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Go Back   Madabout Kitcars Forum > Mad Build Area > Vintage and Classic Roadster Kit Car Builds

Vintage and Classic Roadster Kit Car Builds For Vintage and Classic era kit cars. Post your build reports, problems and progress here

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  #101  
Old 18th May 2020, 13:00
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Dash plug has now had half a dozen coats of Iris blue -





Next step is to cut back and polish the paint once it's fully cured, then add flanges ready to take a mould from it.

Exciting stuff!
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  #102  
Old 18th May 2020, 14:24
molleur molleur is offline
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that looks really good!
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  #103  
Old 18th May 2020, 17:18
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Thank you. The colour is left over from my Midget restoration and does suit the shape of the dash, but I'll be sticking with silver for the finished article.

Speaking of sticking, there are a couple of tiny flies firmly attached to the dash - light blue is their favourite colour, in a sort of fatal attraction way for these two as they both landed on it while it was still tacky.

There are also a couple of sags where I put a bit too much paint on in one go. It's nothing that won't sand out, flies included, and it'll teach me not to open the garage doors until the paint's touch dry and not to move the gun too slowly.

I'll report more progress when it happens.
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  #104  
Old 18th May 2020, 17:45
molleur molleur is offline
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Try dealing with Florida love bugs when fiber-glassing.
It will make you crazy!
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  #105  
Old 19th May 2020, 06:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by molleur View Post
Try dealing with Florida love bugs when fiber-glassing.
It will make you crazy!
I hadn't heard of those before but Google suggests that they spend most of their lives in an airborne hedonistic shag-fest.

We're possibly genetically related as that's exactly how I spent my twenties. I still wouldn't want them walking on my fresh paint though, spiritual cousins or not.
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  #106  
Old 21st May 2020, 04:57
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Mr T - Dash plug looks good.

Looking forward to seeing how you build the mould & the end result.

Good luck, Paul.
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  #107  
Old 21st May 2020, 06:03
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Thanks Paul, should be more progress and pics over the weekend.
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  #108  
Old 30th May 2020, 07:07
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must be an age thing my dream car a Speedster I check ebay daily for one to pop up with my name on it. good luck with the build very jealous
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  #109  
Old 30th May 2020, 21:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andysharrock View Post
must be an age thing my dream car a Speedster I check ebay daily for one to pop up with my name on it. good luck with the build very jealous
Ha ha, not an age thing in my case, I've wanted one since I was nineteen.

I built my Spyder as a result of not being able to afford a 356 Speedster kit and the experience I gained from building it gave me the confidence to buy a neglected Speedster body shell and do the rest myself.

Will be updating again in a few days - for reasons I'll explain then my dash mould is taking longer to get right than expected.
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  #110  
Old 31st May 2020, 09:14
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Originally Posted by Mister Towed View Post
Ha ha, not an age thing in my case, I've wanted one since I was nineteen.

I built my Spyder as a result of not being able to afford a 356 Speedster kit and the experience I gained from building it gave me the confidence to buy a neglected Speedster body shell and do the rest myself.

Will be updating again in a few days - for reasons I'll explain then my dash mould is taking longer to get right than expected.
lol that's what I meant sort of ,my first car @17 a VW beetle CRB618L I rebuilt it so many times and change the colour 4 times .it was my mums car she wrote it off in an accident and I put it back on the road after passing my test. always wanted a 356 porsche but could never afford a real one. been a DINK I can now make some of my childhood dreams come true
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  #111  
Old 1st June 2020, 07:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andysharrock View Post
lol that's what I meant sort of ,my first car @17 a VW beetle CRB618L I rebuilt it so many times and change the colour 4 times .it was my mums car she wrote it off in an accident and I put it back on the road after passing my test. always wanted a 356 porsche but could never afford a real one. been a DINK I can now make some of my childhood dreams come true
My first (only) Beetle was SGP 345F back in '89. It was a 1500 Automatic (two pedals, manual change with electro-hydraulically actuated clutch and IRS instead of swing axles), which i converted to a proper manual and three pedal setup from a 1303S when the 1500 threw a rod through the crank-case and damaged the gearbox.

I kept the outside looking shabby and stock but uprated to a 1600 motor with 85hp and lowered it with dropped spindles at the front and a one-spline turn at the back.

