Simon, i am just dumbfounded at how amazing a journey it has been following your special build of a very special car. I have just finished spending about two hours following from start to finish, your amazing resto journey. Simon, if you do not do this for a living......... well maybe you should. I know guys that do this for a living and you could show them a thing or two. Breath taking work there brother and you are a role model to all of us on here. Congrats on the fine work so far and like many others on here, i can not wait for further updates. Looking forward to it mate. Cheers. George.
1957 Pontiac Pathfinder Deluxe sedan restored 261 six
1974 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon low milage original 400 V-8
Pontiacanada wrote:Simply Beautiful!
times 100 my God man you have the patience of Job you did at least 10,000 worth of body work alone Amazing Congratualtions
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1969 Pontiac Laurentian 2 door hardtop **SOLD**1975 Firebird Esprit 350/4speed **SOLD**Canadian Poncho World Headquarters - Prince Edward Island
Todd I'm pleased to advise that my next resto is in fact the sister car to the wagon. A 1964 Impala sport sedan (4 door pillarless, satin silver, red interior), also from Oshawa, build date January 64.
I intend to give it the same factory correct restoration, although not at the frantic pace of the wagon (my family miss me!).
WOW, WOW, WOW, looks amazing, and you did it yourself! Great work!
Warning:Updated with some MOPAR content.Check out Beaumontwagons videos http://www.youtube.com/user/beaumontwagon#p/u
glad to know that another one is on the calendar. Looking for ward to many more entertaining blogs.
Dale @ NOS
Ok I'm back. I have made excellent progress since the paint went on and it's now fully registered and driving. I have plenty of progress photos which will be too many for one post so I will split them up over a few days.So.....after arriving back home out of the booth the first thing I needed to do was....more painting! I forgot to prep the cowl and a few of the side rear window pieces to be painted in the booth at the same time... so I painted those myself afterwards with the same base and clear (the base was the leftovers from the booth job so no worries with the colour match)I had a chip in the paint in the rear door jamb (which I couldn't live with) as well as some primer overspray on the inside of the door frames....so it was an afternoon of paint blending. Lots of fiddly wet rubbing with 240 and 600 to blend the base and clear. I was very pleased with the results which again confirmed how user friendly this paint system is.From there I put my wife to work and she installed the worlds biggest headliner - this thing was huge. It was part of the full interior kit that I bought from Ciadella Interiors in Arizona. Seat covers, carpet, headliner, door panels, cargo area side panels, mats, windlace and sunvisors - $3000 landed and all in the nice correct fawn colour.Just when I thought I was finished with the hammers, dollies and welder, I pulled the rear floor panels out of storage and was reminded how destroyed they were after all those years of speakers and guitar amps being thrown on them. They are double skinned and have an embossed hatched pattern. Therefore they are virtually impossible to repair back to new. The least I could do was to get them straight where possible and fill the holes that I had drilled in them (to fix carpet to the floor). I painted them in base only with hardener added for a correct satin finish. I had planned to put a length of carpet over them but found a much better solution (which I will show in the next post).From there it was just a whole lot of assembly. First was the glass...then the door and tailgate rubbersIn the meantime Janelle got to work on the seats and the rest of the interior. After removing the covers that she painstakingly made back in 2007, there were a few foam modifications before we wrestled the new ones on (they were an incredibly tight fit). The reproduction covers are exact copies of original with correct stitching, buttons and high frequency welds. They have come up extremely well.There were also a few modifications to the windlace to get it to sit properly around the doorsThe underlay and carpet went in without any trouble (after we unpicked and switched the drivers heel pad from the left to the right)With xmas approaching, I really wanted it driving in time for xmas day. We went to put the windscreen in only to realise we didn't have the clips to hold the stainless surround mouldings on. So the windscreen went in as a temporary measure without sealant until the clips arrived.I also put on the door panels as a temporary measure for the rego inspection. They have since come off to be fitted with the correct chrome strip 2/3rds of the way down the door.Next up was the indicators. I was determined not to re-use those horrible trailer indicators so started searching for something small, rectangular, and with a chrome surround...and I found these:and here is the moment on the night before the inspection when I realised that I had hooked up the wipers 180 degrees out (...they were finishing in the up position!).With that all done, we charged down to rego inspection late on xmas eve....hoping of course for an easy time. Not so unfortunately. It failed on 4 things:* No interior rearview mirror (oops!), * missing tailpipe on one side (after I chopped it at the diff to get better access to the wheel arch during the repairs, * A dim taillight which was an earthing issue and the biggest problem, * play in the power steering control valve. The good news was that none of those 4 things were life threatening so I was granted a 7 day permit in time for the xmas days festivities.So here is Santas new sleigh on the road for the first time, heading to the family xmas day breakfast, with cargo area full of gifts and two very happy boys. None of the side mouldings were on so it looked like it had been shot with a machine gun but regardless, I was stoked that we made it in time.More to come in the next day or so.
