks for stopping by.
                      Regards
                      Drew
                      Attached Files

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                      • As temperatures continued to rise here in the UK I turned my attention to prepping the seats ready for the trimmer, these are very complex but beautifully engineered pieces in their own right but very time consuming to restore back to factory fresh.

                        Here is what is involved:

                        Careful removal off all the original horse hair cushion pads (hopefully they can be re-used by the trimmer as they have that old Porsche smell).

                        Seat back hinges were completely dismantled and sent for chroming.

                        All seat rails (that are riveted to the basses) were removed and sent for satin chroming

                        New brass adjustment lever pivots were turned up on the lathe as the levers have to be removed for chroming

                        Removal of the wooden tack strips and many hours carefully removing all the rusted tacks and staples

                        All cracks and rips in the steel seat bases and uprights were welded up, blasted and painted satin black.

                        Seat rails re-riveted back on to the bases after fitting the levers with new pivots.

                        So far so good but re assembling the hinges is a real pain, requiring the fabrication of a special spring compressing tool and the creation of a padded holding fixture to hold everything in place without scratching the new chrome.

                        Here are a pair ready for trimming.
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                        Hopefully the next time you see these seats they will be covered in nice new tan vinyl.
                        Thanks for stopping by.
                        Regards
                        Drew

                        Comment


                        • JTR70
                          JTR70 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Seat frames look amazing Drew. Very impressed with how the hinges and seat tracks where replated so nicely. Those rivets make it very tricky as you well know. Keep up the great progress.
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