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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Into the paint shop!

I've finally gotten the car ready for the paint shop.  Here's a few shots of it being shipped:

(As usual, click on pics for a larger view!)

You'll notice the rockers are on and painted already.  This is so that the "fly-away" bottoms of the quarters can be anchored, which allows them to be blocked out nice and straight.  An unusual facet of the Hudson Step-Down.

Here's a few shots after the color and clear was sprayed:

After about 8 weeks in the paint shop, she finally got to come back home:

While she was in the paint shop, it was a good time to make the shop into a "clean room" and get most of the small parts laid out, organized and ready to install:

And, the engine has been completed.  In the next week, we'll be installing the 308 Hornet motor (souped up, '50's style).  Stay Tuned for updates coming very soon.

In the last week or so, I've concentrated on getting the car buffed out and some of the bright work installed.  Here's a couple of pics:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Finish Bodywork and Panel Fitting

Interior Parts and Pieces

Here is a shot of the finished gauge cluster.  The clock was built from a bucket of parts I had!  My grandfather had a saying, "There's only two kinds of people that will open the back of a clock (watch, etc.), a jeweler and a damned fool.  Which one are you?"    I was thinking of him during the entire assembly stage of that clock.  LOL!  BUT, nevertheless, it works perfectly.  The clock is on the right, the speedometer is on the left.  In the middle is the fuel gauge on the left and the temp. gauge.  Two "idiot" lights are GEN and OIL, which will also be covered by adding two non-stock gauges to the final dash assembly.


The top pic shows the interior arm rests.  The two on top are new cast reproductions by a fellow Hudnut in Washington state, by the name of Rob Fayette. Rob's e-mail address is:  (drop the HET before sending)

The bottom armrest is an original stock one.

Bottom pic shows the power window switches.  These ivory-colored pieces are also new reproductions done by Mr. Fayette.

Mr. Fayette does outstanding work.  Click on the pics for a larger view.  The color and finish of these pieces are flawless and have no equal.  They look far better than the originals.

Stay tuned as we are looking into casting steering wheels on old, worn-out cores.  The quality of the new wheels would surely have no peer.  


Here are some "before & after" shots of the door sills.  The one on the bottom has not yet been re-worked, the top one is completed.  The single door sill in the middle photo is the same one that has been restored.  The goal was not to make these look brand new ( or "renewed"), but, rather restored to like new while still retaining some character that the decades have brought.  

The brushed finish was accomplished by straightening, de-denting, filing, sanding straight down the length of the sill, re-painting and touching up where necessary and completing with a couple coats of lacquer.  

Click on Pictures for a larger view.

Finish Bodywork and Panel Fitting
 Body Progresses Along

Here's the latest photo.  I'm currently doing the final blocking and panel fitting in preparation for paint.  Because of all the extensive initial bodywork, I am now past the 2900 man-hour mark. The pics to follow show some of how we got to our current condition.

Notice the Rocker Panel is clamped on the passenger side.  Hudson step-downs are unusual cars in that the bottom of the quarter panels are "fly-away" panels.  Rockers have to be mounted to frame and quarter before final blocking can be done.  

The two pictures above show all the main body panels in place.  It took about 40 hours per door to get them tweaked and fit properly.  The passenger door had a bad twist to boot, and had to be racked back into shape.  Also note the loose fitting of the front fenders at this stage.  This was the beginnings of getting them into shape and properly fitted to the car.  

 Top picture shows the hydraulic lines for the power top and windows.  Bottom picture shows a plate from the '52 Group Parts Catalog.  If you click on the pics for a larger view, I think we got the lines just about right.  There is over 100' of 5/16" hydraulic lines.  This is just a portion of it, but all of these have to be in place before the rocker panel can be mounted.  

 Close up of the lines coming out of the driver side of the cowl.

 This is the switch that controls the movement of the convertible top.  It is located under the dash on the driver side.  The hydraulic lines go out the driver side of the cowl and down behind the rocker (see above photo).

Notice the rocker panels are now painted and cleared, and the front fenders are now mounted to the 'U'-shaped radiator bracket.  The insides of the quarters still have to be painted black, and the rubberized undercoating has to be applied to the insides of the front fenders, before the final mounting of the rockers can be completed, followed by the final blocking on the bottom of the quarter panels.  Then it will be time to paint the rest of the body.  

Also, notice the decklid has been fit, as well. It was pretty close, but about 1/8" (on a 12" length) on the driver side had to be shaved for a reasonable gap all the way around the deck lid.  Deck lid still has to be final blocked.

I'm soon to be out of the woods as far as bodywork goes!  Almost unbelievable.  

All of the silver parts have now been painted and clear-coated.  They include rockers, fender skirts, top irons, rear-view mirror, hood latch mechanism, quarter window channels.  We've started mounting the quarter window hard parts, along with the top irons.  Next post should cover those areas.  Stay tuned!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rolling Thunder!!

Finally off of the rotisserie, she's a roller!  In desperate need of shop space, we pressed hard to get suspension, steering and brakes completed.  Now she gets moved to the garage for the rest of the restoration, and that shop space will be utilized for the cabinet business.  Sigh!  Someday, I hope to build a new building which will house the business and this shop will become the car shop, again.  But for now, we'll make do as we can. 

This last picture shows the tape removed, and the rest of the black on the skeleton.

The following picture is a request.  We still need to find one more of these smaller, armrests, ivory in color.  The one on the bottom is not useable, as it is cracked, and broken.  Just need the plastic bottom part, not the stainless.


 This driver door had 12 bullet holes in it, along with this bad spot in the top corner.  Instead of leading these in, I decided to put in a patch, weld it in, then lead out the inconsistencies.

 And the door mounted, ready for paint after a final blocking.

Some of the hard parts waiting to be painted.

Sometime in the next week or two, we'll be plumbing the hydraulic lines for the top and windows.  The rubber conduit came from Steele Rubber Products.  The rubber lines were supplied by Dale Cooper and the rest of the fittings and the lines came from our local Napa.  Almost unbelievably, there is nearly 100' of tubing to run for top and windows.

And a shot of the inside of the driver door.  Painted, waiting for the internal hardware to be installed.

More to come, shortly!!  I'll try and do a better job of posting regularly now that we're making some good visual progress.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Got the main body in Epoxy primer, body seal was added.  Body panels were block-sanded after high-build primer.  Next up, is to get the chassis in black paint (all areas except those body parts that show, like the windshield header, back deck, etc.