Simon, not only are you a restoration guru expert but so is your wife. Honestly sir, the best resto shop anywhere, could not do any better a job than what you and your wife are doing. Absolutely amazing work you have done on that sweet 64 Chev wagon of yours. Continued good luck on your project and please keep us all posted. Cheers. George.
More great resto stuff!
It seems odd to see those Christmas prezzies with all that outside "greenness" around!
Prince Edward Island'64 Parisienne CS "barn find" - last on the road in '86 ... Owner Protection Plan booklet, original paint, original near-mint aqua interior, original aqua GM floor mats, original 283, factory posi, and original rust.
Unbelievable determination, dedication and workmanship.
My final build thread post. There are lots of photos here and about 1600 words.... so you may like to grab a refreshment!
So...in order to get full registration, I had 21 days to get things right (...or a maximum of 3 weekly permits). My new deadline was to get full registration before 2014 started so I ordered the power steering valve rebuild kit and got cracking on the easy stuff.
I screwed the interior mirror on, earthed the taillight then made up a new tailpipe from some scrap exhaust from a wrecking yard. This was always going to be temporary as I will be running the exhaust out the back sometime in the future.
The rebuild kit arrived on the second last day of the year and with the assistance of a laptop and YouTube it all went back together beautifully and absolutely transformed the steering.
I rolled back down to get it inspected and to my horror, he still wasnt happy with the way the stud in the valve was moving back and forward suggesting it still had play in it. I attempted to explain the nature of the spherical stud in the round cups and that the swivel from side to side isnt play...but no, I was told to go away and fix it. So for the second time, out it came and I over tightened it to the point where the stud was pushed hard against the body of the valve. I re-installed it with a big hammer and the play was gone but it was so bound up it was almost undriveable. I limped back down carefully to get it inspected, lifted the bonnet, wiggled the steering and he was happy. He stamped the form and I limped back home and pulled it out again (for the third time in 24 hours), loosened it back off, and re-installed it.
I charged down to the registration office just before closing time and was literally the last customer for the year. Hooray!
From there it was a period of relaxing and just driving it waiting for some motivation to return before tackling the mouldings and the rest of the interior - it took 5 weeks before that motivation returned.
So first of all, this was the solution for covering up dented floor panels. A genuine NOS 64 Impala rubber cargo mat in battleship grey and a delightful combination of 1960s basket weave and bamboo patterns:
The cargo area panels also had a tough life so I stripped them back and cleaned them up with some thinners, steel wool and some rust converter.
As with the floor, these had plenty of dents but fortunately are single skinned so I was able to caress them back into shape
The next step was a spray of contact cement and some new felt...
...before the new vinyl went on (again all in the same factory fawn with correct grain)
Cargo area done and looking brand new (too good to use in fact!!)
Then it was onto all of the exterior jewellery. The eyebrow moulds are repro as is the lens on the bonnet moulding. The moulding itself is original with a few nicks and dings.
Repro 283 V badges...
