I’ve had quite a few questions asking about different details of the Project and I’ll try to start covering them in batches. I was asked if we placed decal & paper items on various components even though they would not be seen. The answer is YES! We did everything like the Factory but with a twist. Since this vehicle is a tribute to a “Show Concept”, all of these items were positioned in a very “nice” fashion. Instead of making them look haphazard in placement, I took the time to position them straight & uniform. No wrinkles and as appealing looking as possible. This will also be a benefit when the Car is judged in the SEMA – “Battle of the Builders” event.
We did place a Broadcast Sheet on the back of the Dash Glove-box Liner prior to installing it. For things like the Jack Base Decal, the Decal was made, positioned and then pictures were taken to document this small item. For the Dash Control Knobs, I spent over 2 hours detailing and airbrushing the correct colors in the recessed arrows. Most of that time was spent preparing and cleaning the plastic area surrounding the arrows, after the paint was carefully applied. All of these tiny detailing efforts will make the difference in the overall appearance. We have done approximately 98% of the work ourselves. With the exception of things like Interior parts and soft goods, we have fabricated just about everything for this Project. From Seat-belt Labels, to Body Work and Exhaust Components, we have done it all. Here are a few photos showing some of these detailing items.
Here are a few photos showing the Power Brake Booster/Vacuum Hose during stamping and installed on the Car.
This aspect of the project has us baffled in how the Power Brake Booster – Vacuum Hoses were stamped. When we restored the Hemicuda in 2005, we researched many original components and documented them throughout the process. We found an original Hose that had the words “340 E Body” stamped below the main line of information that identified the Hose size. From what we documented, it was printed over & over about every 6-7 inches apart, down the entire length of the Hose. To this day, we still don’t know what the purpose was for specifically calling out the Engine CID & Body Style on this Hose. These Hoses were universal in size and it makes no sense why they would be specific in stamping them with this information. If it was due to the length requirements, why were other “universal” Hoses not stamped with the same identifying information? All of the Heater Hoses (for instance) incorporated the same part numbers and were universally used throughout the various Body styles. Could this style have been a call out for the T/A & AAR Six Pack Cars? One would conclude that stamping a universal Hose in this manner, would add too many inventory entries, on an item that was engineered for just about every vehicle with Power Brakes.
Whatever the reason, we decided to incorporate the “weird” stamping to this Concept Project because it has a 340 Engine and it is also an E Body. It will be different from most of the other E Body Cars that are out there, which adds to the “One of a Kind” mystique of this Project.
Here are a few photos showing the Heater Hoses after we re-stamped them. There were a couple of different Vendors that provided these components to Chrysler and I used a font variation that is not seen too often. They now have the correct Factory appearance that we were trying to obtain. Below are a few comparisons between the originals and the ones installed on the vehicle.
Here are a couple of photos comparing the two Vinyl Tops that were used for this Project. In the end, we used a Top manufactured by Top Creations. The material used by Top Creations was far superior to the material used by Legendary. The Grain was deeper, the Seams more defined, the backing incorporated twice the stitch count of reinforced fabric and the Vinyl composition was significantly different. The material used by Top Creations was soft and “leather” like. The Legendary vinyl was “plastic” like and much stiffer. When a manufacturer tells you that specific design characteristics are “impossible” to achieve, that might be true (only) for them. Using premier materials can sometimes be the determining factor for achieving the “impossible” when it comes to quality in product manufacturing.
The lesson here is to never allow the shortcomings of someone else be the determining factor in achieving your goals. Contrary to the opinions of those initially involved in designing this Top, our design specifications were exactly what was needed to eliminate the Seam “pleating” and achieve a proper appearance. Here are the results.