View original topic: March 2nd, 1955 Strato Silver Project Page: 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
carnut63 Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:44 pm

I purchased this car online in 2009 from a seller in California and had it delivered to Colorado to take a number in line to be worked on. When I received it the nose was smashed, the front fenders were wrong, the rear fenders were original but smashed in, the hood was a crunched and falling apart, the interior was non original and partially missing, semaphores were ruined and the 'egg' tail lights are no where to be found. A later steering wheel was in it and the engine was from a '57 I believe (but it did start up).

I had a wrecked '56 ragtop also that I was trying to figure out what to do with. It turned out that the only thing salvageable besides the sunroof was the front clip. The gut-wrenching decision came to me one day and I decided that in order to save my '55 the poor old ragtop had to be cut.

Well in 2011 the opportunity finally came and I delivered the body to Kris in Sacramento to work on it. The to-do list seemed never ending but I spent the next year getting all the parts and pieces that were missing and I think I am just about there. Enjoy the pics, more to follow as I go along!

When it arrived at my house, the back window and quarter glass were busted out.

Useless interior

36hp in it. Note the black fuel

Smashed front end

Rear apron

My donor front end from the '56

carnut63 Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:55 pm

Donor front clip that has been media blasted:

Almost everything was in great shape except the usual rot in the spare tire well

Front clip was removed right, by drilling out all the original factory spot welds and separating at the door seam.

Here is what was left of the original donor front clip

carnut63 Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:08 pm

Here is the 55 after the front clip was removed the identical way as the donor. There is some rust around the defroster hose.

Removed the rusted areas


Left side:

carnut63 Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:13 pm

Replacement clip mocked up on the body

Rusty spare tire well cut away and replaced

Hood test fit

David Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:19 pm

Some cars are meant to save others. That being said, I'm having a hard time coming to terms w/ cutting up my '55 for any possible parts needing replaced on the '54. Seems it might be better to just buy any needed parts separately.

Seems your decision was a lot easier. It looks good man - are these pics from 2011 or more recent? Any further progress?

carnut63 Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:33 pm

These photos are about 3 months old. I just dropped it off at the body shop today to finish up some small repairs and fix the rust spots and wavy roof. Here are some pics of the rear apron being replaced. Actually it is just the lower part of the apron because I wanted to preserve my original H. I went with no cutouts because I couldn't tell if my original was hacked or not, it was pretty beat up.

Last Triumph Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:34 am

Great work, I shall be watching this with interest.

RichOakley Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:18 pm

Last Triumph wrote: Great work, I shall be watching this with interest.

Agreed and ditto.

carnut63 Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:56 am

I dropped it off at the shop last week in order to finish up the body work. Primarily the wavy roof and some rust holes in the spare tire well, firewall, lower quarter panel where the rear fender bolts on. Hopefully we can get it painted while its in there.

ovalcr Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:36 am

RichOakley wrote: Last Triumph wrote: Great work, I shall be watching this with interest.

Agreed and ditto.

A very strong car and excelent metal work, congratulations!!

carnut63 Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:53 pm

I pulled the body out of the shop a while ago and moved it into my garage, but it has sat there for a few months now. The shop did quite a bit of work and it all turned out excellent. They massaged the hood and fixed a couple small cracks, Spent a lot of time on the wavy roof, patched a few small rust holes in the spare tire well and bottom of the heater channel, replaced 2 bumper mounts, replaced the lower left rear fenderwell area. They also went over the 2 doors and repaired a couple small dents in the decklid. I can say that the body is probably in near perfect condition now.

The fenders though are another story, the fronts are from a '54 and were pretty rotted out, I am working on the metal repair now and will probably drop them off at a local shop this week to finish up. Pics to come soon....


carnut63 Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:33 pm

As promised here she is as she sits today.

My 2 front beams and the original gas tank are next in line for restoration once the body is in the paint shop.

carnut63 Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:41 pm

I cut off the old body number and when I took the vin off I found some unmolested strato silver paint.

carnut63 Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:25 pm

The sandblasted chassis. Just some small rust spots in the battery tray and a little on the front left of the floor pan.

This was taken before I delivered it to the shop in Ramona. Fit well in the back of a Chevy 8' bed

carnut63 Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:23 pm

Before I took the pan to the powder coater I had to pull a large mouse nest out of the tunnel. You can see the little guy in the top left of the pic.

I couldn't find any evidence the rear seat frames were painted anything other than black so the only ones I am getting done in ivory is going to be the 4 front pieces. Here is the rear

The front beam has the number 0840023 which matches the cars build date frame

carnut63 Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:45 pm

I had the chassis powder coated a few months ago and never got the pics up. Here it is in semi gloss black

carnut63 Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:49 pm

Had the seats done also. The frames and the springs are not clamped together yet. The front frames are done in an ivory color and everything else is semi glass black.

carnut63 Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:53 pm

I didnt replace the pan half. I welded up the holes instead. It doesnt look the best but its real solid

motofly196 Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:11 pm

That's looking really nice! I'm hoping to get this far along on my March 55' this winter. Our local powder coater slows down...and really likes doing this kind of stuff. Keep it up! I'll definitely be checking in on your thread!


carnut63 Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:12 pm

Today I cleaned and tore into my original steering box. I found the bearings destroyed though. I really want to use this original box so I am on the hunt for a replacement set. I also cleaned and dismantled the remainder of my front end in preparation for blasting.

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