Restoration of a Super Stocker:
Since the SS/AMX reunion at Cecil County Dragway (June 2002), many have suggested that I restore old #42. I thought it might be a neat project to document on this site. Seeing that I have owned the car in this condition for over 20 years, maybe it is time to bring the car back to the "as raced" condition of 1969 (shown in background screen). What I will try to do is document the slow process of the restoration on the page below. Expected completed date...a couple of years from now....
...the restoration begins:
Hood damage: The original hood had been damaged in 1970 when the car came loose on the trailer when being towed to the World's and rammed into the tool box. The hood has been somewhat repaired, but will need additional work to get it back to original shape.
Paint removal: The easy way to remove the paint would be to take it and have it media blasted...fast and effective. The problem being that I would like to document the various paint schemes on the car. It looks as if the car has had three different paint schemes over the years. Those being the current one (Brand AMX), the 1970 design (red, white and blue similar to the Shahan car), and the 1969 scheme (shown on this page's background).
Below, you can see the 1970 paint scheme...the car had a blue hood and fender tops, and the roof was two-thirds blue towards the front. The C pillar was also done in blue. The back and bottom of the car were done in red. There was a white stripe that went across the roof, down the behind the C pillar and parallel with the side of the car. Sad to say, no lettering could be found on the r/w/b paint job. On the pictures that include the hood, the rear hood pin holes have been uncovered. In the last picture of this series, you can see where the word Baytown (Texas) was removed from the drivers door.
Rear wheel wells: Quarter stripped of all paint and bondo...notice that after the bondo has been ground off around the wheel well, that the front of the wheel well has been enlarged to accommodate larger tires. Bondo was added to restore the body lines to the correct look of a 1969 AMX when raced years ago.
Where's the lettering: Sad to say, after scrapping two layers of paint of with razor blades, there was no lettering on the original white paint as can be seen below:
Mirror, Mirror: A closer inspection found that the original drivers door had the side mirror holes filled in at one time. Also, you can see where the original rocker molding holes were filled in.
Out of the garage for the first time in a long time: In early 2010, I contacted a one man shop (Paul Taylor of Taylor Made Restoration in Hanover PA 717-479-1014) that is known for high quality body and paint work to see if he could restore the body of the SS/AMX. I got a call back that summer saying that a spot was available if I could get the car to the shop in early August. So I documenting everything by photograph and dismantled the car so it could be taken to be media blasted. Here are a couple of pictures of the car leaving for its' journey to have the body and paint restored to the 1969 status:
After the body was media blasted...the body was sprayed with epoxy primer. As can be seen from the pictures of the front end, the front end structure was in nice shape.
Ouch....a drive shaft left its' calling card: as can be seen, the remnants of the drive shaft that left loose in 1970.
The hood being reworked...because the original hood was damaged when a tool box fell on it during transit back in 1970, the hood had to be straightened and reworked. Here you can see what it looked like after half the hood was massaged. New metal hood scoops are available that were modeled off this original hood scoop: Reproduction Metal Hood Scoop
When is the last time you saw a NOS front big bad bumper...because the front bumper was changed on car #42 depending on class, a big bad bumper was used front and rear. Shown below is the New Old Stock bumper that will grace the car.
Metal work is almost done....it is October 2010 and the metal work is all but done on the SS/AMX. Extra holes have been filled and miscellaneous brackets that were added after the 1969 race season were removed. Here are some of the pictures before the sanding primer coat is applied:
...the doors were never removed and have great lines....
...the rear wheel wells as raced...
...and the hood that several said couldn't be restored...here you see it in epoxy primer with no filler...
...after another coat of primer and a lot of block sanding....single stage white was applied to the engine compartment, under the fenders, under the hood and deck lid. The underneath of the car was also painted in the dark primer as dipped from the factory.
The painted car......all nice and bright after the paint was applied and buffed....the doors were never removed and line up the way they left the factory. The original glass (with the numbers as last raced) was installed. The lettering as raced in 1969 will be painted on the car in a couple of weeks including the original AMX in gold leaf on the side of the car.
...some inside detail...the inside of the doors (behind the door panels) were left untouched....if you look closely you can see where the dark primer dripped down the inside of the panel...you can also see how the white overspray covered part of the inside of the door.
Lettering the old school way... Paul Quinn designbrilliance.net of Morton, PA applied his magic to hand letter and do the gold leaf (23.5 carat) on the white blank canvas. Detailed original photographs from Jim Johnson and Steve Kathary showed the original lettering and style which helped Paul replicate the original hand painted lettering. Shown below are the results of Paul's expertise:
...close ups of the hand lettering and gold leaf...
...Paul Quinn posing with his work...
...the suspension and the wheels meet the body....the wheels are Keystone Klassic's....since this was one of the Keystone Klassic cars, it appeared in many of the period car magazines advertising keystone wheels. The front wheels are 15 x 3.5" direct bolt wheels with the correct center caps (these wheels are NOS). The back wheels are 15" x 8" unibolt wheels with newer style caps. I am looking for a set of vintage direct bolt wheels (4.5" pattern--same as Ford or Mopar) with the correct center cap. I would also like to find a pair of correct center caps if someone knows where they can be found (as shown in the picture below of the front wheel). The rear tires are 29.5" x 11.5" vintage Mickey Thompson racing slicks with tubes. I didn't clean the rear wheels and tires too much because I wasn't sure that they would fit because of the off set of the wheel. The wheels have to be shimmed about an 1/8" so they don't rub the rear springs. I will clean these wheels up and replace the tires eventually although they are fine to push the car around on. The shackles are as raced but I will be replacing them with stock shackles in the next few weeks.
The Dick Steele car is being restored to "as raced" condition from its' first season of racing. This includes the big bad bumpers from and rear. The car is almost ready to make it back to Maryland where I will finish the car. Most of the trim (around the windows, door handles and door trim, and circles/letters) have been installed as not to chip or ruin the paint.
Time to bring the SS/AMX back home... after many months at Taylor Made Restorations in Hanover, PA, the car is ready to be trailered back home. Paul Taylor did all the metal and paint work on the car. He is a one man shop that can do the little jobs up through a full blown restoration. He is a master at metal work (see my damaged hood above) to show quality paint jobs. After having owned the super stocker for almost 25 years, Paul was the first person who I would trust with doing the work on my car. He cut his teeth working for Conover's Shelby Restoration and only recently opened his own shop. If you are looking for someone to do quality work on your vehicle, Paul can be reached at 717-479-1014. Paul surely takes pride in his work and will not disappoint.
Anyway....the car was loaded in the enclosed trailer for the short trip back to Maryland. It now resides waiting to have the rest of the restoration process completed.
Finally got around to getting started on the car...the first thing I did was restore the license plate holder
...seems that I have been spending my time on the B/Production AMX....see the recent update: 1968 SCCA B/Production AMX
....in the Fall of 2013, I have installed most of the exterior chrome pieces and reinstalled the headliner and all the interior parts from the window sills up....I hope to get all the interior done by summers end and start the wiring/plumbing.....
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