...and a box of repro 4 door hardtop side mouldings and clips from Impala Bobs which I ordered back in 2007! Aside from the c-mouldings, these strips are identical on a wagon.
Everything clipped in pretty nice and the alignment was good. It was at this point that I was glad I used long tape lines during the bodywork phase.
Next up was the drip rail moulds....
..and the two sets of rear window moulds:
After that were the tailgate and taillight moulds. The first drama was that the tailgate mould that was original to the car went missing. To this day I still cannot for the life of me work out what happened to it. It is the only piece that I lost over the whole 7 years of this thing being disassembled and lying around. The good news was that I had a spare (phew). It was straighter than the original so I would most likely have used it anyway, but it was covered in paint. Primer overspray and for some reason it had also been painted black.
I also had a spare set of taillight moulds so I chose the best left and the best right one. One of those had also been painted black.
I was hoping that some thinners and steel wool would clean them up but the black was a problem as it was deeply embedded in all of the scratches and dings and was always going to look awful. I decided to paint them in a bright satin silver to mimic the original finish. So, after some straightening, I scrubbed off the primer:
...and masked up the Chevrolet script (...the letters are pressed on and crimped from behind so do not come off).
Some more masking
...and then some metallic silver basecoat with 10 per cent hardener added. No clear on top which leaves a nice eggshell finish which is remarkably similar to original.
For the scripts, I needed to hand paint in and around them to get them perfect.
Finished and being fitted:
The taillight moulds were a little trickier in that the mounting clips disintegrated when they were removed and of course they are not reproed. So some strips of panel steel with some left over mounting clips welded on and on they went.
Next up was the quarter panel scripts and emblem. The right side was a breeze as the holes were still there and the original letters and clips were still in tact...
But the left side...not so much! After all of the cutting, shutting, bashing and welding on the rear quarter I decided to weld up the holes for the scripts and redrill once it was painted. So out with the slide rule and abacus to work out the spacing...
...transfer the measurements to a piece of tape, and then take a deep breath as you drill through your shiny new paint...
..and then fixed with 2 part epoxy glue. (...no, you cant get in behind them!)
As a final cherry on top, I put on the number plates. I have had these plates for 20 odd years and over that time they have been on a Ford Fairlane, a Ford Laser, a Toyota Corolla and my wifes Ford Falcon. They have never been on an Impala. When our city first released personalised number plates, I lined up at 2am on a freezing cold morning outside the motor vehicle registry with about 200 other people. You could get any word you wanted on a plate, (maximum 7 letters, no profanity) I was about number 60 in the queue and was feeling anxious about my chances. As it got closer to opening time, the wheeling and dealing started which resulted in a few people up the front selling their place in the line. I parted with $100 and ended up 6th in line, and secured this plate. In hindsight I probably should have bought Ferrari or Jaguar and made some money but hey, Im a Chev guy!
So thats it. 1,200 hours work over 400 or so days....its still not 100 per cent finished (are they ever..?) but its certainly finished enough to drive, enjoy, and take to shows - the first being this weekend. I will post back here as I keep tinkering. I have some original parts still to go on, some correct 1 inch whitewall tyres, and I need to correct the crooked front bumper! I will also post up a short video that I have made of the restoration when its ready (1200 hours squeezed into 8 minutes!)
Thank you to everyone on this forum for allowing a Bowtie in among the Ponchos. I have enjoyed documenting and photographing the progress and your comments and interest have been a great source of motivation.
Finally, there is some significance in today being the IM FINISHED post because today is in fact the wagons 50th birthday. With a production date of 12 March 1964, I am delighted to have returned it to its former glory in time and to mark the occasion, we couldnt resist a cake! Thanks again everyone for reading.
Absolutely fantabulous! Congrats on a job well, well done! Beauty.......... Like everyone else, I will waiting anxiously for the live visual tour....
a great job by a great guy. The fact he shared this project couldn't have been nicer
Dale @2 NOS
A happy ending! Enjoy Simon!
Vernon B.C. CANADA !
1969 SD 396