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Front Bodywork Restoration

Background

By 1992 the bodywork at the front was beginning to look a little tired.
It was decided to restore that part of Bessie next.  I looked through the manuals and the parts
lists from the panel supplier to see what would be needed.  I ordered all the panels and then organised
the work to be carried out in my own garage, where I could watch events and take photographs along the way.

The work

I carried out the preparation work by removing the front bumper, all front lights
and the grill.  The front panel that contains the grill is only bolted on and so that was removed
also.  She looked a little sad at this stage but I knew she would be so much better after all the work.

The chassis and main parts of the welding were carried out by another friend who is a welding expert.
The old panels were removed with a lump hammer and bolster - frightening to watch!  The chassis repairs were
carried out next by cutting out the rusted metalwork and welding in new metal.  This person really knows his job as when
he had finished it was impossible to see the joins.  The new panels were carefully aligned and fitted and the whole job checked prior to filling and spraying.

 

 

FrontStripped.jpg (57611 bytes)

The front end dismantled ready for work to begin.

   
FrontPanelsRemoved.jpg (57083 bytes)

The panels that were being replaced have now been removed.  The removal process is rather brutal, using a hammer and chisel.

   
FrontChassisRepairs.jpg (55492 bytes)

Chassis members being repaired.  Old rusty metal is cut away and new metal welded in.

   
FrontChassisRepairsCloseup.jpg (55976 bytes)

Close-up of repaired chassis member.  When finished the weld joint could not be seen.

   
FrontCentreSection1.jpg (54685 bytes)

Centre section and starting handle tube welded into place.  This had drainage holes drilled into the under side.

   
FrontCentreSection2.jpg (59304 bytes)

Horizontal panel welded into place.  It's all starting to take shape again!

   
FrontSkirt.jpg (55555 bytes)

 Lower skirt panel welded into place.  That was all the major welding.  Just the minor welds and finishing now.

   
FrontFilled.jpg (56709 bytes)

All other minor welding repairs carried out and the filler completed.

   
FrontPrimed.jpg (55439 bytes)

Front end now primed ready for rubbing down and spraying.  Note the grill panel in the foreground, being dealt with separately.

   
FrontPainted.jpg (50559 bytes)

Final spraying hardening off before everything being refitted and the whole car thoroughly cleaned, which took forever!

  

I hope you found this interesting.
It was a little disconcerting to watch Bessie being beaten about with that hammer and bolster,
but the end result was well worth it I think.  Thank you for taking the time to see this.

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