It had enough go to put a smile on my face, but it always sounded like my dad's Suffolk Punch lawnmower right across the rev range. The handling also always demanded 'respect' (read fear). It wandered all over the road at anything over 55mph, the tail would try to overtake the nose at every opportunity and you needed at least three lanes clear to pass a truck on the motorway due to the wind blast blowing you across the carriageway.

My main reason for going down the Spitfire chassis route was the experience of trying, and failing to get that bug to handle. At least I know I can get this one to change direction without having to check the shipping forecast first.

Anyway, I've got a bonkers Outlaw Speedster to build so I'd better get on with it.
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  #112  
Old 11th June 2020, 10:58
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Time for an update on progress, I feel.

My dash mould is now almost ready to use. It should've been ready to use about a fortnight ago but I had a bit of a setback to sort out...

As you may recall, my dash plug was finished, painted and in the process of being given a dozen coats of release wax -



I then added flanges and laid up five or six pretty heavy layers of CSM reinforced in places that might flex. I've never made a split-mould before, so I included recommended features like wedges built into the dividing flange and applied a pva release agent (on top of the wax) on one 'half' of the buck to see if there was any difference in ease of release -



After a suitable curing period I broke the buck out of the mould. This took a great deal of force, far more than I expected, and what a mess it revealed -







Okay, so it appears that the gel-coat on the inside of the mould had reacted with something and caused a few issues. All of the gel-coat had tiny bubbles in it and it had stuck to the paint on the face of the dash where I had only used release wax, tearing the paint and high-build primer from the plug when I separated it from the mould. At least the paint didn't stick where I used the PVA release agent, so I'll definitely be using that again.

The gel-coat looked fine when I applied it, but it was a part-used tin that had been sitting in my garage for about 30 months, so I guess it had either gone off or maybe I didn't leave the paint to cure for long enough on the plug before glassing over it.

I thought about scrapping it and starting again, but decided to have a go at making it good with lots of filling and sanding, which I've got to say is much harder on the 'negative' impression of the dash rather than the actual dash itself -



Anyway, after loads of effort and half a dozen coats of white cellulose it looks like this -



It's now sitting at the back of the garage for a week or so to allow the paint to fully cure and I have a nice, new tin of gel-coat ready to use when I lay up my 356/550 Spyder hybrid dash.

More later.

Last edited by Mister Towed; 11th June 2020 at 11:01..
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  #113  
Old 11th June 2020, 11:30
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...and while I'm waiting for the paint to cure on my dash mould, I've started work on the body.

As my 'kit' is of dubious origin - I think it's a Banham New Speedster, but I'm not certain - some panels don't appear to be quite the same size as your average Speedster kit.

Having secured a curved grille from Martin & Walker, I found that it was exactly 1/2" too long for the opening in the engine cover. Additionally, the radius of the corners of the opening didn't quite match that of the grille and the curve didn't match at the lower edge just for good measure.

So, using a technique I developed when trying to get the lower rear edges of my Sammio bonnet to match the curve of the body, I cut a section out of the opening and sawed 'comb' teeth around the opening where it needed to move. With the grille encased in polythene sheet and fitted in place, I then glassed the reverse of the engine cover, fixing the 'comb' teeth in their new positions -



The grille now fits the opening and the opening matches the curve of the grill, so I'm happy with the results -





I also decided to see if I could make a head-fairing that would suit the Speedster body shape. Most of the fairings I've seen added to Speedsters look a bit short and dumpy to my eye, so I thought I'd try to replicate the ones Porsche fitted to the 718RSK Spyders -



I'd already made a start on fabricating a rear deck cover that (deliberately) looks a lot like the RSK's rear deck, but to make a start on the fairing I needed something roughly the right size and shape to use as a template for the head fairing 'pad' itself.

Luckily, I had previously used a sheet of plywood as base when spraying some Triumph engine parts and noticed this outline of the front timing cover -



A bit of pencilling in followed by some careful jigsaw action and my head pad was pretty much the right size and shape. Having measured the distance and drop from the front face of my deck cover to the engine lid opening and with reference to many images of cars with head fairings (including my old Spyder) I drew the profile shape of the fairing freehand onto some plywood and cut that out.

