August, 2007

There have been a lot of extremely slow periods of progress on the old roadster, but, even so, it's surprisingly complete at this stage of the game. All of the systems (brakes, electrical, fuel) are all in and functioning and only need a little tidying up. The engine is complete except for the final carbs (these are stand-ins). If I could come up with four full weekends to work on it, it would be going down the street. It'll take me about a year to come up with that much spare time. In the meantime, this gives an idea of where it stands now and some of the details that have been attended to.

This is the first time I rolled it out and got a good look at how it looked, when in one piece. Not bad, hey?
Cutting the holes in the tulip panel ahead of the deck lid for the roll bar was one of the most nerve wracking things I had to do. I lucked out and hit it dead nuts on with no filing or filling.
The headers shown here are the third set. The first were the super thin bedstead headers. Then I fabbed a set of really nice heavy wall ones and the chrome plater polished right through 14 gauge steel!!! I could have died. These are 16 gauge and ceramic coated. The radiator has to mount behind the cross member because of the inverted suicide front end: hence the shroud the grill shell hangs from. Also, I went totally non-traditional and opted for an aluminum radiator and fan from Mattson. Afterall, I'm running a bored (.040" over) and stroked (4") flathead in AZ. Not a good combination. Incidentally, we put .090 gaskets under the original Edmunds heads in an effort at getting the compression ratio down to keep it cooler. I won't be surprised if I wind up changing the heads for some that hold more water. However, these are what I had as a kid and I really want to use them.
This is how the back of the gas tank looked. As a kid, I just hacked out enough room for the pedal assembly and called it a day. I couldn't handle the looks of the tank area, so I whacked out the fuel gauge portion and fabbed a new section including new ribbing in some areas. This is all hidden behind the modified '40 Ford dash, I had in it originally.
Isn't it amazing what you can do with a $120 Chinese roller and some scrap sheet metal? The regulator and starter solonoid are all mounted under the right floor board.
The shockmounts/headlight stands started out as a piece of 1/8" 4130 Chrome-Moly plate about six inches wide and three feet long. I tried to come up with the dimensions graphically and finally just said "screw it" and whittled out one of some of the walnut from the tree I hung my chain hoist from when building the car as a kid and measured that.
The roll bar is pivoted at all points, .120" wall. The strange triangulation is to get it over the gas tank. The tires you see are the ones it sat on for 40 years.
I free handed the shape of the spoon. Worked, didn't it? Another good application for the Chinese beading roller. The gas cap is the bottom of a 1945 40mm shell and goes directly in to the tank, as shown. Little hump in the middle is to clear the crossmember. Rollbar braces go to little ears shown