Der Bugmeister's Wheels - The Restoration



The Restoration

Side View (Pre-restoration) - 26k

As you can see from these photos taken shortly after getting her home, RB was about 75% stripped when I got my hands on her. I finished the job, removing pretty much everything. There was so little rust that I decided not to pull the body off the pan...even the battery area was solid!

Rear Quarter View (Pre-restoration) - 26kAmazingly, there was no front or rear end collision damage, and only mild dings on the fenders. I wanted a resto-custom, but knew that someday I would restore the car to it's stock look. The restoration plan was centered on the concept of bolt-on customization while retaining a certain vintage feel. The original engine and transmission are tucked away in my garage awaiting their day.

Front Quarter View (Pre-restoration) - 27k 
Once the remaining parts had been removed, I stripped all paint from the body. Then, I located a good sunroof-section and my brother and I installed it using a method he had perfected on his '59. We didn't replace the entire roof - a hole just large enough for the sunroof was cut, and the sunroof fit in from the inside.

Off to the Paint Shop - 26kThat done, I sent the car and various parts off to the body shop for a First Class job. The car was repainted inside and out, using a few coats of '78 Ford Midnight Blue, which was then wet-sanded. From the body shop, it was off to the upholsterer, who custom made and installed a new headliner, door panels, carpeting, seat covers and sunroof. The interior theme is Gray, and manages to have a stock look and a custom feel...

Once the "professionals" had worked their mastery, I took over with the reassembly. During the time the car was away, I had been busily collecting new parts and refinishing old ones. The car is _mostly_ stock, even down to the original 3-spoke steering wheel. Well, stock except for the dropped front beam, 5.5" Mengels rims, stickier rubber, beefed transaxle and 1776 cc engine. (See the Tech Sheet for more information)

From start to finish, the restoration took about five months - I bought the car in mid September, sent it to the body shop in October, got it back from the upholstery shop about Christmas, and had it on the road in early February. All my work was done out in the carport, and let me tell you, the middle of winter is NOT the time to be doing that!!!

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