The next steps were to cut out smaller and smaller versions of the head pad shape and slot them together like this -





...resulting in a former to work from that looks like this -





Happy with progress so far, next step is to cover it with cardboard and parcel tape and glass over the outside, wihch I'm off to do now.

More later
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  #114  
Old 11th June 2020, 12:46
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Good work , will it be detachable from the rear deck cover ??
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  #115  
Old 11th June 2020, 18:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redratbike View Post
Good work , will it be detachable from the rear deck cover ??
Thanks and yes, the rear deck and fairing will be separate mouldings, mainly to ensure that the rear deck cover seals properly to the tub.

The rubber U channel seal I have to go around the edge of the deck cover will run through notches in the fairing. If I make the fairing integral to the deck cover there'll be two 'weak' points where water could get in. The plan is to have a mohair tonneau cover mounted under the leading edge of the deck cover so it can be rolled out from underneath and seal the cockpit at the same level as the door tops and dash.

It's so simple it might just work...
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  #116  
Old 11th June 2020, 22:25
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That looks terrific, very different but we'll resolved and nicely cohesive with the body shape. Great work.
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  #117  
Old 12th June 2020, 01:21
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I was reading about the cars used in Ford vs Ferrari a couple of days ago. The interview was with one of the production crew. Apparently the red 356 Matt Damon is seen driving around in was one of several 356 replicas the company happened to own already and guess what they were based on? According to the Bloomberg article....Mazda Miatas - MX5s in pounds shillings and pence! So if a front engined 356 is good enough for Matt Damon you're in good company :-)
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  #118  
Old 12th June 2020, 06:37
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Thanks guys, I'm glad you like what I'm doing.

I've watched Ford vs Ferrari during the lockdown and did notice that Speedster and it looked great.

I'm a little surprised it was a Miata in a party frock - the Mazda wheelbase is seven inches longer (ironically only 3mm different to the Banham New Speedster body I started with before I shortened the doors) and the track is six inches wider, so the car would look very big if it was parked next to an original, a bit like a BMW Mini parked next to a proper one.

It did look fine on screen, though, but then people and things can look bigger or smaller when they're filmed - Tom Cruise always looks six-foot plus in his movies as do Ben Stiller and Arnie (The Governator), but they're all famously short-arses, and Father Ted spends most of an episode explaining the difference between 'small' and 'far away' to Father Dougal.

I'll be making some more progress over the weekend so I'll post another update then.
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  #119  
Old 12th June 2020, 07:45
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And I've just noticed that the red Speedster driven by Matt Damon also has a rear deck cover and head fairing -



(image sourced here - https://productplacementblog.com/mov...-ferrari-2019/ )

Looks pretty good to me.

One thing I've noticed is that the rear deck covers I've seen fitted to Speedsters often run straight across between the rear of the door openings. I trial fitted my seats in position (when I was assessing whether my madcap Spitfire/Speedster plan was feasible), and found that my back will encroach a couple of inches into the rear space behind the doors if I'm to get a comfortable driving position.

For that reason I've set the front edge of my deck back about 80mm (it'll have padded trim added), but I did initially include curved 'horns' either side so the deck cover extended to meet the door openings. I recently cut those off because they were visibly not symetrical, but I see from the image above that Matt Damon's car has that feature - the front edges of the deck cover meet the door tops but the cover then curves back to allow the driver and passenger more space. It looks that good that I think I'll give those horns another go.

Oh, and you can see from the fact that Matt's Speedster isn't dwarfed by the Yank Tank parked behind it that it's clearly much bigger than the genuine article.

There's another famous movie that uses a 356 Speedster, Top Gun. Kelly McGillis drives this black one, which must also be a replica as it's clearly only 2/3rds scale because it only comes up to Tom Cruise's waist and it should Tower over him...


Last edited by Mister Towed; 12th June 2020 at 08:35.. Reason: add movie star insult
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  #120  
Old 13th June 2020, 05:16
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Mr T Sorry to hear the dash mould didn’t work as planned.

But at least you seem to have got back to the point where it should work.

Nice work on fitting the grill and getting the basic shape for your head fairing.

I was also unaware of the ‘behind the scenes’ history of the Le Mans 66 Speedster.

But have now found this photo to help me understand what you are aiming for.



Good luck, Paul.
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