We are starting work in late October 2014 on our next Academy conversion, this car has quite an interesting history, the car having been built as a latter day Historic Rally car and campaigned by renowned continental rally master 'Roberto Fennio' at present we are checking the history, but we know it competed in the Rome-Liege-Rome rally, also the Tulip Rally, possibly the Acropolis but not the Monte Carlo. We repainted the outside of the car for Roberto a few years back and it still looks pretty slick, we need to freshen the interior and underbonnet though, and also remove the current roll cage and fit the genuine Academy one.
Mid November and the goalposts have been moved.. the customer has decided to go for the fibreglass bonnet, boot and wings, so at this stage it was considered a complete colour change was in order, something more in keeping with the fun and cheekiness of these little cars, wait till you see the colour! it is fabulous and this will possibly be the best Academy car yet! stay tuned for more updates...
As the car is being completely resprayed we took this opportunity to tidy up the rear end by welding plates over the fuel filler holes and filling to hide any evidence, also you will see the spare wheel well has been removed by simply drilling out the original spotwelds, this needs to be removed to give clearance for the exhaust silencer, we normally then attach an aluminium plate over the hole
Now we are down to a bare shell, everything was intensely steam cleaned,
They say the Devil is in the detail and to get these cars looking at their best it is necessary to remove all the horrible underseal and loose paint with a hot air gun, scraper and wire brush, then everything is painted in 2 coats of 2 pack primer to seal it all, I actually used the polishing mop with a large rotary wire brush to get the bare metal shining!
This is the bodyshell painted inside and out, the colour is a special mix from a 1960 Ford Galaxie called Aquamarine,
Pic 1: Fibreglass wings offered onto car to make sure all holes are in the correct places before preparation and painting. Pic 2: Fibreglass panels painted and resting on shell prior to final fix. Pic 3: We have fitted a cloth headlining to this car, as the inner roof was quite scruffy and this gives a great finish, this car will look very special...
alloy floor plates there is still some wiring left to sort out
the rollcage and handbrake, this is the frame untrimmed
The steering wheel is Nardi suede dished with removeable boss
Note the spare coil, alloy radiator, race battery etc
We were given the job of completing this white Academy car that had been previously restored and the cage had been fitted, we had to stretch the rear wheel arches and repaint the rear wings, plus paint the interior, before getting involved in the full Academy build and conversion, new wiring loom, new suspension, new engine and gearbox, all new engine ancillaries, plus lights safety equipment interior etc. there is a lot more to building one of these cars than you might at first think.
note blanking plate where spare wheel well normally is